I'm the function below, I'm struggling to output the DOMDocument without it appending the XML, HTML, body and p tag wrappers before the output of the content. The suggested fix:

$postarray['post_content'] = $d->saveXML($d->getElementsByTagName('p')->item(0));

Only works when the content has no block level elements inside it. However, when it does, as in the example below with the h1 element, the resulting output from saveXML is truncated to...

<p>If you like</p>

I've been pointed to this post as a possible workaround, but I can't understand how to implement it into this solution (see commented out attempts below).

Any suggestions?

function rseo_decorate_keyword($postarray) {
    global $post;
    $keyword = "Jasmine Tea"
    $content = "If you like <h1>jasmine tea</h1> you will really like it with Jasmine Tea flavors. This is the last ocurrence of the phrase jasmine tea within the content. If there are other instances of the keyword jasmine tea within the text what happens to jasmine tea."
    $d = new DOMDocument();
    $x = new DOMXpath($d);
    $count = $x->evaluate("count(//text()[contains(translate(., 'ABCDEFGHJIKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ', 'abcdefghjiklmnopqrstuvwxyz'), '$keyword') and (ancestor::b or ancestor::strong)])");
    if ($count > 0) return $postarray;
    $nodes = $x->query("//text()[contains(translate(., 'ABCDEFGHJIKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ', 'abcdefghjiklmnopqrstuvwxyz'), '$keyword') and not(ancestor::h1) and not(ancestor::h2) and not(ancestor::h3) and not(ancestor::h4) and not(ancestor::h5) and not(ancestor::h6) and not(ancestor::b) and not(ancestor::strong)]");
    if ($nodes && $nodes->length) {
        $node = $nodes->item(0);
        // Split just before the keyword
        $keynode = $node->splitText(strpos($node->textContent, $keyword));
        // Split after the keyword
        // Replace keyword with <b>keyword</b>
        $replacement = $d->createElement('strong', $keynode->textContent);
        $keynode->parentNode->replaceChild($replacement, $keynode);
$postarray['post_content'] = $d->saveXML($d->getElementsByTagName('p')->item(0));
//  $postarray['post_content'] = $d->saveXML($d->getElementsByTagName('body')->item(1));
//  $postarray['post_content'] = $d->saveXML($d->getElementsByTagName('body')->childNodes);
return $postarray;

Solution 1

All of these answers are now wrong, because as of PHP 5.4 and Libxml 2.6 loadHTML now has a $option parameter which instructs Libxml about how it should parse the content.

Therefore, if we load the HTML with these options


when doing saveHTML() there will be no doctype, no <html>, and no <body>.

LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED turns off the automatic adding of implied html/body elements LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD prevents a default doctype being added when one is not found.

Full documentation about Libxml parameters is here

(Note that loadHTML docs say that Libxml 2.6 is needed, but LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD is only available in Libxml 2.7.8 and LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED is available in Libxml 2.7.7)

Solution 2

Just remove the nodes directly after loading the document with loadHTML():

# remove <!DOCTYPE 

# remove <html><body></body></html> 
$doc->replaceChild($doc->firstChild->firstChild->firstChild, $doc->firstChild);

Solution 3

The issue with the top answer is that LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED is unstable.

It can reorder elements (particularly, moving the top element's closing tag to the bottom of the document), add random p tags, and perhaps a variety of other issues[1]. It may remove the html and body tags for you, but at the cost of unstable behavior. In production, that's a red flag. In short:

Don't use LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED. Instead, use substr.

Think about it. The lengths of <html><body> and </body></html> are fixed and at both ends of the document - their sizes never change, and neither do their positions. This allows us to use substr to cut them away:

$dom = new domDocument; 
$dom->loadHTML($html, LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD);

echo substr($dom->saveHTML(), 12, -15); // the star of this operation

(THIS IS NOT THE FINAL SOLUTION HOWEVER! See below for the complete answer, keep reading for context)

We cut 12 away from the start of the document because <html><body> = 12 characters (<<>>+html+body = 4+4+4), and we go backwards and cut 15 off the end because \n</body></html> = 15 characters (\n+//+<<>>+body+html = 1 + 2 + 4 + 4 + 4)

Notice that I still use LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD omit the !DOCTYPE from being included. First, this simplifies the substr removal of the HTML/BODY tags. Second, we don't remove the doctype with substr because we don't know if the 'default doctype' will always be something of a fixed length. But, most importantly, LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD stops the DOM parser from applying a non-HTML5 doctype to the document - which at least prevents the parser from treating elements it doesn't recognize as loose text.

