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XmlReader.ReadOuterXml Method

When overridden in a derived class, reads the content, including markup, representing this node and all its children.

Namespace:  System.Xml
Assembly:  System.Xml (in System.Xml.dll)

public virtual string ReadOuterXml()

Return Value

Type: System.String
If the reader is positioned on an element or an attribute node, this method returns all the XML content, including markup, of the current node and all its children; otherwise, it returns an empty string.

ExceptionCondition
XmlException

The XML was not well-formed, or an error occurred while parsing the XML.

This method is similar to ReadInnerXml except it also returns the start and end tags.

This method handles element and attribute nodes in the following manner:

Node type

Position before the call

XML fragment

Return value

Position After the Call

Element

On the item1 start tag.

<item1>text1</item1><item2>text2</item2>

<item1>text1</item1>

On the item2 start tag.

Attribute

On the attr1 attribute node.

<item attr1="val1" attr2="val2">text</item>

attr1="val1"

Remains on the attr1 attribute node.

If the reader is positioned on a leaf node, calling ReadOuterXml is equivalent to calling Read. The method returns String.Empty (except for attribute nodes, in which case the attribute markup is returned).

This method checks for well-formed XML. If ReadOuterXml is called from an XmlValidatingReader, this method also validates the content returned

As implemented in the XmlNodeReader, XmlTextReader and XmlValidatingReader classes the ReadOuterXml method is namespace aware. Given the following XML text <A xmlns:S="urn:1"><S:B>hello</S:B></A>, if the reader were positioned on the S:B start tag, ReadOuterXml returns <S:B xmlns:S="urn:1">hello<S:B/>.

The following example compares the ReadInnerXml and ReadOuterXml methods.

// Load the file and ignore all white space.
XmlReaderSettings settings = new XmlReaderSettings();
settings.IgnoreWhitespace = true;
using (XmlReader reader = XmlReader.Create("2books.xml")) {

  // Moves the reader to the root element.
  reader.MoveToContent();

  // Moves to book node.
  reader.Read(); 

  // Note that ReadInnerXml only returns the markup of the node's children 
  // so the book's attributes are not returned.
  Console.WriteLine("Read the first book using ReadInnerXml...");
  Console.WriteLine(reader.ReadInnerXml());

  // ReadOuterXml returns the markup for the current node and its children 
  // so the book's attributes are also returned.
  Console.WriteLine("Read the second book using ReadOuterXml...");
  Console.WriteLine(reader.ReadOuterXml());      

}

The example uses 2books.xml file as input.

<!--sample XML fragment-->
<bookstore>
  <book genre='novel' ISBN='10-861003-324'>
    <title>The Handmaid's Tale</title>
    <price>19.95</price>
  </book>
  <book genre='novel' ISBN='1-861001-57-5'>
    <title>Pride And Prejudice</title>
    <price>24.95</price>
  </book>
</bookstore>

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

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