Microsoft Office Word 2003 marks the introduction of XML as a native format for Word documents. Any Word document can now be opened in Word and saved as XML, thereby freeing documents from the tyranny of Word's proprietary .doc format. This new format, called WordprocessingML, opens up a multitude of possibilities for generating and processing Word documents. (Read Chapter 3 first if you want some immediate gratification regarding use cases for WordprocessingML.) This chapter includes a basic introduction to WordprocessingML, along with some general technical observations and guidelines for learning more. It is meant to complement, rather than replace, a detailed investigation of the WordprocessingML schema.