Almost every conversation about the automation of print or website production will include the word ‘XML’.
One example of the power of XML is a project I delivered which was to automate the creation of Excel files from the tables in a Quark Xpress document. These tables had been created using tabbed paragraphs rather than with the table tool.
I was able to export the document to XML and then apply an XSLT transformation which interpreted the XML content and created an Excel workbook with each table on a new worksheet, with each worksheet named after the Quark page that included that table and a unique identifier.
By examining the original Quark stylesheet names in the XML content my program was able to style the Excel cells in a similar style. So headings styles and bold text were matched to their Excel equivalents and rows that had lines underneath had borders in Excel.