I've been going through the final draft version of the Ecma Office Open XML spec, to put together some samples for a project I'm working on. And in the course of doing so, I've been pleasantly surprised by how many markup examples can be found in the spec. In the Markup Language Reference, you'll find lots of markup samples right there with the tag definitions, ready to try out.

For example, here are a few simple things you can do with table cells ...

The samples above are simply pasted from the spec itself into the markup (in document.xml, the main part of a WordprocessingML document). For example, I copied these two lines into the tcPr (table cell properties) node for the last cell in the table above:

   <w:shd w:val="clear" w:color="auto" w:fill="FFC0C0" />
   <w:gridSpan w:val="2" />

I'll be posting more of these samples in the future, after I work through the ML Reference. so if you have an area of Open XML functionality you're especially interested in, let me know and I'll put it on the list.

And if you're ready to learn more about Open XML, a great place to start is the Ecma whitepaper that was published this week. It's a good concise summary of Open XML, covering the business case (benefits of the formats) as well as the technological perspective, all at a relatively high level. If you're a developer, this white paper would be perfect to get your manager up to speed on Open XML; and if you're a manager, this white paper is just what your developers need to get started on Open XML. :-)