To change a file from standard format to XML, choose File, Save As, and enter a file name with .xml, .xhtml or .xht as its type. Toolbox will automatically write the file in XML format. Toolbox will continue to read and write the file in XML format as long as the file name has .xml, .xhtml or .xht as its type. Toolbox can only read XML files that it has written, not files produced by other programs. Toolbox can read files produced by XML export, but this is not encouraged. When Toolbox detects this it gives a warning that interlinear layout will be lost.
Toolbox uses "database" start and end tags to mark its database. Users can add extra information to a Toolbox XML file before and after the database section, and Toolbox will preserve such information. Such information can include additional structure, such as HTML5 above the database start tag. It can also include XML header lines such as a css style sheet reference.
Users are also allowed to add attributes inside the "lxGroup" tags inside the database, where "lx" is the record marker. For example, an id could be added to each dictionary entry as lxGroup id="abc" where the id="abc" attribute is before the closing wedge of the lxgroup tag. Such attributes will be preserved by Toolbox.
XML and HTML5 header and footer information and record marker attributes are stored in save as standard format such that they are restored when file is again saved as XML. Such information is preserved even when the standard format file is edited with an older version of Toolbox.
Shoebox was written as a DOS program in 1987 by an SIL field linguist named John Wimbish. He enhanced it through 1991, producing versions 1.0, and 1.2. From 1991-1993 SIL International enhanced DOS Shoebox, producing version 2.0. (Programmers Brian Wussow, Mark Pedrotti, et al.) From 1994-2000 SIL International produced Shoebox for Windows versions 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0. (Project manager Karen Buseman, programmers Alan Buseman, Mark Pedrotti, Rod Early, Bryan Yoder, Tom Bogle, et al.) In 2002 Shoebox work was moved to an SIL field entity and the name was changed to Field Linguist's Toolbox. This field entity continues to enhance Toolbox, producing versions as above. (Programmer Alan Buseman, support Karen Buseman.)