Once, large unformatted Xml files fell into my hands. I had to understand the structure of these files and make a script to read them and then write the data to a MySQL database. I had neither the time nor the inclination to sit and format these files with my own hands in order to understand their structure, so I decided to look for a simpler solution. The first thing that came to mind was to find a plugin for my favorite program, Notepad ++, and I found it – XML Tools.
I will begin my description of XML Tools by describing how to install the plugin. I understand that everyone can do that. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness I will explain all the points of this process:
- Go to the “Plugins” menu, then to “Plugin Manager”, then “Show Plugin Manager”. Look for XML Tools in the opened window, set the checkbox, and click the button “Install”.
- Another method of installation would be to download the latest version of the plugin from here and then unpack it and copy the files to the plugins directory which is located in the Notepad ++ directory.
You must restart Notepad ++ after installation. You should see the newly added XML Tools in the “Plugins” menu after a reboot.
So what can XML Tools do?
I’ll start with the feature that brought me to this plugin the first time, which is the function which allowed me to clean up unformatted files. To format an XML file by a “flick of the wrist”, go to “Plugins” then to XML Tools and select: Pretty Print (XML only with-line breaks). You will receive a fully formatted file as the result.
Now I will tell about some other features of this plugin.
By setting the option Enable XML syntax auto-check, the syntax of your code will be checked for correctness in XML format, and you will be given an error message when you try to save a file that has a syntax error in it.
Use the Check XML syntax function if you want just to check your existing XML file for errors. Use Enable Auto Validation for automatic validation of code as it is being written, or use Validate Now for the validation of the file as it currently is. Use Tag auto close for automatic closing of tags.
I described the basic functionality of this plugin but there are still a lot of features that I have not used. This plugin is not difficult to use, so if you have to complete some tasks involving processing of XML files, this plugin will make your life easier.