We know for a fact that the HTML/BODY tags are of fixed lengths and positions, and we know that constants like LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD are never removed without some type of deprecation notice, so the above method should roll well into the future, BUT...

...the only caveat is that the DOM implementation could change the way in HTML/BODY tags are placed within the document - for instance, removing the newline at the end of the document, adding spaces between the tags, or adding newlines.

This can be remedied by searching for the positions of the opening and closing tags for body, and using those offsets as for our lengths to trim off. We use strpos and strrpos to find the offsets from the front and back, respectively:

$dom = new domDocument; 
$dom->loadHTML($html, LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD);

$trim_off_front = strpos($dom->saveHTML(),'<body>') + 6;
// PositionOf<body> + 6 = Cutoff offset after '<body>'
// 6 = Length of '<body>'

$trim_off_end = (strrpos($dom->saveHTML(),'</body>')) - strlen($dom->saveHTML());
// ^ PositionOf</body> - LengthOfDocument = Relative-negative cutoff offset before '</body>'

echo substr($dom->saveHTML(), $trim_off_front, $trim_off_end);

In closing, a repeat of the final, future-proof answer:

$dom = new domDocument; 
$dom->loadHTML($html, LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD);

$trim_off_front = strpos($dom->saveHTML(),'<body>') + 6;
$trim_off_end = (strrpos($dom->saveHTML(),'</body>')) - strlen($dom->saveHTML());

echo substr($dom->saveHTML(), $trim_off_front, $trim_off_end);

No doctype, no html tag, no body tag. We can only hope the DOM parser will receive a fresh coat of paint soon and we can more directly eliminate these unwanted tags.

Solution 4

Use saveXML() instead, and pass the documentElement as an argument to it.

$innerHTML = '';
foreach ($document->getElementsByTagName('p')->item(0)->childNodes as $child) {
    $innerHTML .= $document->saveXML($child);
echo $innerHTML;


Solution 5

use DOMDocumentFragment

$html = 'what you want';
$doc = new DomDocument();
$fragment = $doc->createDocumentFragment();
echo $doc->saveHTML();

Solution 6

A neat trick is to use loadXML and then saveHTML. The html and body tags are inserted at the load stage, not the save stage.

$dom = new DOMDocument;
$dom->loadXML('<p>My DOMDocument contents are here</p>');
echo $dom->saveHTML();

NB that this is a bit hacky and you should use Jonah's answer if you can get it to work.

Solution 7

It's 2017, and for this 2011 Question I don't like any of the answers. Lots of regex, big classes, loadXML etc...

Easy solution which solves the known problems:

$dom = new DOMDocument();
$dom->loadHTML( '<html><body>'.mb_convert_encoding($html, 'HTML-ENTITIES', 'UTF-8').'</body></html>' , LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD);
$html = substr(trim($dom->saveHTML()),12,-14);

Easy, Simple, Solid, Fast. This code will work regarding HTML tags and encoding like:

$html = '<p>äöü</p><p>ß</p>';

If anybody finds an error , please tell, I will use this myself.

Edit, Other valid options that work without errors (very similar to ones already given):

@$dom->loadHTML(mb_convert_encoding($html, 'HTML-ENTITIES', 'UTF-8'));
$saved_dom = trim($dom->saveHTML());
$start_dom = stripos($saved_dom,'<body>')+6;
$html = substr($saved_dom,$start_dom,strripos($saved_dom,'</body>') - $start_dom );

You could add body yourself to prevent any strange thing on the furure.

Thirt option:

 $mock = new DOMDocument;
 $body = $dom->getElementsByTagName('body')->item(0);
  foreach ($body->childNodes as $child){
     $mock->appendChild($mock->importNode($child, true));
$html = trim($mock->saveHTML());

Solution 8

I'm a bit late in the club but didn't want to not share a method I've found out about. First of all I've got the right versions for loadHTML() to accept these nice options, but LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED didn't work on my system. Also users report problems with the parser (for example here and here).

