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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

QuestionRe: PDF document Blank Pin
chhchhstock13-Apr-09 11:19
memberchhchhstock13-Apr-09 11:19 
Generalerror... Pin
Praksh22-Mar-09 3:53
memberPraksh22-Mar-09 3:53 
GeneralThanks...this is excellent! Pin
patrickst120-Mar-09 6:29
memberpatrickst120-Mar-09 6:29 
QuestionHow to generate PDF report from datagrid using Gios PDF .NET library? [modified] Pin
mobzam5-Dec-08 5:04
membermobzam5-Dec-08 5:04 
Questionunable to convert .doc to pdf file Pin
Harish Sriperambudur26-Nov-08 18:59
memberHarish Sriperambudur26-Nov-08 18:59 
QuestionIssue with Memorystream to pdf image object [modified] Pin
deepakbs_smg24-Nov-08 20:25
memberdeepakbs_smg24-Nov-08 20:25 
Generaloverflow problem Pin
pfa21-Nov-08 14:23
memberpfa21-Nov-08 14:23 
QuestionHow to add Header and Footer for each page Pin
spatil198219-Nov-08 20:17
memberspatil198219-Nov-08 20:17 
GeneralNot working Pin
spatil198218-Nov-08 2:28
memberspatil198218-Nov-08 2:28 
GeneralGiospdf version 2 Pin
jake197519-Sep-08 1:47
memberjake197519-Sep-08 1:47 
GeneralmyPdfTable.getHeight() Pin
superbem28-Aug-08 8:37
membersuperbem28-Aug-08 8:37 
GeneralHide column Pin
superbem25-Aug-08 5:26
membersuperbem25-Aug-08 5:26 
GeneralRe: Hide column Pin
superbem25-Aug-08 6:27
membersuperbem25-Aug-08 6:27 
GeneralExtended character - copyright symbol Pin
Phillip U.7-Aug-08 3:31
memberPhillip U.7-Aug-08 3:31 
AnswerRe: Extended character - copyright symbol Pin
Phillip U.7-Aug-08 6:08
memberPhillip U.7-Aug-08 6:08 
GeneralImage adding at the end of all rows Pin
kishore g4-Aug-08 21:51
memberkishore g4-Aug-08 21:51 
GeneralPage numbers Pin
superbem30-Jul-08 8:39
membersuperbem30-Jul-08 8:39 
QuestionI want output UTF8 encoding, help me??? Pin
thanhlong8627-Jul-08 15:36
memberthanhlong8627-Jul-08 15:36 
GeneralSave to pdf Pin
boops12-Jun-08 0:13
memberboops12-Jun-08 0:13 
GeneralRe: Save to pdf Pin
boops12-Jun-08 1:06
memberboops12-Jun-08 1:06 
QuestionExport to excel + pie chart Pin
arindam.roy27-May-08 9:27
memberarindam.roy27-May-08 9:27 
GeneralSome bugs Pin
kostov7419-May-08 1:18
memberkostov7419-May-08 1:18 
GeneralNeed help with the library Pin
Jats_4ru13-May-08 20:57
memberJats_4ru13-May-08 20:57 
GeneralRe: Need help with the library Pin
kostov7419-May-08 1:20
memberkostov7419-May-08 1:20 
QuestionJavascript Pin
brian2k11-May-08 23:26
memberbrian2k11-May-08 23:26 

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