XmlTextWriter.Formatting Property


The .NET API Reference documentation has a new home. Visit the .NET API Browser on docs.microsoft.com to see the new experience.

Indicates how the output is formatted.

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

public Formatting Formatting { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Xml.Formatting

One of the Formatting values. The default is Formatting.None (no special formatting).


Starting with the .NET Framework 2.0, we recommend that you create XmlWriter instances by using the XmlWriter.Create method and the XmlWriterSettings class to take advantage of new functionality.

If the Indented option is set, child elements are indented using the Indentation and IndentChar properties. Only element content is indented. The following C# code writes out HTML elements including mixed content:

XmlTextWriter w = new XmlTextWriter(Console.Out); 
 w.Formatting = Formatting.Indented; 
 w.WriteString("The big "); // This means "li" now has a mixed content model.
 w.WriteElementString("b", "E"); 
 w.WriteElementString("i", "lephant"); 
 w.WriteString(" walks slowly."); 

The above code produces the following output:

  <li>The big <b>E</b><i>lephant</i> walks slowly.</li> 

When this is viewed in HTML no white space appears between the bold and italic elements. In fact, in this example, if indenting was added between these elements the word "Elephant" would be incorrectly broken.


Writing any text content, excluding String.Empty puts that element into mixed content mode. Child elements do not inherit this "mixed" mode status. A child element of a "mixed" element does indenting, unless it is also contains "mixed" content. Element content (http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-xml-19980210#sec-element-content) and mixed content (http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/REC-xml-19980210#sec-mixed-content) are defined according to the XML 1.0 definitions of these terms.

The following example writes an XML fragment.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Xml;

public class Sample

  public static void Main()
     //Create a writer to write XML to the console.
     XmlTextWriter writer = null;
     writer = new XmlTextWriter (Console.Out);

     //Use indentation for readability.
     writer.Formatting = Formatting.Indented;
     writer.Indentation = 4;

     //Write an element (this one is the root).

     //Write the title element.
     writer.WriteString("Pride And Prejudice");

     //Write the close tag for the root element.

     //Write the XML to file and close the writer.



.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Return to top