XML Schema Designer (XML Designer) 


In versions prior to Visual Studio 2005, the XML Designer is the designer for typed datasets and XML schema. The XML Designer can still be used to create and edit XML schema files. However, in the current version, the designer for creating and editing typed datasets is the Dataset Designer. For more information, see Dataset Designer.

This page assumes you are working with the XML Designer. To open a typed dataset file with the XML Designer, right-click the file in Solution Explorer, point to Open With, and then click XML Schema Editor.

The XML Schema Designer provides a set of visual tools for working with XML schemas. The XML Designer supports the XML Schema Definition (XSD) language defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3). The designer does not support DTDs (document type definitions) or other XML schema languages, such as XDR (XML-Data Reduced).

To display the designer, add an XML Schema item to your project.

The XML Designer provides a visual representation of the elements, attributes, types, and so on that make up XML schemas.

You can construct schemas by dropping elements on the design surface from either the XML Schema tab of the Toolbox or from Server Explorer. Additionally, you can add elements to the designer by right-clicking the design surface and selecting Add from the shortcut menu.

With the XML Designer you can:

  • Construct new XML schemas, and modify existing XML schemas

  • Create and edit relationships between tables

  • Create and edit keys

Customizing the Schema View

The following features modify the visual layout of elements on the design surface:

  • Expanding or collapsing of nested elements

  • Automatically arranging layout of elements

  • Resetting default state of collapsed elements

To zoom in or out
  • Type a number from 10 to 400 in the Zoom box on the XML Schema toolbar.

To expand hidden nested elements
  • Click the plus icon on the bottom of the element.

To collapse nested elements
  • Click the minus icon on the bottom-most element that you want to appear on the designer.

To automatically arrange the layout of elements
  • Right-click the design surface, and then click Auto-Arrange on the shortcut menu.


There is no Undo option after selecting Auto-Arrange.

To reset the default state of collapsed elements
  • Right-click the design surface, and then click Show Default Tree on the shortcut menu.

Code View

Code view provides an editor for editing raw XML and provides IntelliSense and color coding. Statement completion is available when working on .xsd files and .xml files that have an associated schema. Type < to initiate a tag, and then you will be presented with a list of elements that are valid at that location. After you type the element name and press the SPACEBAR, you will be presented with a list of attributes that the element supports.

See Also

Community Additions