PHP 5.4.31 Released

DOMDocument::createElement

(PHP 5)

DOMDocument::createElementCreate new element node

Description

DOMElement DOMDocument::createElement ( string $name [, string $value ] )

This function creates a new instance of class DOMElement. This node will not show up in the document unless it is inserted with (e.g.) DOMNode->appendChild().

Parameters

name

The tag name of the element.

value

The value of the element. By default, an empty element will be created. The value can also be set later with DOMElement->nodeValue.

Return Values

Returns a new instance of class DOMElement or FALSE if an error occured.

Errors/Exceptions

DOM_INVALID_CHARACTER_ERR

Raised if name contains an invalid character.

Examples

Example #1 Creating a new element and inserting it as root

<?php

$dom 
= new DOMDocument('1.0''utf-8');

$element $dom->createElement('test''This is the root element!');

// We insert the new element as root (child of the document)
$dom->appendChild($element);

echo 
$dom->saveXML();
?>

The above example will output:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<test>This is the root element!</test>

Notes

Note:

The value will not be escaped. Use DOMDocument::createTextNode() to create a text node with escaping support.

See Also

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User Contributed Notes 7 notes

up
3
funkathustra
2 years ago
Although the built-in DOM functions are great, since they're designed to support generic XML, generating HTML DOMs becomes particularly verbose. I ended up writing this function to drastically speed things up.
Instead of calling something like
<?php
  $div
= $dom->createElement("div");
 
$div->setAttribute("class","MyClass");
 
$div->setAttribute("id","MyID");
 
$someOtherDiv->appendChild($div);
?>
you can accomplish the same thing with:
<?php
  $div
= newElement("div", $someOtherDiv, "class=MyClass;id=MyID");
?>
The "key1=value;key2=value" syntax is really fast to use, but obviously doesn't hold up if your content has those characters in it. So, you can also pass it an array:
<?php
  $div
= newElement("div", $someOtherDiv, array("class","MyClass"));
?>
Or an array of arrays, representing different attributes:
<?php
  $div
= newElement("form", $someOtherDiv, array(array("method","get"), array("action","/refer/?id=5");
?>

Here's the function:

<?php
function newElement($type, $insertInto = NULL, $params=NULL, $content="")
    {
       
$tempEl $this->dom->createElement($type, $content);
        if(
gettype($params) == "string" && strlen($params) > 0)
        {
           
$attributesCollection =split(";", $params);
            foreach(
$attributesCollection  as $attribute)
            {
               
$keyvalue = split("=", $attribute);
               
$tempEl->setAttribute($keyvalue[0], $keyvalue[1]);
            }
        }
        if(
gettype($params) == "array")
        {
            if(
gettype($params[0]) == "array")
            {
                foreach(
$params as $attribute)
                {
                   
$tempEl->setAttribute($attribute[0], $attribute[1]);
                }
            } else {
               
$tempEl->setAttribute($params[0], $params[1]);
            }
        }
?>
up
4
sergsokolenko at gmail dot com
7 years ago
To avoid warning message "unterminated entity reference" you may use htmlentities() for escaping supplied value:
<?php
//...
$dom->createElement('name', htmlentities($text))
//...
?>
up
3
mikek dot nospam at nospam dot muonics dot com
7 years ago
With regard to the note below about needing htmlentities to avoid warnings about unterminated entity references, I thought it worthwhile to mention that that you don't need to with createTextNode and DOMText::__construct.  If you mix both methods of setting text nodes and do (or don't) apply htmlentities consistently to all data to be displayed, you'll get &amp;s (or warnings and badly-formed xml).

It's probably in one's best interest to extend DOMElement and DOMDocument so that it creates a DOMText node and appends it, rather than passing it up to the DOMElement constructor.  Otherwise, good luck using (or not using) htmlentities in all the right places in your code, especially as code changes get made.

