A Comparison between IronPDF and Devexpress PDF Viewer

Updated May 18, 2022

The Portable Document Format (PDF) was created by Adobe to distribute documents with text and graphic formatting. We need a separate application to open a PDF file. In today's culture, PDF files are absolutely essential. For invoicing and document generation, Portable Document Format files are used across a wide variety of businesses. Developers use the PDF format to create documents for their clients' needs. Thanks to today's libraries, creating PDFs has never been easier. When using this type of library in a project, we must consider factors such as build, read, and conversion capability in order to determine which library is the best on the market.

We shall compare two of the most common PDF libraries for net components in this article. These two libraries are:

  • IronPDF
  • DevExpress PDF Viewer Controls

IronPDF and DevExpress PDF are two libraries that can be used in your Microsoft.NET application. IronPDF can be used to create, read, and alter a PDF, whether online or on a desktop application. However, DevExpress can only be used to view PDFs.

IronPDF Features

IronPDF is a capable PDF converter that can do practically anything a browser can. It is a developer-friendly PDF library that makes creating, reading, and manipulating PDF files extremely easy. IronPDF converts HTML to PDF using the Chrome engine. IronPDF supports Windows Forms, HTML, ASPX, Razer HTML, NET Core, ASP.NET, Windows Form, WPF, Xamarin, Blazor, Unity, and HoloLense apps, among other web components. Microsoft.NET and NET core apps are supported by IronPDF (both ASP.NET Web application and traditional Windows applications). IronPDF can also be used to create visually appealing PDFs.

IronPDF can convert HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, and pictures into PDF documents. A header and footer can also be included in a file. It can also make PDFs easy to read. IronPDF also comes with a robust HTML to PDF converter that works with PDF files. IronPDF boasts a powerful PDF conversion engine. There are no external dependencies with IronPDF.

  • Sources that can be used to create a PDF include HTML, HTML5, ASPX, and Razor/MVC View. Not only can we convert an HTML file to PDF, but we can also convert image files.

  • Create interactive PDF documents, fill out and submit interactive forms, combine and divide PDF documents, extract text and images from PDF documents, search text in PDF documents, rasterize PDF pages to images, and convert PDF documents are just a few of the actions we can perform with IronPDF.

  • As a starting point, create a document using the link. It also supports custom network login credentials, user-agents, proxies, cookies, HTTP headers, and form variables for login behind HTML login forms.

  • By specifying user names and passwords, IronPDF allows us to open protected documents.

  • IronPDF is a program that reads and fills in the blanks in existing PDF documents.

  • It has the ability to extract images from documents.

  • It allows us to customize documents with a header, footer, text, images, bookmarks, watermarks, and more.

  • It allows us to divide and combine pages in a new or existing document.

  • Without Acrobat reader, we can still convert documents to PDF objects.

  • A CSS file can be converted to PDF documents.

  • CSS file media type files can be transformed into documents.

  • Fill in existing PDF forms and add new ones.

DevExpress PDF Features

DevExpress provides WinForms controls that can be used in windows applications available in Visual Studio. It provides a list of WinForms controls for users to access PDFs. It also provides controls to WPF controls and ASP.NET from controls.

The PDF Viewer displays PDF files directly in your WinForms application, without the need to install an external PDF viewer on your PC. The PDF Viewer control in Windows Forms allows you to view, alter, and print PDF documents directly from your application. The PDF Viewer does more than just display documents — it also allows users to change form fields, annotate documents, and use the clipboard. DevExpress is available for all .NET Frameworks and Libraries. It also provides controls and extensions for ASP.NET, MVC, ASP.NET Core, etc.

The PDF Viewer supports a rich set of document content types, including:

  • JPX / JBIG2 Images
  • Patterns
  • Transparency Groups
  • Type 3 Fonts
  • Interactive Forms

And yes, the DevExpress WinForms PDF control is powered by DirectX — with remarkable text rendering and text initializing support.

A full user interface is included with the PDF view for WinForms. It can be used to change the way a document is displayed, such as rotating it clockwise and counterclockwise, zooming in on-page content, and switching between recently-used page display styles.

Hand tools, marquee zoom tools, and various keyboard and cursor interaction modes are available in the PDF Viewer controls. In the context menu, change the cursor mode, or pick the tool in the Command UI.

The Navigation Pane lets you hop to saved pages, navigate to a specific page using a thumbnail image, as well as organize a file and annotations.

DevExpress allows us to provide feedback and offers continuous support in response to queries. The support team can be contacted if feedback is needed in greater detail.

2. Creating a New Project in Visual Studio

Open the Visual Studio software and go to the file menu. Select "new project" and then select "Console Application". In this article, we are going to use a console application to generate PDF documents.