The solution I created actually is pretty simple.

HTML to be loaded is put in a <div> element so it has a container containing all nodes to be loaded.

Then this container element is removed from the document (but the DOMElement of it still exists).

Then all direct children from the document are removed. This includes any added <html>, <head> and <body> tags (effectively LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED option) as well as the <!DOCTYPE html ... loose.dtd"> declaration (effectively LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD).

Then all direct children of the container are added to the document again and it can be output.

$str = '<p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.</p><p>Nunc vel vehicula ante.</p>';

$doc = new DOMDocument();


$container = $doc->getElementsByTagName('div')->item(0);

$container = $container->parentNode->removeChild($container);

while ($doc->firstChild) {

while ($container->firstChild ) {

$htmlFragment = $doc->saveHTML();

XPath works as usual, just take care that there are multiple document elements now, so not a single root node:

$xpath = new DOMXPath($doc);
foreach ($xpath->query('/p') as $element)
{   #                   ^- note the single slash "/"
    # ... each of the two <p> element

  • PHP 5.4.36-1+deb.sury.org~precise+2 (cli) (built: Dec 21 2014 20:28:53)

Solution 9

None of the other solutions at the time of this writing (June, 2012) were able to completely meet my needs, so I wrote one which handles the following cases:

  • Accepts plain-text content which has no tags, as well as HTML content.
  • Does not append any tags (including <doctype>, <xml>, <html>, <body>, and <p> tags)
  • Leaves anything wrapped in <p> alone.
  • Leaves empty text alone.

So here is a solution which fixes those issues:

class DOMDocumentWorkaround
     * Convert a string which may have HTML components into a DOMDocument instance.
     * @param string $html - The HTML text to turn into a string.
     * @return \DOMDocument - A DOMDocument created from the given html.
    public static function getDomDocumentFromHtml($html)
        $domDocument = new DOMDocument();

        // Wrap the HTML in <div> tags because loadXML expects everything to be within some kind of tag.
        // LIBXML_NOERROR and LIBXML_NOWARNING mean this will fail silently and return an empty DOMDocument if it fails.
        $domDocument->loadXML('<div>' . $html . '</div>', LIBXML_NOERROR | LIBXML_NOWARNING);

        return $domDocument;

     * Convert a DOMDocument back into an HTML string, which is reasonably close to what we started with.
     * @param \DOMDocument $domDocument
     * @return string - The resulting HTML string
    public static function getHtmlFromDomDocument($domDocument)
        // Convert the DOMDocument back to a string.
        $xml = $domDocument->saveXML();

        // Strip out the XML declaration, if one exists
        $xmlDeclaration = "<?xml version=\"1.0\"?>\n";
        if (substr($xml, 0, strlen($xmlDeclaration)) == $xmlDeclaration) {
            $xml = substr($xml, strlen($xmlDeclaration));

        // If the original HTML was empty, loadXML collapses our <div></div> into <div/>. Remove it.
        if ($xml == "<div/>\n") {
            $xml = '';
        else {
            // Remove the opening <div> tag we previously added, if it exists.
            $openDivTag = "<div>";
            if (substr($xml, 0, strlen($openDivTag)) == $openDivTag) {
                $xml = substr($xml, strlen($openDivTag));

            // Remove the closing </div> tag we previously added, if it exists.
            $closeDivTag = "</div>\n";
            $closeChunk = substr($xml, -strlen($closeDivTag));
            if ($closeChunk == $closeDivTag) {
                $xml = substr($xml, 0, -strlen($closeDivTag));

        return $xml;

I also wrote some tests which would live in that same class:

public static function testHtmlToDomConversions($content)
    // test that converting the $content to a DOMDocument and back does not change the HTML
    if ($content !== self::getHtmlFromDomDocument(self::getDomDocumentFromHtml($content))) {
        echo "Failed\n";
    else {
        echo "Succeeded\n";

public static function testAll()
    self::testHtmlToDomConversions('<p>Here is some sample text</p>');
    self::testHtmlToDomConversions('<div>Lots of <div>nested <div>divs</div></div></div>');
    self::testHtmlToDomConversions('Normal Text');
    self::testHtmlToDomConversions(''); //empty

You can check that it works for yourself. DomDocumentWorkaround::testAll() returns this:


Solution 10

Okay I found a more elegant solution, but it's just tedious:

$d = new DOMDocument();
// do your manipulation, processing, etc of it blah blah blah
// then to save, do this
$x = new DOMXPath($d);
$everything = $x->query("body/*"); // retrieves all elements inside body tag
if ($everything->length > 0) { // check if it retrieved anything in there
      $output = '';
      foreach ($everything as $thing) {
           $output .= $d->saveXML($thing);
      echo $output; // voila, no more annoying html wrappers or body tag

Alright, hopefully this does not omit anything and helps somebody?

