Adding elements to XML objects with Windows PowerShell

Adding elements to XML objects with Windows PowerShell

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While it’s very easy to load and view the content of XML documents how do you add new elements? Here’s how:

Let’s create a simple XML document, one parent node with two children:

PS> [xml]$x = “<top>

<first>first child</first>

<second>second child</second>


PS> $

first                                   second
-----                                   ------
first child                             second child

Add a new element below our top element with textual content:

PS> $e = $x.CreateElement("third")
PS> $e.set_InnerText("third child")

(Windows PowerShell wraps .Net object properties with method calls. The method set_InnerText actually refers to the .Net property InnerText, and is required because our XML adapter assumes that all properties come from your XML)

PS> $$e)

What does our XML look like now?

PS> $

first                      second                     third
-----                      ------                     -----
first child                second child               third child

That’s it!


Nigel Sharples [MSFT]
Windows PowerShell Team
Microsoft Corporation
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

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  • Thanks for sharing this example, but... what's with your signature ? :))

  • I've noticed that if your $x started out as simply "<top/>" (ie no child elements) this does not work.

    This is because $ evaluates as a string, and so has no AppendChild method.

    You can, however, use $x["top"].AppendChild(...)

    Would that be a bug? If not, should the latter syntax be preferred as you may never know for sure if you have any child elements.

  • $x["top"].AppendChild(...), good point

  • Thanks for the solution Adrian. That was exactly my problem.

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