XmlReader.ReadString Method

When overridden in a derived class, reads the contents of an element or text node as a string.

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

public virtual string ReadString ()
public String ReadString ()
public function ReadString () : String
Not applicable.

Return Value

The contents of the element or an empty string.

Exception typeCondition


An error occurred while parsing the XML.

This method returns the content of element, text, white space, significant white space or CDATA nodes.

If positioned on an element, ReadString concatenates all text, significant white space, white space, and CDATA section nodes together and returns the concatenated data as the element content. It stops when any markup is encountered, including comments and processing instructions. This could occur in a mixed content model, or when an element end tag is read.

If positioned on an element text node, ReadString performs the same concatenation from the text node to the element end tag. If the reader is positioned on an attribute text node, ReadString has the same functionality as if the reader were positioned on the element start tag. It returns all the concatenated element text nodes.

If positioned on an attribute, ReadString returns an empty string and moves the reader back to the element that owns the attribute.

If ReadString is called on any other node type, it returns an empty string and the reader is positioned on the next node.

The following example displays the text content of each element.

using (XmlReader reader = XmlReader.Create("book3.xml")) {

  // Parse the XML document.  ReadString is used to 
  // read the text content of the elements.
  Console.Write("The content of the title element:  ");
  Console.Write("The content of the price element:  ");


The example uses the book3.xml file.

  <title>Pride And Prejudice</title>

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 1.0