Thursday, June 26, 2014

Being open to opening OpenXML documents in Visual Studio with the now open source Open XML Package Editor for VS 2012/2013

OpenXML Developer - Open XML Package Editor Released for VS2012 and VS2013


Chris Rae recently announced on his blog that we have released a new version of the Open XML Package Editor, which now works on Visual Studio 2012 and 2013!

As anyone knows who has seen any of my screen-casts, the Open XML Package Editor is my go-to tool for opening and editing Open XML documents. It is a vital tool for Open XML Developers. After installing, you can drag and drop Open XML documents onto Visual Studio, navigate through the various parts, open parts for editing in the very excellent XML editor that is in Visual Studio, and modify any relationship in the package. Unfortunately, until this release, you had to keep a copy of Visual Studio 2010 around in order to use the tool, a pain to say the least. Well, no more. Now it works with the latest versions of Visual Studio, and furthermore, we will never get into the situation again where it only works for previous versions of Visual Studio. Since it is open source, you, I, or anyone else can quickly do the port to new versions of VS. It now supports Visio's new VSDX format and has some other minor fixes and enhancements.

We have published the code on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 license. If you just want to download the new version of the Package Editor, it's here on the Visual Studio Gallery. [GD: Post Leached in Full]

We all know that OpenXML documents (DocX, XlxX, PptX, *X, etc, etc) are really just zip file containers with standardize manifests, contents and packaging right? (Don't believe me? Rename a .DocX to .zip and see).
And sure, you can open and spelunk the unzipped contents of the document, it's not the easiest. Instead you've got to use an OpenXML explorer, one like this one, the Open XML Package Editor. And hey you can even stay in your favorite tool of choice (Visual Studio of course!). And now that it's open source, it's even cooler!


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