XML Element

XML import is a simple solution to share text from one page to another page. In summary you will create an XML feed of a text block that resides on an "orginating"  page and then place the feed on a "receiving" page. When the original text block is updated the change will be reflected  You need to have permissions turned on to use the XML element. Contact DoTS.

Establish the XML Source Text

Create a regular Formatted Text Block and save it.

Click the gear of that Text Block and click "More..."

Select Manage XML Publications

Manage XML

Click "Add XML Publication."

XML Manage

The XML assigns a URL to the text block that you want to repeat. That URL is entered in the "Name" area as shown in the next image. So the name follows the same rules as pages - no spaces or special characters and it should be short, descriptive, and unique.

Add a description that tells you where this is being used (the other page where the content will appear) just as a reminder.


Detailed, Detailed.  Click the two selections that are both "detailed" and then "Next."

XML Step 1

Once the XML is created, click "detailed" to produce the URL and html code.

XML Click Detailed for URL

Highlight the URL then use your keys (Control-C) to copy it.

XML Select URL

That's all on this page. Don't copy anything else, or else save what you've copied to a text document for later use. You'll need that URL on the other page where the content will be displayed.

Create the XML Reader

On another page, insert a new element and choose XML Reader from Miscellaneous Elements.

XML Reader

This will produce an error message - ignore it and click the gear.

XML Error XML Error Click Gear

Click "New Data."

XML New Data

Paste the URL that you have copied into the field and "Save."


You will see the text from the source page appear in your XML Reader element.

Weird Characters

You may notice weird characters that show up in the XML reader. This is caused by certain kinds of spacing and special characters like n-dashes, m-dashes, apostrophes that are smart quotes to name some that are known. The example below shows a weird character at the bottom of the text block which is caused by either a space or a break of some kind.

XML Weird Character

To fix this, go back to the source text block on the originating page (it will have the RSS Symbol in the corner) and remove any special characters. If you forgot where the source code was, look at the XML Element data (click the gear and click data). The URL will have the subsite and page name in it.

XML Source Icon  XML Remove Breaks

Submit and View as Published

XML Submit

One final step after getting rid of the weird character. Clear the originating page's cache. It's under Actions and at the bottom of the list.

XML Clear Cache

Follow the same procedure for other pages where you want to repeat the content. If you're doing them right away, you can paste the copied content more than once (once for each page where you've added a reader). Always use "New Data" when pasting the URL.

For more information visit: the UWRF Foswiki site's CommonSpot page. Authentication needed.

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