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XML Hacks by Michael Fitzgerald

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Create an XML Document from a Text File with xmlspy

How do you get your old stuff into XML? Legacy text files can be translated into XML with xmlspy.

Perhaps you have plain-text files that you’d like to convert to XML so that the data will interoperate with the latest applications. You can do it by hand with a text or XML editor or you can use a tool that will do it for you automatically. xmlspy (Professional or Enterprise edition) is one of those tools. It’s easy to figure out xmlspy’s text-to-XML interface, so that’s the one I’ll show you here. (I used the Enterprise edition when testing this.)

First, here is a little plain-text file, time.txt, that just contains data fields separated by semicolons:

timezone;hour;minute;second;meridiem;atomic
PST;11;59;59;p.m.;

The first line defines fields that will be converted to XML markup; the second line defines the content of that markup. A semicolon (;) delimits each of the fields. The second line ends with a field containing a single space, which of course you can see.

Now open xmlspy and select Convert Import Text file. The Text import dialog box is shown in Figure 2-18. Click the Choose File button and open the file time.txt. Make sure that the file encoding is Unicode UTF-8, the field delimiter is Semicolon, and that “First row contains field names” is checked.

Click the symbol to the left of the timezone field name in the first row so that it becomes an equals sign. This specifies that the timezone field will be interpreted as an attribute ...

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