What Is an XML File?

Next: Since XML files are text-based files, any text editor, including the built-in Notepad tool in Windows, will be able to properly display and edit the XML file’s contents. The dedicated XML editors mentioned above are better for editing XML files because they understand the file’s structure. A standard text editor isn’t quite as easy to use for editing XML files.

However, if you want to go that route, see our Best Free Text Editors list for some of our favorites.

Cinelerra Video Project files that use the file extension can be opened with the Cinelerra software for Linux. The program used to be split into two, called Heroine Virtual and Community Version, but they’re now combined into one.

Note: If you still can’t open your file, make sure you’re not confusing it with a file that just has a similar file extension name, like an XMP, XMF, or ML file.

How to Convert an XML File

The best solution to converting an XML to another format is to use one of the editors mentioned already. The program that’s creating the XML is more than likely able to save the same file to a different format.

For example, a simple text editor, which can open a text document like XML, can usually save the file to another text-based format like TXT. However, you gain nothing from this switch other than just changing the file extension.

If you’re looking for a quick solution, you can try the online XML to JSON Converter from Code Beautify. That tool lets you convert XML to JSON by pasting the XML code into the website and then downloading the .JSON file to your computer. You can also browse your computer for the XML file or load one from a URL.

Of course, an XML-to-JSON converter is only helpful if that’s what you’re after. Here are some other free online XML converters that might be more useful for you:

  • XML to HTML
  • XML to CSV
  • XML to XSD
  • XML to PDF

Here are some free converters that convert to XML instead of from XML:

  • SQL to XML
  • CSV to XML
  • JSON to XML
Imporatant: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the XML file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases. However, since XML is text-based, renaming the extension might be helpful in some situations.

More Information on XML Files

XML files are formatted with tags, similar to other markup language files like HTML files. You can see an XML sample  on Microsoft’s website.

Since Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft has been using XML-based formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, indicative in their respective file formats: .DOCX, .XLSX, and .PPTX. Microsoft offers a detailed explanation of the benefits of using these XML-based file types.

Some other XML-based types include EDS, XSPF, FDX, SEARCH-MS, CMBL, APPLICATION, and DAE files.

W3Schools has lots of information on XML files if you’re looking for a detailed look at how to work with them.