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Simplified .NET Printing in C#

, 12 Jan 2005
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Uses a RichtextBox to cache our text for printing.

Introduction

This is a .NET approach to Simplified Printing in which, we are going to use a RichTextBox to cache all of our text for printing in printDocument.

Sample screenshot

RichTextBox is our "TextCache"

When I print a file, for example, using a RichTextBox, and printDocument, I drag a richTextBox onto our Windows Form, and then I place the control where it can be hidden. RichTextBox's visible property can be set to false, and its physical dimensions on the form can be made very small. We can write to this control in a number of ways. The RichTextBox.LoadFile will copy a text file to this control, or I can pass a string to the RichTextBox.Text property, and there after use the AppendText method at any point in the code. If I am required to loop through a file, I can write a record to the control, using AppendText at every iteration. I can write literals to the control whenever necessary.

If I print a report ,for example, I write the date and header information at the top of the document, and then use richTextBox.AppendText any time I add text to the report. This greatly simplifies the printing process, and gives the developer an intuitive feel for printing in the .NET environment.

The rest of this Print method is fairly straightforward, and is available from any textbook, or "Microsoft Whitepapers". I have used a Main Menu at the top of the Windows Form with sub menu items as "PageSetup", "PrintPreview", and "Print". The "Print_Click" fires the "OnBeginPrint", and the "OnPrintPage" events. Below is some of the sample codes.

// Form Load
private void Form1_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
   // Write to richTextBox
   richTextBox1.Text = "                               " + 
   DateTime.Now.Month + "/" + DateTime.Now.Day + "/" + 
   DateTime.Now.Year + "\r\n\r\n";
   richTextBox1.AppendText("This is a greatly simplified Print " + 
   "Document Method\r\n\r\n");
   richTextBox1.AppendText("We can write text to a richTextBox, " + 
   "or use Append Text, " + "\r\n" + "or Concatenate a String, and " + 
   "write that textBox. The " + "\r\n" + "richTextBox does not " + 
   "even have to be visible. " + "\r\n\r\n" + "Because we use a " + 
   "richTextBox it's physical dimensions are " + "\r\n" +
   "irrelevant. We can place it anywhere on our form, and set the " + 
   "\r\n" + "Visible Property to false.\r\n\r\n");
   richTextBox1.AppendText("This is the document we will print. The " + 
   "rich TextBox serves " + "\r\n" + "as a Cache for our Report, " +
   "or any other text we wish to print.\r\n\r\n");
   richTextBox1.AppendText("I have also included Print Setup " +
   "and Print Preview. ");
}
// Print Event
private void miPrint_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
    if (printDialog1.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)
    {
         printDocument1.Print();
    }
}
        
// OnBeginPrint 
private void OnBeginPrint(object sender, 
                  System.Drawing.Printing.PrintEventArgs e)
{
    char[] param = {'\n'};

    if (printDialog1.PrinterSettings.PrintRange == PrintRange.Selection)
    {
         lines = richTextBox1.SelectedText.Split(param);
    }
    else
    {
         lines = richTextBox1.Text.Split(param);
    }
            
    int i = 0;
    char[] trimParam = {'\r'};
    foreach (string s in lines)
    {
         lines[i++] = s.TrimEnd(trimParam);
    }
}
// OnPrintPage
private void OnPrintPage(object sender, 
                           System.Drawing.Printing.PrintPageEventArgs e)
{
    int x = e.MarginBounds.Left;
    int y = e.MarginBounds.Top;
    Brush brush = new SolidBrush(richTextBox1.ForeColor);
            
    while (linesPrinted < lines.Length)
    {
    e.Graphics.DrawString (lines[linesPrinted++],
         richTextBox1.Font, brush, x, y);
    y += 15;
    if (y >= e.MarginBounds.Bottom)
    {
         e.HasMorePages = true;
         return;
    }
    else
    }
         e.HasMorePages = false;
    }
  }
}
// Page Setup
private void miSetup_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
     // Call Dialog Box
     pageSetupDialog1.ShowDialog();
}
// Print Preview
private void miPreview_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
     // Call Dialog Box
     printPreviewDialog1.ShowDialog();
    
}

Font and Color Dialog Boxes

When I am printing a file, or writing a report, I generally use the RichTextBox properties to set the Font Size and Style at design time. I leave the fontDialogBox, and the colorDialogBox for Windows Graphics. The fontDialogBox does not update the printPreviewDialogBox in .NET version 7.0, but then there are later versions available.

Summary

This is an easy approach to printing in .NET. Printing files, or even reports, is a breeze, and is an enjoyable task.

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Dave Brighton
Web Developer
United States United States
I studied Fortran IV in HighSchool where we had 2 keypunch machines, and access to an IBM 1100 at the Community College. We ran our programs batch, and compiled our programs on paper tape.
 
Years later when PC's became affordable, I gave programming another shot. This time I studied RPG with the IBM AS-400 computer. I could access the College Computer with Emulator Software( Mocha Soft MW 5250 ) and my home PC.
 
C++ came later, then VB-6, C#.Net, and Managed C++. I am currently studying VB.Net

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 2 PinmemberMember 97945766-Jun-14 6:01 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermanoj kumar choubey26-Feb-12 21:36 
BugTypo error PinmemberMacumbero7-Nov-11 5:27 
QuestionFont Size PinmemberBW6426-Sep-11 3:30 
GeneralMy vote of 2 PinmemberFilippoCSM9-Jan-11 14:59 
Generalsource Code For All PinmemberAliroosta200813-Apr-10 12:32 
GeneralThank You! PinmemberA.Maru3-Feb-10 2:31 
GeneralLong lines PinmemberJohnny J.13-Sep-09 22:22 
Generalimage in RTF Pinmemberlaziale14-Sep-08 22:37 
GeneralRe: image in RTF PinmemberAnt210017-Jul-11 12:56 
Generala similar project PinmemberBenetz11-Sep-08 2:56 
GeneralDraw a line Pinmemberctrell39-Jul-08 10:46 
Generalprinting problem PinmemberNeetu Maheshwari19-Mar-08 20:55 
Generaljustification of text in rectangle while printing.... Pinmemberkiran gaaaaaaaaaaa10-Feb-08 22:36 
GeneralRe: justification of text in rectangle while printing.... Pinmembervinod minhas17-Feb-08 6:51 
GeneralHelp! Richtextbox giving 'System.NullReferenceException' Pinmemberdvo_198826-Sep-07 8:20 
GeneralRe: Help! Richtextbox giving 'System.NullReferenceException' PinmemberPortatofe2-Oct-08 8:34 
GeneralWant to use Dot Matrix printer PinmemberAbdul Basir21-Jul-07 0:26 
GeneralPlease update the sample and put necessary files Pinmemberwinheart14-Mar-07 2:29 
GeneralPrintig with C# Pinmembergjuanzz22-Dec-06 4:43 
QuestionDoes it print all lines? PinmemberCharuT25-Jan-07 16:13 
AnswerRe: Does it print all lines? Pinmembergjuanzz6-Feb-07 6:39 
GeneralRe: Does it print all lines? PinmemberCodeWatch27-Feb-07 20:59 
Generalprinting data in a richtextbox Pinmembershobinmathew5-May-06 9:23 
QuestionRe: printing data in a richtextbox PinmemberSreenivas00327-Nov-07 21:15 

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