c# – Convert HTML to PDF in .NET

The Question :

447 people think this question is useful

I want to generate a PDF by passing HTML contents to a function. I have made use of iTextSharp for this but it does not perform well when it encounters tables and the layout just gets messy.

Is there a better way?

The Question Comments :
  • You can use GemBox.Document for this. Also here you can find a sample code for converting HTML file into a PDF file.
  • Which version of iTextSharp do you use and could you share your html?
  • Still no answer to my request for additional information. Please also add if you are using HTMLWorker or XMLWorker.
  • What about .net core?
  • SEPT 2019: I have added a new answer some of the options listed are free others paid and a few are available as .net core stackoverflow.com/questions/564650/…

The Answer 1

210 people think this answer is useful

EDIT: New Suggestion HTML Renderer for PDF using PdfSharp

(After trying wkhtmltopdf and suggesting to avoid it)

HtmlRenderer.PdfSharp is a 100% fully C# managed code, easy to use, thread safe and most importantly FREE (New BSD License) solution.

Usage

  1. Download HtmlRenderer.PdfSharp nuget package.
  2. Use Example Method.

    public static Byte[] PdfSharpConvert(String html)
    {
        Byte[] res = null;
        using (MemoryStream ms = new MemoryStream())
        {
            var pdf = TheArtOfDev.HtmlRenderer.PdfSharp.PdfGenerator.GeneratePdf(html, PdfSharp.PageSize.A4);
            pdf.Save(ms);
            res = ms.ToArray();
        }
        return res;
    }
    
    

A very Good Alternate Is a Free Version of iTextSharp

Until version 4.1.6 iTextSharp was licensed under the LGPL licence and versions until 4.16 (or there may be also forks) are available as packages and can be freely used. Of course someone can use the continued 5+ paid version.

I tried to integrate wkhtmltopdf solutions on my project and had a bunch of hurdles.

I personally would avoid using wkhtmltopdf – based solutions on Hosted Enterprise applications for the following reasons.

  1. First of all wkhtmltopdf is C++ implemented not C#, and you will experience various problems embedding it within your C# code, especially while switching between 32bit and 64bit builds of your project. Had to try several workarounds including conditional project building etc. etc. just to avoid “invalid format exceptions” on different machines.
  2. If you manage your own virtual machine its ok. But if your project is running within a constrained environment like (Azure (Actually is impossible withing azure as mentioned by the TuesPenchin author) , Elastic Beanstalk etc) it’s a nightmare to configure that environment only for wkhtmltopdf to work.
  3. wkhtmltopdf is creating files within your server so you have to manage user permissions and grant “write” access to where wkhtmltopdf is running.
  4. Wkhtmltopdf is running as a standalone application, so its not managed by your IIS application pool. So you have to either host it as a service on another machine or you will experience processing spikes and memory consumption within your production server.
  5. It uses temp files to generate the pdf, and in cases Like AWS EC2 which has really slow disk i/o it is a big performance problem.
  6. The most hated “Unable to load DLL ‘wkhtmltox.dll'” error reported by many users.

— PRE Edit Section —

For anyone who want to generate pdf from html in simpler applications / environments I leave my old post as suggestion.

TuesPechkin

https://www.nuget.org/packages/TuesPechkin/

or Especially For MVC Web Applications (But I think you may use it in any .net application)

Rotativa

https://www.nuget.org/packages/Rotativa/

They both utilize the wkhtmtopdf binary for converting html to pdf. Which uses the webkit engine for rendering the pages so it can also parse css style sheets.

They provide easy to use seamless integration with C#.

Rotativa can also generate directly PDFs from any Razor View.

Additionally for real world web applications they also manage thread safety etc…

The Answer 2

192 people think this answer is useful

Update: I would now recommend PupeteerSharp over wkhtmltopdf.

Try wkhtmtopdf. It is the best tool I have found so far.

For .NET, you may use this small library to easily invoke wkhtmtopdf command line utility.

