Word error: XML parsing error

When you export your report, sometimes the problems don't arise until you open the Word document. If you are greeted with the following error message details, use this guide to debug and resolve the error:

XML parsing error
Location: Part: /word/document.xml. Line: 19159, Column: 8
Debug template 16

This is probably the most general error message that your Word document will throw. Because it's so general, there's not a quick one-size-fits-all resolution to the error. But, the Location does give us the ability to quickly pinpoint the source of the error so that we can resolve it.

To resolve this error:

  1. Rename the file from .docx or .docm to .zip. For example, rename dradis-word_report-151.docm to dradis-word_report-151.zip.

  2. Unzip the file and open the new folder (e.g. dradis-word_report-151/). Open up the file referenced in Location above in your favorite text editor (e.g. /word/document.xml).

    Debug template 18
  3. Scroll down to the specific line referenced in the error message (e.g. Line 19159 and check the content before/after this line.

    The source of the error may be before or after the specific line referenced in the error message. We're basically looking for a text string as near to the specific line as possible so that we can find the source of the error within our Dradis project.

  4. Search your project for the string found above and investigate the content.

  5. For example, if the line in the error message comes after a line that references:

    Apache 1.3 HTTP Server Expect Header Cross-Site Scripting

    Search your project for Apache 1.3 HTTP and investigate the content.

    Pay attention to links that are formatted strangely, code/special characters not enclosed in a code block, or errant exclamation points.

  6. If you can't find anything interesting around the first search string, try going back to the XML and use a search string from the content directly after the Line referenced in the error message.

    And, if you can't find anything at all that's suspicious in the Dradis project, try checking your Dradis report template for a case of The Crazy Triangles™.

  7. After resolving the error in the Dradis project, try exporting the report again. If you get another XML parsing error, make sure to check the new Location referenced in the error message.

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