I have the below field xml which I get after calling a web service. I am getting the error

Name cannot begin with the '=' character, hexadecimal value 0x3D. Line 1, position 2325.

<Field DisplayName='Maximum_x0020_characters_x0020_a' FillInChoice='TRUE' Format ='RadioButtons' Type ='Choice' StaticName ='Maximum_x0020_characters_x0020_a' Required='TRUE' Name='Maximum_x0020_characters_x0020_a'><Default></Default><CHOICES><CHOICE>True</CHOICE><CHOICE>False</CHOICE><CHOICE>True</CHOICE><CHOICE>False</CHOICE><CHOICE>>=255</CHOICE><CHOICE><=255</CHOICE><CHOICE>>=510</CHOICE><CHOICE><= 510</CHOICE></CHOICES></Field>

Can anyone please suggest the correct way of replacing the special character. I tried replacing &lt and &gt for > and < but then I get another error.

  • may be this will help abstractspaces.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/… Jan 11, 2016 at 8:20
  • Can you share the string or display name ? Where is "=" character in it. Jan 11, 2016 at 8:32
  • u can see the xml which i have provided.. the Choice tag have >= as the value Jan 11, 2016 at 8:35
  • also I tried doing this. but then I get error as Data at the root level is invalid. string _byteOrderMarkUtf8 = Encoding.UTF8.GetString(Encoding.UTF8.GetPreamble()); if (FieldXml.StartsWith(_byteOrderMarkUtf8)) { FieldXml = FieldXml.Remove(0, _byteOrderMarkUtf8.Length); } Jan 11, 2016 at 8:36
  • 1
    I resolved it using <[[CDATA]]>. The XML format containg the special character was binded inside CDATA. IT worked!!! Jan 12, 2016 at 10:00

2 Answers 2


I added the special character part in CDATA tag and it worked. For Example I was having the XML of the choice field where choices were coming with special characters which was causing the issue. To overcome it, I added the choice tag of XML in the *** part and it worked.

CDATA takes the value as simple text.

str.Append("<CHOICE><![CDATA[" + choices[k] + "]]></CHOICE>");

Choices[k] are my choice value which I am fetching from code.


If you create a choice column using the browser and enter >=250 <=510 etc as choices, and then look at the SchemaXml property of the column (for example using a tool like SharePoint Manager), you can see how they are encoded internally by SharePoint, and help troubleshooting. In this case:


Perhaps you were missing the semicolon (;) from lt; and gt;.

CDATA is also a valid option, but for simple cases like these when only a character needs to be encoded, encoding them individually makes the code cleaner.

  • I tried that with semicolon but that was not valid as my choice field was generated dynamically. replacing them with &gt and &lt; was not valid as it was converting the whole xml tag in the format. Jan 13, 2016 at 8:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.