Downloading material from the internet, you found yourself in front of a file with an extension unknown to you and you are wondering what it is and how to open xml files? Have you tried double clicking on the file to see if you have an xml file program but couldn’t open it? No problem, in this very short guide I will explain, without getting too lost in useless chatter, what it is for and how to open an xml file. I assure you that it is all very simple.
- Open xml files
- What is an xml
- How to open an xml file
Open xml files
Before seeing how to open xml files let me explain what an xml file is and what it is for.
What is an xml
XML is the acronym of “eXtensible Markup Language” is a markup language (like HTML) born with the idea of being “extensible” in the sense that you can create customized elements. Beyond its initial use, XML is now used to describe structured documents.
It is a text file containing several “tags” and their value; tags (just like html) are enclosed with <and> signs.
An example of an xml content could be
<People> <Man> <name> Paolo </name> <surname> Iozzino </surname> </Uomo> </Persone>
How to open an xml file
The easiest and fastest way to open xml files is to use any browser (for example chrome or firefox), simply by clicking on the xml file; alternatively, right-click on the xml file and select Open With ; then select the web browser you want to use to open the xml file.
The browser is perhaps the best xml file program you can use because it allows you to expand and contract tags making the content of the xml file more readable.
Alternatively, since it is basically a text file, another program for xml files is the simple Windows notepad or even the WordPad; with these programs, however, reading the xml file will be more difficult, especially if the file is very long. To open the xml file with notepad or wordpad press the right mouse button over the xml file and select Open With , then inotepad or wordpad as application.
Instead of a program for xml files you can also use an online service to open xml files; there are many and all free. I recommend JSON Formatter which not only allows you to see the content of an xml file but also allows you to validate its content, that is, to verify that the xml file is well constructed. In this case, to open an xml file, press the Load Data button and then select the Upload File item and select the xml file to open.
The file will be opened and loaded on the right pane and in the left pane you will be able to see it in “more readable” form. This online xml editor then allows you to edit the xml file to your liking and download the modified version.
So, in conclusion, the xml file is a trivial text file with tags and text inside; you can use any writing program to view its contents and even the banal Windows notepad; but if you are looking for a system to make it more readable then I suggest you open it with any web browser or with a free online service.