Click here to Skip to main content
15,561,907 members
Articles / Programming Languages / C#
Posted 3 Nov 2015


12 bookmarked

Create Word table using OpenXML and C# Without Automation/Interop

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
5.00/5 (7 votes)
8 Nov 2015CPOL8 min read
This article help you to create word table using OpenXML without interop object


Welcome back again in OpenXML world, where you can create a word table with the help of C# and OpenXML.

Here the magic is,  No need to install word on your machine, no Interop object required. Lets see how to drive it


I have given brief explanation about 'What is Open XML' in my previous article, if you are new to OpenXML then check out this link

OpenXML table structure

According to people, OpenXML is legthy and complex but if you understand it's structure then it is really a cup of tea. So lets start with table structure first.

Things we need before going to openXML

Image 1   Image 2

Getting started with OpenXML Table

A table consists of rows and cells and is structured much like an HTML table. It is defined with the <w:tbl> element. Basic table structure can be defined as


In above structure we can see, Table has three main tag.

1. w:tblpr : Specifies the table-wide properties for the table. These properties can be overridden by individual table level

2. w:tblgrid : Specifies the columns for the table

3. w:tr : Specifies a table row

Let see them one by one in detail

1. w:tblpr :

This Specifies the table-wide properties for the table, Each property is a child element of <tblPr> , and they affect all rows and cells in the table, but the style can be overridden by each individual row, column or cell.

The most commonly used properties are shown below

Property Name Description
w:jc Represent table alignment.
w:shd Represent table shading.
w:Borders Represent table borders.
w:Caption Represent table Caption.
w:CellMar Represent table cell margins.
w:tblCellSpacing Represent table spacing.
w:tblLayout Represent table layout.
w:tblLook Represent table conditional formatting.

see below tag snippet

	<w:tblStyle w:val="TestTableStyle"/>
	<w:jc w:val="center"/>

2. w:tblgrid

The columns of a table are defined by the <w:tblGrid> element it contains attribute as <w:gridCol> which is the size of each columns, if the table has 4 columns then w:tblgrid has 4 w:gridCol tags

see below tag snippet

	<w:gridCol w:w="2800"/>
	<w:gridCol w:w="2600"/>
	<w:gridCol w:w="2800"/>


This is the row defination tag, this is the core element of table. it has following subset

Property Name Description
w:trPr Represent row level properties, but can be overridden by individual cell
w:tblPrEx Represent table properties for the row,  These properties are typically used for legacy documents, as well as in cases where two independent tables are merged
w:tc Represent individual table cell.

see below tag snippet


Now we will see w:tr properties in depth.

3.1 w:trPr

This element represent row level properties, Each property is a child element of <trPr> , and they affect all cells in the row. Mostly used properties are as below

Property Name Description
w:cantSplit it prevents the contents of the row from breaking across multiple pages by moving the start of the row to the start of a new page, it help the row to start on next page
w:hidden Help to hide the entire row
w:jc Specifies the alignment of the row
w:tblCellSpacing Specifies the cell spacing, it is same like HTML table attribute
w:tblHeader Specifies the current row should be repeated as header of each table on new page
w:trHeight Represent the height of the row, if optional then height will be adjusted automatically

3.2 w:trPrEx

As described exceptional properties of the table, with the help of this property we can show any row with specific exception. w:trPrEx has almost same properties like <w:trPr>, some new properties are as below

Property Name Description
w:shd Specifies the background color, it is optional property, it has different attribute like color, fill, val.
w:tblBorders Specifies row borders
w:tblCellMar Specifies the margin of the cell, this is basically cell properties of exceptional row (we will see this property thoroughly in cell section)
w:tblInd Before leading edge of the row it adds indentation to the row,
w:tblLayout Specifies the inbuilt table layout
w:tblLook Specifies the inbuilt table layout specified by word application 

see below tag snippet

		<w:top w:val="single" w:sz="12" w:space="0" w:color="FF0000" />
		<w:start w:val="single" w:sz="24" w:space="0" w:color="00FF00" />
		<w:bottom w:val="single" w:sz="12" w:space="0" w:color="0000FF" />
		<w:end w:val="single" w:sz="24" w:space="0" w:color="000000" />
		<w:insideH w:val="single" w:sz="24" w:space="0" w:color="FFFF00" />
		<w:insideV w:val="single" w:sz="24" w:space="0" w:color="FF00FF" />

3.3 w:tc

This tag specifies data for individual table cell, these tags are nested under table row tags. The core elements of w:tc are as follows

Property Name Description
w:p Specifies the paragraph of each cell
w:tbl Specifies table as content of the cell
w:tcPr Specifies the properties to be applied to the current cell.

see below snippet

	<w:tcW w:w="2600" w:type="dxa"/>
      	    <w:t>cell content</w:t>

above markup snippet contains table cell, in which paragraph (<w:p>), Run (<w:p>), Text (<w:r>) are the child element of the cell.

