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PDF creation using C# (and Office) from RTF/DOC files

, 25 Feb 2004
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Converts RTF, DOC to PDF; sample is a part of a big Project that converts nearly everything, parts can be used to convert html, bmp ,Lotus 1-2-3 documents...


Some time ago I had to write a C# application that was able to convert documents into various formats. The hardest part was to find a way to create PDF files without the use of any third party products. Here is a solution.


The source you see is out of a larger conversion-application. It is a "stand alone" projects, for educational use and describes a possible way of converting documents. I took me a lot of work to figure this out, so please don't copy the code; drop me a line if you wish to use a part of it. My comments are written in German, I had no time to build a proper release, sorry for that.

Using the code

The code listed below describes the main part of the program. I will give you a brief look, at the idea behind. Crystal reports (the .NET reporting system) is able to create PDF files. The only problem is it can only create PDF files out of a database. It requires an ole objects in the Database. But if you have a (very) close look at CR (IDA Smile | :) ) you will find out that it is able to process, bmp, emf, and wmf. So we only have to insert this kind of data in to a table (as blob) and hand it over to CR. Emf can be created by using PowerPoint, PPT can read html, WinWord can create html. The only problem left is the organization of our pages, we have to split the document manually, I did this by using a Richtextbox.

Now that we know the Way we can convert a rtf into a PDF:

  1. We load the rtf into a richtextbox.
  2. We split in into parts. every part is loaded into WinWord, saved as html, the WinWord header is being destroyed, the html page is loaded into PowerPoint and saved as emf. The emf file is written into a Access database as a blob object.
  3. Crystal Reports gets a rpt "template" the database the report is being created and saved as PDF.

I tried to use Ole32 functions, but I didn't find a way to accomplish this, if you know a way in C#.NET please let me know.

   private static void DoRTF2ALL(
      CrystalDecisions.Shared.ExportFormatType outTp)
      int lastsplit = 0;
      int nextsplit = 0;
      int pageheight= 650;  //"Länge" unserer Seite
      int pcount= 1;
      Point xx;
      object Unknown =Type.Missing;
      Word.Application newApp;
      PowerPoint.Application  app;
      PowerPoint.Presentation ppp;
      string[] TempEnt;

      RichTextBox rtf = new RichTextBox();
      rtf.Height=25000;// nur page size required
      rtf.Width=4048;// Solle reichen
      rtf.LoadFile(scrfile, RichTextBoxStreamType.RichText);
      nCoreHlp.EmptyDB(WorkDir + "\\" + Database);
      while ((lastsplit+1)<rtf.Text.Length) ////start page split

        // die ersten paar seiten wegschneiden
        rtf.SelectionStart = 0;
        rtf.SelectionLength =lastsplit;
        for (int r=0;r<=rtf.Text.Length;r++) ////parse through whole text
          xx = rtf.GetPositionFromCharIndex(r);
          nextsplit = rtf.Text.Length;
          if (int.Parse(xx.Y.ToString()) > pageheight)
        lastsplit=lastsplit+nextsplit;// ende wegschneiden
        rtf.SelectionStart = nextsplit;
        rtf.SelectionLength =rtf.Text.Length-nextsplit;
        rtf.SaveFile(WorkDir + \\temp.rtf, 
        //////////////////////////////////////////// insert db
        newApp = new Word.Application(); 
        newApp.Visible = false;

        object Source=WorkDir + "\\temp.rtf";
        object Target=WorkDir + "\\temp.html";

        newApp.Documents.Open(ref Source,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown);

        object format = Word.WdSaveFormat.wdFormatHTML;// kein XML, nutzen?
        newApp.ActiveDocument.SaveAs(ref Target,ref format, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown, 
          ref Unknown,ref Unknown);
        newApp.Quit(ref Unknown,ref Unknown,ref Unknown);
        //kill word head
        StreamReader sr;
        bool not=true;
        while (not)

            sr = new StreamReader(WorkDir + "\\temp.html");
            StreamWriter sw = new StreamWriter(WorkDir + "\\temp.txt"); 
            String line;

            while ((line = sr.ReadLine()) != null) 
              if (line.CompareTo(
                "<meta name=ProgId content=FrontPage.Editor.Document>")!=0)
                sw.WriteLine(line); else
                //line.Replace //Marina
                sw.WriteLine("<meta name=ProgId content=Word.Documens>");


          catch (Exception e){e=e;}
        }// kill word head end
        File.Delete(WorkDir + "\\temp.html");
        File.Move(WorkDir + "\\temp.txt", WorkDir + "\\temp.html");
        //File.Delete(WorkDir + "\\temp.txt");        

        app = new PowerPoint.Application();
        ppp = app.Presentations.Open(WorkDir + "\\temp.html",
          Microsoft.Office.Core.MsoTriState.msoFalse);//visible? immer no
        ppp.SaveAs(WorkDir + "\\temp",

