How to: Print a Multi-Page Text File in Windows Forms

It is very common for Windows-based applications to print text. The Graphics class provides methods for drawing objects (graphics or text) to a device, such as a screen or printer.

Note

The DrawText methods of TextRenderer are not supported for printing. You should always use the DrawString methods of Graphics, as shown in the following code example, to draw text for printing purposes.

To print text

  1. Add a PrintDocument component and a string to your form.

    private PrintDocument printDocument1 = new PrintDocument();
    private string stringToPrint;
    
    Private printDocument1 As New PrintDocument()
    Private stringToPrint As String
    
  2. If printing a document, set the DocumentName property to the document you wish to print, and open and read the documents contents to the string you added previously.

    string docName = "testPage.txt";
    string docPath = @"c:\";
    printDocument1.DocumentName = docName;
    using (FileStream stream = new FileStream(docPath + docName, FileMode.Open))
    using (StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(stream))
    {
        stringToPrint = reader.ReadToEnd();
    }
    
    Dim docName As String = "testPage.txt"
    Dim docPath As String = "c:\"
    printDocument1.DocumentName = docName
    Dim stream As New FileStream(docPath + docName, FileMode.Open)
    Try
        Dim reader As New StreamReader(stream)
        Try
            stringToPrint = reader.ReadToEnd()
        Finally
            reader.Dispose()
        End Try
    Finally
        stream.Dispose()
    End Try
    
  3. In the PrintPage event handler, use the Graphics property of the PrintPageEventArgs class and the document contents to calculate line length and lines per page. After each page is drawn, check to see if it is the last page, and set the HasMorePages property of the PrintPageEventArgs accordingly. The PrintPage event is raised until HasMorePages is false. Also, make sure the PrintPage event is associated with its event-handling method.

    In the following code example, the event handler is used to print the contents of the "testPage.txt" file in the same font as is used on the form.

    private void printDocument1_PrintPage(object sender, PrintPageEventArgs e)
    {
        int charactersOnPage = 0;
        int linesPerPage = 0;
    
        // Sets the value of charactersOnPage to the number of characters 
        // of stringToPrint that will fit within the bounds of the page.
        e.Graphics.MeasureString(stringToPrint, this.Font,
            e.MarginBounds.Size, StringFormat.GenericTypographic,
            out charactersOnPage, out linesPerPage);
    
        // Draws the string within the bounds of the page
        e.Graphics.DrawString(stringToPrint, this.Font, Brushes.Black,
            e.MarginBounds, StringFormat.GenericTypographic);
    
        // Remove the portion of the string that has been printed.
        stringToPrint = stringToPrint.Substring(charactersOnPage);
    
        // Check to see if more pages are to be printed.
        e.HasMorePages = (stringToPrint.Length > 0);
    }
    
    Private Sub printDocument1_PrintPage(ByVal sender As Object, _
        ByVal e As PrintPageEventArgs)
    
        Dim charactersOnPage As Integer = 0
        Dim linesPerPage As Integer = 0
    
        ' Sets the value of charactersOnPage to the number of characters 
        ' of stringToPrint that will fit within the bounds of the page.
        e.Graphics.MeasureString(stringToPrint, Me.Font, e.MarginBounds.Size, _
            StringFormat.GenericTypographic, charactersOnPage, linesPerPage)
    
        ' Draws the string within the bounds of the page
        e.Graphics.DrawString(stringToPrint, Me.Font, Brushes.Black, _
            e.MarginBounds, StringFormat.GenericTypographic)
    
        ' Remove the portion of the string that has been printed.
        stringToPrint = stringToPrint.Substring(charactersOnPage)
    
        ' Check to see if more pages are to be printed.
        e.HasMorePages = stringToPrint.Length > 0
    
    End Sub
    
  4. Call the Print method to raise the PrintPage event.

    printDocument1.Print();
    
    printDocument1.Print()
    

Example

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.IO;
using System.Drawing.Printing;
using System.Windows.Forms;

namespace PrintApp
{
    public class Form1 : Form
    {
        private Button printButton;
        private PrintDocument printDocument1 = new PrintDocument();
        private string stringToPrint;
        public Form1()
        {
            this.printButton = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
            this.printButton.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(12, 51);
            this.printButton.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(75, 23);
            this.printButton.Text = "Print";
            this.printButton.Click += new System.EventHandler(this.printButton_Click);
            this.ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(292, 266);
            this.Controls.Add(this.printButton);
            