The Answer 3

67 people think this answer is useful

Last Updated: October 2020

This is the list of options for HTML to PDF conversion in .NET that I have put together (some free some paid)

If none of the options above help you you can always search the NuGet packages:
https://www.nuget.org/packages?q=html+pdf

The Answer 4

37 people think this answer is useful

I recently performed a PoC regarding HTML to PDF conversion and wanted to share my results.

My favorite by far is OpenHtmlToPdf

Advantages of this tool:

  • Very good HTML compatibility (e.g. it was the only tool in my example that correctly repeated table headers when a table spanned multiple pages)
  • Fluent API
  • Free and OpenSource (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license)
  • Available via NuGet

Other tools tested:

The Answer 5

28 people think this answer is useful

Most HTML to PDF converter relies on IE to do the HTML parsing and rendering. This can break when user updates their IE. Here is one that does not rely on IE.

The code is something like this:

EO.Pdf.HtmlToPdf.ConvertHtml(htmlText, pdfFileName);

Like many other converters, you can pass text, file name, or Url. The result can be saved into a file or a stream.

The Answer 6

26 people think this answer is useful

I highly recommend NReco, seriously. It has the free and paid version, and really worth it. It uses wkhtmtopdf in background, but you just need one assembly. Fantastic.

Example of use:

Install via NuGet.

var htmlContent = String.Format("<body>Hello world: {0}</body>", DateTime.Now);
var pdfBytes = (new NReco.PdfGenerator.HtmlToPdfConverter()).GeneratePdf(htmlContent);

Disclaimer: I’m not the developer, just a fan of the project 🙂

The Answer 7

13 people think this answer is useful

Winnovative offer a .Net PDF library that supports HTML input. They offer an unlimited free trial. Depending on how you wish to deploy your project, this might be sufficient.

The Answer 8

9 people think this answer is useful

Essential PDF can be used to convert HTML to PDF: C# sample. The sample linked to here is ASP.NET based, but the library can be used from Windows Forms, WPF, ASP.NET Webforms, and ASP.NET MVC. The library offers the option of using different HTML rendering engines : Internet Explorer (default) and WebKit (best output).

The whole suite of controls is available for free (commercial applications also) through the community license program if you qualify. The community license is the full product with no limitations or watermarks.

Note: I work for Syncfusion.

The Answer 9

8 people think this answer is useful

If you don’t really need a true .Net PDF library, there are numerous free HTML to PDF tools, many of which can run from a command-line.

One solution would be to pick one of those and then write a thin wrapper around that in C#. E.g., as done in this tutorial.

The Answer 10

8 people think this answer is useful

There’s also a new web-based document generation app – DocRaptor.com. Seems easy to use, and there’s a free option.

The Answer 11

7 people think this answer is useful

I used ExpertPDF Html To Pdf Converter. Does a decent job. Unfortunatelly, it’s not free.

The Answer 12

7 people think this answer is useful

You can use Google Chrome print-to-pdf feature from its headless mode. I found this to be the simplest yet the most robust method.

var url = "https://stackoverflow.com/questions/564650/convert-html-to-pdf-in-net";
var chromePath = @"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe";
var output = Path.Combine(Environment.CurrentDirectory, "printout.pdf");
using (var p = new Process())
    {
        p.StartInfo.FileName = chromePath;
        p.StartInfo.Arguments = $"--headless --disable-gpu --print-to-pdf={output} {url}";
        p.Start();
        p.WaitForExit();
    }


The Answer 13

6 people think this answer is useful

2018’s update, and Let’s use standard HTML+CSS=PDF equation!

There are good news for HTML-to-PDF demands. As this answer showed, the W3C standard css-break-3 will solve the problem… It is a Candidate Recommendation with plan to turn into definitive Recommendation in 2017 or 2018, after tests.

As not-so-standard there are solutions, with plugins for C#, as showed by print-css.rocks.

The Answer 14

4 people think this answer is useful

ABCpdf.NET (http://www.websupergoo.com/abcpdf-5.htm)

We use and recommend.

Very good component, it not only convert a webpage to PDF like an image but really convert text, image, formatting, etc…

It’s not free but it’s cheap.

