AH Formatter V5
Last updated: Mar 18, 2014
V5.3 Overview
Comparison Chart
PDF Output
Font Support
Graphic Support
Hyphenation Support
MathML Support
CSS Conformance
CSS Reference
XSL-CSS Corresponding Table
XSL-FO Conformance
XSL Extensions
SVG Conformance
SVG 1.1 Test Suite
MathML Conformance
MathML Test Suite
MIF Output Option
INX Output Option
PostScript ® Output Option
XPS Output Option
SVG Output Option
CGM Option
Barcode Generator Option
Download Evaluation Version
AH Formatter Q&A
Upgrade to V6
See also V5.3 Lite
V5.3 Lite Overview

V5AH Formatter V5.3 offers support for both CSS and XSL-FO and numerous other enhancements.

Format documents for print and PDF using CSS or XSL-FO

Antenna House Formatter V5.3 now supports page layouts specified using either CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or XSL-FO (Extensible Stylesheet Language - Formatting Objects) for formatting documents for PDF and print.

Now users can select the stylesheet language and content strategy that best suits their business needs.

XSL-FO has long been recognized as the standard for formatting XML for print and PDF and CSS as the standard for displaying HTML on the web. The missing piece for web developers has always been how to go from web/HTML to print and PDF with properly formatted pages and documents. V5.3 is the answer.

Building on the strengths of the CSS3 specification and Antenna House XSL Formatter, Antenna House Formatter V5.3 has added the capability that now enables web designers to use CSS to add print and PDF output to their systems by using all the features and functionality that Antenna House has developed during the past 8 years as the supplier of the most powerful XSL-FO formatting software availalbe.

In addition to the powerful formatting functions by using XSL-FO available with the V4.3, Antenna House V5.3 has added the ability for formatting HTML and XML with CSS.

Antenna House Formatter V5.3 offers all the features (GUI, support for over 50 languages, PDF generation), W3C compliance, extensions, the significantly enhanced performance, unlimited document size and SVG support, vector support for EMF and WMF, new output capabilities through the new Barcode Generator Option, MIF Creator Option, INX Creator Option and CGM Option, MathML native drawing, XSL Report Designer integration, support for SVG output by SVG Output Option, PANTONE® color support by PANTONE® Option and Web Interface for Formatter to support the use of XSL Formatter via the Internet, the two-pass formatting that makes it possible to format huge documents, high quality EPS embedding in PDF, the enhanced PDF features, AcroForms, PDF/A, PDF1.7, PostScript output, PDF Digital Signature and numerous other enhancements by AXF extension. New to AH Formatter is the XPS Output Option that enables the outout of XPS (XML Paper SpecificationI) files.

The six products are prepared according to the formatting capability of AH Formatter V5.3. Please see also AH Formatter Family.


Compliant with XSL 1.1

Corresponds to XSL 1.1 which is a XSL-FO specification. AH Formatter V5.3 faithfully implements quite almost elements of the XSL specification and properties.

High speed

V5 is the fastest formatting software available.In batch mode V5 can start to produce PDF output immediately from the inputted file. Furthermore V5 improves the performance on a multi-processor system.

Format virtually any size document

Antenna House Formatter can format a document of virtually any size whether it is a publication, tens of thousands of invoices, reports or personalized one to one documents.

Supports PDF/X and PDF/A

AH Formatter V5.3 supports PDF/X. PDF/X is a specification that places much value on exchanging date and defined by ISO for printing purpose. PDF/A is a format for long-term preservation of an electronic document and it is also defined by ISO.

Accessible PDF

AH Formatter V5.3 can generate the Tagged PDF for enhancing the accessibility to persons with sight problems. This is a function indispensable to comply with Section 508, the law of the United States enforced on June 21, 2001.

Integration Interface

Antenna House provides Command line interface, .NET interface, COM interface, Java interface and C++/C interface. The various interfaces make for easy system integration of Formatter with web applications, content management systems, and other software products.

The .NET interface and the COM interface are available for Windows only.

PostScript® output and SVG output

AH Formatter PostScript Output Option makes PostScript® output available. With the new SVG Output module it is now possible to create SVG 1.1, SVG Basic, and SVG Tiny files using AH Formatter V5.3. This function requires AH Formatter SVG Output Option.