Solution 11

I am struggling with this on RHEL7 running PHP 5.6.25 and LibXML 2.9. (Old stuff in 2018, I know, but that is Red Hat for you.)

I have found that the much upvoted solution suggested by Alessandro Vendruscolo breaks the HTML by rearranging tags. I.e.:




This goes for both the options he suggests you use: LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED and LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD.

The solution suggested by Alex goes half way to solve it, but it does not work if <body> has more than one child node.

The solution that works for me is the follwing:

First, to load the DOMDocument, I use:

$doc = new DOMDocument()

To save the document after massaging the DOMDocument, I use:

// remove <!DOCTYPE 
$content = $doc->saveHTML();
// remove <html><body></body></html> 
$content = str_replace('<html><body>', '', $content);
$content = str_replace('</body></html>', '', $content);

I am the first to agree that this this is not a very elegant solution - but it works.

Solution 12

Use this function

$layout = preg_replace('~<(?:!DOCTYPE|/?(?:html|head|body))[^>]*>\s*~i', '', $layout);

Solution 13

Much like other members, I first revelled in the simplicity and awesome power of @Alessandro Vendruscolo answer. The ability to simply pass in some flagged constants to the constructor seemed too good to be true. For me it was. I have the correct versions of both LibXML as well as PHP however no matter what it still would add the HTML tag to the node structure of the Document object.

My solution worked way better than using the...


Flags or....

# remove <!DOCTYPE 

# remove <html><body></body></html>
$doc->replaceChild($doc->firstChild->firstChild->firstChild, $doc->firstChild);

Node Removal, which gets messy without a structured order in the DOM. Again code fragments have no way to predetermine DOM structure.

I started this journey wanting a simple way to do DOM traversal how JQuery does it or at least in some fashion that had a structured data set either singly linked, doubly linked or tree'd node traversal. I didn't care how as long as I could parse a string the way HTML does and also have the amazing power of the node entity class properties to use along the way.

So far DOMDocument Object has left me wanting... As with many other programmers it seems... I know I have seen a lot of frustration in this question so since I FINALLY.... (after roughly 30 hours of try and fail type testing) I have found a way to get it all. I hope this helps someone...

First off, I am cynical of EVERYTHING... lol...

I would have went a lifetime before agreeing with anyone that a third party class is in anyway needed in this use case. I very much was and am NOT a fan of using any third party class structure however I stumbled onto a great parser. (about 30 times in Google before I gave in so don't feel alone if you avoided it because it looked lame of unofficial in any way...)

If you are using code fragments and need the, code clean and unaffected by the parser in any way, without extra tags being used then use simplePHPParser.

It's amazing and acts a lot like JQuery. I not often impressed but this class makes use of a lot of good tools and I have had no parsing errors as of yet. I am a huge fan of being able to do what this class does.

You can find its files to download here, its startup instructions here, and its API here. I highly recommend using this class with its simple methods that can do a .find(".className") the same way a JQuery find method would be used or even familiar methods such as getElementByTagName() or getElementById()...

When you save out a node tree in this class it doesn't add anything at all. You can simply say $doc->save(); and it outputs the entire tree to a string without any fuss.

I will now be using this parser for all, non-capped-bandwidth, projects in the future.

Solution 14

If the flags solution answered by Alessandro Vendruscolo doesn't works, you may try this:

$dom = new DOMDocument();

//do your stuff..

$finalHtml = '';
$bodyTag = $dom->documentElement->getElementsByTagName('body')->item(0);
foreach ($bodyTag->childNodes as $rootLevelTag) {
    $finalHtml .= $dom->saveHTML($rootLevelTag);
echo $finalHtml;

$bodyTag will contain your full processed HTML code without all those HTML wraps, except for the <body> tag, which is the root of your content. Then you can use a regex or a trim function to remove it from the final string (after saveHTML) or, like in the case above, iterate over all of its childen, saving their content into a temporary variable $finalHtml and return it (what i believe being safer).

