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Document Preview Application

, 2 Jul 2009
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An application to preview your documents and files such as PDF, Doc, JPG, PPT, XSL.

Introduction

Document Preview is an application that allows users to preview files such as PDF, Doc, XLS, JPG, MP3, AVI while browsing with an interface like Windows Explorer but without opening an extra application. It also allows users to move, copy, and delete folders or files.

The idea to develop this software came to my mind while trying to find a PDF document that contained specific information. My goal was to develop this application with techniques like Abstract Classes, Inheritance, Interfaces, and LINQ, and provide community samples about usages of these techniques.

Background

Here are some controls that I used to provide Preview functionality.

Preview Type File Types Components and Controls Used Execution Principle
Excel Preview *.Xlsx, *.Xls WebBrowser and Excel Interoperability The principle is opening the document with interoperability and saving it under Temporary Internet Files as HTML, displaying that HTML with the WebBrowser control.
HTML Preview *.Html, *.Htm WebBrowser The principle is assigning path to the URL property of the WebBrowser control.
Image Preview *.Jpeg, *.Jpg, *.Tif, *.Gif, *.Bmp, *.Png PictureBox The principle is assigning an Image to the Image property of the PictureBox control.
Media Preview *.Mp3, *.Wav, *.Wma, *.Mid, *.Avi, *.Mpg, *.Wmv AxWMPLib.AxWindowsMediaPlayer The principle is adding a file's path to the playlist and executing the Play command of the WindowsMediaPlayer control.
PDF Preview *.Pdf AxAcroPDFLib.AxAcroPDF The principle is assigning a file's path to the src property of the control.
Power Point Preview *.Pptx, *.Ppt, *.Ppsx, *.Pps WebBrowser and PowerPoint Interoperability The principle is opening the document with interoperability and saving it under Temporary Internet Files as HTML, and displaying that HTML with the WebBrowser control.
Text Preview *.Txt, *.Rtf RichTextBox The principle is simply reading the contents of a text document with StreamReader and then assigning the content to the Text property of a RichTextBox.
Word Preview *.Docx, *.Doc WebBrowser and Word Interoperability The principle is opening the document with interoperability and saving it under Temporary Internet Files as HTML, and displaying that HTML with the WebBrowser control.

Using the Code

As I mentioned, all actions should derive from the Action abstract class. The code for the Action class can be found below. The most important point is that every child class should implement the DoAction method differently. The code of action should be written in this method.

public abstract class Action
{
    public abstract void DoAction(string path, FileType parFileType, frmMain frm);
    public void ShowError(string errorMessage)
    {
        MessageBox.Show(errorMessage,"Error", 
                   MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error);
    }
    public bool FileExists(string path)
    {
        if (File.Exists(path))
        {
            return true;
        }
        else
        {
            ShowError("File is not accessable");
            return false;
        }
    }
    public bool DirectoryExists(string path)
    {
        if (Directory.Exists(path))
        {
            return true;
        }
        else
        {
            ShowError("Directory is not accessable");
            return false;
        }
    }
}

All preview controls should implement the IPreview interface; this interface contains the Preview method that should be implemented. The execution principle code for the preview controls should be written in this method.

public interface IPreview
{
    void Preview(string path);
}

Here, I provide a sample Preview Action class that inherits the Action class.

[ActionAttributes(ActionName ="Preview", IsDefaultAction =true, 
   ActionsGroupTypes =new GroupTypes[] { GroupTypes.File })]
public class Preview : DocExp.AbstractClasses.Action
{
    public override void DoAction(string path, FileType parFileType, frmMain frm)
    {
        try
        {
            if (FileExists(path))
            {
                if (parFileType.PreviewType ==null)
                {
                    ShowError("Preview not available");
                }
                else
                {
                    Type t = parFileType.PreviewType;
                    SplitContainer sc=(SplitContainer)frm.Controls.Find("sc",true)[0];
                    Panel pnl=(Panel)sc.Panel2.Controls.Find("pnlPreview",true)[0];
                    if (pnl.Controls.Count > 0)
                    {
                        Control pOld = pnl.Controls[0];
                        pOld.Dispose();
                    }
                    pnl.Controls.Clear();
                    sc.Panel2Collapsed = false;
                    IPreview p = (IPreview)Activator.CreateInstance(t);
                    pnl.Controls.Add((Control)p);
                    ((Control)p).Dock =DockStyle.Fill;
                    p.Preview(path);
                    frm.SetPreviewPanelButtonsVisibility();
                }
            }
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            ShowError("An error occured while loading preview control");
            frm.SetPreviewPanelButtonsVisibility();
        }
    }
}

