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Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006


(no version information, might be only in CVS)

DomNode->append_child --  Adds a new child at the end of the children


class DOMNode {

DOMNode append_child ( DOMNode newnode )


This functions appends a child to an existing list of children or creates a new list of children.



The node being appended. It can be created with e.g. DomDocument->create_element, DomDocument->create_text_node etc. or simply by using any other node.

Note: You can not append a DOMAttribute using this method. Use DomElement->set_attribute() instead.

Return Values

Returns the appended node on success or FALSE on failure.


4.3.0 You are not allowed anymore to insert a node from another document.
4.3.0 Prior to PHP 4.3.0, the new child is duplicated before being appended. Therefore the new child is a completely new copy which can be modified without changing the node which was passed to this function. If the node passed has children itself, they will be duplicated as well, which makes it quite easy to duplicate large parts of an XML document. The return value is the appended child. If you plan to do further modifications on the appended child you must use the returned node.
4.3.0 and 4.3.1 The new child newnode is first unlinked from its existing context, if it's already a child of DomNode. Therefore the newnode is moved and not copies anymore. This is the behaviour according to the W3C specifications. If you need the old behaviour, use DomNode->clone_node before appending.
4.3.2 The new child newnode is first unlinked from its existing context, if it's already in the tree. Same rules apply.


The following example adds a new element node to a fresh document and sets the attribute align to left.

Example 1. Adding a child

$doc = domxml_new_doc("1.0");
$node = $doc->create_element("para");
$newnode = $doc->append_child($node);
$newnode->set_attribute("align", "left");

The above example could also be written as the following:

Example 2. Adding a child

$doc = domxml_new_doc("1.0");
$node = $doc->create_element("para");
$node->set_attribute("align", "left");
$newnode = $doc->append_child($node);

A more complex example is the one below. It first searches for a certain element, duplicates it including its children and adds it as a sibling. Finally a new attribute is added to one of the children of the new sibling and the whole document is dumped.

Example 3. Adding a child


if (!$dom = domxml_open_mem($xmlstr)) {
  echo "Error while parsing the document\n";

$elements = $dom->get_elements_by_tagname("informaltable");
$element = $elements[0];

$parent = $element->parent_node();
$newnode = $parent->append_child($element);
$children = $newnode->children();
$attr = $children[1]->set_attribute("align", "left");

$xmlfile = $dom->dump_mem();
echo htmlentities($xmlfile);

The above example could also be done with DomNode->insert_before instead of DomNode->append_child.

Migrating to PHP 5

You should use DOMNode->appendChild().

Last updated: Tue, 19 Sep 2006