Solution 15

I came across this topic to find a way to remove HTML wrapper. Using LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED | LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD works great, but I have a problem with utf-8. After much effort I found a solution. I post it bellow for anyone has the same problem.

The problem caused because of <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">

The problem:

$dom = new DOMDocument();
$dom->loadHTML('<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">' . $document, LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED | LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD);

Solution 1:

$dom->loadHTML(mb_convert_encoding($document, 'HTML-ENTITIES', 'UTF-8'), LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED | LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD);

Solution 2:


Solution 16

Adding the <meta> tag will trigger the fixing behavior of DOMDocument. The good part is that you don't need to add that tag at all. If you wan't to use an encoding of your choosing just pass it as a constructor argument.


$doc = new DOMDocument('1.0', 'UTF-8');
$node = $doc->createElement('div', 'Hello World');
echo $doc->saveHTML();


<div>Hello World</div>

Thanks to @Bart

Solution 17

I had this requirement, too, and liked the solution posted by Alex above. There are a couple of issues, though - if the <body> element contains more than one child element, the resulting document will only contain only the first child element of <body>, not all of them. Also, I needed the stripping to handle things conditionally - only when you had document with the HTML headings. So I refined it as follows. Instead of removing <body>, I transformed it to a <div>, and stripped out the XML declaration and <html>.

function strip_html_headings($html_doc)
    if (is_null($html_doc))
        // might be better to issue an exception, but we silently return

    // remove <!DOCTYPE 
    if (!is_null($html_doc->firstChild) &&
        $html_doc->firstChild->nodeType == XML_DOCUMENT_TYPE_NODE)

    if (!is_null($html_doc->firstChild) &&
        strtolower($html_doc->firstChild->tagName) == 'html' &&
        !is_null($html_doc->firstChild->firstChild) &&
        strtolower($html_doc->firstChild->firstChild->tagName) == 'body')
        // we have 'html/body' - replace both nodes with a single "div"        
        $div_node = $html_doc->createElement('div');

        // copy all the child nodes of 'body' to 'div'
        foreach ($html_doc->firstChild->firstChild->childNodes as $child)
            // deep copies each child node, with attributes
            $child = $html_doc->importNode($child, true);
            // adds node to 'div''

        // replace 'html/body' with 'div'

Solution 18

I have PHP 5.3 and the answers here did not work for me.

$doc->replaceChild($doc->firstChild->firstChild->firstChild, $doc->firstChild); replaced all the document with only the first child, I had many paragraphs and only the first was being saved, but the solution gave me a good starting point to write something without regex I left some comments and I am pretty sure this can be improved but if someone has the same problem as me it can be a good starting point.

function extractDOMContent($doc){
    # remove <!DOCTYPE

    // lets get all children inside the body tag
    foreach ($doc->firstChild->firstChild->childNodes as $k => $v) {
        if($k !== 0){ // don't store the first element since that one will be used to replace the html tag
            $doc->appendChild( clone($v) ); // appending element to the root so we can remove the first element and still have all the others
    // replace the body tag with the first children
    $doc->replaceChild($doc->firstChild->firstChild->firstChild, $doc->firstChild);
    return $doc;

Then we could use it like this:

$doc = new DOMDocument();
$doc->encoding = 'UTF-8';
$doc->loadHTML('<p>Some html here</p><p>And more html</p><p>and some html</p>');
$doc = extractDOMContent($doc);

Note that appendChild accepts a DOMNode so we do not need to create new elements, we can just reuse existing ones that implement DOMNodesuch as DOMElement this can be important to keep code "sane" when manipulating multiple HTML/XML documents

Solution 19

I face 3 problems with DOMDocument class.

1- This class loads html with ISO encoding and utf-8 characters not showing in output.

2- Even if we give LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED flag to loadHtml method, until our input html does not contain a root tag, it will not be parse correctly.

3- This class considers the HTML5 tags invalid.

