How to Edit XML

By Meaghan Ellis

The XML file format is a decoded interface language that is commonly used for Microsoft Internet Explorer, programs, and file component formatting. This type of computer interface language allows the software to communicate with its component functionality in an effective way. XML files are not commonly accessed for use and/or operation, but they can be viewed and edited with proper instructions.

Step 1

Locate the XML file's location on your hard drive. Click on the "Start" icon on your computer's desktop taskbar, and select the "Run" command that can be found in the Start menu drop box menu. When the "Run" command dialogue window appears, type your XML file's name into the blank data form that will be provided. Select "OK" in order for your computer to search for the file location. Your "Run" application's results will open in a Windows Explorer dialogue window.

Step 2

Scroll through the search results your Run application has generated. Once you have located your XML file, right-click on the file location link and select "Open With" in the drop box that will appear. When the "Open With" action sub-list appears, select "Notepad" to open the file's contents, but do not close the Windows Explorer dialogue. When the file opens, its content will be displayed in a code language.

Step 3

Edit the document. Review the document and edit its contents as you desire. Do not move any asterisks, arrows, or punctuations. These markings contribute to the structure of the document, just as a period or other type of punctuation mark ends a sentence. When you have finished editing the document, click on the "File" tab in the navigation menu, at the top of the program.

Step 4

Click on the "Save As" option, and select "Desktop", which will be listed in the left panel of the "Save As" dialogue box that will appear. Save the document to your desktop. (You must save your new altered document in a different location to avoid overriding the existing document. Overrides are prohibited with XML files.) Click "OK" to confirm the new file location and close the dialogue window. You will now see the new altered file's icon on your computer's desktop.

Step 5

Drag the altered file on your computer's desktop to the original XML file that should still be listed in your "Run" application's search results. Once you have applied the new altered XML file to the original, you computer will automatically allow the override, which will cancel out the original file. You will see a pop-up notification screen that will inform you of the status of the override.

Tips & Warnings

  • Save the duplicate file to your computer's desktop. This will give you ease of access and you will be able to move the duplicate file without any complications.
  • Knowing the file's name, or at least a keyword within the name will always be essential when attempting to locate the file. These files are usually not simple to locate because they are stored as internal functions for your programs and files.
  • Do not try to save the opened XML file in the current document. You will not be allowed to close this document, because XML documents are not usually supposed to be edited.
  • You must follow the prompts and information given. These files are not very easy to find. In most cases they can be identified by their .xml, and sometimes, .dll format extension. Also, some XML documents will not even be listed as either extension. The file extension will only be listed in the document type.
  • If you do not see the "Notepad" program listed under the "Open With" option, select the "Browse" command, within the "Open With" drop box menu, to locate and access the program.