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Beth Massi is a Senior Program Manager on the Visual Studio team at Microsoft and a community champion for business application developers. Learn more about Beth.
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Last month when I was in Redmond I mentioned to a colleague that I really liked the Open XML format that Office 2007 was using now and how I had been playing with the format and LINQ to XML. He pointed me to the VSTO Power Tools which contains a Visual Studio Add-In called the Open XML Package Editor. This tool allows you to view Office 2007 files from Word, PowerPoint and Excel in a neat little treeview that lets you navigate the Open XML file and manipulate all the parts individually. After installing the VSTO Power Tools, just double-click on the Office 2007 file directly from your Visual Studio project to open the tool.
<From the VSTO Power Tools documentation:>
Open XML Package Editor
This is a Visual Studio 2008 add-in to allow parsing and editing of Open Packaging Conventions files, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Features include:
Figure 1 shows the treeview that is provided when you open an Open XML Package file in Visual Studio:
From the treeview, if you double-click on any XML part in the file, that part will be opened in the standard Visual Studio XML editor, as shown in Figure 2:
One thing I noticed is that if the XML editor opens and the XML is all on one line with no breaks then just select all the contents and cut then paste it back into the editor and it will put the proper line breaks in there for you (Ctrl + A,X,V).
There are nine other tools included in the VSTO Power Tools that I highly recommend trying out if you are doing any kind of Office development with Visual Studio. Also check out the VSTO Team Blog and VSTO Developer Portal for more information on Office development with Visual Studio.
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About a month ago the OpenXML SDK 1.0 (June 08 update) was released . The SDK provides strongly typed
If you missed the announcement on the VSTO Developer Portal , the team released a tool called AddInSpy