How to Open XML File

How to Open XML (Extensible Markup Language) when these files don’t open on the command. XML is a way of storing data which can be comfortably read by other programs. Many programs use XML for storing data.

As such, any text editor can be used for opening, editing, and creating an XML file. XML is similar to but very much distinct from HTML. XML is used for carrying data, while HTML is used for displaying data. HTML uses predefined tags, while XML uses any tags that the creator needs.

Methods to open XML

  1. Using a Text Editor
  2. Using a Web Browser
  3. Using Excel

Method 1 : Using a Text Editor

  • Step 1: Get XML file you want to open. As XML files are encoded in plain text, therefore can be opened in any text editor and can be clearly read in it.
  • Step 2: Right-click XML file to select “Open With.” This will help in displaying a list of programs file use to open in.
  • Step 3: Select “Notepad” for Windows or “TextEdit” for Mac. These are the pre-installed text editors for the above operating system, and should already be on the computer. If they aren’t on the list just browse for them to locate. Notepad is located at SystemRoot, and TextEdit can be found placed in Applications folder. You can use more advanced code editors like Notepad++ or TextMate also for more useful syntax highlighting and advanced editing. You can even see the information using a simple text editor.
  • Step 4: Interpret the text written on the screen. XML file will open in the text editor. The complexity of the file depends on the type for which it is created. Use the tag labels to search information you are looking for. Usually the labels are fairly self-explanatory. They allow you to browse through the data and find the information you require.
  • You’ll likely see the information at the top indicating that the following content is in XML format.
  • XML uses custom tags to store pieces of data. Each tags is created for whatever program is using it, so there is no similarity in syntax in the markup labels.
  • Tags used in the file can be nested inside any other tag, creating a tree which means each tag may have several tags inside.

Method 2 : Using a Web Browser

  • Step 1: Get the XML file you wish to open. While using any basic text editor to open an XML file, opening the file in a browser may make it easier to navigate. This is because most browsers automatically indent nested tags and allow you to collapse each section of the the XML tree.
  • Step 2: Right-click the file and select “Open With.” to choose the program you wish to use to open the file.
  • Step 3: Pick a web browser from the list of programs to open the XML file in web browser. Web browser can be on the list of suggested programs. It unable to find, you’ll need to browse for it on computer.
  • Step 4: Read the XML file in browser. The XML file will open in a new tab in the browser. All of the contents will be displayed, and the browser will automatically indent nested tags. This can make it easier to tell which data belongs to which set.
  • Step 5: Minimize or expand sections for easier reading. The big advantage to using a browser to read XML files is the ability to control what you see. Click the arrows or +/- buttons next to every section to expand or minimize it.

Method 3 : Using Excel

  • Step 1: Open Excel. Excel usually will not come up as a pre-suggested program, so the swiftest way to open file is to open Excel first. Excel can convert an XML file into a useful table for visually processing of the information.
  • Step 2: Tap on “File” to select “Open” and display Open menu.
  • Step 3: Tap on the “Browse” button to let you search for files on the system.
  • Step 4: Open XML file on your system to navigate to it and see it by default. Tap the “Type” menu and select “XML Files.”
  • Step 5: Search and tap on “As an XML table” for conversion XML file into Excel table. Usually you will be notified that the XML file does not refer to a schema. Tap “OK” to Excel construct based on the tags in the file.
  • Step 6: Read XML file to organize into a table based on the tag structure. Use Excels sorting and filtering tools to customize the table from here.
  • You may have difficulties rendering complex XML files as tables. If XML file has lots of nested tags, use it as an XML viewer instead.

Method 4 : Using an XML Viewer

  • Step 1: Download an XML viewer program. In case you have lots of XML files, you may wish to have a viewer or XML editor. These can make handling complex XML files much easier. There are various programs available, free as well as paid. A popular, free and open-source reader is XML Explorer.
  • Varied programs fits varied needs. If you wish for creating a lot XML files, you will need a professional XML editor. These will allow automation and collaboration on large XML projects.
  • Step 2: Open the XML file in new program. Some of the XML programs set themselves as the default program for XML files, which allows the access by just double-clicking the XML file for opening it. If any problem in direct access,just tap right-click XML file and choose “Open With.” Browse for newly-installed program for further assistance.
  • Step 3: Read XML as programs like XML Explorer gives you an extra edge to collapse sections and turn syntax highlighting on and off. Some advanced programs even allow editing and creating additional entries.


Now, we hope to get all your doubts cleared on How to Open XML, thereby making it easier for accessing the files in future.