PHP Programming

Convert XML to array and vice versa in PHP

As a developer, it is common to search the web for an existing (open source) code snippet to re-use for an application, but it is rare for the developer to just copy code online and use it straight in their application without modifying it first.

I am one of many developers who like to save time if possible by using open source code if coding from scratch takes longer than a couple of minutes, but there are times when one cannot be found. I ran into such situation when I wanted a function that converts an XML string into an array. Unfortunately, most are overly complicated for what I wanted, so I decided to create my own and share with the world. The following function converts XML strings into a PHP array while retaining the level depths of the XML but all attributes are ignored.

The following is a sample XML:

which gets converted to the following array

To complete this library, I have also included a function to convert the array back to XML string.

Feel free to use and any word of advice is appreciated.

2 replies on “Convert XML to array and vice versa in PHP”

i enhanced it a bit:

* Simple array to XML conversion.
* Warning: Ignores all attributes!
* Link:
* @author johnro
* @param array $array
* @param string $namespace
function array2xml($array, $depth=0, $namespace = ”) {
$tab=” “;
$xml = ”;
foreach($array as $key => $value) {
if(is_array($value)) {
$value = array2xml($value,$depth+1);
$key_start=’item nr=”‘.$key.'”‘;
}else {
if(isset($value[0]) and $value[0]=='<') {
// childnote:
$xml .= $nl.str_repeat($tab,$depth)."” . $nl.str_repeat($tab,$depth+1) . ($value) . $nl . str_repeat($tab,$depth) . “”;
} else $xml .= $nl.str_repeat($tab,$depth).”” . XMLStrFormat($value) . “”;

return trim($xml);

function XMLStrFormat($str){
/* In XML gilt wie in HTML: Zeichen, die bei der XML-Syntax besondere Bedeutung haben,
müssen Sie umschreiben, wenn Sie sie im normalen Text zwischen den Tags verwenden wollen.
Folgende Zeichen sind betroffen:
Zeichen Notation in XML
& &
” "
‘ '

$str = str_replace(“&”, “&”, $str);
$str = str_replace(“”, “>”, $str);
$str = str_replace(“‘”, “'”, $str);
$str = str_replace(“””, “"”, $str);
$str = str_replace(”
“, “”, $str);
// xml generates an error for some characters below Ascii(32) (space):
$str = str_replace(chr(11), “”, $str);
$str = strtr($str,$GLOBALS[‘asc2uni’]);
return $str;

$GLOBALS[‘asc2uni’] = Array();
$GLOBALS['asc2uni'][chr($i)] = "&#x".dechex($i).";";

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