What is Office Open XML

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office open xml
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Office Open XML is an acronym for Extensible Markup Language.

Office Open XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. This language is similar to HTML. But how can we define Markup Language? The markup language can be defined in a computer language that utilizes tags to illustrate text. So, markup languages can perform separate files to open packaging conventions and create an example of office documents for the references and elements in Office word.

Tags are used to format the text until the text display is predefined. It means that the file writer defines the tags used to write an XML file. In other words, the XML file is a text-based document with a .XML file extensions. So when you see a file with a .xml file extension, you know it is an XML file.

Office Open XML is an ISO standard

Microsoft designed this family of XML-based formats to match the functionality of proprietary binary formats used as standard formats in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) to Office 2003 and to be fully compatible with existing corporate formats.

In December 2005, the Technical Committee of the ECMA (TC45) was set up to review the documentation for the proposed Office Open XML specification submitted by Microsoft.

The committee incorporated expertise from large clients using Microsoft Office for business systems, software vendors already developing products for reading, writing, and transforming office spreadsheet documents, and archival institutions interested in long-term preservation.

The resulting document was approved as ECMA 376 in December 2006 and then submitted for ISO/IEC JTC 1 standardization in early 2007. Approval as ISO/IEC 29500 followed in early 2008. ISO/IEC 29500 incorporated very detailed changes and restructuring of parts.

One key difference was to separate the tagging specifications that support the functional requirements of the three main content categories from the item and attribute specifications that support backward compatibility and legacy formats.

How To Open XML File

If you’ve never tried to open XML file formats, this question may come to mind. You do not need to worry due to the fact that it is effortless, and several options are available.

Various options for opening XML files are available. Office Open XML file can be opened in a browser like Microsoft Edge or Goole Chrome, with any text editor like Notepad or MS Word. Even Microsoft Excel can be used to open XML files. We also have online editors for opening XML files.

The different ways to open a .xml file are as follows:

With the aid of a browser Like Chrome

Using a web browser like Chrome to open an XML-based file format is a good choice. By default, browsers provide a tree structure that allows you to expand/assemble different sections of files as needed.

With Excel

You may be wondering about the methods on how to open an XML file in Excel. You may be pretty surprised to realize that this is possible. However, it should be noted that this option is convenient as long as you do not have too many embedded tags in your XML file.

With A Text Editor

XML files can also be opened with a simple text editor, Notepad, or Word. Follow the steps below to open an XML file using Notepad.

With XML Explorer

XML Explorer is an XML viewer that can handle large XML files, which, as we saw above, can be challenging to open with Excel. A total of several XML file readers are available to open and view XML files. We will look further at opening an XML version file practicing XML Explorer. Hence, bear 

Open XML File On Mac

As described above, the steps for opening XML files using a text editor such as Notepad or Microsoft Word, similar to Mac, can use TextEdit to open the XML file.

Open XML File Online

We have such options available to open an XML file using an online tool.

Office Open XML Vs. Open Office XML

Office Open XML is quite different from Open Office XML, and in multiple ways, they are competing XML standards. The new format can be accessed and run on any XML-supported application. The application does not have to be part of a Microsoft product or even a Microsoft Office system.

The introduction of Office Open XML has bought many valuable updates. Office Open XML formats are stored in a single container, like the binary office file format. Yet, they can provide information about the components that provide access to the structure that makes up the file.

They have access to a much more comprehensive range of applications, and the open file format feature helps make the files more transparent and secure. The interoperability helps you build document archives without using Microsoft Office code.

Sharing business data between Microsoft Office applications and external applications become simpler and more convenient with the Office Open XML format.

Analogized to binary file formats, Office Open XML formats are more robust and lower the risk of information loss. It makes files significantly smaller than binary files, leading to indirect cost savings. Data recovery is also enhanced with Office Open XML by segmentation.

Programmability increases with the use of Office Open XML format. That being said, the file format supports backward compatibility, ensuring that users can work with current and previous versions.


XML file is an abbreviation for an extensible markup language. It is mainly used for storing and transporting data in a structured way. An XML file generally contains HTML-like text.

Even though there are several differences between HTML and XML, one significant difference is that XML is mainly used to transport data in a structured way. HTML is used to design web pages in an application that helps display content.

Office Open XML is a file format established on XML and IP archiving technologies. It was developed by Microsoft, which introduced them in the 2007 issue of Microsoft Office.

The framework has become the standard target file format for Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Word. Office Open XML format files have replaced legacy Office binaries and have many benefits, such as interoperability and improved file and data management over the latter.

Office Open XML is still used today because it is beneficial in sending and receiving data in a structured way. We can use this Office Open XML wherever the application includes sending/receiving data.