Direct Printer output

In Windows version, it's possible to output the formatted result directly to the printer without passing through PDF. It's also possible to get the formatted result and print it immediately by using GUI.

Supports the embedding of PDF into PDF

An arbitrary page of other PDF can be embedded into PDF.

Compliant with CSS

Supports CSS2.1 and CSS3. Page models of CSS3 is also supported, now that high-quality page formatting will be available.

Passes Acid2

AH Formatter V5.3 has passed the Acid2 test published by "The Web Standards Project (WaSP)" that measures the conforming level to CSS.

PANTONE® Color Support

AH Formatter V5 provides the ability for more than 1000 PANTONE® Colors to be converted into RGB or CMYK values automatically by using AH Formatter PANTONE® Option. Possible to specify the PANTONE® colors for separation color (spot color) simply by putting only the name of the PANTONE® colors in FO.

Web Interface for Formatter

Web Interface V5.0 for Formatter works with both CSS and XSL V5.3 Formatter. The Web Interface reduces the amount of development effort necessary to integrate Formatter into a internet based solution.

Table Auto Layout

AH Formatter V5 supports table-layout="auto." in the XSL-FO specification, which is not supported by many of the formatting software. This function arranges the table layout suitably without specifying the width of a cell. It's suitable for almost all tables which do not require the strict value of the width, and is very convenient. When the formatting speed poses a problem, please specify table-layout="fixed" instead and specify fixed width in all cells.

High quality PDF for SVG, MathML, EMF and WMF

Vector information for SVG, MathML, EMF and WMF is retained in PDF, thus enhancing the quality of output images and meeting the increasing demand for delivery of vectors in the output.

V5.3 makes it possible to draw high-resolution MathML in PDF. Lite is available to use with AH Formatter MathML Option.

Possible to get the .NET native parser output

With the .NET Interface when XSL-FO is generated from XML and XSL using an XSLT processor that transformation can now be passed directly and seamlessly to Formatter without passing it through a temporary file first.

The .NET and the COM interfaces can now also get the DOM directly without passing through a temporary file. This has the effect of slightly improving performance.

Multilingual Language

V5.3 supports almost any language which is supported by Unicode including Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Japanese (Hiragana and Katakana), Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Hangul, Arabic, Hebrew and Thai. It offers the abilities to write in vertical mode, to run the text from right to left as in Arabic and Hebrew and also to create multilingual documents with language mixtures on the same page and even on the same line.

Possible to hyphenate over 40 or more languages

The former "Hyphenation Option" is now a standard part of Formatter. The Hyphenation function integrates the very powerful hyphenation algorithms from Computer Hyphenation Ltd., which enhances the quality of hyphenation and greatly simplifies setting up Formatter to hyphenate over 40 different languages.

For additional information please visit Computer Hyphenation's website.

Antenna House Workflow

AH Formatter V5.3formats XSL Formatting Objects (XSL-FO), XML with XSL stylesheet, or HTML with CSS stylesheet. The formatted result will be displayed in GUI and outputted or printed to PDF. (Display and printing are availalbe only with the Windows version). The work flow is as shown below.

The following illustrates Formatters workflow:


  • When an (X) HTML document is inputted, AH Formatter V5 formats it immediately using a default HTML stylesheet.
  • When an XML document or a (X) HTML document with a CSS stylesheet are inputted, AH Formatter V5 formats it immediately.
  • When an XSL Formatting Object is inputted, AH Formatter V5.3 formats it immediately.
  • When an XML document and an XSL stylesheet are inputted, AH Formatter V5.3 transforms them to XSL Formatting Object using XSLT processor and formats the XSL Formatting Object.
  • When an XML document and the Project file of XSL Report Designer are both inputted, AH Formatter V5.3 transforms it into XSL Formatting Objects using XSL Report Designer.

