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Gios PDF .NET library

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4.90 (154 votes)
18 Apr 2005LGPL3
A .NET library for generating impressive PDF reports.

Image 1


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:

Image 2

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:

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: It doesn't work in a web project Pin
Paolo Gios12-May-05 8:58
memberPaolo Gios12-May-05 8:58 
GeneralRe: It doesn't work in a web project Pin
Diego F.12-May-05 10:58
memberDiego F.12-May-05 10:58 
GeneralRe: It doesn't work in a web project Pin
Diego F.12-May-05 11:35
memberDiego F.12-May-05 11:35 
GeneralIt works! Pin
Diego F.12-May-05 22:14
memberDiego F.12-May-05 22:14 
GeneralRe: It works! Pin
Paolo Gios12-May-05 23:40
memberPaolo Gios12-May-05 23:40 
GeneralRe: It works! Pin
Diego F.13-May-05 3:23
memberDiego F.13-May-05 3:23 
GeneralRe: It works! Pin
Paolo Gios15-May-05 13:31
memberPaolo Gios15-May-05 13:31 
GeneralRe: It works! Pin
Diego F.18-May-05 1:48
memberDiego F.18-May-05 1:48 
I ask you because I'm having a weird problem. As I told you everything works ok in my computer, but if I move the code to another computer (a server with Windows 2003) it breaks when saving the document, both in http and saving to disk.

It breaks and shows the exception that you throw. It's not a permission problem, because I can create a txt file, but when I try to save the pdf I get the exceptions:

Error opening destination file, if saving to disk
Error generating the document, if sending via http

I'm stuck with this.


Diego F.
GeneralRe: It works! Pin
Paolo Gios18-May-05 1:53
memberPaolo Gios18-May-05 1:53 
GeneralRe: Security Exception Pin
Diego F.18-May-05 2:50
memberDiego F.18-May-05 2:50 
GeneralRe: Security Exception Pin
Diego F.19-May-05 7:01
memberDiego F.19-May-05 7:01 
GeneralRe: Finally solved! Pin
Diego F.25-May-05 22:46
memberDiego F.25-May-05 22:46 
GeneralRe: I have the same problem Pin
Mad_Force16-Jun-05 20:11
memberMad_Force16-Jun-05 20:11 
GeneralRe: I have the same problem (fixed) Pin
Mad_Force16-Jun-05 20:45
memberMad_Force16-Jun-05 20:45 
GeneralPrinting the PDF. Pin
raindog10-May-05 11:25
memberraindog10-May-05 11:25 
GeneralRe: Printing the PDF. Pin
Paolo Gios12-May-05 21:47
memberPaolo Gios12-May-05 21:47 
GeneralRe: Printing the PDF. Pin
raindog13-May-05 7:51
memberraindog13-May-05 7:51 
GeneralPreloading a PDF document template Pin
gpadilla5-May-05 9:10
membergpadilla5-May-05 9:10 
GeneralRe: Preloading a PDF document template Pin
Paolo Gios5-May-05 11:36
memberPaolo Gios5-May-05 11:36 
GeneralImages on the fly Pin
NickNuss5-May-05 8:35
memberNickNuss5-May-05 8:35 
GeneralRe: Images on the fly Pin
Paolo Gios5-May-05 11:31
memberPaolo Gios5-May-05 11:31 
GeneralRe: Images on the fly Pin
NickNuss6-May-05 13:15
memberNickNuss6-May-05 13:15 
GeneralRe: Images on the fly Pin
ed_rotthoff3-Jun-05 13:30
membered_rotthoff3-Jun-05 13:30 
GeneralInclude Images Pin
JK_net4-May-05 3:41
memberJK_net4-May-05 3:41 
GeneralRe: Include Images Pin
Paolo Gios4-May-05 4:10
memberPaolo Gios4-May-05 4:10 

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Posted 18 Apr 2005


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