The Answer 15

4 people think this answer is useful

I’m the author of the Rotativa package. It allows to create PDF files directly from razor views:

https://www.nuget.org/packages/Rotativa/

Trivial to use and you have full control on the layout since you can use razor views with data from your Model and ViewBag container.

I developed a SaaS version on Azure. It makes it even easier to use it from WebApi or any .Net app, service, Azure website, Azure webjob, whatever runs .Net.

http://www.rotativahq.com/

Free accounts available.

The Answer 16

4 people think this answer is useful

Below is an example of converting html + css to PDF using iTextSharp (iTextSharp + itextsharp.xmlworker)

using iTextSharp.text;
using iTextSharp.text.pdf;
using iTextSharp.tool.xml;


byte[] pdf; // result will be here

var cssText = File.ReadAllText(MapPath("~/css/test.css"));
var html = File.ReadAllText(MapPath("~/css/test.html"));

using (var memoryStream = new MemoryStream())
{
        var document = new Document(PageSize.A4, 50, 50, 60, 60);
        var writer = PdfWriter.GetInstance(document, memoryStream);
        document.Open();

        using (var cssMemoryStream = new MemoryStream(System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(cssText)))
        {
            using (var htmlMemoryStream = new MemoryStream(System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(html)))
            {
                XMLWorkerHelper.GetInstance().ParseXHtml(writer, document, htmlMemoryStream, cssMemoryStream);
            }
        }

        document.Close();

        pdf = memoryStream.ToArray();
}

The Answer 17

4 people think this answer is useful

Quite likely most projects will wrap a C/C++ Engine rather than implementing a C# solution from scratch. Try Project Gotenberg.

To test it

docker run --rm -p 3000:3000 thecodingmachine/gotenberg:6

Curl sample

curl --request POST \
    --url http://localhost:3000/convert/url \
    --header 'Content-Type: multipart/form-data' \
    --form remoteURL=https://brave.com \
    --form marginTop=0 \
    --form marginBottom=0 \
    --form marginLeft=0 \
    --form marginRight=0 \
    -o result.pdf

C# sample.cs

using System;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using System.IO;
using static System.Console;

namespace Gotenberg
{
    class Program
    {
        public static async Task Main(string[] args)
        {
            try
            {
                var client = new HttpClient();            
                var formContent = new MultipartFormDataContent
                    {
                        {new StringContent("https://brave.com/"), "remoteURL"},
                        {new StringContent("0"), "marginTop" }
                    };
                var result = await client.PostAsync(new Uri("http://localhost:3000/convert/url"), formContent);
                await File.WriteAllBytesAsync("duckduck.com.pdf", await result.Content.ReadAsByteArrayAsync());
            }
            catch (Exception ex)
            {
                WriteLine(ex);
            }
        }
    }
}

To compile

csc sample.cs -langversion:latest -reference:System.Net.Http.dll &amp;&amp; mono ./sample.exe

The Answer 18

3 people think this answer is useful

It depends on any other requirements you have.

A really simple but not easily deployable solution is to use a WebBrowser control to load the Html and then using the Print method printing to a locally installed PDF printer. There are several free PDF printers available and the WebBrowser control is a part of the .Net framework.

EDIT: If you Html is XHtml you can use PDFizer to do the job.

The Answer 19

3 people think this answer is useful

PDF Vision is good. However, you have to have Full Trust to use it. I already emailed and asked why my HTML wasn’t being converted on the server but it worked fine on localhost.

The Answer 20

3 people think this answer is useful

It seems like so far the best free .NET solution is the TuesPechkin library which is a wrapper around the wkhtmltopdf native library.

I’ve now used the single-threaded version to convert a few thousand HTML strings to PDF files and it seems to work great. It’s supposed to also work in multi-threaded environments (IIS, for example) but I haven’t tested that.

Also since I wanted to use the latest version of wkhtmltopdf (0.12.5 at the time of writing), I downloaded the DLL from the official website, copied it to my project root, set copy to output to true, and initialized the library like so:

var dllDir = AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory;
Converter = new StandardConverter(new PdfToolset(new StaticDeployment(dllDir)));

Above code will look exactly for “wkhtmltox.dll”, so don’t rename the file. I used the 64-bit version of the DLL.

