You are viewing guidance that refers to, or is for Legacy Landonline.

Impact of use of illegal characters in LandXML files

Illegal characters are other than alphanumeric characters that LandXML will not accept. For example, degree symbols (°) and superscript characters (m2).

If illegal characters are used in a LandXML file, or within Landonline, then there are two possible scenarios where Landonline will not allow the plan to be worked.
  1. If illegal characters are used in a LandXML file, it fails to import and the following message will appear


    Example of illegal character message
  2. If illegal characters are used in plan generation, in the layout sheets, and the user closes down and tries to re-open the layout sheets the following error message will occur


    Example of re-open error message

The LandXML schema requires the following symbols to be catered for by Landonline, by changing the way the symbol is displayed on extract in the LandXML file:

  • & ampersand is catered for by using &
  • “ ” words inside quotations in a free text field are catered for by using ""
  • < less than bracket is catered for by using &lt;
  • > greater than bracket is catered for by using &gt;
  • 'minutes' are catered for by &apos
  • 'seconds' are catered for by &quot

If Landonline has changed the symbol to adhere to LandXML schema standards, the same change is required for import. These characters have specific meanings/tasks and need to be changed accordingly to be interpreted correctly by Landonline in the mark description field.

Legal Characters that can be used:

The following are catered for by Landonline on extract and import and can also be catered for in the survey software:

  • ? question marks
  • + plus
  • - minus
  • / forward slash
  • \ back slash

The forward and back slash have specific meanings and tasks but do not need to be changed accordingly to be interpreted correctly by Landonline when used in the mark description field.

Some of the characters below may have been used by Landonline when data has been entered through the conversion process or manual plan capture. They cannot be used in a LandXML file and may not be catered for by survey software. Manual edits of the LandXML extracted file may be required to be able to use the LandXML file in survey software. It is preferable that the symbol is not re-introduced into Landonline by manually entering using shortcut keys.

Illegal Characters that must not be used:

The following symbols are not catered for by Landonline and will fail import:

  • ° deg
  • ↑ arrow
  • superscript
  • subscript


To avoid the above error messages, users should not use the 'Alt' quick keys to create any symbols when either creating their plans in 3rd party software or when in plan generation, layout sheets.

The most common errors are the use of the degree symbol ° and the metre squared symbol & m².

Rule of thumb

In plan layout, if it's not there, don't add it.

If user added text is being used to add bearings, distances or areas to the layout sheets, then check to see if the wrong diagram has been selected to define the required information.

If illegal characters are used for degree or metre square symbols and the user attempts to save their layout sheets, a message appears prompting the user to remove the invalid characters. The layout sheets cannot be saved if invalid characters are used.