What is an XML file and how do you open it?

what is an xml file and how do you open it.
What is XML

XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. Its purpose is to describe and organize data on the internet, for mobile applications, and elsewhere. Are you wondering how this works and what it is used for? Here is an explanation in detail.

What is Markup Language?

Markup languages ​​insert text captions or add additional information. These annotations remain invisible to the end-user. "Machine", like your browser, reads these annotations before processing and serving the text as instructed by the markup command.

A well-known example of a markup language is HTML (HyperText Markup Language). While HTML (and other programming languages) defines the appearance of a website, you should never see a trace of code. What you see is the interpretation by your browser. For example, font formatting or embedded images.

How Does XML Work?

XML is a meta markup language developed for the internet. It is a simplification of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language), the mother of all markup languages. It is also extensible as users can add and assign new tags or building blocks. By adding building blocks, users can adapt XML to their needs. To explain how this all works, we should use HTML and CSS as examples.

Why XML Is Related to HTML

XML is similar to HTML, but because users can add their own building blocks, it allows for more flexibility. The main difference between HTML and XML is that HTML defines how data looks, whereas XML defines what data is. That's why XML cannot replace HTML, instead extends it.

To describe data, XML relies on a Document Type Definition (DTD). You could say that this is a machine's dictionary. This allows the engine to understand the markup language. As such, every document should start by specifying the type of DTD to use. HTML uses the same principle. The code you'll find on many websites can look something like this:

<!doctype html public "-//w3c//DTD html 4.0//en">

This particular example tells your browser that the Html 4.0 DTD is in English. The browser can then go ahead and compare each given command with its DTD, which tells it what to do with each command. That's how <b>commands are translated into bold text or <u>underlined text.

How CSS Solve Problems With HTML

The problem with HTML is that it consists of a set of static commands. Whenever you want to define certain attributes, you need to type these commands. Again and again. While this makes HTML easy to learn, it also limits its flexibility.

For example, let's say you want to change the size or color of a header that you've used a dozen times throughout your website. Imagine you have to change the attributes of each of the dozen headers individually. How boring!

In web design, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) have eliminated this tedious editing of HTML documents. Now, you can simply add the “H1” attribute to your header on your website, and in your style sheet define what the “H1” header looks like. And when you want to change the appearance of that header, you only change it in one place, namely the style sheet. Problem solved.

How XML Handles Data

XML structure and defines data. It does not interfere with certain attributes, such as size or color. Building blocks are similar to HTML tags associated with CSS. They clearly define the title, header, text, and other elements of the document and leave the interpretation to the engine.

What Is XML Used For?

XML has found wide application. Today, various programs and devices use it to handle, organize, store, transmit, and display data. For example, it is widely used in B2B data exchange. It is also the standard for Office file formats, including Microsoft Office and Google Docs files.

Instead of integrating the data into an HTML document, it outsources it to separate XML files. Since it stores data in plain text format, the storage is independent of your platform and your data can be exported, imported, or moved more easily.

Many other languages ​​are based on XML, including XHTML, WAP for handhelds, or RSS for feeds. For example, as commenters point out, if you add /feed to the end of the URL of an article you're reading, you'll see the RSS XML code on this site: click here to view.

How to Open an XML File

As mentioned above, XML stores data in plain text. That's why you can open XML files with a number of different programs. In general, right-click the XML file, select Open with from the menu, and select a program. You can try one of the programs below:

  * Windows Notepad or another text editor

  * Notepad++

  * Any Web Browser

You can also try an online XML viewer like Code Beautify. You can read the file with any of the above programs, but Notepad++ or a special XML editor will color the XML tags and thus make it easier to understand the structure of the data. Note, however, that these programs cannot run XML because all you find in the document is structured data.


XML is just a plain text file that uses special tags to describe the structure and other features of the document. Used to define a syntax for encoding human- and machine-readable documents. But XML has now been superseded, JSON is the most popular alternative for integrating data. However, if you are a programmer, you will still have to work with XML occasionally.

Hopefully, this article about What is an XML file and how do you open it?, gives you a little insight. Also, read an article about What Is Anti Aliasing In Games? that you may need to know. Thank you.

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