C# – Print existing PDF (or other files) in C#


From an application I'm building I need to print existing PDFs (created by another app).
How can I do this in C# and provide a mechanism so the user can select a different printer or other properties.

I've looked at the PrintDialog but not sure what file it is attempting to print, if any, b/c the output is always a blank page. Maybe I'm just missing something there.

Do I need to use "iTextSharp" (as suggested else where)? That seems odd to me since I can "send the the file to the printer" I just don't have any nice dialog before hand to set the printer etc. and I don't really want to write a printing dialog from the ground up but it seems like a lot of examples I found by searching did just that.

Any advice, examples or sample code would be great!

Also if PDF is the issue the files could be created by the other app in a diff format such as bitmap or png if that makes things easier.

Best Answer

Display a little dialog with a combobox that has its Items set to the string collection returned by PrinterSettings.InstalledPrinters.

If you can make it a requirement that GSView be installed on the machine, you can then silently print the PDF. It's a little slow and roundabout but at least you don't have to pop up Acrobat.

Here's some code I use to print out some PDFs that I get back from a UPS Web service:

    private void PrintFormPdfData(byte[] formPdfData)
        string tempFile;

        tempFile = Path.GetTempFileName();

        using (FileStream fs = new FileStream(tempFile, FileMode.Create))
            fs.Write(formPdfData, 0, formPdfData.Length);

            string gsArguments;
            string gsLocation;
            ProcessStartInfo gsProcessInfo;
            Process gsProcess;

            gsArguments = string.Format("-grey -noquery -printer \"HP LaserJet 5M\" \"{0}\"", tempFile);
            gsLocation = @"C:\Program Files\Ghostgum\gsview\gsprint.exe";

            gsProcessInfo = new ProcessStartInfo();
            gsProcessInfo.WindowStyle = ProcessWindowStyle.Hidden;
            gsProcessInfo.FileName = gsLocation;
            gsProcessInfo.Arguments = gsArguments;

            gsProcess = Process.Start(gsProcessInfo);

As you can see, it takes the PDF data as a byte array, writes it to a temp file, and launches gsprint.exe to print the file silently to the named printer ("HP Laserjet 5M"). You could replace the printer name with whatever the user chose in your dialog box.

Printing a PNG or GIF would be much easier -- just extend the PrintDocument class and use the normal print dialog provided by Windows Forms.

Good luck!