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XML Declaration

The XML declaration is a processing instruction that identifies the document as being XML. All XML documents should begin with an XML declaration.

 standalone="standalone_status" ?>

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no" ?>


  • If the XML declaration is included, it must be situated at the first position of the first line in the XML documentwell-formedness constraint.
  • If the XML declaration is included, it must contain the version number attributewell-formedness constraint.
  • If all of the attributesglossary are declared in an XML declaration, they must be placed in the order shown abovewell-formedness constraint.
  • If any elements, attributes, or entities are used in the XML document that are referenced or defined in an external DTD, standalone="no" must be includedvalidity constraint.
  • The XML declaration must be in lower case (except for the encoding declarations)well-formedness constraint.


  • The XML declaration has no closing tag, that is </?xml>well-formedness constraint.

The following table shows a list of the possible attributes that may be used in the XML declaration.

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Attribute Name: Possible Attribute Value: Attribute Description:
version 1.0 Specifies the version of the XML standard that the XML document conforms to. The version attribute must be included if the XML declaration is declaredwell-formedness constraint.
encoding UTF-8, UTF-16, ISO-10646-UCS-2, ISO-10646-UCS-4, ISO-8859-1 to ISO-8859-9, ISO-2022-JP, Shift_JIS, EUC-JP These are the encoding namesglossary of the most common character sets in use today. For a full list of encodings check the IANA'sglossary website.
standalone yes, no Use 'yes' if the XML document has an internal DTD. Use 'no' if the XML document is linked to an external DTD, or any external entity referencesvalidity constraint.


XML Declaration
DOCTYPE Declaration & DTDs
ELEMENT Type Declaration
ATTLIST Declaration
ENTITY Declaration
NOTATION Declaration
CDATA Section
Processing Instruction
Conditional Section


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