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PDFsharp View PDF Alternatives Using IronPDF

Updated December 24, 2023
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In the dynamic landscape of software development, handling and presenting data in various formats is crucial. Among these, Portable Document Format (PDF) stands out as a widely used and standardized format for document sharing. In the realm of C# programming language, the ability to seamlessly view PDFs is indispensable.

The versatility of C# makes it a popular choice for developing robust applications across diverse domains. PDF, as a format, ensures document integrity and consistent presentation across platforms. Integrating PDF viewing capabilities into C# applications empowers developers to enhance user experiences, streamline workflows, save, and provide efficient solutions for handling documents in various industries.

This article explores the significance of viewing PDFs using C#, introduces two powerful libraries - PDFsharp and IronPDF - and provides step-by-step instructions on installing and utilizing them to view PDFs.

1. PDFsharp

PDFsharp emerges as a powerful open-source library within the realm of C# programming, offering developers a versatile toolkit for PDF manipulation. Beyond its capabilities in creating and modifying PDFs, PDFsharp stands out for its prowess in seamlessly integrating PDF viewing functionalities into C# applications. This library, renowned for its lightweight design and user-friendly approach, empowers developers to navigate and manipulate PDF documents effortlessly. As we explore PDFsharp's features and delve into practical implementations, it becomes evident that this library is a valuable asset for those seeking efficient solutions to enhance document management within their C# projects.

2. IronPDF

IronPDF is a robust and feature-rich library, empowering developers to navigate the intricate realm of PDF manipulation with unparalleled ease. Designed with simplicity and versatility in mind, IronPDF enables users to effortlessly create, edit, and read PDF documents within their C# applications. Beyond its fundamental capabilities, IronPDF shines with advanced features such as HTML to PDF conversion, support for various image formats, and the seamless handling of complex PDF operations.

As we delve into IronPDF's capabilities, it becomes clear that this library is not merely a tool for basic PDF tasks but a comprehensive solution for developers seeking to elevate their C# projects with sophisticated PDF functionalities. IronPDF handles the PDF and format correctly the data string into a readable string.

3. Installing IronPDF

Before diving into PDF viewing with IronPDF, it's essential to install the library. You can easily add IronPDF to your project using the NuGet Package Manager or the Package Manager Console. Simply run the following command:

Install-Package IronPdf

This command installs the IronPDF package and its dependencies, enabling you to start incorporating its features into your C# application.

4. Installing PDFsharp

Similar to IronPDF, PDFsharp can be installed using the NuGet Package Manager or the Package Manager Console. Execute the following command to install PDFsharp:

Install-Package PdfSharp

This command installs the PDFsharp library, making it available for use in your C# project.

5. PDFsharp View PDF Page Content

In this section we will discuss how you can View and open PDF files using PDFsharp and print the extracted results to the console. In the below code example will view PDF file content using PDFsharp.

using System;
using PdfSharp.Pdf;
using PdfSharp.Pdf.IO;
class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        // Specify the pdf path
        string pdfFilePath = "output.pdf";
        // Open the PDF document
        PdfDocument document = PdfReader.Open(pdfFilePath, PdfDocumentOpenMode.Import);
        // Iterate through each page of the document
        for (int pageIndex = 0; pageIndex < document.PageCount; pageIndex++)
        {
            // Get the current page, Extract text from the page
            string page = document.Pages [pageIndex].Contents.Elements.GetDictionary(0).Stream.ToString();
            // Print the text to the console
            Console.WriteLine($"Page {pageIndex + 1} Content:\n{page}\n");
        }
        Console.ReadLine(); // Wait for user input before closing the console
    }
}
using System;
using PdfSharp.Pdf;
using PdfSharp.Pdf.IO;
class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        // Specify the pdf path
        string pdfFilePath = "output.pdf";
        // Open the PDF document
        PdfDocument document = PdfReader.Open(pdfFilePath, PdfDocumentOpenMode.Import);
        // Iterate through each page of the document
        for (int pageIndex = 0; pageIndex < document.PageCount; pageIndex++)
        {
            // Get the current page, Extract text from the page
            string page = document.Pages [pageIndex].Contents.Elements.GetDictionary(0).Stream.ToString();
            // Print the text to the console
            Console.WriteLine($"Page {pageIndex + 1} Content:\n{page}\n");
        }
        Console.ReadLine(); // Wait for user input before closing the console
    }
}
Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic
Imports System
Imports PdfSharp.Pdf
Imports PdfSharp.Pdf.IO
Friend Class Program
	Shared Sub Main()
		' Specify the pdf path
		Dim pdfFilePath As String = "output.pdf"
		' Open the PDF document
		Dim document As PdfDocument = PdfReader.Open(pdfFilePath, PdfDocumentOpenMode.Import)
		' Iterate through each page of the document
		For pageIndex As Integer = 0 To document.PageCount - 1
			' Get the current page, Extract text from the page
			Dim page As String = document.Pages (pageIndex).Contents.Elements.GetDictionary(0).Stream.ToString()
			' Print the text to the console
			Console.WriteLine($"Page {pageIndex + 1} Content:" & vbLf & "{page}" & vbLf)
		Next pageIndex
		Console.ReadLine() ' Wait for user input before closing the console
	End Sub
End Class
VB   C#

