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Chapter 2. The WordprocessingML Vocabulary > Introduction to WordprocessingML

2.1. Introduction to WordprocessingML

WordprocessingML is Microsoft's XML format for Word documents. It's what you get when you select Save As... and choose "XML Document." WordprocessingML is a lossless format, which means that it contains all the information that Word needs to re-open a document, just as if it had been saved in the traditional .doc format—all text, formatting, styles, document metadata, images, macros, revision history, Smart Tags, etc. ( The one exception is that WordprocessingML does not embed TrueType fonts, which is only a disadvantage if the users opening the document do not have the needed font installed on their system.) Indicative of Word's tremendous size and legacy, the WordprocessingML schema file approaches 7,000 lines in length. Fortunately, a little bit of knowledge about WordprocessingML can go a long way.

It was only recently that Microsoft began calling Word's XML format "WordprocessingML," whereas previously it was called, simply, "WordML" (as still reflected in the schema's namespace URI). Why they decided to adopt this new name isn't entirely clear...though it certainly is wordier.



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