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So, it's a weekend, I'm hunting for a Developer Studio macro that will
format XML, and I come across Alvaro Mendez's nice little C/C++ formatting
macro (MakeCodeNicer). I spend a few hours whittling it down to what I need for
XML and voila! I now have an XML formatter (MakeXMLNicer).
If you do a lot of work with Microsoft's XML parser (particularly using
it to write out XML), you've probably noticed you can't tell the parser to
insert white space for new elements. So you end up with XML tags lined up in a
nice long string. Makes it really hard to follow the XML structure.
The macro will handle the main
<?xml?> tag, comment tags, normal start/end element tags and the special single
element tags (
<foo/>). Indention is handled by inserting tabs although you could change this
pretty easily to spaces if you prefer. Any existing indention or new line breaks
Attribute values are dealt with in a special way. Any embedded new lines
in the value are stripped except when the attribute value exceeds 1000
characters - DevStudio can't handle very long lines and I've run into XML with
very long base64-encoded attribute values. In these cases, the attribute values
are left alone.
Element text (the text between a start tag and end tag) is completely
left alone - no tabs, new lines, etc are removed since it's impossible to know
if these might be important to the context of the element. Some XML might use
tabs in element values for a special meaning - stripping them would damage the
BTW, a thanks goes to Alvaro for the inspiration and some macro code to
save me some time.
- 3 Apr 2001: Fixed problem w/ removing spaces in XML element values.
- Element (tag) names that are "broken" by new lines are not
handled. These would show up as names with a single embedded space to replace
the new line. This would "break" the XML, but should be a very rare
- The nasty DevStudio "Paste" bug (where Paste stops working) can occur
with macros that use the ActiveDocument.Selection method to assign replacement
values. I minimized use of this method as much as possible to reduce the
likelihood you will encounter this problem, but it's still there.
Unfortunately, Joshua Jensen's excellent
won't solve this problem since ActiveDocument.Selection is using clipboard
functions directly and not going thru the Ctrl-V keyboard shortcut. But I'd
heartily recommend that you get Joshua's add-in to eliminate the problem
- The macro will reformat the entire file - there is no support for
reformatting a selection yet.