3.3.1 w:p

Paragraph is the main part of the cell, The paragraph can contain rich formatting properties for the paragraph, Paragraphs may also contain bookmarks, hyperlinks, fields, comments, etc. The core element of paragraph is properties (<w:pPr>) and run (<w:r>

Both paragraph properties and run has their own properties like paragraph frames, indentation, alignment, numbering, border, paragraph style, shading and tabs.

see below markup

	<w:pStyle> w:val="TestWeb"/>
	<w:spacing w:before="20" w:after="20"/>
	<w:t>This is cell content</w:t>

3.3.2 w:tcPr

tcPr represent cellwise properties, this properties are used to decorate cell. Row and column wise properties can be overridden in this section 

Property Name Description
w:gridSpan Specifies the spanning cell across rows
w:hideMark Specifies hide end of the table cell mark
w:noWrap Specifies the prevent text from wrapping, it is boolean property
w:tcBorders Specifies table cell border
w:tcFitText Specifies text within the cell can be extend to the width of the cell, this is the boolean property
w:tcMar Specifies table cell margins
w:tcW Specifies table cell width
w:vAlign Specifies table cell vertical alignments
w:vMerge This property indicates if the cell is part of merged group cell, it has two possible values continue and restart w:r

Run defines a text properties. Most commonly run contains only text but it may have content as symbols, tabs, hyphens, carriage returns, drawings, breaks, and footnote references

see below properties of Run element

Property Name Description
w:br Specifies a break e.g. <w:br/>
w:cr Specifies a carriage return
w:drawing Specifies the layout of the DrawingML object within the document
w:noBreakHypen Specifies the non breaking hypen.
w:rPr Specifies the properties of the run like
w:softHypen Specifies the inbuilt table layout specified by word application 
w:sym Specifies a special character or symbol
w:t Spcifies the actual text which will display in cell, This is very important and core element of Table markup, this element hold actual text contents.
w:tab Specifies the TAB character

see below markup snippet

    <w:t>This is sample text</w:t>
</w:r> w:rPr

 This element contains different properties of the Run, which is then applies to actual text exist in  <w:t> section

here are the most commonly used properties of the run

Property Name Description
w:b Display text in bold, exist in Text element e.g. <w:b />
w:i Display text in Italics, exist in Text element e.g. <w:i />  
w:caps Display text in small or upper caps depend upon 'val' attributes e.g. <w:caps w:val="true" />
w:color Display text in specified color, it accept color code for color e.g. <w:color w:val="FF1244" />
w:dstrike Display text in Strike through format e.g. <w:dstrike w:val="true"/>
w:emboss Display text in emboss style e.g. <w:emboss w:val="true" />
w:imprint Display text in imprint style e.g. <w:imprint w:val="true"/>
w:outline Display text in outline style e.g. <outline w:val="true"/>
w:rStyle Display character style depend upon style ID (Here style is inbuilt)
w:shadow Display text has shadow for each character <w:shadow w:val="true"/>
w:smallCaps Display text in small capital letter, The difference between caps and smallCaps is, caps make the text size larger and convert text to capital where as smallCaps convert text to capital but does not increase the font e.g. <w:smallCaps w:val="true"/>  
w:sz Display the text in specified size, e.g. <w:sz w:val="14"/> .
w:u Display the text in underline, e.g. <w:u w:val="double"/>
w:vanish Text in this element will be hidden from display, e.g. <vanish/>
w:vertAlign Display text in Super or subscript e.g. <vertAlign w:val="superscript | baseline | subscript  "/>


So here is the raw hierarchy structure of OpenXML table format

Image 3


Go with Markup and code

Now with the above all markup's we can create a table in word (DOCX) file, here i have develope a small application that will put a nice table in word file

first create table properties, see below xml markup's (We have apply inbuilt table style and look as Accept4)

	<w:tblStyle w:val="LightGrid-Accent4" />
	<w:tblW w:w="0" w:type="auto" />
	<w:tblLook w:val="04A0" />

then we will add columns in table, see below xml markup's (We have take 3 columns)

	<w:gridCol w:w="2394" />
	<w:gridCol w:w="2394" /> 
	<w:gridCol w:w="2394" /> 

Now we will add rows in it with text to be display. (We have added 1 row with 3 cell here)

