Skip to content

How to remove extra empty lines from XML file?

In short; i have many empty lines generated in an XML file, and i am looking for a way to remove them as a way of leaning the file. How can i do that ?

For detailed explanation; I currently have this XML file :

<recent>
  <paths>
    <path>path1</path>
    <path>path2</path>
    <path>path3</path>
    <path>path4</path>
  </paths>
</recent>

And i use this Java code to delete all tags, and add new ones instead :

public void savePaths( String recentFilePath ) {
    ArrayList<String> newPaths = getNewRecentPaths();
    Document recentDomObject = getXMLFile( recentFilePath );  // Get the <recent> element.
    NodeList pathNodes = recentDomObject.getElementsByTagName( "path" );   // Get all <path> nodes.

    //1. Remove all old path nodes :
        for ( int i = pathNodes.getLength() - 1; i >= 0; i-- ) { 
            Element pathNode = (Element)pathNodes.item( i );
            pathNode.getParentNode().removeChild( pathNode );
        }

    //2. Save all new paths :
        Element pathsElement = (Element)recentDomObject.getElementsByTagName( "paths" ).item( 0 );   // Get the first <paths> node.

        for( String newPath: newPaths ) {
            Element newPathElement = recentDomObject.createElement( "path" );
            newPathElement.setTextContent( newPath );
            pathsElement.appendChild( newPathElement );
        }

    //3. Save the XML changes :
        saveXMLFile( recentFilePath, recentDomObject ); 
}

After executing this method a number of times i get an XML file with right results, but with many empty lines after the “paths” tag and before the first “path” tag, like this :

<recent>
  <paths>





    <path>path5</path>
    <path>path6</path>
    <path>path7</path>
  </paths>
</recent>

Anyone knows how to fix that ?

——————————————- Edit: Add the getXMLFile(…), saveXMLFile(…) code.

public Document getXMLFile( String filePath ) { 
    File xmlFile = new File( filePath );

    try {
        DocumentBuilderFactory dbf = DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance();
        DocumentBuilder db = dbf.newDocumentBuilder();
        Document domObject = db.parse( xmlFile );
        domObject.getDocumentElement().normalize();

        return domObject;
    } catch (Exception e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    }

    return null;
}

public void saveXMLFile( String filePath, Document domObject ) {
    File xmlOutputFile = null;
    FileOutputStream fos = null;

    try {
        xmlOutputFile = new File( filePath );
        fos = new FileOutputStream( xmlOutputFile );
        TransformerFactory transformerFactory = TransformerFactory.newInstance();
        Transformer transformer = transformerFactory.newTransformer();
        transformer.setOutputProperty( OutputKeys.INDENT, "yes" );
        transformer.setOutputProperty( "{http://xml.apache.org/xslt}indent-amount", "2" );
        DOMSource xmlSource = new DOMSource( domObject );
        StreamResult xmlResult = new StreamResult( fos );
        transformer.transform( xmlSource, xmlResult );  // Save the XML file.
    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    } catch (TransformerConfigurationException e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    } catch (TransformerException e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    } finally {
        if (fos != null)
            try {
                fos.close();
            } catch (IOException e) {
                e.printStackTrace();
            }
    }
}

Answer

I was able to fix this by using this code after removing all the old “path” nodes :

while( pathsElement.hasChildNodes() )
    pathsElement.removeChild( pathsElement.getFirstChild() );

This will remove all the generated empty spaces in the XML file.

Special thanks to MadProgrammer for commenting with the helpful link mentioned above.