            // Associate the PrintPage event handler with the PrintPage event.
            printDocument1.PrintPage +=
                new PrintPageEventHandler(printDocument1_PrintPage);
        }
      
        private void ReadFile()
        {
            string docName = "testPage.txt";
            string docPath = @"c:\";
            printDocument1.DocumentName = docName;
            using (FileStream stream = new FileStream(docPath + docName, FileMode.Open))
            using (StreamReader reader = new StreamReader(stream))
            {
                stringToPrint = reader.ReadToEnd();
            }
        }
       
        private void printDocument1_PrintPage(object sender, PrintPageEventArgs e)
        {
            int charactersOnPage = 0;
            int linesPerPage = 0;

            // Sets the value of charactersOnPage to the number of characters 
            // of stringToPrint that will fit within the bounds of the page.
            e.Graphics.MeasureString(stringToPrint, this.Font,
                e.MarginBounds.Size, StringFormat.GenericTypographic,
                out charactersOnPage, out linesPerPage);

            // Draws the string within the bounds of the page
            e.Graphics.DrawString(stringToPrint, this.Font, Brushes.Black,
                e.MarginBounds, StringFormat.GenericTypographic);

            // Remove the portion of the string that has been printed.
            stringToPrint = stringToPrint.Substring(charactersOnPage);

            // Check to see if more pages are to be printed.
            e.HasMorePages = (stringToPrint.Length > 0);
        }

        private void printButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            ReadFile();
            printDocument1.Print();
        }
      
        [STAThread]
        static void Main()
        {
            Application.EnableVisualStyles();
            Application.SetCompatibleTextRenderingDefault(false);
            Application.Run(new Form1());
        }
    }
}
Imports System
Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Drawing.Printing
Imports System.Windows.Forms

Public Class Form1
    Inherits Form
    Private printButton As Button

    Private printDocument1 As New PrintDocument()
    Private stringToPrint As String

    Public Sub New() 
        Me.printButton = New System.Windows.Forms.Button()
        Me.printButton.Location = New System.Drawing.Point(12, 51)
        Me.printButton.Size = New System.Drawing.Size(75, 23)
        Me.printButton.Text = "Print"
        Me.ClientSize = New System.Drawing.Size(292, 266)
    End Sub

    Private Sub ReadFile() 
        Dim docName As String = "testPage.txt"
        Dim docPath As String = "c:\"
        printDocument1.DocumentName = docName
        Dim stream As New FileStream(docPath + docName, FileMode.Open)
        Try
            Dim reader As New StreamReader(stream)
            Try
                stringToPrint = reader.ReadToEnd()
            Finally
                reader.Dispose()
            End Try
        Finally
            stream.Dispose()
        End Try
    End Sub
    
    Private Sub printDocument1_PrintPage(ByVal sender As Object, _
        ByVal e As PrintPageEventArgs)

        Dim charactersOnPage As Integer = 0
        Dim linesPerPage As Integer = 0

        ' Sets the value of charactersOnPage to the number of characters 
        ' of stringToPrint that will fit within the bounds of the page.
        e.Graphics.MeasureString(stringToPrint, Me.Font, e.MarginBounds.Size, _
            StringFormat.GenericTypographic, charactersOnPage, linesPerPage)

        ' Draws the string within the bounds of the page
        e.Graphics.DrawString(stringToPrint, Me.Font, Brushes.Black, _
            e.MarginBounds, StringFormat.GenericTypographic)

        ' Remove the portion of the string that has been printed.
        stringToPrint = stringToPrint.Substring(charactersOnPage)

        ' Check to see if more pages are to be printed.
        e.HasMorePages = stringToPrint.Length > 0

    End Sub

    Private Sub printButton_Click(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) 
        ReadFile()
        printDocument1.Print()
    End Sub

    
    <STAThread()>  _
    Shared Sub Main() 
        Application.EnableVisualStyles()
        Application.SetCompatibleTextRenderingDefault(False)
        Application.Run(New Form1())
    End Sub
End Class

Compiling the Code

This example requires:

See Also

Graphics
Brush
Windows Forms Print Support