Introduction to Vector Markup Language (VML)

Internet Development Index

Updated: November 16, 1998

Vector Markup Language (VML) is an XML-based exchange, editing, and delivery format for high-quality vector graphics on the Web that meets the needs of both productivity users and graphic design professionals. XML is an emerging simple, flexible, and open text-based language that complements HTML. (See the XML section of the MSDN Library for detailed information on XML.)

VML is currently supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or greater for Windows® 95, Windows 98, and Window NT® 4.0 or greater. VML code is ignored by other browsers.

VML has been proposed to the W3C as a standard for vector graphics on the Web (see link). Microsoft is continuing to lead the charge in the development and implementation of XML-based technologies, working with leading industry partners (AutoDesk, Hewlett-Packard, Macromedia, Visio) and the W3C to advance Web-based standards. We expect to work with the W3C to ultimately drive to one standard format for vector graphics on the Web.

VML is also supported by Microsoft Office 2000 Beta 2 or greater. Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint can be used to create VML graphics.

For example, the following code defines an oval filled with red:

<v:oval style="width:100pt;height:50pt" fillcolor="red">

If you're running Internet Explorer 5 or greaterNon-MSDN Online link, you'll see the oval below:

Benefits of VML

For additional information

See the links below:

*For answers to frequently asked questions about VML, see the VML FAQ.

*For a tutorial on using VML on Web pages, see How to Use VML on Web Pages, which complements the VML specificationNon-MS linksubmitted to the W3C.

*For information on VML data types, see the Basic VML Types document.

*For the complete reference on VML, including information on how to use VML with tags as well as scripting, see the VML Reference.