        //output fangen
        TempEnt = Directory.GetFiles(WorkDir + "\\temp\\", "*.emf");
        nCoreHlp.InsertDB1(WorkDir + "\\" + Database,TempEnt[0],pcount);
        Console.WriteLine("1 Page Converted");// debug
        ////////////////////////////////////////////////// insert db off
        rtf.LoadFile(scrfile, RichTextBoxStreamType.RichText);

      }//////////// page split done
      ///Create PDF
      ReportDocument doc = new ReportDocument();

      doc.Load(WorkDir + "\\DtoD.rpt");
      doc.Database.Tables[0].Location = (WorkDir + "\\DtoD.mdb");

      doc.ExportOptions.ExportFormatType = outTp;
      doc.ExportOptions.ExportDestinationType =
      DiskFileDestinationOptions diskOpts = new DiskFileDestinationOptions();
      diskOpts.DiskFileName = dstfile;
      doc.ExportOptions.DestinationOptions = diskOpts;
      Directory.Delete(WorkDir + "\\temp\\", true);
      File.Delete(WorkDir + "\\temp.rtf");
      File.Delete(WorkDir + "\\temp.html");

Points of Interest

MS-Office 2000 or < has to be installed. I included the Word & PowerPoint interfaces in the project , the C# dlls are only in the bin/debug directory, because of the file size.


  • 1st version of the demo project.


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Comments and Discussions

QuestionConverting the ppt file to html file in c# PinmemberJeffreyTharawad13-Jun-12 3:21 
AnswerRe: Converting the ppt file to html file in c# PinmemberJeffreyTharawad13-Jun-12 20:38 
Questionhelp PinmemberMuhammad Riadi14-Jan-12 20:44 
QuestionNeed Code to Convert MS-Word 2003 Document to PDF PinmemberMember 782949729-Nov-11 19:03 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberrutstyle19-Aug-09 21:26 
GeneralThis stuff won't compile Pinmemberstapes6-Feb-09 0:22 
GeneralSource Code PinmemberJansen20823-Sep-08 5:51 
GeneralRe: Source Code PinmemberAhmedSuria10-Oct-08 4:02 
GeneralCool things Pinmemberggraham41220-Jun-08 9:52 
GeneralLicense PinmemberAleksei Krassovskikh27-Apr-08 3:22 
GeneralGive the author an award Pinmemberrimblock15-Nov-07 8:06 
GeneralGlad that you are impressed with your code but... Pinmemberhybridguy27-Jul-07 12:52 
RantRe: Glad that you are impressed with your code but... Pinmemberggraham41220-Jun-08 9:34 
General100% Managed HTML and RTF to PDF Converter Libraries Pinmemberwinnovative8-Jul-07 11:05 
Generaldoc conversion Pinmemberjaneeta30-Mar-07 22:09 
GeneralBad Pinmember[V]GreyWolf15-Feb-07 5:44 
GeneralConversion for pdf,word Doc, and ppt PinmemberMohdfaiz4-Feb-07 22:52 
GeneralError in ReportDocument.Export PinmemberMarcos Almeida29-Sep-06 12:34 
GeneralRe: Error in ReportDocument.Export PinmemberZevsky24-Jun-07 21:54 
GeneralWord to PDF creater PinmemberRajput Jitendra8-May-06 22:42 
GeneralRe: Word to PDF creater Pinmemberawen_k1-Sep-08 6:02 
Questionhow to create DtoD.rpt Pinmembersridhar chatla13-Apr-06 7:08 
Generalerror Pinmembersewedy3-Mar-06 15:51 
GeneralRe: error PinmemberDoan Quang Minh16-Jan-07 21:17 
GeneralDemo Code PinmemberDavey P13-Jan-06 6:31 
QuestionI would like to use a part of your implementation Pinmemberbigb_60215-Nov-05 16:52 
Generalbmp to pdf conversion Pinmemberleojose26-May-05 21:24 
GeneralRe: bmp to pdf conversion PinmemberRefre07725-Oct-05 4:13 
GeneralBugs PinmemberZu Luong29-Apr-05 9:28 
Question3rd party products? PinmemberKapslok28-Jun-04 0:41 
AnswerRe: 3rd party products? PinmemberRyan Beesley6-Mar-05 22:38 
GeneralDon't know what to say... PinmemberOha Ooh5-Mar-04 3:10 
GeneralRe: Don't know what to say... Pinmembertravisowens@hotmail.com6-Sep-05 6:58 
GeneralRe: Don't know what to say... Pinmemberstormhun26-Jun-06 0:44 
GeneralRe: Don't know what to say... PinmemberHeeut5-May-14 0:54 
Generalpdf creation with graphics on html/doc file Pinmemberprafulla5-Mar-04 0:28 
GeneralRe: pdf creation with graphics on html/doc file PinmemberTugs22429-Jul-04 22:39 
GeneralAdditional info PinmemberMREBI26-Feb-04 12:02 
GeneralRe: Additional info PinmemberLinks2348-Mar-04 3:43 
GeneralRe: Additional info Pinmembersaber378866124-Aug-04 21:58 
GeneralRe: Additional info PinmemberDr. Federico De Martino24-Oct-06 2:13 
GeneralRe: Additional info Pinmemberkant772-Jul-07 20:18 

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