Simple XML to JavaScript object converter.
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Ever had the urge to parse XML? And wanted to access the data in some sane, easy way? Don't want to compile a C parser, for whatever reason? Then xml2js is what you're looking for!


Simple XML to JavaScript object converter. Uses sax-js.

Note: If you're looking for a full DOM parser, you probably want JSDom.


Simplest way to install xml2js is to use npm, just npm install xml2js which will download xml2js and all dependencies.


This will have to do, unless you're looking for some fancy extensive documentation. If you're looking for every single option and usage, see the unit tests.

Simple as pie usage

The simplest way to use it, is to use the optional callback interface added in 0.1.11. That's right, if you have been using xml-simple or a home-grown wrapper, this is for you:

var fs = require('fs'),
    xml2js = require('xml2js');

var parser = new xml2js.Parser();
fs.readFile(__dirname + '/foo.xml', function(err, data) {
    parser.parseString(data, function (err, result) {

Look ma, no event listeners! Alternatively you can still use the traditional addListener variant:

var fs = require('fs'),
    xml2js = require('xml2js');

var parser = new xml2js.Parser();
parser.addListener('end', function(result) {
fs.readFile(__dirname + '/foo.xml', function(err, data) {

You can also use xml2js from CoffeeScript, further reducing the clutter:

fs = require 'fs',
xml2js = require 'xml2js'

parser = new xml2js.Parser()
fs.readFile __dirname + '/foo.xml', (err, data) ->
  parser.parseString data, (err, result) ->
    console.dir result
    console.log 'Done.'

So you wanna some JSON?

Just wrap the result object in a call to JSON.stringify like this JSON.stringify(result). You get a string containing the JSON representation of the parsed object that you can feed to JSON-hungry consumers.

Displaying results

You might wonder why, using console.dir or console.log the output at some level is only [Object]. Don't worry, this is not because xml2js got lazy. That's because Node uses util.inspect to convert the object into strings and that function stops after depth=2 which is a bit low for most XML.

To display the whole deal, you can use console.log(util.inspect(result, false, null)), which displays the whole result.

So much for that, but what if you use eyes for nice colored output and it truncates the output with ? Don't fear, there's also a solution for that, you just need to increase the maxLength limit by creating a custom inspector var inspect = require('eyes').inspector({maxLength: false}) and then you can easily inspect(result).


Apart from the default settings, there is a number of options that can be specified for the parser. Options are specified by new Parser({optionName: value}). Possible options are:

  • explicitCharkey (default: false)
  • trim (default: true): Trim the whitespace at the beginning and end of text nodes.
  • normalize (default: true): Trim whitespaces inside text nodes.
  • explicitRoot (default: false): Set this if you want to get the root node in the resulting object.
  • emptyTag (default: undefined): what will the value of empty nodes be. Default is {}.
  • explicitArray (default: false): Always put child nodes in an array if true; otherwise an array is created only if there is more than one.
  • ignoreAttrs (default: false): Ignore all XML attributes and only create text nodes.
  • mergeAttrs (default: false): Merge attributes and child elements as properties of the parent, instead of keying attributes off a child attribute object. This option is ignored if ignoreAttrs is false.

These default settings are for backward-compatibility (and might change in the future). For the most 'clean' parsing, you should disable normalize and trimming and enable explicitRoot.

Running tests, development

The development requirements are handled by npm, you just need to install them. We also have a number of unit tests, they can be run using zap directly from the project root.