I was at my Business Agent’s office the other day and she was emailed a file, which she could not open after saving to her desktop.
The file in question contained spreadsheet information so she was double clicking on the file, thinking it would open up in Microsoft Excel but, it would not open.
She was on the phone with the sender, trying to resolve the problem.
I happened to see that the file had an .xml extension and when she hovered over the file name, the file properties showed it as being an “XML Spreadsheet”. These clues told me that the file had been sent in an XML (EXtensible Markup Language) format, not Microsoft Excel.
I told her to:
- Open her Excel applications.
- Go to the File menu.
- Select Open from the drop down menu.
- Navigate to the file on her desktop that needed to be opened.
- Select the file (Change the File Type to All Files, if necessary).
- Click Open.
This opened the file in Excel and she was able to access the information. I say that she was able to access the information because the XML file only contains the information with minimal set up; she ended up having to go in and setting up the header, footer, repeating row, etc. to manipulate the information.
This worked because she had Excel 2003. From what I have found Microsoft Office 2003 and above includes XML reading capabilities. OpenOffice is also capable of reading XML files.
XML is a much more involved subject than can be handled in a blog like this. Also, I am just now reading about XML and doing a little experimentation on utilizing it.
From what little I have read about XML and its implementation, XML will be more prevelant in the very near future, as the information needs to be written only once and then can be presented in many different ways very easily. For an overview of XML check out this information at the Wikipedia site: Extensible Markup Language.