XML is one of those warm and cozy computer acronyms that the pocket protector set seems to love. The fact that XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language doesn't make it sound any friendlier.
If you use Word to write letters to your aunt or to write the Great American Novel, you probably don't have to worry too much about XML. On the other hand, if you work in an office or with groups of people and need to share information, XML can help. If the previous chapter on forms caught your interest, then you definitely want to learn XML basics. Used by computers and companies big and small, XML is an industry-wide standard that breaks through the Babel of incompatible computer data and files. XML isn't a Microsoft creation; it's a standard language used to describe information. and it's growing in popularity.
This chapter won't turn you into an XML Xpert, but it will acquaint you with the ideas behind XML. You also learn about the connections between XML and Word 2007. Office 2007 has new document file formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, all of which are based on XML. In this chapter, you have a chance to see these formats from the inside. You learn how to insert XML tags into your document and how to decipher some of the mysteries inside an XML document file.
Almost 400 years ago, the English poet John Donne proclaimed, "No man is an island." What would he think today with everyone tethered to each other over computer ...