Here is the code that I used to add file types as search criteria, and the actions as context menu items:

fileTypes.Add(new FileType("PDF Files", "*.Pdf", 
              typeof(PdfPreview), pdfFileTypeGroup));
fileTypes.Add(new FileType("JPG Files", "*.Jpg", 
              typeof(ImagePreview), imageFileTypeGroup));
fileTypes.Add(new FileType("JPEG Files", "*.Jpeg", 
              typeof(ImagePreview), imageFileTypeGroup));
fileTypes.Add(new FileType("TIFF Files", "*.Tif", 
              typeof(ImagePreview), imageFileTypeGroup));
fileTypes.Add(new FileType("GIF Files", "*.Gif", 
              typeof(ImagePreview), imageFileTypeGroup));
fileTypes.Add(new FileType("BMP Files", "*.Bmp", 
              typeof(ImagePreview), imageFileTypeGroup));
fileTypes.Add(new FileType("PNG Files", "*.Png", 
              typeof(ImagePreview), imageFileTypeGroup));
fileTypes.Add(new FileType("MP3 Files", "*.Mp3", 
              typeof(MediaPreview), musicFileTypeGroup));
......

           
foreach (Type t in System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetTypes())
{
    if (t.BaseType == typeof(DocExp.AbstractClasses.Action))
    {
        string actionName = ((ActionAttributes)
          t.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(ActionAttributes), true)[0]).ActionName;
        bool isDefault = ((ActionAttributes)
          t.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(ActionAttributes),true)[0]).IsDefaultAction;
        GroupTypes[] gt = ((ActionAttributes)
          t.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(ActionAttributes),true)[0]).ActionsGroupTypes;
        ActionType at = new ActionType(actionName, t, isDefault);
        foreach (GroupTypes g in gt)
        {
            at.ActionsGroupTypes.Add(g);
        }
        actionTypes.Add(at);
    }
}

Contact

For bug reports and suggestions, feel free to contact me at oztamer@hotmail.com.

License

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

About the Author

Tamer Oz
Team Leader
Turkey Turkey
Tamer Oz is a Microsoft MVP and works as Assistant Unit Manager.
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionHad a bad time on the upgrade to vs2012 PinmemberDanielBar20-Oct-13 23:19 
QuestionReg word search in this document preview tool Pinmemberkumaran m.3-Sep-12 22:55 
QuestionWorking Executable PinmemberColby Seider25-Apr-12 3:52 
Does anyone have a working executable for this wonderful utility?
 
Thanks,
 
Colby
QuestionHow to show icon image size more bigger. [modified] PinmemberRakesh Bhavsar16-Mar-12 1:11 
GeneralThanks PinmemberMember 794631528-Feb-12 9:47 
Generalthhnx Pinmemberabjain28-Feb-12 9:46 
Questionhello I Have Question, about a Exception PinmemberMember 469706821-Mar-11 16:25 
AnswerRe: hello I Have Question, about a Exception PinmemberTamer Oz21-Mar-11 20:55 
GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmemberNishantha Hevavitharana17-Dec-10 14:06 
Generalcool app! Pinmember~Dim~28-Sep-10 5:04 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberAbu Bakr El-seddiq16-Apr-10 5:41 
QuestionCannot open source with MS Visual Studio 2005 PinmemberMember 28715804-Apr-10 8:32 
AnswerRe: Cannot open source with MS Visual Studio 2005 PinmemberTamer Oz4-Apr-10 19:52 
QuestionTakes a long time Pinmembermiridfd19-Dec-09 13:16 
GeneralPDF viewer runs out of memory PinmemberRick Hansen6-Jul-09 10:37 
GeneralRe: PDF viewer runs out of memory PinmemberTamer Oz6-Jul-09 20:01 

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