Edit XML Documents with Microsoft Word 2003

Edit, validate, and save XML documents with Microsoft Word 2003.

Microsoft Office 2003 has the best XML support that a version of Office has offered yet. It’s not perfect, but in some places it shines. Not all Office 2003 products provide direct XML support, but three of the flagship products do—Microsoft Word 2003, Excel 2003, and Access 2003. This hack will discuss how to “do XML” with Word 2003.

Sadly, not all versions of Word 2003 have full-featured XML support. In order to get the full support, you need to buy Office 2003 Professional, Office 2003 Enterprise, or Word 2003 individually. Word has its own built-in schema called WordprocessingML. If you create a regular document in Word, you can save the document as XML in WordprocessingML. All versions of Word 2003 have this capability.

Attaching Schemas to Word

In the Office 2003 Professional, Office 2003 Enterprise, and individually packaged Word 2003 versions of Word 2003, you can attach your own XML Schema [Hack #69] document to an XML document. This means that you can export Word documents as XML, and they will be structured according to your own custom schema rather than Word’s obscure binary format or its own WordprocessingML. This means that you can test and validate such documents using external XML tools—in other words, you aren’t landlocked if you use the professional, enterprise, or individual versions of Word to produce XML.

You can store or attach XML schema in Word’s schema ...

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