Click here to Skip to main content
Click here to Skip to main content

Tagged as

Go to top

How to Silently Print PDFs using Adobe Reader and C#

, 28 May 2013
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
Silently print PDFs.

Introduction

This tip is merely to show a way in which you can launch Adobe and send a PDF straight to the printer in one fail swoop without using a third party solution (PdfSharp/iTextSharp...etc...).

Background 

After reviewing some of Adobe's documentation on command line switches, I was able to throw together a bit of code that would send a PDF straight to the printer without any user interaction. Attempting to send a post script straight to the printer can get nasty/complicated so this is meant to be an easy solution on how to take a newly created PDF/existing PDF from your app and send it directly to the printer.

The Code Explained  

The code below is used in a console application. I know it could be easily incorporated into any GUI based desktop application as well.

Usage

  1. Print all PDFs from a defined directory:
  2. string[] files = Directory.GetFiles(@"c:\temp");
    foreach (string file in files.Where(file => file.ToUpper().Contains(".PDF")))
    {
         Pdf.PrintPDFs(file);
    }
  3. Simply print the PDF file:
  4. Pdf.PrintPDFs(filename); 

Explained: 

I am going to make an assumption that the basics of using the Process class are understood. 

//Define location of adobe reader/command line switches to launch adobe in "print" mode
proc.StartInfo.FileName = @"C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe";
proc.StartInfo.Arguments = String.Format(@"/p /h {0}", pdfFileName);
proc.StartInfo.UseShellExecute = false;
proc.StartInfo.CreateNoWindow = true;   
  1. proc.StartInfo.FileName
  2. The value should be the absolute path to your Adobe Reader instance (should work with Acrobat as well). As far as I can tell in my research, most of the current versions of Adobe Reader should support the command line switches

  3. proc.StartInfo.Arguments
  4. These are your command line switches to be applied to Adobe Reader:

    • /p <filename>    => means open and go straight to print dialog
    • /h    => open adobe reader as a minimized window
  5. KillAdobe("AcroRd32");
  6. Occasionally in my usage of this code, Adobe Reader likes to stick around for whatever reason. I guess it appears proc.Close() does not have any affect on the reader, my thinking is that this is due to it trying to close in the middle of printing a file...however my brute force way to make sure the reader doesn't linger is to kill it.

So you grab all the processes that start with your process name (in our case AcroRdr32) and call the .Kill method for the process.

foreach (Process clsProcess in Process.GetProcesses().Where(
          clsProcess => clsProcess.ProcessName.StartsWith(name)))
{
     clsProcess.Kill();
     return true;
}

Code in its Entirety

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.IO;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

namespace PdfPrinter
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string[] files = Directory.GetFiles(@"c:\temp");
            foreach (string file in files.Where(
                        file => file.ToUpper().Contains(".PDF")))
            {
                 Pdf.PrintPDFs(file);
            } 
        }
    }//END Class

    public class Pdf
    {
        public static Boolean PrintPDFs(string pdfFileName)
        {
            try
            {
                Process proc = new Process();
                proc.StartInfo.WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden;
                proc.StartInfo.Verb = "print";

                //Define location of adobe reader/command line
                //switches to launch adobe in "print" mode
                proc.StartInfo.FileName = 
                  @"C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Reader 11.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe";
                proc.StartInfo.Arguments = String.Format(@"/p /h {0}", pdfFileName);
                proc.StartInfo.UseShellExecute = false;
                proc.StartInfo.CreateNoWindow = true;

                proc.Start();
                proc.StartInfo.WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden;
                if (proc.HasExited == false)
                {
                    proc.WaitForExit(10000);
                }

                proc.EnableRaisingEvents = true;

                proc.Close();
                KillAdobe("AcroRd32");
                return true;
            }
            catch
            {
                return false;
            }
        }

        //For whatever reason, sometimes adobe likes to be a stage 5 clinger.
        //So here we kill it with fire.
        private static bool KillAdobe(string name)
        {
            foreach (Process clsProcess in Process.GetProcesses().Where(
                         clsProcess => clsProcess.ProcessName.StartsWith(name)))
            {
                 clsProcess.Kill();
                 return true;
            }
            return false;
        }
    }//END Class
}//END Namespace

Points of Interest

This is my first article/tip on CodeProject so I appreciate any feedback on how to improve this.

History 

  • 05/27/2013 - Published article.
  • 05/27/2013 - Fixed minor code sample issue.

License

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

Share

About the Author

David_Wimbley
Software Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
SuggestionBeware of silent printing with Adobe Reader. PinmemberZamirF13-Jun-14 8:05 
QuestionCan't get any of these to work or even pop an Adobe Window [modified] PinmemberMember 252639329-May-14 4:25 
AnswerRe: Can't get any of these to work or even pop an Adobe Window PinmemberDavid_Wimbley30-May-14 6:30 
SuggestionKill Adobe Reader based on proc.MainWindowTitle [modified] PinmemberChinyong Lim22-Mar-14 8:18 
QuestionAcrobat Window Popup? Pinmemberdanteprax7-Mar-14 5:11 
QuestionHow to print PDF without Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pinmembermike@fcoder.com15-Feb-14 21:59 
AnswerRe: How to print PDF without Adobe Reader or Acrobat PinmemberMember 104611089-Mar-14 12:38 
QuestionSet the desired printer PinmemberMember 86412729-Jan-14 18:51 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberOleg A.Lukin27-May-13 19:22 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinprofessionalDavid_Wimbley28-May-13 3:27 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberLatheesan1-Jul-13 0:25 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberChiron H9-Sep-13 0:21 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberMember 1037933820-Nov-13 10:23 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberChiron H20-Nov-13 21:16 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

| Advertise | Privacy | Mobile
Web04 | 2.8.140926.1 | Last Updated 28 May 2013
Article Copyright 2013 by David_Wimbley
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2014
Terms of Service
Layout: fixed | fluid