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Old 02-23-2018, 04:00 PM   #1
shwaybotx
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Do we have an alternative to Excel for .xml files?


I've searched 'n searched Google to solve this problem. I can't understand why it's complicated or difficult. I *always* do my research before putting a question like this on a forum.

The human problem: Me. I downloaded my social security statement from the social security website. It is a file called Your_Social_Security_Statement_Data.xml

This is very important file full of personal and private information about my social security benefits.

I guess they are expecting people to be using MS Excel on a Windows machine, but alas I have't used a Windows machine in many years. (Presently I'm on Fedora 27). I'm sure MS Excel would open this file no problem, but when I try to open it I get something like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<osss:OnlineSocialSecurityStatementData xmlnssss="http://ssa.gov/osss/schemas/1.0">
<osss:FileCreationDate>2018-02-23T15:49:40.049-05:00</osss:FileCreationDate>
<osss:UserInformation>
<osss:Name>My name is here</osss:Name>
<osssateOfBirth>My birthdate is here</osssateOfBirth>
....

Etcetera ad infinitum. It's a long file. As you can see, this is not useful for me. Many programs will open this file, like LibreOffice Writer, LibreOffice Calc, Kate, gedit, so on and so on. Once open they look just as it is above.

What's needed is a program like Excel that can open and format this file not in text format, but in intended format. Surely you can't tell me we don't have a resource like that in Linux.

Of course, I Googled for a solution clicking on dozens of promising and ultimately useless links, and I've spent about an hour trying to figure out a simple solution.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, but rest assured similar questions have already been asked and I still haven't found a solution! Guaranteed there are other people out there with a similar problem! I've figured that much out from my Google searches.
 
Old 02-23-2018, 04:09 PM   #2
Emerson
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Everything suggested here failed?
 
Old 02-23-2018, 04:13 PM   #3
Habitual
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shwaybotx View Post
What's needed is a program like Excel that can open and format this file not in text format, but in intended format. Surely you can't tell me we don't have a resource like that in Linux.

Of course, I Googled for a solution clicking on dozens of promising and ultimately useless links, and I've spent about an hour trying to figure out a simple solution.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, but rest assured similar questions have already been asked and I still haven't found a solution! Guaranteed there are other people out there with a similar problem! I've figured that much out from my Google searches.
Ya, sure.
Open it with your browser...?
Edit w\LibreOffice
https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/XML_File_Formats
 
Old 02-23-2018, 05:00 PM   #4
jefro
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Double click on it and see what you have installed maybe.
 
Old 02-24-2018, 06:59 AM   #5
ondoho
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libreoffice definitely has an equivalent to excel: calc.
my bet is, it can deal with anything that excel can deal with.

can excel open the file in question?

not every xml file is a spreadsheet.

there are multiple low- and mid-level tools to deal with all sorts of xml - a quick glance at my repos gives me: qxmledit.

PS:
sounds like the sort of thing a state institution would do - give you your data, but in an unusable form.

Last edited by ondoho; 02-24-2018 at 07:01 AM.
 
Old 02-24-2018, 11:59 AM   #6
DavidMcCann
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If you open with a browser, you may get the same display, with a warning like "This document had no style information."

One solution is an XML to text converter. An on-line service is here
https://www.browserling.com/tools/xml-to-text

Another is to add style information and then it would load into LibreOffice. This page suggests a generic style sheet you could use:
https://www.unix.com/shell-programmi...text-file.html
 
Old 02-24-2018, 02:38 PM   #7
hydrurga
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Are you sure you're not confusing xls (Excel spreadsheet format) with xml (Extensible Markup Language)?

If so, you need to be looking for an xml reader, not for an alternative to Excel.

Some possibilities here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/...itor-for-linux
 
Old 02-24-2018, 08:34 PM   #8
Corvette
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Sounds to me like a regular XML file rather than an Excel file. If so, you might want to look at a code editor such as Visual Studio code. As long as it is well-formatted, Kate really should be able to handle it as well. If it is an Excel file, and LibreOffice Calc is not doing what you want, then you could look at using Microsoft Office online.
 
Old 02-25-2018, 06:52 AM   #9
dave@burn-it.co.uk
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XML files have absolutely nothing to do with spreadsheets.
XML stands for Xtensible Markup Language and is a similar thing to PDF in that it is used for document formatting, but is designed to be easier to use both online and in batch.
 
Old 02-25-2018, 09:45 AM   #10
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave@burn-it.co.uk View Post
XML files have absolutely nothing to do with spreadsheets. XML stands for Xtensible Markup Language and is a similar thing to PDF in that it is used for document formatting, but is designed to be easier to use both online and in batch.
...and yet Excel and Libreoffice Calc both have options for saving files in XML format, and Excel itself even has TWO different XML formats (2003-2007 and 2007-later), that save standard looking XML. Which can easily be opened in Excel, Calc, or even Gnumeric....all spreadsheet programs. And the OOXML format was introduced in 2007 by Microsoft:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ame_extensions

From that article:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia Article
Office Open XML (OOXML) format was introduced with Microsoft Office 2007 and became the default format of Microsoft Excel ever since. Excel-related file extensions of this format include:
Check the "Save As" options in those programs. XML is used for a LOT of things.

Last edited by TB0ne; 02-25-2018 at 10:16 AM.
 
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:19 AM   #11
dave@burn-it.co.uk
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You will also find save as TXT and HTML in most of those packages.
 
Old 02-25-2018, 10:52 AM   #12
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave@burn-it.co.uk View Post
You will also find save as TXT and HTML in most of those packages.
Right..your point?
 
Old 02-25-2018, 11:17 AM   #13
dave@burn-it.co.uk
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It was sort of continuing from the prior post and implying that there was nothing more significant in XML compared with TXT and HTML
 
Old 02-25-2018, 11:22 AM   #14
DavidMcCann
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Let's sort this out. XML is a markup language, like HTML.

The Open Document format used by LibreOffice and its imitation used by Microsoft stores data in zipped archives which contain the text marked up with XML, a style sheet, and other odds and ends. Some of those applications can save their data as XML just as they can save as CSV, rich text, or plain text.

XML is also used as a general way of marking content, and is often found in Linux configuration files. This is what's happening with the data which the OP has downloaded. The information could be stored in other ways, and if it's wanted as a simple list the methods I gave in post 6 will do the job.
 
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Old 02-25-2018, 11:30 AM   #15
dave@burn-it.co.uk
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Quote:
stores data in zipped archives
They are not zipped.
 
  


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