Using C# and iTextSharp to create a PDF

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of many of the world’s leading natural history and botanical libraries.  The goal of the organization is to digitize and make available legacy biodiversity literature.  One popular feature of the BHL web site is the ability for visitors to select up to 100 pages from a book and generate a PDF containing those pages.  More than 100 custom PDFs are created each day.

As the primary developer of the site, I want to highlight the tool that we use to generate the PDFs. iTextSharp is a freely-available port of the popular Java component for generating PDFs, iText.

While iTextSharp is powerful, it’s documentation is not ideal.  The official website for the component points you to the documentation for the original Java tool.  Unfortunately, while this provides good information, many things that you’d like to accomplish with iTextSharp are implemented slightly differently than with iText.  I found that these discrepancies between the Java documentation and the .NET implementation led to many instances of trial-and-error development.  I hope that this post will help illustrate how to use the iTextSharp component, and save others some frustration.

Getting Set Up

To get started using iTextSharp, go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/itextsharp/ and download the latest version of iTextSharp (5.0.6 at the time of this writing).  You can download the compiled assembly, or if you prefer, the source code.

To make iTextSharp available for use in your application, simply add a reference to the iTextSharp library.

How-To: The Code Samples

The following code samples illustrate a number of basic and advanced features of iTextSharp.  Included are examples of basic text layout and formatting, image insertion, page sizing, page labeling, metadata assignment, bullet lists, and linking.

Let’s start with a method named Build() which provides the framework for a simple application that builds a five-page PDF.  The rest of the code samples build on this one.  Here is the code listing:

using iTextSharp.text;

// Set up the fonts to be used on the pages
private Font _largeFont = new Font(Font.FontFamily.HELVETICA, 18, Font.BOLD, BaseColor.BLACK);
private Font _standardFont = new Font(Font.FontFamily.HELVETICA, 14, Font.NORMAL, BaseColor.BLACK);
private Font _smallFont = new Font(Font.FontFamily.HELVETICA, 10, Font.NORMAL, BaseColor.BLACK);

public void Build()
{
   iTextSharp.text.Document doc = null;

   try
   {
       // Initialize the PDF document
       doc = new Document();
       iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfWriter writer = iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfWriter.GetInstance(doc,
           new System.IO.FileStream(System.IO.Directory.GetCurrentDirectory() + "\\ScienceReport.pdf",
               System.IO.FileMode.Create));

       // Set margins and page size for the document
       doc.SetMargins(50, 50, 50, 50);
       // There are a huge number of possible page sizes, including such sizes as
       // EXECUTIVE, LEGAL, LETTER_LANDSCAPE, and NOTE
       doc.SetPageSize(new iTextSharp.text.Rectangle(iTextSharp.text.PageSize.LETTER.Width,
           iTextSharp.text.PageSize.LETTER.Height));

       // Add metadata to the document.  This information is visible when viewing the
       // document properities within Adobe Reader.
       doc.AddTitle("My Science Report");
       doc.AddCreator("M. Lichtenberg");
       doc.AddKeywords("paper airplanes");

       // Add Xmp metadata to the document.
       this.CreateXmpMetadata(writer);

       // Open the document for writing content
       doc.Open();

       // Add pages to the document
       this.AddPageWithBasicFormatting(doc);
       this.AddPageWithInternalLinks(doc);
       this.AddPageWithBulletList(doc);
       this.AddPageWithExternalLinks(doc);
       this.AddPageWithImage(doc, System.IO.Directory.GetCurrentDirectory() + "\\FinalGraph.jpg");

       // Add page labels to the document
       iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfPageLabels pdfPageLabels = new iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfPageLabels();
       pdfPageLabels.AddPageLabel(1, iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfPageLabels.EMPTY, "Basic Formatting");
       pdfPageLabels.AddPageLabel(2, iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfPageLabels.EMPTY, "Internal Links");
       pdfPageLabels.AddPageLabel(3, iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfPageLabels.EMPTY, "Bullet List");
       pdfPageLabels.AddPageLabel(4, iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfPageLabels.EMPTY, "External Links");
       pdfPageLabels.AddPageLabel(5, iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfPageLabels.EMPTY, "Image");
       writer.PageLabels = pdfPageLabels;
   }
   catch (iTextSharp.text.DocumentException dex)
   {
       // Handle iTextSharp errors
   }
   finally
   {
       // Clean up
       doc.Close();
       doc = null;
   }
}

The code starts by setting up the fonts that will be used within the PDF.  In fact, these are used in most of the following code samples.  You can see that various font faces, sizes, weights, and colors can be specified.

