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Posted 14 Dec 2005

Convert a Text File to a PDF File

, 14 Dec 2005
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This article shows how to convert a text file to PDF.

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Introduction

This article presents a basic text to PDF library. With this library, you can convert a plain text file to PDF format (PDF is an abbreviation of Portable Document Format). You can break your text file into PDF pages at any place (as long as you set up a page break "1" at column 1). This article also presents a sample application to demonstrate how to use this DLL.

Background

I started writing this library because I really couldn’t find a good C# library for exporting my reports. Of course, you can create your own library to suit your own purposes.

Implementation of the Library

To achieve the page break functionality, I created StartPage, EndPage, StartObject, and StorePage functions. If the stream reader reads the page break "1" of the input text file, I'll be able to end this page and start a new page. That is the whole idea.

The Dotext function is as follows:

private void DoText(StreamReader sr)
{
    string strLine = string.Empty;

    //Start Page
    StartPage();

    try
    {
        while (sr.Peek() >= 0)
        {
            //Get one string at a time from the input text file
            strLine = sr.ReadLine()+"\r\n";

            //If yPos <= this.margin?
            if(yPos <= this.margin) 
            {
                //Invoke EndPage and StartPage functions
                EndPage();
                StartPage();
            }

            if(strLine == "" || strLine == null)
            {
                FileStreamWrite(outFileStream,@"T*\r\n");
            }
            else
            {
                //Is there a page break "1"?
                int cmpPageVal = String.Compare(strLine.Substring(0,1),"1");
                
                //Is there a Formfeed?
                int cmpfVal    = String.Compare(strLine.Substring(0,1),"\f");
            
                bool bl = false;

                //Formfeed
                if(cmpfVal == 0)
                {
                    //Invoke EndPage and StartPage functions
                    EndPage();
                    StartPage();
                }
                else
                {
                    //If there is a page break "1"
                    if (cmpPageVal == 0)
                    {
                        //Invoke EndPage and StartPage functions
                        EndPage();
                        StartPage();

                        //Remove the page break "1"
                        strLine = strLine.Remove(0,1);
                    }

                    FileStreamWrite(outFileStream,@"(");

                    //Convert "strLine" to a char array
                    char[] textchars=strLine.ToCharArray();

                    for (int index=0;index<textchars.Length;index++)
                    {
                        char c=textchars[index];

                        //If there is page break
                        if(c=='1' && strLine.Length == 2)
                        {
                            EndPage();
                            StartPage();
                        }
                            //new line
                        else if(c=='\n')
                        {
                            if (!bl)
                                FileStreamWrite(outFileStream,@")'");
                            else
                                FileStreamWrite(outFileStream,@"T*\n");
                        
                            bl = true;
                        }
                        else
                        {
                            FileStreamWrite(outFileStream,c.ToString());
                            bl=false;
                        }
                    }

                    if (!bl)
                        FileStreamWrite(outFileStream,@")\r\n");
                }

            }

            //Set yPos
            yPos -= leadSize;
        }//for loop

        //Close file
        sr.Close();
        sr = null;

        //End page
        EndPage();

    }
    catch( Exception ex ) 
    {
        string error = ("The process failed: " + ex.Message);
    }
}

Using This Library

In the sample application, I put a Button in a .aspx page.

Here is the code behind the button Click function:

private void Button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
    //The input text file "TextFile.txt"
    string fileName = @"TextFile.txt";
    string filePath = Server.MapPath("temp/" + fileName);
    
    // Create a new PdfWriter
    TextPDF.PdfWriter pdfWriter = 
       new TextPDF.PdfWriter(842.0f, 1190.0f, 10.0f, 10.0f);

    if(filePath.Length > 0)
    {
        //Write to a PDF file
        pdfWriter.Write(filePath);
    }
}

Conclusion

By using this library, you can easily covert a plain text file to a PDF format file. You can also create a page break anywhere in the text file.

Note: I put the PDF output file underneath the "c:\temp\txtPdf.pdf" directory; and the input text file under the "TextPdfSample\temp\TextFile.txt".

History

  • 12/10/2005 - Posted the article.

License

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

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About the Author

Florence FZ Li
Web Developer
United States United States
M.S.: Computer Science, B.S.: Physics, MCSD: .NET, MCSD: VS 6

Florence currently works at Confident Software, Inc. Atlanta, U.S.A. Besides programming, during her spare time she enjoys opera.

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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionCan this support other fonts Pin
Member 1061447418-Feb-16 21:34
memberMember 1061447418-Feb-16 21:34 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
DBRobinsonTX10-Feb-16 9:15
memberDBRobinsonTX10-Feb-16 9:15 
QuestionFont Embeded Pin
offir livnat10-Dec-13 1:50
memberoffir livnat10-Dec-13 1:50 
QuestionJapanese Charcter Pin
mck_4u14-Jun-12 1:32
membermck_4u14-Jun-12 1:32 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Jean Graham28-Oct-11 4:03
memberJean Graham28-Oct-11 4:03 
GeneralEasy to improve Pin
Steen Holm Pedersen19-Nov-09 0:16
memberSteen Holm Pedersen19-Nov-09 0:16 
Admittet, this library has it limitations.

But with a couple of days work i made the following improvements

Measurements in millimeters instead of obscure pdf sizes.
Correct handling of new page
Correct handling of international characters
Correct handling af bottom margin
Word wrap of long lines
Filename is no longer hard coded

All in all it saved me some work reading boring PDF definitions, so I've been happy with the article.

If the author wants the changed sourcefile, let me know.

Only thing I didn't find a solution for was brackets, so they're skipped for now.
GeneralRe: Easy to improve Pin
Florence FZ Li19-Nov-09 10:58
memberFlorence FZ Li19-Nov-09 10:58 
GeneralRe: Easy to improve Pin
zoopnfunk19-Nov-09 16:28
memberzoopnfunk19-Nov-09 16:28 
GeneralRe: Easy to improve Pin
Florence FZ Li20-Nov-09 3:55
memberFlorence FZ Li20-Nov-09 3:55 
GeneralRe: Easy to improve [modified/resolved] Pin
zoopnfunk23-Nov-09 10:08
memberzoopnfunk23-Nov-09 10:08 

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