XPathNavigator.InsertElementBefore Method

Creates a new sibling element before the current node using the namespace prefix, local name, and namespace URI specified, with the value specified.

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

public virtual void InsertElementBefore (
	string prefix,
	string localName,
	string namespaceURI,
	string value
public void InsertElementBefore (
	String prefix, 
	String localName, 
	String namespaceURI, 
	String value
public function InsertElementBefore (
	prefix : String, 
	localName : String, 
	namespaceURI : String, 
	value : String
Not applicable.



The namespace prefix of the new child element (if any).


The local name of the new child element (if any).


The namespace URI of the new child element (if any). Empty and a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic) are equivalent.


The value of the new child element. If Empty or a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic) are passed, an empty element is created.

Exception typeCondition


The position of the XPathNavigator does not allow a new sibling node to be inserted before the current node.


The XPathNavigator does not support editing.

Namespace prefix and URI values can be obtained using the LookupPrefix or LookupNamespace method. For example, the following syntax inserts a sibling element by using the in-scope namespace xmlns:bk="http://www.contoso.com/books":

navigator.InsertElementBefore(navigator.Prefix, "pages", LookupNamespaceURI(navigator.Prefix), String.Empty)

This creates the new sibling <bk:pages/> element.

The following are important notes to consider when using the InsertElementBefore method.

  • If the namespace prefix specified is a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic) or String.Empty, then the prefix for the namespace URI of the new element is obtained from the current namespaces in-scope. If there is no namespace prefix assigned to the specified namespace URI at the current scope, then a namespace prefix is automatically generated.

  • The InsertElementBefore method is valid only when the XPathNavigator is positioned on an element, text, processing instruction, or comment node.

  • The InsertElementBefore method does not affect the position of the XPathNavigator.

In the following example a new pages element is inserted before the price child element of the first book element in the contosoBooks.xml file.

XmlDocument document = new XmlDocument();
XPathNavigator navigator = document.CreateNavigator();

navigator.MoveToChild("bookstore", "http://www.contoso.com/books");
navigator.MoveToChild("book", "http://www.contoso.com/books");
navigator.MoveToChild("price", "http://www.contoso.com/books");

navigator.InsertElementBefore(navigator.Prefix, "pages", navigator.LookupNamespace(navigator.Prefix), "100");


The example takes the contosoBooks.xml file as an input.

<bookstore xmlns="http://www.contoso.com/books">
    <book genre="autobiography" publicationdate="1981-03-22" ISBN="1-861003-11-0">
        <title>The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin</title>
    <book genre="novel" publicationdate="1967-11-17" ISBN="0-201-63361-2">
        <title>The Confidence Man</title>
    <book genre="philosophy" publicationdate="1991-02-15" ISBN="1-861001-57-6">
        <title>The Gorgias</title>

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, 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

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