Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
XML Basics
Even though you can use the XML features in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and
Access 2003 without knowing much about the technology or ever writing a
single line of XML code, knowing the basics of XML can help you envision how
it might be helpful in your own business. Toward that end, this section gives
you some XML fundamentals and provides references for more information, in
case you want to learn more or try a little coding yourself.
The Big Picture
Although it’s hard to pin XML down to a concise definition, according to the
easiest and broadest approach, XML is a highly flexible format for data
exchange and application. In the big picture, users work with an Office 2003
document (Word, Excel, or Access) and attach an XML Schema (the set of rules
determining the language elements used in the document). When they save the
document, they can save it as an XML file and choose whether to save the data
only or apply a transform (XSLT) to display the saved XML document in a
specific view.
XML Glossary
Even though this chapter focuses on giving you an overview of XML and
how it can be used to help streamline and extend the use of data in your
organization, it’s helpful to know the language. Here are some basic XML
terms you’re sure to see in this chapter and in other writings on XML:
DTD (document type definition). A set of rules that stores
element names and attributes and defines how they can be
combined and in which order.
Element. Any item defined in an XML document, enclosed
with start and end tags: for example, <TITLE>First Look
Microsoft Office 2003</TITLE>.
Style sheet. A collection of formatting instructions that control
the display of the document. Style sheets can be in a separate
file and linked to the document or housed in the document
itself. (General recommendations are to store the data and style
sheet separately, however, so the data can be used in its pure
form in a variety of applications.)
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