The Wordprocessing Markup Language (abbreviated as WordML) is the interface between the XML world and the previously proprietary Doc format of MS Word.

In WordML all Word documents can be saved and also reopened. Since WordML documents, unlike the Doc format, are not saved in a binary code, they are readable with each text editor. This will result in new possibilities for the generation of Word documents and for the automatic »tagging« of contents. Both topics will be explained in the following chapters. This chapter shall form the basis, that is why we will deal with the structure and the contents of such WordML documents in more detail.

The structure of WordML is defined in a schema and part of a whole schema family of Office 2003. It can be downloaded free of charge together with a related documentation at the Microsoft website.

After the installation, the schemas are deposited in various folders. In the following, reference is repeatedly made to the names of these schemas. In this context, it is espacially important to note the reference containing all elements and attributes and which can often be very helpful. Whereas the introduction provided by the documentation is rather short and often of little use.

WordML and the other Office schemas contain structures which may be part of an Office document. A Word document can, as is well known, also include Excel tables. This may lead to a variety of complex structures within a Word document.

However, in this book, we focus on the WordML elements and their application. Since there are a great many of elements and a WordML document which has been generated under "Save as" contains a lot of meta information (e.g. the name of the author, the date of creation, styles), it is better from a didactical point of view to focus on the individual aspects. After an introduction to the basic structure of a WordML document, several frequently occuring structures which serve the presentation (like tables, paragraphs etc.) will be explained in detail in the next sections.

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