Adding and Binding XML in Office Documents

I am frequently asked about how to do some of the basics with XML parts in Office documents. There are excellent blogs and content out there to guide you in working with Office Open XML such as Brian Jones, Doug Mahugh, MSDN, and the Office Open XML SDK. I have also blogged extensively about OOXML and co-authored a major book on XML. But, the need to help more and more people get into the game of XML and Office is ever present.

So, here are a couple of routines you'll find useful. The first routine adds two XML parts to a Microsoft Word document. The second removes the first XML part.


Private Sub AddToDataStore()
Dim pCustomPart As CustomXMLPart
Set pCustomPart = ThisDocument. _
pCustomPart.Load "C:\XMLPart1.xml"
pCustomPart.Load "C:\XMLSchema1.xsd"
End Sub

Private Sub RemoveFromDataStore()
Dim pCustomPart As CustomXMLPart
Dim pCustomParts As CustomXMLParts
Set pCustomParts = ThisDocument.CustomXMLParts
End Sub

It's essential to create copies of documents before you start messing around with their content and composition via code.

Now, you can add whatever XML you want. In this case, the XML contains data for a memo and it is in the document. The document contains places for the memo data. Up to this point, the memo data are unseen to the user. To surface the data in the document's editable area you place content controls, one for each memo property (To, From, etc.) in the document and bind the content controls to the XML source in the following way:

Private Sub AddControlMap()
Dim cControls As ContentControls

  Set cControls = ThisDocument.ContentControls
cControls.Item(1).XMLMapping.SetMapping "/ns:memo/ns:to", _
  cControls.Item(2).XMLMapping.SetMapping "/ns:memo/ns:from", _
  cControls.Item(3).XMLMapping.SetMapping "/ns:memo/ns:date", _
  cControls.Item(4).XMLMapping.SetMapping "/ns:memo/ns:topics", _
  cControls.Item(5).XMLMapping.SetMapping "/ns:memo/ns:body", _
End Sub


What is so slick about all of this is that Office does the work of gluing it all together for you if your XML data conforms to the XML schema you added in the AddToDataStore procedure! By mapping a content control to a specific node in the schema will cause the data (also mapped to the schema) to load into the content control.

Try it out, and tell me how it goes.


Rock Thought of the Day: Lovin' the blues-soaked song "Bridge of Sighs" from Robin Trower off of his 2007 release by the same name. Check it out! 


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