For the last 23 years, XML has been used as a data format through which data can be transported easily between different networks, applications, and organizations. XML is a markup language developed by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) that fulfill the limitations of HTML. You must also have seen or heard about the XML file occasionally. Often when users first encounter the XML files, they get a little confused as to how to open the XML file? So in today’s our article we are going to talk about the same, today we will know how to open an XML file? But before starting that, let’s take a look at what is XML file…
What is XML File
As I mentioned, XML is a Markup Language developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. HTML, as we know, is a very popular markup language. HTML is used to display page data. Data is often stored inside HTML pages and it contains more than 100 tags, all these tags are very difficult to remember and use. XML was developed to solve all these problems. XML is used to store and organize data.
It is also important to know that XML is not a replacement for HTML. XML and HTML can be used combined. The combined version of XML and HTML is called X-HTML. XML has played a very important role in making the Internet more simple, comprehensive and useful. XML is commonly used for Data Exchange and XML files are saved with .xml Extension.
How to Open XML Files
There are many ways by which you can open XML files directly, you can open and edit them with any text editor, view them with any web browser, or use a website that allows you to view, edit, and even convert them to other formats. We divided these ways into four different categories so you can understand and use any one of them easily, so let’s see, what are the four ways with which you can open an XML file?
Open An XML File Using a Text Editor
This is the first and most used way to open an XML file. XML files are encoded in plaintext, that’s why you can open them in any text editor. You can use this method by following these steps…
1.Select the XML file you want to open in a text editor then right-click the XML file and select the option”Open With.” Now you will see a list of programs to open the file in.
2. From the list, select “Notepad”, in your mac system select “TextEdit”. Both of these are the pre-installed text editors, You can use more advanced code editors like Notepad++ or TextMate as well, which can be useful for syntax highlighting and advanced editing.
3. Your last action will open the XML file in a text editor, but as you can see in the image above, it loses most of its formatting and crams the whole thing onto just two lines of the document, and for a much better and explained view advanced tool like Notepad++. Now to find the information you are looking for using the tag labels, usually, the labels will be fairly self-explanatory and allow you to browse through the data and find the accurate information you want.
Note: You might see at the top, which indicates that the following content is in XML format.
Open An XML File Using a Web Browser
The second method in our list to open an XML file is the Web Browser method. Opening an XML file in a browser can be slightly easier than any Text editor and that is because most browsers automatically indent nested tags and allow you to collapse each section of the XML tree. So follow these steps to open an XML file using a web browser…
1.Select the XML file you want to open in a web browser then right-click on the XML file and select the option”Open With.” Now you will see a list of programs to open the file in.
2. From the list, select any web browser in which you want to open the file. Although most of the time your web browser will already be in the list of suggested programs, but if it is not, then you will have to browse for it on your computer and select it from there.
3. Now the selected XML file will open in a new tab in the web browser. In the browser, all of the contents will be displayed, and as I said above your browser will automatically indent nested tags. And that makes it easier to understand which data belongs to which set.
So that’s how you can open XML file using browser. And another big advantage to using a browser to read XML files is getting the ability to control like you can expand or minimize it by clicking on lick the arrows or +/- buttons next to each section.
Open An XML File Using Excel
People often suggest adopting this method, because Excel shows the data of XML file as a table, which can be useful for visually processing the information. So to use this method follow these steps…
1.Excel will not usually pop up as a suggested program in the list, so it is better to open the excel first, so open the excel and click on the “File” option and then select “Open.”
2. Now from the menu browse the XML file you want to open, so find it and then click on the open button.
3. After that, you will be asked for “how you would like to open this file?” So select “As an XML table.” Your this action will convert the XML file into an excel file.
4. Now you can read your XML file, You will find that your XML file is organized as a table based on the tag structure, and to customize the table from Excel you can also use sorting and filtering tools.
You may have found difficulties rendering complex XML files as tables, if your XML file contains too many nested tags, you can use the XML viewer instead, which would be a better option.
Open An XML File Using XML Viewer
If you are dealing with a lot of XML files, then an XML a viewer or XML editor will prove to be a better option for you. These viewers and editors can make complex XML files very easy to handle. There are lots of free and paid applications are available and you can choose anyone as per your requirement. If you need to view or edit too many XML files, choose a professional XML editor that will allow you to automate and collaborate on large XML projects.
There are a few free online XML editors available such as TutorialsPoint.com, XMLGrid XMLGrid.net, and CodeBeautify.org, all of these XML editors let you view and edit your XML files. So use one of them as per your needs and then open your XML in it and then you can read it or edit it. After you’ve done your editing, you can download the changed XML file, or even you can convert it to a different format.
So these are the four ways to open an XML file, hope you understand all the four ways now let’s see how you can convert an XML file.
How To Convert XML Files
So as I said there are dozens of XML editors which can edit and convert XML files and all of them may have their different processes, so here for giving you a little bit of idea that how you can edit your file here we’ll be using CodeBeautify.org.
1.Open your browser and visit CodeBeautify.org, once the website opens you will see several options there so first to view your file click on “XML viewer” from the “Popular Functionality” category.
2. On the XML viewer page you will get three sections, first XML input second options bar and third result. So from the options bar select the “Browse” button and then find and select the XML file you want to open. You can also select the “Load URL” button to pull XML from an online source.
3. After opening the XML file now you can select an option from option bar that how you want to view your XML file in the result section.
4. You can select the “Tree View” button to see your XML file data in a nicely formatted tree structure with all your tags on the left in orange and the attributes to the right of the tags.
5. You can choose the “Beautify” option to see the XML file data in neat and easy-to-read lines.
6. You can also select the “Minify” button to see your XML file data using the least amount of white space possible. This option will attempt to put every single piece of data on one line. This option will become helpful when you trying to make the file smaller to save some space.
7. After getting a brief view and edit your XML file data select the “XML to JSON” button to convert the XML to JSON format. Then use the “Download” button to download any changes you’ve made as a new XML file. You can also use the option “Export to CSV” to save your XML file data as a comma-separated values file.
So that’s how you can open an XML file and convert it. Hopefully, now you know how to open an XML file and edit it and convert it but still if there is any question in mind about how to open an XML file you can ask us in the comments section.