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XmlValidatingReader.IsEmptyElement Property

Gets a value indicating whether the current node is an empty element (for example, <MyElement/>).

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

public override bool IsEmptyElement { get; }

Property Value

Type: System.Boolean
true if the current node is an element (NodeType equals XmlNodeType.Element) that ends with />; otherwise, false.


The XmlValidatingReader class is obsolete in .NET Framework version 2.0. You can create a validating XmlReader instance by using the XmlReaderSettings class and the Create method. For more information, see Validating XML Data with XmlReader.

This property enables you to determine the difference between the following:

<item num="123"/> (IsEmptyElement is true).

<item num="123"> (IsEmptyElement is false, although element content is empty).

A corresponding EndElement node is not generated for empty elements.

If default content has been added to an element due to schema validation, IsEmptyElement still returns true. It has no bearing on whether or not the element has a default value. In other words, IsEmptyElement simply reports whether or not the element in the source document had an end element tag.

The following example displays the text content of each element.

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

public class Sample 
  public static void Main()
    XmlTextReader txtreader = null;
    XmlValidatingReader reader = null;

       //Implement the readers.
       txtreader = new XmlTextReader("elems.xml");
       reader = new XmlValidatingReader(txtreader);

       //Parse the XML and display the text content of each of the elements.
       while (reader.Read()){
         if (reader.IsStartElement()){
           if (reader.IsEmptyElement)
              Console.WriteLine("<{0}/>", reader.Name);
               Console.Write("<{0}> ", reader.Name);
               reader.Read(); //Read the start tag.
               if (reader.IsStartElement())  //Handle nested elements.
                   Console.Write("\r\n<{0}>", reader.Name);
               Console.WriteLine(reader.ReadString());  //Read the text content of the element.


        if (reader != null)

} // End class

The example uses the file, elems.xml, as input.

  <title>Pride And Prejudice</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.