<?php

class XDOMElement extends DOMElement {
    function
__construct($name, $value = null, $namespaceURI = null) {
       
parent::__construct($name, null, $namespaceURI);
    }
}

class
XDOMDocument extends DOMDocument {
    function
__construct($version = null, $encoding = null) {
       
parent::__construct($version, $encoding);
       
$this->registerNodeClass('DOMElement', 'XDOMElement');
    }

    function
createElement($name, $value = null, $namespaceURI = null) {
       
$element = new XDOMElement($name, $value, $namespaceURI);
       
$element = $this->importNode($element);
        if (!empty(
$value)) {
           
$element->appendChild(new DOMText($value));
        }
        return
$element;
    }
}

$doc1 = new XDOMDocument();
$doc1_e1 = $doc1->createElement('foo', 'bar & baz');
$doc1->appendChild($doc1_e1);
echo
$doc1->saveXML();

$doc2 = new XDOMDocument();
$doc2_e1 = $doc2->createElement('foo');
$doc2->appendChild($doc2_e1);
$doc2_e1->appendChild($doc2->createTextNode('bar & baz'));
echo
$doc2->saveXML();

?>

Text specified in createElement:
<?xml version=""?>
<foo>bar &amp; baz</foo>

Text added via createTextNode:
<?xml version=""?>
<foo>bar &amp; baz</foo>
up
1
lars dot c dot magnusson at gmail dot com
3 years ago
You may think insertBefore and insertAfter is a direct alternative for appendChild, this is not the case.

<?php
$dom
= new DOMDocument();
$dom->load($file);

$dom->appendChild($newNode); //Works fine
$dom->insertBefore($newNode, $refNode); //Will fail

$refNode->parentNode->insertBefore($newNode, $refNode); // thanx to yasindagli (first post)
?>
up
1
estill at gvtc dot com
7 years ago
Note that the second parameter (value), although convenient, is non-standard. You should create elements like this instead:

<?php
$doc
= new DOMDocument('1.0', 'iso-8859-1');

$root = $doc->createElement('test');
$doc->appendChild($root);

$root_text = $doc->createTextNode('This is the root element!');
$root->appendChild($root_text);

print
$doc->saveXML();
?>

Or, alternatively, extend the DOMDocument class and add your own custom, convenience method to avoid intruding on the standard:

<?php
class CustomDOMDocument extends DOMDocument {
  function
createElementWithText($name, $child_text) {
   
// Creates an element with a child text node
   
    // @param  string  $name        element tag name
    // @param  string  $child_text  child node text
   
    // @return  object  new element
   
   
$element = $this->createElement($name);
   
   
$element_text = $this->createTextNode($child_text);
   
$element->appendChild($element_text);
   
    return
$element;
  }
}

$doc = new CustomDOMDocument('1.0', 'iso-8859-1');

$root = $doc->createElementWithText('test', 'This is the root element!');
$doc->appendChild($root);

print
$doc->saveXML();
?>

Also use caution with (or avoid) the 'DOMElement->nodeValue' property. It can return some unexpected values and changing its value will replace (remove) all descendants of the element with a single text node. It's also non-standard; according to the DOM spec it should return NULL.
up
1
chris AT cmbuckley DOT co DOT uk
5 years ago
Note that the NUL character "\0" is not in the list of invalid characters for $name, so no error is triggered, but the tag name will be truncated at the null byte:

<?php

$dom
= new DOMDocument('1.0', 'utf-8');
$el = $dom->createElement('foo' . "\0" . 'bar', 'Hello World');
echo
$el->tagName; // outputs "foo"

?>
up
0
yasindagli at gmail dot com
5 years ago
To create elements with attributes,

<?php

function createElement($domObj, $tag_name, $value = NULL, $attributes = NULL)
{
   
$element = ($value != NULL ) ? $domObj->createElement($tag_name, $value) : $domObj->createElement($tag_name);

    if(
$attributes != NULL )
    {
        foreach (
$attributes as $attr=>$val)
        {
           
$element->setAttribute($attr, $val);
        }
    }

    return
$element;
}

$dom = new DOMDocument('1.0', 'utf-8');

$elm = createElement($dom, 'foo', 'bar', array('attr_name'=>'attr_value'));

$dom->appendChild($elm);

echo
$dom->saveXML();

?>

outputs :
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<foo attr_name="attr_value">bar</foo>
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