Property List XML Tags

When property lists convert a collection of Core Foundation objects into an XML property list, it wraps the property list using the document type tag <plist>. The other tags used for the Core Foundation data types are listed in Table 1.

The XML data format is documented here strictly for help in understanding property lists and as a debugging aid. These tags may change in future releases so you shouldn’t rely on them directly.

When encoding the contents of a CFDictionary object, each member is encoded by placing the dictionary key in a <key> tag and immediately following it with the corresponding value in the appropriate tag from Table 1. See Saving and Restoring Property Lists for an example XML data generated from a property list.

Table 1  Core Foundation Types with XML Equivalents

CF type

XML tag




<real> or <integer>




<true/> or <false/>