XML Document must have a top level element. Error processing resource file.

My law firm is using a third party program (EPave) for electronic filings to the USPTO.  The program is bombing out at one point giving the above error message:  "XML Document must have a top level element.  Error processing resource file...."

Although I'm an expert at Word (EE Page Editor), I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about XML.  We have tried EPave Tech Support but they have been of little or no assistance.

The error message always occurs in the same place -- at the usfees.xml document.

Any guidance or assistance would be appreciated.  The attorneys are getting frustrated!

Many thanks.

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Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterAsked:
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A quick primer on xml:

There must be a doctype definition ad there must be an element that is the top lovel element, i.e. an element that wraps around all the others


<?xml version="1.0"?>
   <hello>Buenas Dias</hello>

<?xml version="1.0"?> is the doctype def
<map> (and it's closing tag </map>) is the top level element
Recommended tutorials are:


There are many more but these are 2 good ones.

Xml is actually very simple so don't be intimidated. If you post some of your "xml" I can have a closer look
A little more info on the input to this program is required. But i'll try to explain a little basic xml.
xml actualy is nothing more than an ordered set of containers (possibly containers containing containers) with data. Try imagining envelopes (with data) in envelopes with nice titles written on the outside (such as 'clients' 'adresses' 'clientgroup' etc).

What i get from the error (in the above context) would be that the envelope containing all of the other envelopes is wrongly named (it's title is 'costumers' instead of 'clients'), or there are two envelopes in the xml document pretending to contain every other envelope (so the programme tries to make a list of clients while there are actually two lists available in the document).

If the error is indeed in the xml file (wich i highly suspect since you only get the error for usfees.xml) you need to clear up the rubbish inside the xml. Try to validate the xml and clear the spawned errors.
(validators on web (for web pages): http://www.ltg.ed.ac.uk/~richard/xml-check.html or see http://www.w3.org/XML/Schema#XML-Validate)

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Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterAuthor Commented:
Thanks all for your comments.  I will read and try to digest.

Of note discovered this morning - the program works fine on my PC after a clean install!  So I'm assuming there is another program on the attorney's PC that may be causing this.  I also did a clean install on his machine.

When I copy the folder that is generated by this program containing all the xml files from my PC to the attorney's PC, he can open the usfees.xml without a problem.  When I copy just the usfees.xml from my PC to his PC - he gets the same error message but at the bottom it also says:  <!DOCTTYPE us-fee-sheet SYSTEM "us-fee-sheet.dtd"> which I assume is because it becomes "unlinked" from the other files in the folder.

So this is all pointing to some sort of problem generating the usfees.xml on his PC.  Hate to be so cryptic - I'm more or less thinking out loud.

Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services CenterAuthor Commented:
I figured out what the problem was.  It was a corrupt install of ABX or ABXPDFWriter which are other programs from the USPTO.  I did a clean install of those two programs and now EPave works.

Go figure.

Many thanks for your help.
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