The first significant lines of the Build() method initialize the file (ScienceReport.pdf) that will be built.  Next, margins and page size are set.  Following that you see AddTitle(), AddCreator(), and AddKeyword() being called to add metadata to the file.  An additional form of metadata is added by the CreateXmpMetadata() function, which will be explained later.

After this basic setup is complete, the new document is opened for writing and five “AddPage…()” methods are called; these also are explained later.  After the pages are added to the document, page labels are added by populating a pdfPageLabels object and adding it to the document.  (In Acrobat Reader, these labels are displayed below the page thumbnails shown in the “Pages” navigation panel.)  At this point the content of the document has been completely written.  Notice that the Close() method is explicitly called on the Document object to finalize the writes to the open file (this happens in the “finally” block).

The only other thing to point out in this sample is the error handling.  Catch errors of type iTextSharp.text.DocumentException to handle errors originating from iTextSharp operations.

The next code sample shows two methods: AddPageWithBasicFormatting(), which is one of the methods used to add a page to the document, and AddParagraph(), which is a helper function used to add a paragraph to current page of the document.

The AddPageWithBasicFormatting() method illustrates the basic methods for adding text and images to a PDF document.  It starts by calling the AddParagraph() helper method to add two short text strings to the current page.  Notice that when adding a paragraph, you can specify the alignment and font to be used to render the paragraph contents.  Next, a small JPG image is read from disk and inserted into the document.  The method finishes up by adding two more paragraphs to the page.

/// <summary>
/// Add the header page to the document.  This shows an example of a page containing
/// both text and images.  The contents of the page are centered and the text is of
/// various sizes.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="doc"></param>
private void AddPageWithBasicFormatting(iTextSharp.text.Document doc)
{
   // Write page content.  Note the use of fonts and alignment attributes.
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _largeFont, new Chunk("\n\nMY SCIENCE PROJECT\n\n"));
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _standardFont, new Chunk("by M. Lichtenberg\n\n\n\n"));

   // Add a logo
   String appPath = System.IO.Directory.GetCurrentDirectory();
   iTextSharp.text.Image logoImage = iTextSharp.text.Image.GetInstance(appPath + "\\PaperAirplane.jpg");
   logoImage.Alignment = iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER;
   doc.Add(logoImage);
   logoImage = null;

   // Write additional page content
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _largeFont, new Chunk("\n\n\nWhat kind of paper is the best for making paper airplanes?\n\n\n\n\n"));
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _smallFont, new Chunk("Generated " +
       DateTime.Now.Day.ToString() + " " +
       System.Globalization.CultureInfo.CurrentCulture.DateTimeFormat.GetMonthName(DateTime.Now.Month) + " " +
       DateTime.Now.Year.ToString() + " " +
       DateTime.Now.ToShortTimeString()));
}

/// <summary>
/// Add a paragraph object containing the specified element to the PDF document.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="doc">Document to which to add the paragraph.</param>
/// <param name="alignment">Alignment of the paragraph.</param>
/// <param name="font">Font to assign to the paragraph.</param>
/// <param name="content">Object that is the content of the paragraph.</param>
private void AddParagraph(Document doc, int alignment, iTextSharp.text.Font font, iTextSharp.text.IElement content)
{
   Paragraph paragraph = new Paragraph();
   paragraph.SetLeading(0f, 1.2f);
   paragraph.Alignment = alignment;
   paragraph.Font = font;
   paragraph.Add(content);
   doc.Add(paragraph);
}

The AddParagraph() method simplifies the process of adding a paragraph to a document by wrapping the basic actions that need to be performed to properly format a new paragraph.  These actions include setting the alignment, font, and content.  Notice that the content is not restricted to text.  Anything that supports the iTextSharp.txt.IElement  interface can form the content of a paragraph.  This means that plain text, anchor tags, external links, and other objects can be used.

The AddPageWithInternalLinks() method, shown in the next code sample, demonstrates how to add links that reference other locations within the PDF document.  If you are familiar with how to link to anchor tags in an HTML document, then you should understand what is happening in this example.

