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What is a Processing Instruction in XML ?

An XML file can also contain processing instructions that give commands or information to an application that is processing the XML data.

Processing instructions have the following format :

Syntax : <?target instructions?>

- target is the name of the application that is expected to do the processing, and instructions is a string of characters that embodies the information or commands for the application to process.

Because the instructions are application-specific, an XML file can have multiple processing instructions that tell different applications to do similar things, although in different ways. The XML file for a slide show, for example, might have processing instructions that let the speaker specify a technical- or executive-level version of the presentation. If multiple presentation programs were used, the program might need multiple versions of the processing instructions (although it would be nicer if such applications recognized standard instructions).
The most widely recognized utilization of a handling guideline is to ask for the XML report be rendered utilizing a template utilizing the 'xml-template' target, which was institutionalized in 1999. It can be utilized for both XSLT and CSS templates.