What Is an XAML File?

How to open, edit, & convert XAML files

What to Know

  • An XAML file is an Extensible Application Markup Language file.
  • Open one with Visual Studio or any text editor.
  • Convert to HTML with those same programs.

This article explains what an XAML file is, how to open one on your computer, and how to convert one to a different format.

What Is an XAML File?

A file with the XAML file extension (pronounced as "zammel") is an Extensible Application Markup Language file, created using Microsoft's markup language that goes by the same name. An XAML file may instead use the .XOML file extension.

XAML is an XML-based language, so .XAML files are basically just text files. Similar to how HTML files are used to represent web pages, XAML files describe user interface elements in software applications for Windows Phone apps, Microsoft Store apps, and more.

While XAML content can be expressed in other languages like C#, XAML doesn't need to be compiled since it's based on XML, and so it's easier for developers to work with it.

XAML files

How to Open an XAML File

XAML files are used in .NET programming, so they can also be opened with Microsoft's Visual Studio.

However, since they're text-based XML files, you can also open one and edit one with Windows Notepad or any other text editor. This also means that any XML editor can open a XAML file, too, Liquid XML Studio being one example.

If a program opens XAML files on your computer by default, but you really want a different one doing it, see our How to Change File Associations in Windows guide for help.

How to Convert an XAML File

Convert XAML to HTML manually by replacing the XML elements with the correct HTML equivalents. This can be done in a text editor. Stack Overflow has a little more information on doing that, which might be helpful. Also, see Microsoft's XAML to HTML Conversion Demo.

To convert one to PDF, see this list of free PDF creators for some programs that let you "print" the file to a PDF. DoPDF is one of many examples.

Visual Studio should be able to save a XAML file to lots of other text-based formats. There's also the C#/XAML for HTML5 extension for Visual Studio that can be used to build HTML5 applications using files written in the C Sharp and XAML languages.

Still Can't Open It?

Some XAML files may have nothing to do with these programs or with a markup language at all. If none of the software above is working (like if you only see jumbled text in the text editor), try looking through the text to see if there's something useful that could help you find out what format the file is in or what program was used to build that specific XAML file.

If you've exhausted all of these attempts to open the file, re-read the file extension to make sure you're actually dealing with one that ends with XAML. Some files use a similar extension even though the formats are completely unrelated.

For example, Microsoft Excel's XLAM might resemble XAML when you look at just the file extension, but you need Excel on your computer to open one of those files. XAIML is similar; this extension is used for XAIML Chatterbot Database files and requires Neobot. Yet another example can be seen with language files that end in AML; ArcGIS Pro is one example of a program that uses that type of file.

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