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Office 2003 XML by Evan Lenz, Mary McRae, Simon St. Laurent

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Tips for Learning WordprocessingML

Learning WordprocessingML—particularly how Word behaves when it encounters various markup constructs—is an iterative process. You go back and forth between the text editor and the Word application, closing the document in Word so you can make changes to it elsewhere, and then re-opening it to see what effects those changes have. You make hypotheses and you test them. Anything you can do to speed up the iterations of this process will help. Below are several pieces of advice to consider as you begin this educational journey.

Experiment

Since Microsoft has released fairly limited documentation of WordprocessingML so far, it is often best to learn through experimentation. Create a document in Word that uses various formatting features you are interested in. Save the document as XML. Then, investigate the WordprocessingML for the document, making note of how various document structures are represented as XML. Internet Explorer can be a good tool for viewing WordprocessingML documents. (See the sidebar “Using Internet Explorer to Inspect WordprocessingML Documents.”)

Don’t try to learn everything

This tip offsets the first one. It is sometimes possible to get hung up on particular theoretical questions or problems when experimenting with WordprocessingML. But if you want to remain productive, you should be prepared to suspend understanding at various turns in your investigation. The beauty of WordprocessingML is that you can accomplish quite a lot without ...

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