Enter the project name and select the file path in the appropriate text box. Then, click the Create button and select the required Dot net Framework, as in the screenshot below:

The Visual Studio project will now generate the structure for the selected application, and if you have selected the console, windows, and web application, it will now open the program.cs file where you can enter the code and build/run the application.

Next, we can add the library to test the code.

3.0 Install the IronPDF Library

The IronPDF Library can be downloaded and installed in four ways.

These are:

  • Using Visual Studio
  • Using the Visual Studio Command-Line.
  • Direct download from the NuGet website.
  • Direct download from the IronPDF website.

3.1 Using Visual Studio

The Visual Studio software provides the NuGet Package manager option to install the package directly to the solution. The below screenshot shows how to open the NuGet Package Manager.

It provides a search box to show the list of packages from the NuGet website. In the package manager, we need to search for the keyword "IronPDF", as in the screenshot below:

In the above image, we get the list of related search items. We need to select the required option to install the package to the solution.

3.2 Using the Visual Studio Command-Line

In Visual Studio, go to Tools-> NuGet Package manager -> Package manager console

Enter the following line in the package manager console tab:

Install-Package IronPdf

The package will now download/install in the current project and be ready to use.

3.3 Direct Download from the NuGet Website

The third way is to download the NuGet package directly from the website.

  • Navigate to the Link
  • Select the download package option from the menu on the right-hand side.
  • Double-click the downloaded package. It will be installed automatically.
  • Next, reload the solution and start using it in the project.

3.4 Direct Download from the IronPDF Website

Click the link here to download the latest package directly from the website. Once downloaded, follow the steps below to add the package to the project.

  • Right-click the project from the solution window.
  • Then, select option reference and then browse the location of the downloaded reference.
  • Next, click OK to add the reference.

4.0 Install the PDF Viewer Library

The PDF Viewer library can be downloaded and installed in four ways.

These are:

  • Using Visual Studio
  • Using the Visual Studio Command-Line
  • Direct download from the DevExpress website

Register DevExpress NuGet

To use NuGet to install DevExpress packages, you must first register the DevExpress NuGet feed as a package source.

  1. With a NuGet Feed URL or an authorization key, you can access DevExpress NuGet packages. For more information, greater detail, or updates, click here.

  2. In Visual Studio, open the Options panel (Tools-Options) and register the DevExpress NuGet feed as a package source. Locate the Package Manager option in this dialogue and, as shown below, add the DevExpress Feed to the package source.

4.1 Using Visual Studio

As above, just go to the NuGet package manager and select the DevExpress NuGet package manager. Then, search for the keyword "Win.PdfViewer". It will provide all the related search results as below.

Select the first result option to install the package in the project.

4.2 Using the Visual Studio Command-Line

In Visual Studio, go to Tools-> NuGet Package manager -> Package manager console

Enter the following line in the package manager console tab:


Next, click Enter — this will prompt a login window as shown below. We need to enter the username as DevExpress and the password can be obtained from the DevExpressURL. This will authorize DevExpress to contact the server to download.

Next, the package will download/install to the current project and be ready to use.

4.3 Direct Download from the DevExpress Website

Click the link here, and it will redirect to the list of Dll options available to download the latest package direct from the website for various .net framework environments; you can select the required package to download. Once downloaded, follow the steps below to add the package to the project.

Once the file is downloaded, double-click the downloaded file and it will start the setup, as in the image below:

Next, click the installation button, and a new popup window will appear.

Select the required option to install.

Then, accept the license, and the installation will be completed after a few minutes.

5.0 Create a PDF using IronPDF

We can easily generate PDF documents with IronPDF — it will generate an HTML file from a URL and convert it to a PDF.

The following steps make it easy to generate PDF documents.

IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer Renderer = new IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer();
var Pdf = Renderer.RenderUrlAsPdf("");
var Renderer = new IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer().
IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer Renderer = new IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer();
var Pdf = Renderer.RenderUrlAsPdf("");
var Renderer = new IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer().
Dim Renderer As New IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer()
Dim Pdf = Renderer.RenderUrlAsPdf("")
[or] var Renderer = (New IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer()).RenderUrlAsPdf("").SaveAs("result.pdf")
VB   C#

In the above example, we can use two methods to convert the link into a document. One method is to generate a document by creating an IronPDF object, and another method is by creating an object for Renderurlpdf.

The above shows that we can convert it into a document using the Renderurlaspdf. We only need to pass the link and the save location. The time taken to complete the PDF conversion is 3.4 seconds.