Enhancements and New Features

New Enhancements of AH Formatter V5.3 from AH Formatter V5.2 are as follows:

  • Barcode Generator Option is newly added.
  • The following features have been added to the PostScript Option.
    • Fonts can now be specified whether embedded in PostScript by noembed-font in the Option Setting File.
    • External links specified by the relative address can now be converted to either of the action types of the PDF link properties by use-launch-for-relative-uri in the Option Setting File.
  • The following elements have been newly added.
  • The following properties have been newly added.
  • The following properties have been newly extended.
  • It's now available to hyphenate another language appeared in the CJK document by script-language-in-CJK in the Option Setting File.
  • The following child elements in the Option Setting File can now be cancelled: V5.2MR1
    • list-style-type
    • script-chars
    • space-after-punctuakton
    • space-before-punctuation
    • space-between-digit-and-punctuation
    • space-between-punctuation-and-digit
  • The following features have been added to the MIF Output Option.V5.2MR1
    • Basic-link is made available to convert into FrameMaker ®hypertext.
    • Image files can now be selected whether embedded or external links by image-processing in the Option Setting File.
  • When multiple applicable page masters are found, level 2 warning is now outputted. V5.2MR1

System Requirements

Item Contents
Windows version Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows Server2003
Windows Server2008
Windows x64 version Windows XP x64 Edition
Windows Vista x64 Edition
Windows Server2003 x64 Edition
Windows Server2008 x64 Edition
Solaris version Sun Solaris 10 (sparc version)
Sun Solaris 10 (x86 version)
Linux version Built by GCC3.4.X. (required libstdc++.so.6 runtime libraries)
Linux 64bit version
Macintosh version Mac OS X Version 10.5, 10.6 (intel version)
HP-UX version HP-UX11i v1 (B.11.11) PA-RISC version
HP-UX11i v2 (B.11.23) IA-64 version
AIX version AIX Version 5.3, POWER version (required VXL C/C++ Runtime V7.0)
  • All but "x64 edition" and the "64-bit version" are compiled with 32 bit.
  • Hereinafter unless otherwise explicitly mentioned, the phrase "Windows version" includes both Windows version and Windows x64 version.
  • Hereinafter unless otherwise explicitly mentioned, the phrase "Linux version" includes both Linux version and Linux 64bit version.
  • Please see "Font Setting" for supported fonts. In addition, fonts are not included in the Windows version.
  • Standard 14 fonts in non-Windows version have the metrics information file only. They do not contain the file of the outline information. If you want to embed these fonts to PDF or PS file, please buy whole fonts by yourself.
  • Please confirm the necessary environment variables at "Environment Variable" in the online manual.
  • Please confirm the installed modules at "Installed Modules" in the online manual.
  • The printing function on the Windows version depends on Windows-based printer drivers.
  • Optional PDF Digital Signature Module can be used with Windows version, but it cannot be used with Windows x64 version.

Administration Rights

When you are going to install this software on Windows 2000, XP please login as a member of administrators. You cannot install on Windows 2000, without administration rights. In Windows XP, the following error message appears and installation may be failed. "The InstallShield Engine (iKernel.exe) could not be launched. Class not registered"

XSLT Processor

Antenna House Formatter uses an XSLT processor for converting XML documents and XSL stylesheets into XSL Formatting Objects (XSL-FO). In the Windows version, either MSXML4 or MSXML3 is used as the standard XSLT processor. Windows users have the option to use a different XSLT processor if desired. Solaris/Linux users set their desired XSLT processor through the "Environment Variable" or "Option Setting File". For Windows XP, Internet Explore 6 or later MSXML3 is already installed. There is no need for the user to separately install MSXML3.


AH Formatter V5.3 supports languages expressed with the following scripts among the scripts specified by ISO 15924.

  • Latn : Latin
  • Grek : Greek
  • Cyrl : Cyrillic
  • Arab : Arabic
  • Hebr : Hebrew
  • Deva : Devanagari
  • Thai : Thai
  • Kana : Katakana
  • Hira : Hiragana
  • Hang : Hangul
  • Hani : Han (Kanji)
  • Hans : Han (Chinese Simplified)
  • Hant : Han (Chinese Traditional)
  • Jpan : Japanese (Han+Hira+Kana)

Depending on the language, it's possible to hyphenate the Latin script, the Greek script and the Cyrille script.

