Free XPath Explorer tool

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From: Bill Coan

New freeware tool helps you unlock the data in your Microsoft Office XML files and other XML files

As Microsoft Office XML files and other XML files proliferate, the amount of data stored in those files grows larger by the day. But did you realize that the XML Path Language (more commonly known as XPath) can harvest that data with the speed and precision of a robotic surgical arm?

If you’ve ever followed a path to a particular folder on a hard drive, you’re already familiar with the basic concept. Now you can follow a path inside a Microsoft Office XML file or other XML file until you come to the exact subset of data that your boss wants on her desk this afternoon.

Word 2003 and Word 2007 can execute XPath searches within INCLUDETEXT fields, and Word 2007 can also execute them behind Word 2007’s new “content controls.” But to take advantage of these built-in features of Word, first you must know how to write a search expression in the XPath Language.

Announcing the XPath Explorer™ add-in for Word, a new freeware tool from Microsoft Word MVP Bill Coan. Bill is known around the web and around the world as the developer of the popular DataPrompter add-in for Word ( and a long-time member of the Word developer community.

Bill’s freeware XPath Explorer helps you master the XPath language quickly and easily, and it works with any Word document containing XML markup, including plain-text XML files opened in Word. It can generate a sample XML document for you and suggest 30 different XPath expressions for your consideration. More important, it can instantly execute any XPath expression you care to dream up on any XML file you care to open.

You can download a free copy of XPath Explorer here:

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