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XmlDocument.PreserveWhitespace Property

Gets or sets a value indicating whether to preserve white space in element content.

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

public bool PreserveWhitespace { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Boolean
true to preserve white space; otherwise false. The default is false.

This property determines how white space is handled during the load and save process.

If PreserveWhitespace is true before Load or LoadXml is called, white space nodes are preserved; otherwise, if this property is false, significant white space is preserved, white space is not.

If PreserveWhitespace is true before Save is called, white space in the document is preserved in the output; otherwise, if this property is false, XmlDocument auto-indents the output.

This method is a Microsoft extension to the Document Object Model (DOM).

The following example shows how to strip white space from a file.

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

public class Sample
  public static void Main()
    //Load XML data which includes white space, but ignore
    //any white space in the file.
    XmlDocument doc = new XmlDocument();
    doc.PreserveWhitespace = false;

    //Save the document as is (no white space).
    Console.WriteLine("Display the modified XML...");
    doc.PreserveWhitespace = true;


The example uses the file book.xml as input.

<!--sample XML fragment-->
<book genre='novel' ISBN='1-861003-78' misc='sale-item'>
  <title>The Handmaid's Tale</title>

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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