So I've override this class to solve these problems and I changed some of the methods.

class DOMEditor extends DOMDocument
     * Temporary wrapper tag , It should be an unusual tag to avoid problems
    protected $tempRoot = 'temproot';

    public function __construct($version = '1.0', $encoding = 'UTF-8')
        //turn off html5 errors
        parent::__construct($version, $encoding);

    public function loadHTML($source, $options = LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED | LIBXML_HTML_NODEFDTD)
        // this is a bitwise check if LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED is set
        if ($options & LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED) {
            // it loads the content with a temporary wrapper tag and utf-8 encoding
            parent::loadHTML("<{$this->tempRoot}>" . mb_convert_encoding($source, 'HTML', 'UTF-8') . "</{$this->tempRoot}>", $options);
        } else {
            // it loads the content with utf-8 encoding and default options
            parent::loadHTML(mb_convert_encoding($source, 'HTML', 'UTF-8'), $options);

    private function unwrapTempRoot($output)
        if ($this->firstChild->nodeName === $this->tempRoot) {
            return substr($output, strlen($this->tempRoot) + 2, -strlen($this->tempRoot) - 4);
        return $output;

    public function saveHTML(DOMNode $node = null)
        $html = html_entity_decode(parent::saveHTML($node));
        if (is_null($node)) {
            $html = $this->unwrapTempRoot($html);
        return $html;

    public function saveXML(DOMNode $node = null, $options = null)
        if (is_null($node)) {
            return '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>' . PHP_EOL . $this->saveHTML();
        return parent::saveXML($node);


Now im using DOMEditor instead of DOMDocument and it has worked well for me so far

        $editor = new DOMEditor();
        // works like a charm!
        echo $editor->saveHTML();

Solution 20

My universal solution independent of how the HTML was loaded:

function getNodeHtml(DOMNode $node, $outer = true) {
    $doc = new DOMDocument();
    $node = $node instanceof DOMDocument ? $node->documentElement : $node;
    foreach(($outer ? array($node) : $node->childNodes) as $n) {
        $doc->appendChild($doc->importNode($n->cloneNode(true), true));
    return $doc->saveHTML();

Sample results:

  • <p>foo bar </p> <p>foo bar </p>
  • <p>foo</p><p>bar</p> <p>foo</p><p>bar</p>
  • <p>foo </p> <p> bar</p> <p>foo </p> <p> bar</p>
  • Hello! Hello!
  • <html><body><b>foo</b></body></html> <html><body><b>foo</b></body></html>

Solution 21

After reading lots of code about this topic, I ended up with the following solution that works very well for me and is easy to understand.

It fixes unwanted Doctype and <html> and <body> as well as encoding issues.

This code assumes that $htmlContent is encoded in utf-8.

$htmlContent = "<h1>This is a heading</h1><p>This is a paragraph</p>";

// 1.) Load the html
$dom = new DOMDocument();
$dom->loadHTML("<meta http-equiv='Content-Type' content='charset=utf-8' /><div>$htmlContent</div>");

// 2.) Do you logic
$dom->getElementsByTagName('h1')[0]->setAttribute('class', 'happy');

// 3.) Render the html
$wrapperNode = $dom->getElementsByTagName('div')[0];
$renderedHtml = $dom->saveHTML($wrapperNode);
// If you want to keep the wrapper div
echo $renderedHtml;
// Or remove the wrapper <div>
echo substr(trim($renderedHtml), 5, -6);

The key take aways are:

  • loadHTML assumes content to be iso-8859-1, if this is not the case, you need to add encoding information.
  • Wrap your html code in a div and render just this div, you can remove it with substring if you dont want to keep it.

Solution 22

I came upon this issue as well.

Unfortunately, I did not felt comfortably using any of the solutions provided in this thread, so I went to check one that would satisfy me.

Here's what I made up and it works without issues:

$domxpath = new \DOMXPath($domDocument);

/** @var \DOMNodeList $subset */
$subset = $domxpath->query('descendant-or-self::body/*');

$html = '';
foreach ($subset as $domElement) {
    /** @var $domElement \DOMElement */
    $html .= $domDocument->saveHTML($domElement);

In essense it works in similar way to most of the solutions provided here, but instead of doing manual labor it uses xpath selector to select all the elements within the body and concatenates their html code.