As you can see, the method is a simple one.  Three Anchor objects are created that reference “#research”, “#graph”, and “#results”. These are references to named anchors are found in other locations in the finished PDF document.  Creation of the named anchors is explained in the next code sample.  Notice that as with paragraphs and other text fragments, you specify a font when creating the Anchor objects.

After the Anchor objects are created, a new page is added to the document, a paragraph of text is added to the page, and then the three Anchor objects are added to the page.  Notice that our AddParagraph() helper method is used to add the Anchor objects.

/// <summary>
/// Add a blank page to the document.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="doc"></param>
private void AddPageWithInternalLinks(iTextSharp.text.Document doc)
{
   // Generate links to be embedded in the page
   Anchor researchAnchor = new Anchor("Research & Hypothesis\n\n", _standardFont);
   researchAnchor.Reference = "#research"; // this link references a named anchor within the document
   Anchor graphAnchor = new Anchor("Graph\n\n", _standardFont);
   graphAnchor.Reference = "#graph";
   Anchor resultsAnchor = new Anchor("Results & Bibliography", _standardFont);
   resultsAnchor.Reference = "#results";

   // Add a new page to the document
   doc.NewPage();

   // Add heading text to the page
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _largeFont, new iTextSharp.text.Chunk("TABLE OF CONTENTS\n\n\n\n\n"));

   // Add the links to the page
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _standardFont, researchAnchor);
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _standardFont, graphAnchor);
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _standardFont, resultsAnchor);
}

The method in the next code sample, AddPageWithBulletList(), builds on the previous sample.  It shows how to create the named anchors that were referenced by the anchors created in the previous example.  In addition, it shows a new concept, a bulleted list.

In this method, after adding a new page to the document, a new Anchor object is created and added to the page.  The important thing to notice is that this anchor is not assigned a reference; instead it is simply given a name.  This is what makes this object a… well.. anchor… and not a link to another resource.

/// <summary>
/// Add a page that includes a bullet list.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="doc"></param>
private void AddPageWithBulletList(iTextSharp.text.Document doc)
{
   // Add a new page to the document
   doc.NewPage();

   // The header at the top of the page is an anchor linked to by the table of contents.
   iTextSharp.text.Anchor contentsAnchor = new iTextSharp.text.Anchor("RESEARCH\n\n", _largeFont);
   contentsAnchor.Name = "research";

   // Add the header anchor to the page
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _largeFont, contentsAnchor);

   // Create an unordered bullet list.  The 10f argument separates the bullet from the text by 10 points
   iTextSharp.text.List list = new iTextSharp.text.List(iTextSharp.text.List.UNORDERED, 10f);
   list.SetListSymbol("\u2022");   // Set the bullet symbol (without this a hypen starts each list item)
   list.IndentationLeft = 20f;     // Indent the list 20 points
   list.Add(new ListItem("Lift, thrust, drag, and gravity are forces that act on a plane.", _standardFont));
   list.Add(new ListItem("A plane should be light to help fight against gravity’s pull.", _standardFont));
   list.Add(new ListItem("Gravity will have less effect on a plane built from light materials.", _standardFont));
   list.Add(new ListItem("In order to fly well, airplanes must be stable.", _standardFont));
   list.Add(new ListItem("A plane that is unstable will either pitch up into a stall, or nose-dive.", _standardFont));
   doc.Add(list);  // Add the list to the page
}

After the named anchor is added to the page, a List object is created.  This object is used to define a bulleted list.

After the List object has been instantiated, some additional customizations are made.  These include a modification to the leading symbol of each list item (the default hyphen is changed to the bullet symbol) and the indentation of the entire list.  Once these actions are complete, five ListItem objects are added to the list, and the list is added to the page.

The next sample is very similar to the earlier example that shows how to add links to locations within the PDF.  This one shows a method that adds links to external resources.  The key difference to note between the method shown here (AddPageWithExternalLinks()) and the one shown earlier (AddPageWithInternalLinks()) is that the Reference properties of the anchors are set to external URLs instead of to internal named anchors.

/// <summary>
/// Add a page that contains embedded hyperlinks to external resources
/// </summary>
/// <param name="doc"></param>
private void AddPageWithExternalLinks(Document doc)
{
   // Generate external links to be embedded in the page
   iTextSharp.text.Anchor bibliographyAnchor1 = new Anchor("Scholastic.com", _standardFont);
   bibliographyAnchor1.Reference = "http://teacher.scholastic.com/paperairplane/airplane.htm&quot;;
   Anchor bibliographyAnchor2 = new Anchor("Berkeley.edu", _standardFont);
   bibliographyAnchor1.Reference = "http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Programs/doublex/spring02/paperairplane.html&quot;;
   Anchor bibliographyAnchor3 = new Anchor("Paper Airplane Science", _standardFont);
   bibliographyAnchor1.Reference = "http://www.exo.net/~pauld/activities/flying/PaperAirplaneScience.html&quot;;
   Anchor bibliographyAnchor4 = new Anchor("LittleToyAirplanes.com", _standardFont);
   bibliographyAnchor4.Reference = "http://www.littletoyairplanes.com/theoryofflight/02whyplanes.html&quot;; 

   // Add a new page to the document
   doc.NewPage();

   // Add text to the page 
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_CENTER, _largeFont, new Chunk("BIBLIOGRAPHY\n\n"));

   // Add the links to the page
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_LEFT, _standardFont, bibliographyAnchor1);
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_LEFT, _standardFont, bibliographyAnchor2);
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_LEFT, _standardFont, bibliographyAnchor3);
   this.AddParagraph(doc, iTextSharp.text.Element.ALIGN_LEFT, _standardFont, bibliographyAnchor4);

 

One final example of adding content to a PDF file is the AddPageWithImage() method in the next code sample.  Looking at the body of the method, you can see that the image is read from disk, the page is resized to match the size of the image, and the image is added to the document.

The key thing to notice here is that the modifications to the margins and page size are made before the new page is added.  Modifications to margins and page size take affect when a new page is added; the current page is unaffected.

/// <summary>
/// Add a page containing a single image.  Set the page size to match the image size.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="doc"></param>
/// <param name="imagePath"></param>
private void AddPageWithImage(iTextSharp.text.Document doc, String imagePath)
{
   // Read the image file
   iTextSharp.text.Image image = iTextSharp.text.Image.GetInstance(new Uri(imagePath));

   // Set the page size to the dimensions of the image BEFORE adding a new page to the document. 
   float imageWidth = image.Width;
   float imageHeight = image.Height;
   doc.SetMargins(0, 0, 0, 0);
   doc.SetPageSize(new iTextSharp.text.Rectangle(imageWidth, imageHeight));

   // Add a new page
   doc.NewPage(); 

   // Add the image to the page 
   doc.Add(image);
   image = null;
}

The last code sample shows a method that was called in the Build() method shown in the first code sample.  CreateXmpMetadata() adds XMP metadata to a PDF document.  You may be familiar with EXIF metadata that many digital cameras embed within photos.  XMP is an XML- based metadata standard that is similar to EXIF.  It can be embedded in many types of files, including PDFs.  Some reference managers and PDF cataloging tools can take advantage of this metadata if is is available.

The method begins by creating an XmpSchema object and adding metadata to it.  It then creates a XmpWriter object and writes the XmpSchema to a byte stream.  Then (and this is important), the byte stream is shrunk to the size of the metadata that was placed into it.  Once that is done, the byte stream is written to the PDF document.

/// <summary>
/// Use this method to write XMP data to a new PDF
/// </summary>
/// <param name="writer"></param>
private void CreateXmpMetadata(iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfWriter writer)
{
   // Set up the buffer to hold the XMP metadata
   byte[] buffer = new byte[65536];
   System.IO.MemoryStream ms = new System.IO.MemoryStream(buffer, true);

   try
   {
       // XMP supports a number of different schemas, which are made available by iTextSharp.
       // Here, the Dublin Core schema is chosen.
       iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpSchema dc = new iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.DublinCoreSchema();

       // Add Dublin Core attributes
       iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.LangAlt title = new iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.LangAlt();
       title.Add("x-default", "My Science Project");
       dc.SetProperty(iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.DublinCoreSchema.TITLE, title);

       // Dublin Core allows multiple authors, so we create an XmpArray to hold the values
       iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpArray author = new iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpArray(iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpArray.ORDERED);
       author.Add("M. Lichtenberg");
       dc.SetProperty(iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.DublinCoreSchema.CREATOR, author);

       // Multiple subjects are also possible, so another XmpArray is used
       iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpArray subject = new iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpArray(iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpArray.UNORDERED);
       subject.Add("paper airplanes");
       subject.Add("science project");
       dc.SetProperty(iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.DublinCoreSchema.SUBJECT, subject);

       // Create an XmpWriter using the MemoryStream defined earlier
       iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpWriter xmp = new iTextSharp.text.xml.xmp.XmpWriter(ms);
       xmp.AddRdfDescription(dc);  // Add the completed metadata definition to the XmpWriter
       xmp.Close();    // This flushes the XMP metadata into the buffer

       //———————————————————————————
       // Shrink the buffer to the correct size (discard empty elements of the byte array)
       int bufsize = buffer.Length;
       int bufcount = 0;
       foreach (byte b in buffer)
       {
           if (b == 0) break;
           bufcount++;
       }
       System.IO.MemoryStream ms2 = new System.IO.MemoryStream(buffer, 0, bufcount);
       buffer = ms2.ToArray();
       //———————————————————————————

       // Add all of the XMP metadata to the PDF doc that we’re building
       writer.XmpMetadata = buffer;
   }
   catch (Exception ex)
   {
       throw ex;
   }
   finally
   {
       ms.Close();
       ms.Dispose();
   }

 

Working Code And Example Output

A ready-to-run Visual Studio 2010 solution can be downloaded from here.  The download includes all of the code samples discussed in this post.  Many of them include more detail than what is shown here.  If you want to skip straight to the output, an example of the PDF created by the ready-to-run code is available here.

Wrapping Up

In my own experience I found iTextSharp to be a powerful tool.  It was also a frustrating tool to learn.  I hope that the examples that I’ve presented here help others realize the power of iTextSharp while avoiding the frustration.

While putting together this post, I discovered this series of posts from mikesdotnetting.com.  I recommend those articles for further reading about iTextSharp.

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31 Responses to Using C# and iTextSharp to create a PDF

  1. Roland Peter says:

    Dear Mike Lichtenberg

    Salute you for tremendous effort for making other’s life easy. Recently I got a requirement from my business in which I have to read a text file (which contains multiple records of customers).
    I need to read complete file from top to bottom and then extract data customer wise. then I have to create pdf files for each customer.
    Hence there are two parts of my assignment ;
    1- reading a text file customer wise
    2- create pdf files customer wise.

    could you please help me out to start with this assignment. or refer. any link which already have such kind of task done earlier.

    Regards

    Peter

  2. JD says:

    How would you go about using iTextSharp to convert an existing webpage to a PDF? Is it simple to just use it for something like this? Id like to just add a button to my page (export to PDF) something along those lines..

    • mlichtenberg says:

      Really great question.

      I’ve not encountered this use case before, but I can think of a number of useful applications if it is possible. An old thread at the asp.net site, http://forums.asp.net/t/1199774.aspx, seems to show that others have gotten this to work. If I have some spare time I’ll give it a try myself, otherwise drop me a note on the blog if you have success.

      • mlichtenberg says:

        OK, I had some time to give this a try this evening, using as a starting point the example code on the ASP.net forums that I referenced in my previous comment.

        It turns out that while this is easy to do in principle, the iTextSharp HTML parser seems to be rather suspect. If the image paths (and I suspect the paths to other resources) are not fully qualified (i.e. http://somedomain.com/images/image.gif instead of just /images/image.gif), the html parser chokes. I also ran into a problem trying to convert Google’s home page to a PDF. No images there, but it appeared that iTextSharp’s html parser got lost in the large amount of minified Javascript that is present in the Google page source.

        So, if your pages contain very basic HTML, or if you can grab just a simplified block of HTML (rather than an entire page), then you might have success. However, if you’re dealing with complete pages and/or complex HTML, it seems unlikely that you’ll be able to easily get this to work.

  3. jade says:

    hi,
    can we get the designed size of the image inside the pdf?
    I meant not the physical dimension of image was before inserted.
    I meant the size of the image inside the pdf.

    • mlichtenberg says:

      If you mean the size in bytes of the image, then just check the size of the image outside the PDF. A 40 KB image added to a PDF will add 40 KB to the size of the PDF.

      If you are asking about the dimensions in pixels of an image after it is inserted into the PDF, then that is something you can control. By default, an image is not scaled when placed into the PDF. If you notice in the AddPageWithImage method of my example app, I am scaling the page to fit the image.

      If you would rather scale the image to fit a particular page size, then have a look at the various Scale…() methods of the iTextSharp.text.Image class. There are a number of methods for scaling the image (ScaleAbsolute(), ScaleAboluteHeight(), ScaleAbsoluteWidth(), ScalePercent()). Once you have scaled the image, you can get the new dimensions by evaluating the ScaledHeight and ScaledWidth properties of the iTextSharp.text.Image instance. The Height and Width properties always contain the original dimensions of the image.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Te agradezco enormemente por hacerme la vida más fácil. I want to thank you to make my life easier.

  5. unable to open pdf.can you send me whole solution file on mithunbobade1 at gmail dot com.
    thank you..

  6. Xavier says:

    Hi,
    Really thank you for this post. 🙂
    I’ve got a proble when I want to initialize the PDF document on the line “iTextSharp.text.pdf.PdfWriter writer = pdf.PdfWriter.GetInstance…”. Visual Studio say “The name ‘pdf’ does not exist in current context.” but why?

    Thank you
    Kind regards,
    Xavier

  7. Divakar says:

    I am Font error. Can I have to create the Font class?

  8. Why does it says my the ‘writer’ does not exist in the current context

    • mlichtenberg says:

      The variable named “writer” is not in scope where you are accessing it. Can you share a sample of your code that shows where “writer” is declared and where you are attempting to access it? Or did you simply try to download, build, and run my sample (do I have an error in my code)?

  9. This was enormously helpful.. thank you!

  10. erjoell says:

    I would like to know how to write a table to the PDF including making the boundaries of the cells visible. I tried doing this by converting an html page to PDF but as you found while this is easy in theory, in fact it doesn’t work. (See http://forums.asp.net/t/1931062.aspx?Using+iTextSharp+to+export+html+page+to+PDF+only+exports+master+page+rendering) So I need another way to accomplish this.

  11. J.Enkhbold says:

    How to fix this error :
    System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly ‘itextsharp, Version=5.4.3.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=8354ae6d2174ddca’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.
    File name: ‘itextsharp, Version=5.4.3.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=8354ae6d2174ddca’

    When I trying to create the pdf file with source code on VB .net all is OK. But after building my solution (.exe file) this error displaying… I don’ t know why and How can I fix this problem..?
    Thank’s

    • mlichtenberg says:

      If I understand correctly, you are saying that it works from within the Visual Studio environment, but not when you attempt to run the compiled EXE directly.

      Is the correct iTextSharp.dll located in the folder with your .exe? I see that newer distributions of iTextSharp include two assemblies that appear to be optional add-ons: itextsharp.pdfa.dll and itextsharp.xtra.dll. If your project references either of those you will also need them in the folder with your .exe.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Heather says:

    Many thanks for using free time in order to post “Using C# and iTextSharp
    to create a PDF | LichtenBytes”. Thank you so much once more -Marjorie

  13. Gomez says:

    I searched for .NET Library for PDF and the one which have received good reviews from users is Aspose.PDF for .NET, has anyone tried or use this library. Please i need feedback before using this API.

    • mlichtenberg says:

      I have not used the Aspose product myself, but have read good things about it. It seems a little pricey compared to iTextSharp (which is free). Depending on what you need out of the tool, the price may be worthwhile.

      I have found when using packaged commercial components that I generally gain features and increase productivity, but give up some control. I assume the same would be true with the Aspose product.

      • Gomez says:

        You are right Aspose Components are not free and i have tried their trial version to use some of the codes for my application and i was very satisfied with the results so i purchased one of their package and it is so worth while because you can ask for the code for a specific features on their support forum and their support team help you as fast as they can which i have found the best thing about this component. They not only provide new features every week for their components but also available to help their customer in every possible way they can.

    • Jack Du says:

      Besides using Itextsharp to create PDF in C#, I’d like to recommend a free C# pdf compoenent – Spire.PDF ,which is also available on Codeplex. It meets all my need of proceesing PDF in .NET platform so far.

      • mlichtenberg says:

        Interesting. I had not heard of that one before.

        However, I see that the free edition of this component is severely limited. From the developer’s web site: “Free version is limited to 10 pages of PDF. This limitation is enforced during loading and creating files. When converting PDF to Image, the first 3 pages of PDF files will be converted to Image format successfully.” The commercial license that eliminates those restrictions is $599.

        Also, the CodePlex comments (https://pdfapi.codeplex.com/releases/view/99816?RateReview=true) show 2 compliments, 1 complaint… and 6 remarks that this is NOT open source software.

        The full commercial version may well be a fine, useful piece of software… but unless I’m missing something, the free version is only useful for projects with very specific requirements that fit within the free version’s limitations.

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