My favorite way to quickly format a given chunk of XML is to use Notepad++ and the XML Tools plugin. You can get Notepad++ here. And the XML Tools plugin is here (you’ll have to wait a few seconds before the download starts).
(the following instructions are based on Notepad++ v5.9.4 and my differ in later versions)
1) Choose your language:
2) Click Next:
3) Agree to the License Agreement:
4) Choose where you want to install the files:
5) Choose what options you want to install (I simply use the defaults):
6) Choose the final set of options. I check the first one because I like having applications keep their data in their own installation directory:
7) Click Install:
8) Click Finish and you’re done!
Settings In Notepad++
There are a few settings that I always set that (I find) make life more convenient (but that’s just me).
Under Settings | Preferences:
On the “General” tab, I check “Show close button on each tab”.
On the “MISC.” tab, I uncheck “Remember current session for next launch” because I always want Notepad++ to open with a new blank document.
Installing the XML Tools
If you run Notepad++ and look in the Plugins menu, you’ll see that the XML Tools aren’t there:
1) Download the XML tools from here.
2) Unzip the file and copy the XMLTools.dll to the Notepad++ plugins folder (in the example above: C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\plugins):
3) Re-start Notepad++ and you should now see the XMLTools appear in the Plugins menu:
When you click on “How to use…” you’ll get the following:
4) I’ve just tried (2011/10/20) following those links and the first one doesn’t work and the 2nd one just takes you to a directory listing. So, I’ve uploaded the zip file to my site and you can download the missing lib files from here.
5) Unzip the ext_libs.zip file and then copy the unzipped DLLs to the Notepad++ installation directory (in the example above: C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++):
6) Re-start Notepad++ and you should finally see the proper XML Tools menu:
The feature I use the most is “Pretty print (XML only – with line breaks)”. This will format any piece of XML with all the proper line spacing.
After doing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+B: