Consider the following scenario. You try to open a document in Microsoft Office Word 2010 that is using one of the following file formats:

  • Word Document (.docx)

  • Word Macro-Enabled Document (.docm)

  • Word Template (.dotx)

  • Word Macro-Enabled Template (.dotm)

  • Word XML Document (.xml)

  • Word 2003 XML Document (.xml)

After the document is open, you notice all custom XML markup was removed.

More Information

Versions of Word that are distributed by Microsoft after January 10, 2010 no longer read the custom XML markup that may be contained within .docx, .docm, .dotx, .dotm, or .xml files. Word 2010 can still open these files, but any custom XML markup is removed.

Custom XML markup in a Word document is visible as pink (the default color) tag names surrounding text in a document.

The removal of custom XML markup is the result of a United States court ruling on December 22, 2009. Customers who purchase or license Word 2010 will find that the software does not include a particular custom XML tagging implementation.

The following features of Word are not affected by the update.

  • Content controls are not affected. Content controls are a common method of structuring document content and mapping content to custom XML parts.

  • Open XML standards (all ECMA and ISO versions) are not affected.

  • Custom XML markup that is stored within Word 97-2003 document (.doc) files is not affected.

  • Ribbon XML and Ribbon Extensibility are not affected.

  • Custom XML Parts are not affected. For more information about custom XML Parts, go to the following MSDN website:

  • The Word object model is not affected. However, some object model methods that deal with custom XML markup may produce different results.

    • The TransformDocument method will continue to work, but any custom XML markup within the results of the transform will be removed.

    • The InsertXML method will continue to work, but any custom XML markup that is present will be removed before the content is inserted.

Note If you are a developer of a solution that uses custom XML markup, be aware that support for custom XML markup is no longer available. Many of the scenarios implemented by using custom XML markup can be implemented by using alternative technologies, such as content controls, form fields, and bookmarks which are available in Word 2007 and Word 2010. For example, as explained in the following articles, content controls (in addition to these other technologies such as bookmarks) enable developers to create structured documents and can be used to assign arbitrary values to structured content. These arbitrary values can be used to assign semantic meaning to parts of your content.

For more information about content controls, go to the following Microsoft websites:

Creating Word 2007 Templates Programmatically
Building Word 2007 Document Templates Using Content Controls
Mapping Word 2007 Content Controls to Custom XML Using the XMLMapping Object
How to: Bind a Content Control to a Node in the Data Store
Taking Advantage of Bound Content Controls
The Easy Way to Assemble Multiple Word Documents
Creating Data-Bound Content Controls using the Open XML SDK and LINQ to XML


978951 Description of the January 2010 update for Word 2003 and Word 2007
2445062 Error Message when you try to open a document in Word: "The file contains custom XML elements which are no longer supported by Word."

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