Make sure you read the instructions for multi-threaded environments, as you will have to initialize it only once per app lifecycle so you’ll need to put it in a singleton or something.

The Answer 21

2 people think this answer is useful

I was also looking for this a while back. I ran into HTMLDOC http://www.easysw.com/htmldoc/ which is a free open source command line app that takes an HTML file as an argument and spits out a PDF from it. It’s worked for me pretty well for my side project, but it all depends on what you actually need.

The company that makes it sells the compiled binaries, but you are free to download and compile from source and use it for free. I managed to compile a pretty recent revision (for version 1.9) and I intend on releasing a binary installer for it in a few days, so if you’re interested I can provide a link to it as soon as I post it.

Edit (2/25/2014): Seems like the docs and site moved to http://www.msweet.org/projects.php?Z1

The Answer 22

2 people think this answer is useful

You need to use a commercial library if you need perfect html rendering in pdf.

ExpertPdf Html To Pdf Converter is very easy to use and it supports the latest html5/css3. You can either convert an entire url to pdf:

using ExpertPdf.HtmlToPdf; 
byte[] pdfBytes = new PdfConverter().GetPdfBytesFromUrl(url);

or a html string:

using ExpertPdf.HtmlToPdf; 
byte[] pdfBytes = new PdfConverter().GetPdfBytesFromHtmlString(html, baseUrl);

You also have the alternative to directly save the generated pdf document to a Stream of file on the disk.

The Answer 23

2 people think this answer is useful

I found the following library more effective in converting html to pdf.
nuget: https://www.nuget.org/packages/Select.HtmlToPdf/

The Answer 24

2 people think this answer is useful

This is a free library and works very easily : OpenHtmlToPdf

string timeStampForPdfName = DateTime.Now.ToString("yyMMddHHmmssff");

string serverPath = System.Web.Hosting.HostingEnvironment.MapPath("~/FolderName");
string pdfSavePath = Path.Combine(@serverPath, "FileName" + timeStampForPdfName + ".FileExtension");


//OpenHtmlToPdf Library used for Performing PDF Conversion
var pdf = Pdf.From(HTML_String).Content();

//FOr writing to file from a ByteArray
 File.WriteAllBytes(pdfSavePath, pdf.ToArray()); // Requires System.Linq

The Answer 25

1 people think this answer is useful

Here is a wrapper for wkhtmltopdf.dll by pruiz

And a wrapper for wkhtmltopdf.exe by Codaxy
– also on nuget.

The Answer 26

1 people think this answer is useful

Best Tool i have found and used for generating PDF of javascript and styles rendered views or html pages is phantomJS.

Download the .exe file with the rasterize.js function found in root of exe of example folder and put inside solution.

It Even allows you to download the file in any code without opening that file also it also allows to download the file when the styles and specially jquery are applied.

Following code generate PDF File :

public ActionResult DownloadHighChartHtml()
{
    string serverPath = Server.MapPath("~/phantomjs/");
    string filename = DateTime.Now.ToString("ddMMyyyy_hhmmss") + ".pdf";
    string Url = "http://wwwabc.com";

    new Thread(new ParameterizedThreadStart(x =>
    {
        ExecuteCommand(string.Format("cd {0} &amp; E: &amp; phantomjs rasterize.js {1} {2} \"A4\"", serverPath, Url, filename));
                           //E: is the drive for server.mappath
    })).Start();

    var filePath = Path.Combine(Server.MapPath("~/phantomjs/"), filename);

    var stream = new MemoryStream();
    byte[] bytes = DoWhile(filePath);

    Response.ContentType = "application/pdf";
    Response.AddHeader("content-disposition", "attachment;filename=Image.pdf");
    Response.OutputStream.Write(bytes, 0, bytes.Length);
    Response.End();
    return RedirectToAction("HighChart");
}



private void ExecuteCommand(string Command)
{
    try
    {
        ProcessStartInfo ProcessInfo;
        Process Process;

        ProcessInfo = new ProcessStartInfo("cmd.exe", "/K " + Command);

        ProcessInfo.CreateNoWindow = true;
        ProcessInfo.UseShellExecute = false;

        Process = Process.Start(ProcessInfo);
    }
    catch { }
}


private byte[] DoWhile(string filePath)
{
    byte[] bytes = new byte[0];
    bool fail = true;

    while (fail)
    {
        try
        {
            using (FileStream file = new FileStream(filePath, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read))
            {
                bytes = new byte[file.Length];
                file.Read(bytes, 0, (int)file.Length);
            }

            fail = false;
        }
        catch
        {
            Thread.Sleep(1000);
        }
    }

    System.IO.File.Delete(filePath);
    return bytes;
}

The Answer 27

1 people think this answer is useful

You can also check Spire, it allow you to create HTML to PDF with this simple piece of code

 string htmlCode = "<p>This is a p tag</p>";

//use single thread to generate the pdf from above html code
Thread thread = new Thread(() =>
{ pdf.LoadFromHTML(htmlCode, false, setting, htmlLayoutFormat); });
thread.SetApartmentState(ApartmentState.STA);
thread.Start();
thread.Join();

// Save the file to PDF and preview it.
pdf.SaveToFile("output.pdf");
System.Diagnostics.Process.Start("output.pdf");

Detailed article : How to convert HTML to PDF in asp.net C#

The Answer 28

1 people think this answer is useful

As a representative of HiQPdf Software I believe the best solution is HiQPdf HTML to PDF converter for .NET. It contains the most advanced HTML5, CSS3, SVG and JavaScript rendering engine on market. There is also a free version of the HTML to PDF library which you can use to produce for free up to 3 PDF pages. The minimal C# code to produce a PDF as a byte[] from a HTML page is:

HtmlToPdf htmlToPdfConverter = new HtmlToPdf();

// set PDF page size, orientation and margins
htmlToPdfConverter.Document.PageSize = PdfPageSize.A4;
htmlToPdfConverter.Document.PageOrientation = PdfPageOrientation.Portrait;
htmlToPdfConverter.Document.Margins = new PdfMargins(0);

// convert HTML to PDF 
byte[] pdfBuffer = htmlToPdfConverter.ConvertUrlToMemory(url);

You can find more detailed examples both for ASP.NET and MVC in HiQPdf HTML to PDF Converter examples repository.

The Answer 29

0 people think this answer is useful

Try this PDF Duo .Net converting component for converting HTML to PDF from ASP.NET application without using additional dlls.

You can pass the HTML string or file, or stream to generate the PDF. Use the code below (Example C#):

string file_html = @"K:\hdoc.html";   
string file_pdf = @"K:\new.pdf";   
try   
{   
    DuoDimension.HtmlToPdf conv = new DuoDimension.HtmlToPdf();   
    conv.OpenHTML(file_html);   
    conv.SavePDF(file_pdf);   
    textBox4.Text = "C# Example: Converting succeeded";   
}   

Info + C#/VB examples you can find at: http://www.duodimension.com/html_pdf_asp.net/component_html_pdf.aspx

The Answer 30

0 people think this answer is useful

To convert HTML to PDF in C# use ABCpdf.

ABCpdf can make use of the Gecko or Trident rendering engines, so your HTML table will look the same as it appears in FireFox and Internet Explorer.

There’s an on-line demo of ABCpdf at www.abcpdfeditor.com. You could use this to check out how your tables will render first, without needing to download and install software.

For rendering entire web pages you’ll need the AddImageUrl or AddImageHtml functions. But if all you want to do is simply add HTML styled text then you could try the AddHtml function, as below:

Doc theDoc = new Doc();
theDoc.FontSize = 72;
theDoc.AddHtml("<b>Some HTML styled text</b>");
theDoc.Save(Server.MapPath("docaddhtml.pdf"));
theDoc.Clear();

ABCpdf is a commercial software title, however the standard edition can often be obtained for free under special offer.

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