<w:tr w:rsidR="004D1DA5" w:rsidTr="004D1DA5"> 
		<w:cnfStyle w:val="100000000000" /> 
			<w:cnfStyle w:val="001000000000" /> 
			<w:tcW w:w="2394" w:type="dxa" /> 
			<w:hideMark /> 
		<w:p w:rsidR="004D1DA5" w:rsidRDefault="004D1DA5"> 
				<w:jc w:val="center" /> 
			<w:tcW w:w="2394" w:type="dxa" /> 
			<w:hideMark /> 
		<w:p w:rsidR="004D1DA5" w:rsidRDefault="004D1DA5"> 
				<w:jc w:val="center" /> 
				<w:cnfStyle w:val="100000000000" /> 
			<w:tcW w:w="2394" w:type="dxa" /> 
			<w:hideMark /> 
		<w:p w:rsidR="004D1DA5" w:rsidRDefault="004D1DA5"> 
				<w:jc w:val="center" /> 
				<w:cnfStyle w:val="100000000000" /> 

Here is code to create Markup

# Create table object and add table properties

//create table object
Table table1 = new Table();

//define table properties
TableProperties tableProperties1 = new TableProperties();
TableStyle tableStyle1 = new TableStyle() { Val = "LightGrid-Accent4" };
TableWidth tableWidth1 = new TableWidth() { Width = "0", Type = TableWidthUnitValues.Auto };
TableLook tableLook1 = new TableLook() { Val = "04A0" };

//add table styles to properties

# define table columns and add them in table

//create and define new table columns 
TableGrid tableGrid1 = new TableGrid();
GridColumn gridColumn1 = new GridColumn() { Width = "2394" };
GridColumn gridColumn2 = new GridColumn() { Width = "2394" };
GridColumn gridColumn3 = new GridColumn() { Width = "2394" };

//add columns in table

# Define new cell object with its associated paragraph, Run, Text object and their properties respectively.

//create table row object
TableRow tableRow1 = new TableRow(){RsidTableRowAddition="004D1DA5",RsidTableRowProperties="004D1DA5"};

//create row properties
TableRowProperties tableRowProperties1 = new TableRowProperties();
ConditionalFormatStyle conditionalFormatStyle1 = new ConditionalFormatStyle(){Val="100000000000"};

//create cell object and its properties
TableCell tableCell1 = new TableCell();
TableCellProperties tableCellProperties1 = new TableCellProperties();
ConditionalFormatStyle conditionalFormatStyle2 = new ConditionalFormatStyle(){Val="001000000000"};
TableCellWidth tableCellWidth1 = new TableCellWidth(){Width="2394",Type=TableWidthUnitValues.Dxa};
HideMark hideMark1 = new HideMark();

//create paragrpah object and its properties
Paragraph paragraph1 = new Paragraph(){RsidParagraphAddition="004D1DA5",RsidRunAdditionDefault="004D1DA5"};
ParagraphProperties paragraphProperties1 = new ParagraphProperties();
Justification justification1 = new Justification() { Val = JustificationValues.Center };

//create Run and Text 
Run run1 = new Run();
Text text1 = new Text();

//add content in Text
text1.Text = "No";

//add Text to Run

//add Run to paragraph

//add Paragraph to cell

Yes, we are done with our code now try to test it.

Summing Up

OpenXML is  is an open, international, ECMA-376, Second Edition and ISO/IEC 29500 standard, They are based on technologies like XML and ZIP. You can improve your application performance with the help of OpenXML, Developer can interact with DOCX file without opening it. With the help of openXML you can perform complex operations with just a few lines of code.

In this article we have seen how to draw a word table using OpenXML and C#

Till more to happen and learn, we will see more good samples in coming versions of this article.

Suggestions and Queries are always welcome.




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

Written By
Technical Lead
India India
Hi there, I am Prasad. Author, Blogger, contributor and passionate about Microsoft .NET technologies. I like to write an articles/blogs on different .NET aspects and like to help Developers, to resolve their issues and boost them on Microsoft Technologies.

Certifications: Microsoft Certified professional (MCP), Microsoft Certified technology specialist (MCTS), Agile-Scrum Master.

Awards: Microsoft Re-connect MVP (GSC Member), Most valuable member at dotnetspider, Most popular curator, Most active curator, featured curator at Microsoft Curah, Editor at dotnetspider.

Microsoft MVP 2014 [ASP.NET/IIS]
Click here for more .NET Tips
-After all Knowledge is an endless entity

Comments and Discussions

QuestionHow to fix column width Pin
suphaksorn.fo11-Nov-16 22:32
suphaksorn.fo11-Nov-16 22:32 
AnswerRe: How to fix column width Pin
koolprasad200313-Nov-16 19:23
professionalkoolprasad200313-Nov-16 19:23 
Questionadd character spacing for range of character in open xml c# Pin
gdevlekar5-Sep-16 5:21
gdevlekar5-Sep-16 5:21 
AnswerRe: add character spacing for range of character in open xml c# Pin
koolprasad20035-Sep-16 20:18
professionalkoolprasad20035-Sep-16 20:18 
Praisenice..5+ Pin
RhishikeshLathe3-Nov-15 6:12
professionalRhishikeshLathe3-Nov-15 6:12 

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

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