6.0 Creating a PDF from HTML Strings using IronPDF

We can transform HTML strings into PDF documents with the help of IronPDF. The following is an example of how to turn an HTML string into a document. It also has the ability to turn any HTML tag into a PDF.

var Renderer = new IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer().RenderHtmlAsPdf("<h1>Hello world!!</h1>").SaveAs("result.pdf");
var Renderer = new IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer().RenderHtmlAsPdf("<h1>Hello world!!</h1>").SaveAs("result.pdf");
Dim Renderer = (New IronPdf.ChromePdfRenderer()).RenderHtmlAsPdf("<h1>Hello world!!</h1>").SaveAs("result.pdf")
VB   C#

The preceding example demonstrates how to use RenderHtmlAsPdf to transform an HTML string. In addition, we can supply any number of HTML codes to the function that converts HTML to a string. We can save the document after retrieving the string using the "save as" function. It only takes two seconds to complete the process.

7.0 Reading PDF Using IronPDF

IronPDF is a program that allows us to read existing PDF files. The following is an example of how to use IronPDF to read an existing PDF.

var pdfDocument = IronPdf.PdfDocument.FromFile("result.pdf");
string AllText = pdfDocument.ExtractAllText();
var pdfDocument = IronPdf.PdfDocument.FromFile("result.pdf");
string AllText = pdfDocument.ExtractAllText();
Dim pdfDocument = IronPdf.PdfDocument.FromFile("result.pdf")
Dim AllText As String = pdfDocument.ExtractAllText()
VB   C#

The From File method is used to read a PDF from an existing file and transform it into pdf-document objects, as shown in the code above. We can read the text and images accessible on PDF pages using this object. The object has a method called ExtractAllText that extracts all of the text from a PDF document into a string.

8.0 Creating a PDF Viewer Application

A PDF viewer application can be created with the following steps:

  1. Create a new Windows Forms Application project in Microsoft® Visual Studio.
  2. On the form, drag the PDF Viewer item from the DX.21.2: Common Controls toolbox menu.
  1. In the PDF Viewer control Tasks menu, click the smart tag for the PDF Viewer and choose Dock in the parent container. This causes the PDF Viewer to enlarge to the size of the form.
  1. To use the PDF Viewer control, you must first load a document. To access the PDF Viewer's activities list, click its smart tag. Click the Load PDF option in the actions list.
  1. The dialog box "Open" displays. Locate the document to be opened in this dialog and click Open.

We can perform the following tasks using the controls:

Navigate through PDFs

Easily navigate and explore a PDF file.

The Viewer controls come with a wide range of document navigation options, including:

  • Bookmarks and Links
  • The pane of Navigation (customizable document navigation UI)
  • Thumbnails for all the pages
  • UI with a ribbon

The Viewer keeps track of all visited pages and allows users to switch back and forth between them as needed. You can also use the Find panel to search for PDF material, exactly like in Adobe Reader (options include case-sensitive and whole word search).

Examine and comment

Users have the ability to add, edit, and delete comments. The Viewer for WinForms has a full set of annotation capabilities, including a text highlighter and sticky notes.

  • Collaborate without difficulty.
  • Additional capabilities/options include:
  • Replies and reviews can be added.
  • Configure the markup tool's options (color and opacity).
  • Comments can be sorted, filtered, and searched.
  • A comprehensive API.
  • Zoom in and zoom out using DevExpress.

A PDF form you can fill out

AcroForms allow you to edit documents.

After you've added the Viewer to your WinForms project, your users will be able to edit any PDF that contains form field data. Each field in the Viewer is shown according to the form type it belongs to, the text box, radio button, combo box with auto-complete, check box, and lists.

You can import from or export to the following formats if your PDF contains Acroform data: FDF, XFDF, XML, and TXT.

Open and save files that have been attached

In the Navigation Pane of DevExpress PDF Viewers, associated files are displayed. A PDF attached to a file can be opened and saved to a disc. When opening a file connected to the PDF, the Viewer additionally has the option of displaying a security warning.

PDF Printing

The Viewer comes with a Print Preview Dialog that includes a full set of printing choices inspired by Adobe. A real-time preview, page range selection, DPI settings, and orientation are among them.

9.0 Conclusion

In this article, we have compared IronPDF and DevExpress. There are a number of common features available in both libraries. IronPDF considers the user chrome setting to render the HTML but DevExpress runs on a separate engine that ignores the current user settings to render the HTML. IronPDF can render the HTML quicker than DevExpress.

In terms of performance, IronPDF is faster than DevExpress. Also, the PDF Viewer cannot create PDFs, it can only view them. Royalty-free redistribution coverage comes with IronPDF at extra cost, but this is simply not available with DevExpress. IronPDF offers significantly more features when compared with the DevExpress PDF controls.

In conclusion, we prefer IronPDF because of its high-performance levels and the wide variety of features available to developers working with PDFs. IronPDF also provides good support and documentation that ensures users can make full and effective use of the impressive array of features on offer.

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