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Preserving White Space While Serializing

This topic describes how to control white space when serializing an XML tree.

A common scenario is to read indented XML, create an in-memory XML tree without any white space text nodes (that is, not preserving white space), perform some operations on the XML, and then save the XML with indentation. When you serialize the XML with formatting, only significant white space in the XML tree is preserved. This is the default behavior for LINQ to XML. 

Another common scenario is to read and modify XML that has already been intentionally indented. You might not want to change this indentation in any way. To do this in LINQ to XML, you preserve white space when you load or parse the XML and disable formatting when you serialize the XML.

The following methods in the XElement and XDocument classes serialize an XML tree. You can serialize an XML tree to a file, a TextReader, or an XmlReader. The ToString method serializes to a string.

If the method does not take SaveOptions as an argument, then the method will format (indent) the serialized XML. In this case, all insignificant white space in the XML tree is discarded.

If the method does take SaveOptions as an argument, then you can specify that the method not format (indent) the serialized XML. In this case, all white space in the XML tree is preserved.

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