Solution 23

my server got php 5.3 and can't upgrade so those options


are not for me.

To solve this i tell to the SaveXML Function to print the Body element and then just replace the "body" with "div"

here is my code, hope it's helping someone:

$html = "your html here";
$tabContentDomDoc = new DOMDocument();
$tabContentDomDoc->loadHTML('<?xml encoding="UTF-8">'.$html);
$tabContentDomDoc->encoding = 'UTF-8';
$tabContentDomDocBody = $tabContentDomDoc->getElementsByTagName('body')->item(0);
    echo (str_replace("body","div",$tabContentDomDoc->saveXML($tabContentDomDocBody)));

the utf-8 is for Hebrew support.

Solution 24

Alex answer is correct, but might cause following error on empty nodes:

Argument 1 passed to DOMNode::removeChild() must be an instance of DOMNode

Here comes my little mod:

    $output = '';
    $doc = new DOMDocument();
    $doc->loadHTML($htmlString); //feed with html here

    if (isset($doc->firstChild)) {

        /* remove doctype */


        /* remove html and body */

        if (isset($doc->firstChild->firstChild->firstChild)) {
            $doc->replaceChild($doc->firstChild->firstChild->firstChild, $doc->firstChild);
            $output = trim($doc->saveHTML());
    return $output;

Adding the trim() is also a good idea to remove whitespace.

Solution 25

I maybe too late. But maybe somebody (like me) still has this issue.
So, none of the above worked for me. Because $dom->loadHTML also close open tags as well, not only add html and body tags.
So add a < div > element is not working for me, because I have sometimes like 3-4 unclosed div in the html piece.
My solution:

1.) Add marker to cut, then load the html piece

$html_piece = "[MARK]".$html_piece."[/MARK]";

2.) do whatever you want with the document
3.) save html

$new_html_piece = $dom->saveHTML();

4.) before you return it, remove < p >< /p > tags from marker, strangely it is only appear on [MARK] but not on [/MARK]...!?

$new_html_piece = preg_replace( "/<p[^>]*?>(\[MARK\]|\s)*?<\/p>/", "[MARK]" , $new_html_piece );

5.) remove everything before and after marker

$pattern_contents = '{\[MARK\](.*?)\[\/MARK\]}is';
if (preg_match($pattern_contents, $new_html_piece, $matches)) {
    $new_html_piece = $matches[1];

6.) return it

return $new_html_piece;

It would be a lot easier if LIBXML_HTML_NOIMPLIED worked for me. It schould, but it is not. PHP 5.4.17, libxml Version 2.7.8.
I find really strange, I use the HTML DOM parser and then, to fix this "thing" I have to use regex... The whole point was, not to use regex ;)

Solution 26

For anyone using Drupal, there's a built in function to do this:


Code for reference:

function filter_dom_serialize($dom_document) {
  $body_node = $dom_document->getElementsByTagName('body')->item(0);
  $body_content = '';

  if ($body_node !== NULL) {
    foreach ($body_node->getElementsByTagName('script') as $node) {
      filter_dom_serialize_escape_cdata_element($dom_document, $node);

    foreach ($body_node->getElementsByTagName('style') as $node) {
      filter_dom_serialize_escape_cdata_element($dom_document, $node, '/*', '*/');

    foreach ($body_node->childNodes as $child_node) {
      $body_content .= $dom_document->saveXML($child_node);
    return preg_replace('|<([^> ]*)/>|i', '<$1 />', $body_content);
  else {
    return $body_content;

Solution 27

You can use tidy with show-body-only:

$tidy = new tidy();
$htmlBody = $tidy->repairString($html, [
  'indent' =>  true,
  'output-xhtml' => true,
  'show-body-only' => true
], 'utf8');

But, remeber: tidy remove some tags like Font Awesome icons: Problems Indenting HTML(5) with PHP

Solution 28

This is the solution that helped me:

$content = str_replace(array('<html>','</html>') , '' , $doc->saveHTML());

Solution 29

#remove doctype tag

#remove html & body tags
$html = $doc->getElementsByTagName('html')[0];
$body = $html->getElementsByTagName('body')[0];
foreach($body->childNodes as $child) {

Solution 30

This library makes it simple to traverse / modify the DOM and also takes care of removing the doctype / html wrappers for you: