Create or Generate PDF file in Windows Forms

3 Jan 202316 minutes to read

The Syncfusion .NET PDF library is used to create, read, and edit PDF documents. This library also offers functionality to merge, split, stamp, forms, and secure PDF files.

To include the .NET PDF library into your Windows Forms application, please refer to the NuGet Package Required or Assemblies Required documentation.

Steps to create PDF document in Window Forms

Step 1: Create a new Windows Forms application project.
WF sample creation step1

Step 2: Install the Syncfusion.Pdf.WinForms NuGet package as a reference to your .NET Framework applications from
WF sample creation step2

Step 3: Include the following namespaces in the Form1.Designer.cs file.

  • C#
  • using Syncfusion.Pdf;
    using Syncfusion.Pdf.Graphics;
    using System.Drawing;

    Step 4: Add a new button in Form1.Designer.cs to create PDF document as follows.

  • C#
  • private Button btnCreate;
    private Label label;
    private void InitializeComponent()
      btnCreate = new Button();
      label = new Label();
      label.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(0, 40);
      label.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(426, 35);
      label.Text = "Click the button to generate PDF file by Essential PDF";
      label.TextAlign = System.Drawing.ContentAlignment.MiddleCenter;
      btnCreate.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(180, 110);
      btnCreate.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(85, 26);
      btnCreate.Text = "Create PDF";
      btnCreate.Click += new EventHandler(btnCreate_Click); 
      //Create PDF
      ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(450, 150);
      Text = "Create PDF";

    Step 5: Create the btnCreate_Click event and add the below code sample in btnCreate_Click to generate a PDF document using the PdfDocument class. Then use the DrawString method of the PdfGraphics object to draw the text on the PDF page.

  • C#
  • //Create a new PDF document. 
    using (PdfDocument document = new PdfDocument())
      //Add a page to the document.
      PdfPage page = document.Pages.Add();
      //Create PDF graphics for a page.
      PdfGraphics graphics = page.Graphics;
      //Set the standard font.
      PdfFont font = new PdfStandardFont(PdfFontFamily.Helvetica, 20);
      //Draw the text.
      graphics.DrawString("Hello World!!!", font, PdfBrushes.Black, new PointF(0, 0));
      //Save the document.

    You can download a complete working sample from GitHub.

    By executing the program, you will get the PDF document as follows.
    Output document screenshot

    Creating a PDF document with image

    Load image stream from the local files on disk and draw the images through the DrawImage method of the PdfGraphics class. The following code example shows how to create a PDF document with an image.

  • C#
  • //Create a new PDF document.
    PdfDocument doc = new PdfDocument();
    //Add a page to the document.
    PdfPage page = doc.Pages.Add();
    //Create PDF graphics for the page
    PdfGraphics graphics = page.Graphics;
    //Load the image from the disk.
    PdfBitmap image = new PdfBitmap("Autumn Leaves.jpg");
    //Draw the image
    graphics.DrawImage(image, 0, 0);
    //Save the document.
    //Close the document.

    You can download a complete working sample from GitHub.

    Creating a PDF document with table

    The PdfGrid allows you to create a table from a DataSource (data set, data table, arrays, or IEnumerable object) in a PDF document.The following code example shows how to create a PDF document with a simple table.

  • C#
  • //Create a new PDF document.
    PdfDocument doc = new PdfDocument();
    //Add a page.
    PdfPage page = doc.Pages.Add();
    //Create a PdfGrid.
    PdfGrid pdfGrid = new PdfGrid();
    //Create a DataTable.
    DataTable dataTable = new DataTable();
    //Add columns to the DataTable
    //Add rows to the DataTable.
    dataTable.Rows.Add(new object[] { "E01", "Clay" });
    dataTable.Rows.Add(new object[] { "E02", "Thomas" });
    dataTable.Rows.Add(new object[] { "E03", "Andrew" });
    dataTable.Rows.Add(new object[] { "E04", "Paul" });
    dataTable.Rows.Add(new object[] { "E05", "Gary" });
    //Assign data source.
    pdfGrid.DataSource = dataTable;
    //Draw grid to the page of PDF document.
    pdfGrid.Draw(page, new PointF(10, 10));
    //Save the document.
    //close the document

    You can download a complete working sample from GitHub.

    Creating a simple PDF document with basic elements

    The PdfDocument object represents an entire PDF document that is being created. The following code example shows how to create a PDF document and add a PdfPage to it along with the PdfPageSettings.

  • C#
  • //Creates a new PDF document.
    PdfDocument document = new PdfDocument();
    //Adds page settings.
    document.PageSettings.Orientation = PdfPageOrientation.Landscape;
    document.PageSettings.Margins.All = 50;
    //Adds a page to the document.
    PdfPage page = document.Pages.Add();
    PdfGraphics graphics = page.Graphics;
    1. Essential PDF has APIs similar to the .NET GDI plus which helps to draw elements to the PDF page just like 2D drawing in .NET.
    2. Unlike System.Drawing APIs all the units are measured in point instead of pixel.
    3. In PDF, all the elements are placed in absolute positions and has the possibility for content overlapping if misplaced.
    4. Essential PDF provides the rendered bounds for each and every elements added through PdfLayoutResult objects. This can be used to add successive elements and prevent content overlap.

    The following code example explains how to add an image from disk to a PDF document, by providing the rectangle coordinates.

  • C#
  • //Loads the image from disk.
    PdfImage image = PdfImage.FromFile("AdventureCycle.jpg");
    RectangleF bounds = new RectangleF(176, 0, 390, 130);
    //Draws the image to the PDF page.
    page.Graphics.DrawImage(image, bounds);

    The following methods can be used to add text to a PDF document.

    1. DrawString() method of the PdfGraphics
    2. PdfTextElement class.

    The PdfTextElement provides the layout result of the added text by using the location of the next element that decides to prevent content overlapping. This is not available in the DrawString method.

    The following code example adds the necessary text such as address, invoice number and date to create a basic invoice application.

  • C#
  • PdfBrush solidBrush = new PdfSolidBrush(new PdfColor(126, 151, 173));
    bounds = new RectangleF(0, bounds.Bottom + 90, graphics.ClientSize.Width, 30);
    //Draws a rectangle to place the heading in that region.
    graphics.DrawRectangle(solidBrush, bounds);
    //Creates a font for adding the heading in the page.
    PdfFont subHeadingFont = new PdfStandardFont(PdfFontFamily.TimesRoman, 14);
    //Creates a text element to add the invoice number.
    PdfTextElement element = new PdfTextElement("INVOICE " + id.ToString(), subHeadingFont);
    element.Brush = PdfBrushes.White;
    //Draws the heading on the page.
    PdfLayoutResult result = element.Draw(page, new PointF(10, bounds.Top + 8));
    string currentDate = "DATE " + DateTime.Now.ToString("MM/dd/yyyy");
    //Measures the width of the text to place it in the correct location.
    SizeF textSize = subHeadingFont.MeasureString(currentDate);
    PointF textPosition = new PointF(graphics.ClientSize.Width - textSize.Width - 10, result.Bounds.Y);
    //Draws the date by using DrawString method.
    graphics.DrawString(currentDate, subHeadingFont, element.Brush, textPosition);
    PdfFont timesRoman = new PdfStandardFont(PdfFontFamily.TimesRoman, 10);
    //Creates text elements to add the address and draw it to the page.
    element = new PdfTextElement("BILL TO ", timesRoman);
    element.Brush = new PdfSolidBrush(new PdfColor(126, 155, 203));
    result = element.Draw(page, new PointF(10, result.Bounds.Bottom + 25));
    PdfPen linePen = new PdfPen(new PdfColor(126, 151, 173), 0.70f);
    PointF startPoint = new PointF(0, result.Bounds.Bottom + 3);
    PointF endPoint = new PointF(graphics.ClientSize.Width, result.Bounds.Bottom + 3);
    //Draws a line at the bottom of the address.
    graphics.DrawLine(linePen, startPoint, endPoint);

    Essential PDF provides two types of table models. The difference between both the table models can be referred from the link
    Difference between PdfLightTable and PdfGrid

    Since the invoice document requires only simple cell customizations, the given code example explains how to create a simple invoice table by using PdfGrid.

  • C#
  • //Creates the datasource for the table.
    DataTable invoiceDetails = GetProductDetailsAsDataTable();
    //Creates a PDF grid.
    PdfGrid grid = new PdfGrid();
    //Adds the data source.
    grid.DataSource = invoiceDetails;
    //Creates the grid cell styles.
    PdfGridCellStyle cellStyle = new PdfGridCellStyle();
    cellStyle.Borders.All = PdfPens.White;
    PdfGridRow header = grid.Headers[0];
    //Creates the header style.
    PdfGridCellStyle headerStyle = new PdfGridCellStyle();
    headerStyle.Borders.All = new PdfPen(new PdfColor(126, 151, 173));
    headerStyle.BackgroundBrush = new PdfSolidBrush(new PdfColor(126, 151, 173));
    headerStyle.TextBrush = PdfBrushes.White;
    headerStyle.Font = new PdfStandardFont(PdfFontFamily.TimesRoman, 14f, PdfFontStyle.Regular);
    //Adds cell customizations.
    for (int i = 0; i < header.Cells.Count; i++)
      if (i == 0 || i == 1)
        header.Cells[i].StringFormat = new PdfStringFormat(PdfTextAlignment.Left, PdfVerticalAlignment.Middle);
        header.Cells[i].StringFormat = new PdfStringFormat(PdfTextAlignment.Right, PdfVerticalAlignment.Middle);
    //Applies the header style.
    cellStyle.Borders.Bottom = new PdfPen(new PdfColor(217, 217, 217), 0.70f);
    cellStyle.Font = new PdfStandardFont(PdfFontFamily.TimesRoman, 12f);
    cellStyle.TextBrush = new PdfSolidBrush(new PdfColor(131, 130, 136));
    //Creates the layout format for grid.
    PdfGridLayoutFormat layoutFormat = new PdfGridLayoutFormat();
    //Creates layout format settings to allow the table pagination.
    layoutFormat.Layout = PdfLayoutType.Paginate;
    //Draws the grid to the PDF page.
    PdfGridLayoutResult gridResult = grid.Draw(page, new RectangleF(new PointF(0, result.Bounds.Bottom + 40), new SizeF(graphics.ClientSize.Width, graphics.ClientSize.Height - 100)), layoutFormat);

    The following code example shows how to save the invoice document to disk and dispose the PdfDocument object.

  • C#
  • //Saves and closes the document.

    You can download a complete working sample from GitHub.

    The following screenshot shows the invoice PDF document created by using Essential PDF.
    PDF invoice screenshot

    Filling forms

    An interactive form sometimes referred to as an AcroForm, is a collection of fields for gathering information interactively from the user. A PDF document or existing PDF document contain any number of fields appearing in any combination of pages, all that make a single, globally interactive form spanning the entire document.

    Essential PDF allows you to create and manipulate existing form in a PDF document using the PdfForm class. The PdfLoadedFormFieldCollection class represents the entire field collection of the loaded form. To work with existing form documents, the following namespaces are required.

    1. Syncfusion.Pdf
    2. Syncfusion.Pdf.Parsing

    The following guide shows how to fill out a sample PDF form.
    PDF fill form screenshot

    Essential PDF allows you to fill the form fields by using PdfLoadedField class. You can get the form field either by using its field name or field index.

  • C#
  • //Loads the PDF form.
    PdfLoadedDocument loadedDocument = new PdfLoadedDocument(@"JobApplication.pdf");
    //Loads the form.
    PdfLoadedForm form = loadedDocument.Form;
    //Fills the textbox field by using index.
    (form.Fields[0] as PdfLoadedTextBoxField).Text = "John";
    //Fills the textbox fields by using field name.
    (form.Fields["LastName"] as PdfLoadedTextBoxField).Text = "Doe";
    (form.Fields["Address"] as PdfLoadedTextBoxField).Text = " John Doe \n 123 Main St \n Anytown, USA";
    //Loads the radio button group.
    PdfLoadedRadioButtonItemCollection radioButtonCollection = (form.Fields["Gender"] as PdfLoadedRadioButtonListField).Items;
    //Checks the 'Male' option.
    radioButtonCollection[0].Checked = true;
    //Checks the 'business' checkbox field.
    (form.Fields["Business"] as PdfLoadedCheckBoxField).Checked = true;
    //Checks the 'retiree' checkbox field.
    (form.Fields["Retiree"] as PdfLoadedCheckBoxField).Checked = true;
    //Saves and closes the document.

    You can download a complete working sample from GitHub.

    The filled form is shown in adobe reader application as follows.
    PDF filled form screenshot

    Merge PDF Documents

    Essential PDF supports merging multiple PDF documents from stream using the Merge method of the PdfDocumentBase class.

    Refer to the following code example to merge multiple documents from disk.

  • C#
  • //Creates the new PDF document.
    PdfDocument finalDoc = new PdfDocument();
    //Creates a string array of source files to be merged.
    string[] source = { "file1.pdf, file2.pdf" };
    //Merges PDFDocument.
    PdfDocument.Merge(finalDoc, source);
    //Saves the final document.
    //closes the document.

    You can download a complete working sample from GitHub.

    You can merge the PDF document streams by using the following code example.

  • C#
  • //Creates the destination document.
    PdfDocument finalDoc = new PdfDocument();
    Stream stream1 = File.OpenRead("file1.pdf");
    Stream stream2 = File.OpenRead("file2.pdf");
    //Creates a PDF stream for merging.
    Stream[] streams = { stream1, stream2 };
    //Merges PDFDocument.
    PdfDocumentBase.Merge(finalDoc, streams);
    //Saves the document.
    //Closes the document.

    You can download a complete working sample from GitHub.