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How to: Add Custom XML Parts to Documents Without Starting Microsoft Office

Applies to

The information in this topic applies only to the specified versions of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Office version

  • Excel 2007

  • PowerPoint 2007

  • Word 2007

For more information, see Features Available by Application and Project Type.

You can add a custom XML part to a document without starting Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, or Microsoft Office Word. This is useful if you want to store XML data in a document on a computer that does not have Microsoft Office installed, such as a server. For more information, see Custom XML Parts Overview.

The document must be in one of the Open XML Formats, such as .docx, .xlsx, or .pptx. You cannot access custom XML parts in the binary file formats without starting the Microsoft Office application.

To add a custom XML part without starting Microsoft Office, use the Package and PackagePart classes. For more information about these classes, see Documents in Windows Presentation Foundation.

To add a custom XML part to a document without starting Microsoft Office

  1. Create an XmlDocument object that represents the XML that you want to add to a custom XML part.

    Dim xmlString As String = _
        "<?xml version=""1.0"" encoding=""utf-8"" ?>" & _
            "<employees xmlns=""http://schemas.microsoft.com/vsto/samples"">" & _
                "<employee>" & _
                    "<name>Karina Leal</name>" & _
                    "<hireDate>1999-04-01</hireDate>" & _
                    "<title>Manager</title>" & _
                "</employee>" & _
            "</employees>" 
    
    Dim reader As StringReader = New StringReader(xmlString)
    Dim xmlDoc As XmlDocument = New XmlDocument()
    xmlDoc.Load(reader)
    
  2. Create a new PackagePart that represents the custom XML part that you are adding to the document. Then, save the XML from the XmlDocument object you created earlier into the new custom XML part.

    Using package As Package = package.Open(fullDocumentPath, FileMode.Open, _
        FileAccess.ReadWrite)
        Dim uriPartTarget As Uri = New Uri("/customXml/employee1.xml", UriKind.Relative)
        If Not package.PartExists(uriPartTarget) Then 
            Dim customXml As PackagePart = package.CreatePart(uriPartTarget, _
                "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.customXmlProperties+xml")
            Using partStream As Stream = customXml.GetStream(FileMode.Create, _
                FileAccess.ReadWrite)
                xmlDoc.Save(partStream)
            End Using 
        End If 
    End Using
    

The following code example adds a custom XML part to a Word document named Employees.docx that is located in the %UserProfile%\My Documents folder (for Windows XP and earlier) or the %UserProfile%\Documents folder (for Windows Vista).

This example is intended to be used in a console application, but you can modify it to work in any application that works with the .NET Framework 3.0 or later, such as a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application.

To modify this example to work with an Excel or PowerPoint document, modify the Main method to pass in the full path of the document to the AddCustomXmlPart method.

Sub Main()
    AddCustomXmlPart(Environment.GetFolderPath( _
        Environment.SpecialFolder.MyDocuments) & "\Employees.docx")
End Sub 

Private Sub AddCustomXmlPart(ByVal fullDocumentPath As String)
    Dim xmlDoc As XmlDocument = GetXmlDocumentFromString()

    If xmlDoc IsNot Nothing Then 
        Using package As Package = package.Open(fullDocumentPath, FileMode.Open, _
            FileAccess.ReadWrite)
            Dim uriPartTarget As Uri = New Uri("/customXml/employee1.xml", UriKind.Relative)
            If Not package.PartExists(uriPartTarget) Then 
                Dim customXml As PackagePart = package.CreatePart(uriPartTarget, _
                    "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.customXmlProperties+xml")
                Using partStream As Stream = customXml.GetStream(FileMode.Create, _
                    FileAccess.ReadWrite)
                    xmlDoc.Save(partStream)
                End Using 
            End If 
        End Using 
    End If 
End Sub 

Private Function GetXmlDocumentFromString() As XmlDocument
    Dim xmlString As String = _
        "<?xml version=""1.0"" encoding=""utf-8"" ?>" & _
            "<employees xmlns=""http://schemas.microsoft.com/vsto/samples"">" & _
                "<employee>" & _
                    "<name>Karina Leal</name>" & _
                    "<hireDate>1999-04-01</hireDate>" & _
                    "<title>Manager</title>" & _
                "</employee>" & _
            "</employees>" 

    Dim reader As StringReader = New StringReader(xmlString)
    Dim xmlDoc As XmlDocument = New XmlDocument()
    xmlDoc.Load(reader)
    Return xmlDoc
End Function

  • This example requires a reference to the WindowsBase.dll assembly. This assembly is included in the .NET Framework, beginning with version 3.0.

  • This example assumes that you have using (for C#) or Imports (for Visual Basic) statements for the following namespaces:

    • System.IO

    • System.IO.Packaging

    • System.Xml

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