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Posted 18 Apr 2005
Licenced LGPL3

Gios PDF .NET library

, 18 Apr 2005
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A .NET library for generating impressive PDF reports.


This article describes how to use the Gios Pdf.NET open source library, a complete object-oriented .NET library for generating impressive reports with few lines of code.


I started writing this library because I really couldn’t find a good C# library for exporting my reports. When you open a PDF document with Notepad to find out if it’s possible to edit it… well… you change your mind!

...But if you download the PDF format specifications from Adobe’s official site… you can demystify everything!

In this article, it’s not my intention to teach “how to write a clone of my library” but “how to use it” … By the way, if you want to try to write your own library… try it: it’s not impossible and it's a good (and difficult!) exercise!

Using the code

Start instantiating the document with a new PdfDocument object. Remember to set the document format. In this case we specify width and height in centimeters. Document format is provided by the PdfDocumentFormat class:

PdfDocument myPdfDocument = 
  new PdfDocument(PdfDocumentFormat.InCentimeters(21,29.7));

Now we create a table of 100 lines, 6 columns and 4 points of padding:

PdfTable myPdfTable = 
  myPdfDocument.NewTable(new Font("Verdana",12),200,6,4);

Importing data from the datatables... (also column names for the headers!):


Set the format for correct date-time representation:


Now we set our Graphic Design: Colors and Borders...


With just one method, we can set the proportional width of the columns. It's a "percentage like" assignment, but the sum can be different from 100.

myPdfTable.SetColumnsWidth(new int[]{5,25,16,20,20,15});

You can also set colors for a range of cells, in this case, a row:


Now we set some alignment... for the whole table and then, for a column:


This is the most important feature of the library: each page generated by the table can be managed in all the details:

while (!myPdfTable.AllTablePagesCreated)
    // we create a new page to put the generation of the new TablePage:

    PdfPage newPdfPage=myPdfDocument.NewPage();
    PdfTablePage newPdfTablePage = 
      myPdfTable.CreateTablePage(new PdfArea(myPdfDocument,48,120,500,670));

    // we also put a Label 
    PdfTextArea pta=new PdfTextArea(new Font("Verdana",26, FontStyle.Bold), 
      Color.Red, new PdfArea(myPdfDocument,0,20,595,120), 
      ContentAlignment.MiddleCenter,"Contact List");

    // nice thing: we can put all the objects
    // in the following lines, so we can have
    // a great control of layer sequence... 


    // Now we create a loop for serching for people born in 1968. If we find
    // one, we will draw a circle over
    // the birthday cell. This is possible using the
    // the CellArea, that is the Area occupied by a rasterized Cell.
    for (int index=newPdfTablePage.FirstRow;index<=newPdfTablePage.LastRow;index++)
       if (((DateTime)myPdfTable.Rows[index][2].Content).Year==1968)
          PdfCircle pc=newPdfTablePage.CellArea(index,2).InnerCircle(Color.Blue,2);

    // we save each generated page before start rendering the next.


At last... remember to save the document!


And this is the result:

Remember, you can also output the PDF to a generic Stream. These are the lines for a Web Response:



  • April 18, 2005 - Initial release.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3)


About the Author

Paolo Gios
Web Developer
Italy Italy
Freelance software ASPNET / C# Software Developer

I live in Torino, Italy

my homepage is:

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionArabic Text support Pin
manmadhan12312-Jun-10 23:53
membermanmadhan12312-Jun-10 23:53 
GeneralRe: Arabic Text support Pin
lalaleah131-Oct-15 1:28
memberlalaleah131-Oct-15 1:28 
GeneralThanks ! Pin
ftCalhouner3-May-10 12:53
memberftCalhouner3-May-10 12:53 
GeneralThis software sits full of bugs Pin
Member 9328198-Feb-10 21:10
memberMember 9328198-Feb-10 21:10 
GeneralAsolutely amazing Pin
Andy Benton7-Dec-09 8:51
memberAndy Benton7-Dec-09 8:51 
QuestionHow to add a word [modified] Pin
didier.barthe26-Nov-09 5:22
memberdidier.barthe26-Nov-09 5:22 
AnswerRe: How to add a word Pin
didier.barthe26-Nov-09 19:42
memberdidier.barthe26-Nov-09 19:42 
GeneralRe: How to add a word Pin
galvin verghese13-Oct-11 1:17
membergalvin verghese13-Oct-11 1:17 
QuestionSupper? Pin
Engin KIRMACI7-Nov-09 19:19
memberEngin KIRMACI7-Nov-09 19:19 
QuestionHow to add url link to pdf [modified] Pin
vishal yadav30-Oct-09 0:56
membervishal yadav30-Oct-09 0:56 
AnswerRe: How to add url link to pdf Pin
Rajkumar Reddy19-Mar-10 9:18
memberRajkumar Reddy19-Mar-10 9:18 
Generalconvert JPG to PDF file in C# Pin
vijaykumarp17-Sep-09 21:49
membervijaykumarp17-Sep-09 21:49 
GeneralRe: convert JPG to PDF file in C# Pin
vishalMGiri23-Nov-09 0:02
membervishalMGiri23-Nov-09 0:02 
GeneralText overflow when generate PDF [modified] Pin
hungho14-Sep-09 21:48
memberhungho14-Sep-09 21:48 
GeneralRe: Text overflow when generate PDF Pin
Kwuan28-Jul-11 13:47
memberKwuan28-Jul-11 13:47 
GeneralProblem with SetContentFormat Pin
IrfanRaza2-Sep-09 0:09
memberIrfanRaza2-Sep-09 0:09 
GeneralLink to download is broken Pin
Yhair Alexander31-Jul-09 3:11
memberYhair Alexander31-Jul-09 3:11 
GeneralError generating document Pin
AruSivaji6-Jul-09 2:19
memberAruSivaji6-Jul-09 2:19 
GeneralRe: Error generating document Pin
galvin verghese13-Oct-11 1:21
membergalvin verghese13-Oct-11 1:21 
QuestionFont problem??? Pin
Thomas000075-Jul-09 22:50
memberThomas000075-Jul-09 22:50 
QuestionDifferent page sizes? Pin
Member 467835121-May-09 20:18
memberMember 467835121-May-09 20:18 
GeneralView PDF file in winform Pin
aldo hexosa22-Apr-09 23:05
professionalaldo hexosa22-Apr-09 23:05 
GeneralRe: View PDF file in winform Pin
Member 467835121-May-09 22:30
memberMember 467835121-May-09 22:30 
QuestionBlank Pdf Pin
cheyenae16-Apr-09 6:55
membercheyenae16-Apr-09 6:55 
QuestionPDF document Blank Pin
Meetha3-Apr-09 18:46
memberMeetha3-Apr-09 18:46 

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