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OpenXML + FlowDocument = OpenFlowDocument?

, 9 Apr 2008 CPOL
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An article on how to render a Word document in a WPF FlowDocument control by parsing the OpenXML WordML using XLINQ


OpenXML is a new standard used by all of Microsoft's new Office suites (Office 2007)! Because it is an open standard and based on XML, we can easily parse documents created with these products. The topic of this article will be how to parse a Word document (using XLINQ) and then render the document in a WPF control called the FlowDocument!

Parsing an OpenXML Document using XLINQ


The first problem is to extract or unpack the *.docx file into its containing *.xml files.

Package package = Package.Open(filename);
Uri documentUri = new Uri("/word/document.xml", UriKind.Relative);
PackagePart documentPart = package.GetPart(documentUri);
XElement wordDoc = XElement.Load(new StreamReader(documentPart.GetStream()));

The snippet above opens a Word document, extracts the document.xml into an XElement.

Using XLINQ to Get All the Paragraphs

All Word documents require the WordML namespace:

XNamespace w =;

Now we can make a simple XLINQ query to get all the paragraphs (please note: to keep this simple, I am only looking at the paragraphs, I ignore images, drawings, tables, etc.).

var paragraphs = from p in wordDoc.Descendants(w + "p")
                 select p;

Next, we iterate over the collection of paragraphs and display them in a FlowDocument!


Sacha has a nice article on the basics of FlowDocuments available here!

foreach (var p in paragraphs)
    var style = from s in p.Descendants(w + "pPr")
                select s;

    var font = (from f in style.Descendants(w + "rFonts")
                select f.FirstAttribute).FirstOrDefault();
    var size = (from s in style.Descendants(w + "sz")
                select s.FirstAttribute).FirstOrDefault();

    Paragraph par = new Paragraph();
    Run r = new Run(p.Value);
    if (font != null)
        FontFamilyConverter converter = new FontFamilyConverter();
        r.FontFamily = (FontFamily)converter.ConvertFrom(font.Value);
    if (size != null)
        r.FontSize = double.Parse(size.Value);


For each paragraph, I check if it has a font family or size explicitly set. I then create a new Paragraph and add a Run to its Inlines collection (I also change the font family and size if available). I then add the Paragraph to my FlowDocument!

And that is it!

All that is left now is to find a cool way to extend the normal FlowDocument to support Word document? You can sub-class the FlowDocument... I decided to rather provide it as an extension method!

To load a Word document into a flow document, you first create a FlowDocumentViewer (I created it in XAML):

<FlowDocumentPageViewer x:Name="flowDocViewer" Zoom="80" />

And load the Word document...

FlowDocument flowDoc = new FlowDocument();
flowDocViewer.Document = flowDoc;

I created a simple Word document with all the WPF Disciples bios. Here is how it looks in a FlowDocument:


Simple and easy...

If you like the article, please vote for it and also visit my blog:


  • 9th April, 2008: Initial post


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


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Comments and Discussions

Questionthe picture in docx can not show? Pinmemberchicky_china18-Apr-14 16:23 
QuestionThat's Great! PinmemberMember 124954613-Jan-13 6:21 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembervishal katoch4-Dec-12 20:50 
GeneralImage support PinmemberMuneer Safi2-Jan-10 23:11 
GeneralCan't open docx PinmemberMember 426260613-Sep-09 6:39 
GeneralRe: Can't open docx Pinmemberrobmar15-Oct-09 4:47 
GeneralRe: Can't open docx PinmemberJustBeFree11-Jan-10 3:52 
GeneralAdding Image & table Pinmemberyrianto25-Sep-08 21:41 
GeneralRe: Adding Image & table PinmemberJohnny Glenn25-Mar-12 23:16 
GeneralNice PinmvpKarl Shifflett25-Apr-08 10:05 
GeneralRe: Nice Pinmemberrudigrobler28-Apr-08 23:00 

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