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XmlValidatingReader.ReadAttributeValue Method

Parses the attribute value into one or more Text, EntityReference, or EndEntity nodes.

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

public override bool ReadAttributeValue()

Return Value

Type: System.Boolean
true if there are nodes to return.
false if the reader is not positioned on an attribute node when the initial call is made or if all the attribute values have been read.
An empty attribute, such as, misc="", returns true with a single node with a value of String.Empty.


The XmlValidatingReader class is obsolete in .NET Framework version 2.0.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.

Use this method after calling MoveToAttribute to read through the text or entity reference nodes that make up the attribute value. The Depth of the attribute value nodes is one plus the depth of the attribute node. The Depth increments and decrements by one when you step into and out of general entity references.

For example, suppose you have the following XML: <test name="a &b; c"/>

where the entity b is defined in the document type definition (DTD) as follows: <!ENTITY b "123">

If EntityHandling is set to ExpandCharEntities, the following C# code returns the attribute value as two text nodes and one entity reference node:

  while (reader.ReadAttributeValue())
  if (reader.NodeType == XmlNodeType.Text)
  // at this point reader.Value == "a " or " c"
  else if (reader.NodeType == XmlNodeType.EntityReference)
  // at this point reader.Name == "b"
  while (reader.ReadAttributeValue() &&
  reader.NodeType != XmlNodeType.EndEntity)
  // reader.Value == "123"

The following example reads an attribute with text and entity reference nodes.

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

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

       //Create the XML fragment to be parsed.
       string xmlFrag ="<book genre='novel' misc='sale-item &h; 1987'></book>";

       //Create the XmlParserContext.
       XmlParserContext context;
       string subset = "<!ENTITY h 'hardcover'>";
       context = new XmlParserContext(null, null, "book", null, null, subset, "", "", XmlSpace.None);

       //Create the reader and set it to not expand general entities. 
       reader = new XmlValidatingReader(xmlFrag, XmlNodeType.Element, context);
       reader.ValidationType = ValidationType.None;
       reader.EntityHandling = EntityHandling.ExpandCharEntities;

       //Read the misc attribute. Because EntityHandling is set to
       //ExpandCharEntities, the attribute is parsed into multiple text
       //and entity reference nodes.
       while (reader.ReadAttributeValue()){
          if (reader.NodeType==XmlNodeType.EntityReference)
            //To expand the entity, call ResolveEntity.
            Console.WriteLine("{0} {1}", reader.NodeType, reader.Name);
             Console.WriteLine("{0} {1}", reader.NodeType, reader.Value);
        if (reader != null)
} // End class

.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.