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Creating PDF Documents in ASP.NET

, 26 Sep 2007
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How to create PDF documents in ASP.NET.

Screenshot - 081_hello_pdf.jpg

Introduction

This short article explains how to create PDF documents from ASP.NET web pages using this free library: http://sourceforge.net/projects/itextsharp/.

The code

First of all, I will create a simple "Hello PDF". Next, I will create a more complex PDF document with tables. To start creating PDF documents, you need to download the iTextSharp library from http://sourceforge.net/projects/itextsharp/ and reference it in your project. The PDF documents are created "on the fly" by the web page "ShowPDF.aspx". This page also does a "Response.Redirect" to the created PDF. We will first import the required namespaces:

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports iTextSharp.text
Imports iTextSharp.text.pdf

Next, in the Page_Load event, we find out which document was requested by the user:

Partial Class ShowPDF
   Inherits System.Web.UI.Page
   
   Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, _
             ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
      If Request.QueryString("id") = 1 Then
         ShowHello()
       Else
         ShowTable()
       End If
   End Sub
End Class

The ShowHello function creates a simple document with just one string: "Hello World", and then redirects the user to the newly created document:

Sub ShowHello()
   Dim doc As Document = New Document
   PdfWriter.GetInstance(doc, New FileStream(Request.PhysicalApplicationPath + _
                         "\1.pdf", FileMode.Create))
   doc.Open()
   doc.Add(New Paragraph("Hello World"))
   doc.Close()
   Response.Redirect("~/1.pdf")
End Sub

A more complex example

The function ShowTable is slightly more complex. It also creates a PDF document and redirects the user to it:

Sub ShowTable()
   Dim doc As Document = New Document
   PdfWriter.GetInstance(doc, New FileStream(Request.PhysicalApplicationPath + _
                         "\2.pdf", FileMode.Create))
   doc.Open()
   Dim table As Table = New Table(3)
   table.BorderWidth = 1
   table.BorderColor = New Color(0, 0, 255)
   table.Padding = 3
   table.Spacing = 1
   Dim cell As Cell = New Cell("header")
   cell.Header = True
   cell.Colspan = 3
   table.AddCell(cell)
   cell = New Cell("example cell with colspan 1 and rowspan 2")
   cell.Rowspan = 2
   cell.BorderColor = New Color(255, 0, 0)
   table.AddCell(cell)
   table.AddCell("1.1")
   table.AddCell("2.1")
   table.AddCell("1.2")
   table.AddCell("2.2")
   table.AddCell("cell test1")
   cell = New Cell("big cell")
   cell.Rowspan = 2
   cell.Colspan = 2
   cell.HorizontalAlignment = Element.ALIGN_CENTER
   cell.VerticalAlignment = Element.ALIGN_MIDDLE
   cell.BackgroundColor = New Color(192, 192, 192)
   table.AddCell(cell)
   table.AddCell("cell test2")
   doc.Add(table)
   doc.Close()
   Response.Redirect("~/2.pdf")
End Sub

Using the iTextSharp library (http://sourceforge.net/projects/itextsharp/) makes it very easy to create PDF documents from web applications.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

fstrahberger
Web Developer
Germany Germany
Florian works as consultant for change- and configuration management for about 7 years. In this environment he is often forced to work with unix, perl and shell scripts.
 
For more information about change- and configuration management (espacially Serena Dimensions) visit: www.venco.de
 
For video tutorials about asp.net, ajax, gridviews, ... (in german) visit: www.siore.com

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionImages? PinmemberJohnny J.4-Mar-08 23:42 
AnswerRe: Images? PinmemberJohnny J.4-Mar-08 23:47 
AnswerRe: Images? Pinmemberfstrahberger8-Mar-08 13:14 
QuestionSecurity Error when running in Production Pinmemberdev_4u200013-Jan-08 21:54 
GeneralRe: Security Error when running in Production Pinmemberfstrahberger8-Mar-08 13:48 
GeneralFont PinsussDana6-Dec-07 4:57 
Questionwhere did you get the dll Pinmemberdeuce415-Oct-07 15:50 
AnswerRe: where did you get the dll Pinmemberfstrahberger15-Oct-07 21:41 
Thanks for your comment.
 
Here is the direct link for the dll: [Download the dll^]
GeneralURL to PDF Example PinmemberJim Mac5-Oct-07 8:02 
GeneralThank you PinmemberPhorozan19803-Oct-07 1:09 
GeneralRe: Thank you Pinmemberfstrahberger3-Oct-07 20:56 
Questioncan i read pdf with this library? Pinmemberlak-b28-Sep-07 5:00 
AnswerRe: can i read pdf with this library? PinmemberT-Star1-Oct-07 13:10 
GeneralGreat place to get started PinmemberSajjitha Gunawardana27-Sep-07 5:01 
GeneralGreat Pinmemberrajantawate1(http//www.jhatak.com)27-Sep-07 4:19 
GeneralURL Pinmemberinetfly12327-Sep-07 2:21 
GeneralRe: URL Pinmemberfelipesabino30-Sep-07 4:06 
GeneralRe: URL PinmemberRatface231-Oct-07 9:18 
GeneralRe: URL Pinmemberfstrahberger1-Oct-07 22:20 
AnswerRe: URL Pinmemberexistenz_1-Oct-07 11:51 

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