Rhyous

June 3, 2010

Notepad++ and the XML Tools plugin

Filed under: Open Source,Visual Studio — J. Abram barneck @ 2:42 pm

Ok, so I do a lot with Xml files.  Between working with my company’s product LDMS and all the Xmls it uses, to my own code using Serialization, I seem to always have an Xml file open.

I hate it when I open and Xml File and it is all on one line.  Or every element is a separate line but not a single line is indented.

Visual Studio can fix these for me rather easily.  But I have a lot of different machines in my lab and often work in other’s labs, or on customer’s computers while remote controlling them for support reasons. I can’t just quickly download an install Visual Studio. While yes, there is a free Express Edition version, it is just an overkill for the simple job of making an Xml file look pretty in text.  I need a small simple, quick to download and install tool.

The solution was right in front of me the whole time: Notepad++ and the XML Tools plugin

I always use Notepad++ as my random text editor on windows.  I already use its Compare plugin constantly, so I am very familiar with it.  It finally donned on me to check if it had an plugin that could help me with Xmls and sure enough, it did.

The XML Tools plugin, has almost all the features I wanted.

Notepad++ is just over 3 megabytes and download rather quickly.  The XML Tools plugin is not installed by default but can quickly be installed using the Plugin Manager.  Don’t worry about the additional download, the XML Tools plugin is only just over 300 kilobytes.

So I can now prettify my Xml files with a small, quick to download and install, windows tool.

Here is the menu this plugin provides, so you can see a list of some of the features.

So the Pretty pring (XML only – with line breaks) will take an Xml that is all on one single line, and expand it to have line breaks and also give it the proper indents.

There is also a tool to make sure the Syntax is correct.

The only feature I want that it doesn’t have is a tool to sort child elements and attributes.


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