Some of the language codes which is defined by ISO 639-2 can be specified. The main codes are as follows. The corresponding scripts show the major example.

afafrAfrikaans Latn yes
araraArabic Arab n/a
azazeAzerbaijani Latn no
bgbulBulgarian Cyrl yes
cacatCatalan Latn yes
cscesCzech Latn yes
cycymWelsh Latn yes
dadanDanish Latn yes
dedeuGerman / Swiss German Latn yes
elellGreek Grek yes
enengEnglish Latn yes
en-USeng-USAmerican Latn yes
eoepoEsperanto Latn yes
esspaSpanish Latn yes
etestEstonian Latn yes
eueusBasque Latn yes
fafasPersian Arab n/a
fifinFinnish Latn yes
frfraFrench / Canadian French Latn yes
gagleIrish (Erse or Gaelic) Latn yes
hehebHebrew Hebr n/a
hihinHindi Deva n/a
hrhrvCroatian Cyrl / Latn yes
huhunHungarian Latn yes
idindIndonesian Latn yes
isislIcelandic Latn yes
ititaItalian Latn yes
jajpnJapanese Hani, Hira, Kana, Jpan n/a
kkkazKazakh Cyrl / Latn no
kokorKorean Hang, Hani n/a
lalatLatin Latn yes
ltlitLithuanian Latn yes
lvlavLatvian Latn yes
msmsaBahasa Malay Latn yes
mtmltMaltese Latn yes
nlnldDutch / Flemish Latn yes
nonorNorwegian Latn yes
plpolPolish Latn yes
ptporPortuguese / Brazilian Latn yes
roronRomanian / Moldavian Latn yes
rurusRussian Cyrl yes
skslkSlovak Latn yes
slslvSlovenian Latn yes
srsrpSerbian Cyrl / Latn yes
svsweSwedish Latn yes
swswaSwahili Latn yes
ththaThai Thai yes
trturTurkish Latn yes
ukukrUkrainian Cyrl yes
ururdUrdu Latn no
vivieVietnamese Latn no
zh-CNzho-CNChinese Hani, Hans n/a
zh-TWzho-TWChinese (Taiwanese) Hani, Hant n/a


AH Formatter V5.3 supports the following HTML, CSS or FO Encodings. These are a part of CHARACTER SETS of IANA.

  • UTF-8
  • UTF-16
  • UTF-32
  • ISO-10646-UCS-2
  • ISO-10646-UCS-4
  • ANSI_X3.4
  • ISO_646.irv
  • ISO646-US
  • ISO_8859-1
  • latin1
  • Windows-31J
  • Shift_JIS
  • EUC-JP
  • ISO-2022-JP
  • GB18030
  • GBK
  • GB2312
  • Big5
  • KS_C_5601-1987
  • iso-ir-149
  • korean

Windows-31J is regarded as Shift_JIS.

Regarding the XML document and the XSL stylesheet, it depends on the XSLT processor to be used.

Formatting engine and Interface

  • Command-line Interface

    The Command-line Interface is provided as an executable file. You can call it from Windows batch file or Solaris shell script.

    XSL Formatter V4.3 Command-line Interface can be executed by specifying FO (XSL Formatting Objects) files. Also it can be executed as a filter that reads FO from standard in and writes PDF to standard out.

  • COM/.NET Interface

    The COM interface makes it possible for XSL Formatter to function as a COM Server through the applications using COM-supported languages such as Visual Basic, Delphi. In the same way, the .NET interface makes it possible for AH Formatter to function as .NET Server through applications made by Visual Basic.NET, Visual C#.NET.

  • Java Interface

    This interface provides you with the Interface for AH Formatter V5.3 from Java. This program is availabe in the following Java environment.

    • Java version "1.4.1"
    • Java™2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.1-b21)
    • Java HotSpot™ Client VM (build 1.4.1-b21, mixed mode)


For further information, please refer to Q&A Page on our web site.

Antenna House provides the Formatter Mailing List. For subscribing please see:

Antenna House provides numerous XSL-FO samples for testing and learning purpose. Please see:

Antenna House provides CSS Tutorials and Samples for testing and learning purpose. Please see:

For more information, technical support and service needs, please contact us by e-mail.

Copyright © 1996-2014 Antenna House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Antenna House is a trademark of Antenna House, Inc.

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    Pantone, Inc. is the copyright owner of color data and/or software which are licensed to Antenna House, Inc. to distribute for use only in combination with AH Formatter. PANTONE Color Data and/or Software shall not be copied onto another disk or into memory unless part of the execution of AH Formatter.
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