I decided a few weeks ago that I should give blogging a try, but it’s taken me awhile to actually get around to writing my first entry. Hopefully this will serve as the icebreaker and I’ll be able to do this with some reasonable frequency. I’ll use this mainly to post different pieces of information on the XML formats in Office, as well as talk to some of the reasons behind our various designs.

I’ve been on the Office team for about 6 years now. For Office 2003 I worked on the XML support in Word including both the support for customer defined schemas, as well as the WordProcessingML schema. When I talk with customers, there are always a number of questions around these areas, so I figured setting up a blog might be a good way to help teach people more about what they can do and help answer questions.

I didn’t want to have a completely useless first post, so I figured I’d at least give out a interesting links. It surprises me how many people haven’t seen these, so I figured I’d point them out. If you’ve already seen them, sorry… hopefully I’ll have more interesting stuff for you in future posts:

Office XML website
You can go here to download the Office schemas and documentation:
http://www.microsoft.com/office/xml/default.mspx

XSLT inference tool
For those of you struggling to get your XML into Word in a presentable fashion, try this tool. You mark up a document with your schema and format it as you wish. Then just save it out and run it through the tool. The result will be an XSLT you can apply to other XML files that follow your schema, and they’ll take on the look of the document:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=2CB5B04E-61D9-4F16-9B18-223EC626080E&displaylang=en

WordML viewer for IE
This actually has a number of things. It has an XSLT that goes from WordProcessingML into HTML. There is then an add-in to IE that automatically will apply the XSLT when opening WordProcessingML files. The add-in also handles the display of images in the file, which is fairly difficult just using straight XSLT. Lastly, it’s extensible, so you can register other XSLTs for various types of XML:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=19676b18-1bcd-4852-93ba-0b5a203ea731&displaylang=en

Talk to you all soon