This C# code correctly utilizes the PDFsharp library to read and extract text content from a PDF file. The program begins by specifying the path to a PDF file, assumed to be named "output.PDF." It then opens the PDF document in import mode, allowing for the extraction of content. The code proceeds to iterate through PDF pages of the document, extracts the actual PDF content of each page, and prints it to the console.

The extracted text is obtained by accessing the page contents and converting it to a string. The output includes the page number and its corresponding content. Finally, the program waits for user input before closing the console. Note that the code assumes a simple structure in the sample PDF, and for more complex scenarios, additional parsing and processing may be required.

PDFsharp View PDF Alternatives Using IronPDF: Figure 1 - Console Output: Hello World - content extracted from the output.PDF file using the PDFsharp library.

6. IronPDF View PDF Files

Viewing a PDF using IronPDF is much simpler then PDFsharp and can be accomplished in just a few lines of code.

using IronPdf;
using IronSoftware.Drawing;
using System;
var pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("output.pdf");
string text = pdf.ExtractAllText();
Console.WriteLine(text);
using IronPdf;
using IronSoftware.Drawing;
using System;
var pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("output.pdf");
string text = pdf.ExtractAllText();
Console.WriteLine(text);
Imports IronPdf
Imports IronSoftware.Drawing
Imports System
Private pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("output.pdf")
Private text As String = pdf.ExtractAllText()
Console.WriteLine(text)
VB   C#

This C# code uses the IronPDF library to extract text content from a PDF file named "output.PDF." Initially, it imports the necessary namespaces and then loads the PDF document using the PdfDocument.FromFile() method from IronPDF. Subsequently, it extracts all the text content from the PDF document using the ExtractAllText method and stores it in a string variable named "text." Finally, the extracted text is printed to the console using Console.WriteLine() method. This code simplifies the process of extracting text from a PDF, making it concise and straightforward, thanks to the features provided by the IronPDF library.

PDFsharp View PDF Alternatives Using IronPDF: Figure 2 - Console Output: Hello World - content extracted from the output.PDF file using the IronPDF library.

7. Conclusion

Both PDFsharp and IronPDF offer compelling features for developers seeking versatile solutions. PDFsharp, an open-source library, provides a lightweight and user-friendly toolkit, making it an excellent choice for basic PDF tasks and integration into C# projects. Its capabilities shine through in efficiently navigating and manipulating PDF documents. On the other hand, IronPDF emerges as a robust, feature-rich library designed for comprehensive PDF operations. Its advanced functionalities, such as HTML to PDF conversion and support for various other image file formats, distinguish it as a powerful tool for developers aiming to elevate their C# projects with sophisticated PDF capabilities.

While both libraries have their merits, IronPDF stands out as the winner for its extensive feature set, simplicity, and versatility. The concise code example for viewing PDF files using IronPDF demonstrates its ease of use and effectiveness in extracting text content. The library's comprehensive capabilities make it a valuable asset for developers tackling complex PDF tasks, making IronPDF a recommended choice for those looking to integrate advanced PDF functionalities seamlessly into their C# applications.

IronPDF is free for development use and comes with a free trial. To know more about viewing PDF content using IronPDF, please visit here. To check out additional code examples, please visit this page.

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