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Hour 24. Smart Documents and XML > What Files Are Associated with an XML Docume...

What Files Are Associated with an XML Document?

As you have probably gathered from the preceding sections, an XML document (*.xml) depends on a number of files that collectively define the document and the operations that can be performed on it. If you work directly with XML documents, you will need to know what these files are. If you don't, you may still want to skim this section simply because you may run into references to these files in the Word interface. Here are the key files you'll encounter:

  • Word templates (*.dot)— An XML document is often based on a Word template that contains all the XML markup, or at least the initial markup. As with standard Word documents, basing an XML document on a template keeps users from accidentally overwriting the boilerplate document and keeps all of the documents based on that template consistent. Smart Documents are also capable of checking to ensure that you are using the latest versions of the document template (and the other files that make up the document).

  • Schemas (*.xsd)— The schema defines the structure of the XML document and the elements contained in it. Word and other applications that process the XML document also use the schema to validate the document, that is, to check that the document is correctly composed. You can have multiple schemas associated with a document.

  • Style sheets (*.xsl or *.xslt)— The style sheet (transformation) defines the way in which the document elements will be formatted for presentation. A document that will be presented in different media (in print, in Braille, as a PowerPoint presentation, as a Web page, in an online help system, via a text-to-speech system) would have multiple style sheets. In XML parlance, applying a particular style sheet to an XML document when you save it to generate a particular type of output is called applying a transform. A document may also have additional style sheets to define alternative views of the document. For example, an assembly manual may have a view that presents the list of parts referenced in the manual as part of a quality control procedure.

  • Manifest files (*.xml)— These files are XML-structured files that define the components of a Smart Document solution. And yes, it's confusing that manifests also use the .xml extension.


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