Poorly Formatted Text Urks Me!

Whether text is written in a book, displayed on a blog or presented through a Microsoft SharePoint dialog, it needs to formatted correctly to convey it’s proper meaning.

I work in SharePoint a lot and yes many times throughout the day I think to myself:

  • Did the developer who created this dialog keel over dead before getting a chance to finish it?
  • How the hell is that a text editor?
  • More to the point, how am I to write well formatted XML inside of something that I wouldn’t even use for editing a shopping list?

SP XML Editor

Solving The Problem

There is no simple way to modify dialogs inside of the SharePoint front end (nor should you attempt to). Copy the text out of that rubbish dialog and paste it elsewhere to work on.

My favourite method for cleaning up XML is to paste it into the online XML Beautifier. There is a really rewarding feeling after you turn the regurgitate that these Microsoft dialogs produce into something clean & easy to read.

Once you have the XML all indented and laid out correctly, copy and past it into NotePad++ and change the language to XML which will show correct syntax highlighting.


The end product is a nicely formatted, easy to read & edit structure that doesn’t make you want to give up your technology related career to pursue the life of a hermit who lives in a cave.

XML Beautified