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Subject: Re: General XML Parsing... Part 2
From: "Garg, Sanjeev" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 13 Sep 2000 09:42:54 -0400

text/plain (76 lines)

Thanks Everybody for your inputs.
Using CSV files will solve my problem. Ya, as Bob has pointed out,
occurrence of double quotes will never be the case in my scenario.


        -----Original Message-----
        From:   Robert C. Lyons [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
        Sent:   Tuesday, September 12, 2000 9:36 PM
        To:     [log in to unmask]
        Subject:        Re: General XML Parsing... Part 2

        Sanjeev wrote:
        >    My problem is, I am looking for a way to convert a portion
        > of XML file into an excel sheet.

        You can use an XSLT stylesheet to transform the XML into
        one of the following data formats, all of which can be
        imported into an Excel spreadsheet:

        1) Tab delimited data - This works well if you know that
           none of the cell values will contain tab characters
           or end of line characters. However, the tab delimited
           data won't contain any information about fonts, colors,
           borders, formulas, etc. (In other words, the spreadsheets
           will be quite dull.)

        2) Comma Separated Values (CSV) - This works well even if
           some cell values contain commas and/or end of line
           characters, since you can enclose each cell value in
           quotes. However, if a cell value contains a quote
           character, then you must escape the quote char with
           an additional quote char. This is doable in XSLT, but
           it's not easy. Also, the CSV file won't contain any information
           about fonts, colors, borders, formulas, etc.

        3) HTML table - Excel 97+ can import (and export) an HTML
           table. Excel will honor the HTML attributes that control
           text size, color, etc. However, I believe that Excel will
           ignore any attributes that are defined in a CSS.
           The HTML can even contain some Microsoft-proprietary
           attributes that control number formatting. To learn more
           about importing HTML tables into Excel, you can export a
           variety of Excel spreadsheets to HTML and examine the
           resulting HTML.

        4) SYLK (Symbolic Link) - If some of your users have spreadsheet
           software that can't import/open an HTML table but that can
           open a SYLK file, then you can transform the XML into SYLK.
           SYLK is a text-based interchange format for spreadsheets;
           it supports formulas, borders, fonts, point sizes, etc.
           SYLK is supported by Excel and other spreadsheet packages.
           SYLK is the RTF of spreadsheets. The problem with SYLK is
           that it is not well documented. You can find some links and
           references to some terse SYLK documents in section 14 of the
           comp.apps.spreadsheets FAQ at
           You can also learn SYLK by creating a variety of simple
           spreadsheets, exporting each of them to a SYLK file and
           analyzing the resulting SYLK.

        I'd recommend option #3 if your users are using Excel 97+.

        Best regards,


        <sig name    = 'Bob Lyons'
             title   = 'E-Commerce Consultant'
             company = 'Unidex, Inc.'
             phone   = '+1-732-975-9877'
             email   = [log in to unmask]
             url     = ''
             product = 'XML Convert: transforms flat files to XML & vice
versa' />

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