USING IRONPDF

How to Read PDF Files in C#

Updated November 14, 2023
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In the realm of modern information exchange, the Portable Document Format, or PDF format, has become an indispensable part of our digital lives. Whether it's reading e-books, viewing official documents, or sharing research papers, PDFs have established themselves as a universal format for sharing content that remains consistent across various devices and platforms. This ubiquity has also made PDF image manipulation an essential skill for developers, and for those using the C# programming language, this task is made considerably easier with the help of PDF reading libraries.

C# is a versatile, object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft, widely used in software development across various domains. Combining the power of C# with a specialized PDF reading library, developers can harness the capability to extract, analyze, and manipulate PDF content with ease. This article aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of PDF reading in C#

In this article we will use IronPDF for .NET, a C# PDF library to read PDF file.

How to Read PDF Files using IronPDF

  1. Download Visual Studio, if not already done. Set up the environment and install IronPDF Library.

  2. Use PdfDocument.FromFile() method to open and load the desired PDF file.

  3. Utilize IronPDF's pdf.ExtractAllText() method to retrieve the content.

  4. Analyze or manipulate the extracted text as needed.

  5. Print the extracted text in the Console to read.

IronPDF

IronPDF, a robust PDF reader library for C#, empowers developers to effortlessly work with PDF documents. With its extensive features and capabilities, IronPDF simplifies the task of PDF document handling, allowing users to read, extract, and manipulate PDF content with ease. Whether you're automating document processes, extracting data and images for analysis, or creating PDFs from scratch, IronPDF provides a comprehensive set of tools to streamline these tasks.

This article explores the world of efficient PDF processing in C# using IronPDF, showcasing its versatility and value as an essential tool for developers in their software development journey.

Creating a New Visual Studio Project

Prior to diving into the coding aspect, let's commence by setting up a fresh Visual Studio C# Console application project. This project will serve as our dedicated workspace for both development and practical examples.

  1. To initiate this process, launch Visual Studio and create a new project by navigating to the "File" menu and selecting "New" followed by "Project."

How to Read PDF Files in C#: Figure 1 - Open Visual Studio and create a new project using the File menu and selecting New and then Project option..

  1. This action will prompt a new window to appear, providing you with the opportunity to specify the project templates. For our current purposes, opt for the "Console Application" template, and proceed by clicking the "Next" button, thoughtfully positioned at the lower-left corner of the window.

How to Read PDF Files in C#: Figure 2 - In the Create a new project window, select Console Application template for our current purpose and click on Next button.

  1. In the ensuing window, you'll be prompted to designate a name for your project and specify the desired project location. Once these details are in place, click the "Next" button to continue.

How to Read PDF Files in C#: Figure 3 - The next step is to configure your new project by providing details such as Project name, Location, Solution name. Then click on Next button.

  1. In this step, select your preferred target framework and conclude the project creation process by clicking the "Create" button.

How to Read PDF Files in C#: Figure 4 - In this step, you provide additional information such as Target Framework of your Console Application. Select your preferred target framework and then click on Create button.

With your project now firmly established, the next critical step involves the installation of IronPDF.

Installing IronPDF

IronPDF offers a multitude of options for downloading and installing the PDF library. For the sake of this guide, we will focus on the installation of IronPDF using the NuGet package manager, a proficient and widely adopted method.

  1. Within Visual Studio, navigate to the "Tools" menu and elegantly hover your cursor over the "NuGet Package Manager" option.

  2. From the extended menu, select "NuGet Package Manager for Solutions."

How to Read PDF Files in C#: Figure 5 - In the Visual Studio, navigate to the Tools menu, then go to NuGet Package Manager option and further select Manage NuGet Packages for Solution.

  1. Upon selecting this option, a new window will open. Within this refined window, navigate to the "Browse" menu and type "IronPDF" into the search bar.

  2. The screen will then display the IronPDF packages available. To proceed, select the latest package from the list and execute this choice by clicking on the "Install" option.

How to Read PDF Files in C#: Figure 6 - In the Browse tab, enter the word IronPDF in the search option, which will give you a list of IronPDF packages with different versions. Select the latest version of IronPDF and click on Install button.

For those who favor a more command-line approach, the NuGet package Manager Console provides an elegant avenue. Simply open this console, input the following command, and press "Enter":


    Install-Package IronPdf -Version 2023.10.3

    Install-Package IronPdf -Version 2023.10.3
'INSTANT VB TODO TASK: The following line uses invalid syntax:
'Install-Package IronPdf -Version 2023.10.3
VB   C#

You also have access to the option of directly acquiring the package from the NuGet website link.

Read PDF files Using IronPDF

In this section we will see how you can open and read complete PDF files using C# programming language with the help of IronPDF.


    using IronPdf;
    using System;

    IronPdf.License.LicenseKey = "";
    //raw text string path
    var pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("document_scaled_compressed.pdf");

    string text = pdf.ExtractAllText();

    Console.WriteLine(text);

    using IronPdf;
    using System;

    IronPdf.License.LicenseKey = "";
    //raw text string path
    var pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("document_scaled_compressed.pdf");

    string text = pdf.ExtractAllText();

    Console.WriteLine(text);
Imports IronPdf
	Imports System

	IronPdf.License.LicenseKey = ""
	'raw text string path
	Dim pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("document_scaled_compressed.pdf")

	Dim text As String = pdf.ExtractAllText()

	Console.WriteLine(text)
VB   C#

1. Importing Necessary Libraries

To get started, you need to import the required namespaces. In the above provided code example, we import the IronPdf namespace, which contains the essential functions for working with PDFs. Additionally, we import the System namespace for general system-level operations.


    using IronPdf; 
    using System;

    using IronPdf; 
    using System;
Imports IronPdf
	Imports System
VB   C#

2. Setting the IronPDF License Key

IronPDF requires a valid license key to be used in a production environment. In the code example, there's a line where the license key should be set. However, in your provided code, the license key is left empty (""). Ensure you replace the empty string with a valid license key from IronPDF when using it in a production environment.


    IronPdf.License.LicenseKey = "Your_License_Key_Here";

    IronPdf.License.LicenseKey = "Your_License_Key_Here";
IronPdf.License.LicenseKey = "Your_License_Key_Here"
VB   C#

3. Loading a PDF Document

The next step is to load and parse the PDF file. In the provided code, we use the PdfDocument.FromFile() method to load a PDF by filename "document_scaled_compressed.pdf" and assign it to the pdf variable. This PDF file will be used for text extraction.


    var pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("document_scaled_compressed.pdf");

    var pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("document_scaled_compressed.pdf");
Dim pdf = PdfDocument.FromFile("document_scaled_compressed.pdf")
VB   C#

4. Extracting Text from the PDF Document

IronPDF provides a straightforward way to extract text from the loaded PDF document. We use the ExtractAllText method to extract all the text content from each page of the PDF and store it in a string variable named text, works as convert PDF ****to Text.


    string text = pdf.ExtractAllText();

    string text = pdf.ExtractAllText();
Dim text As String = pdf.ExtractAllText()
VB   C#

5. Displaying Extracted Text

The final step is to display the extracted text. In the code, we use Console.WriteLine to print and write the extracted text to the console. This is a useful method for debugging or presenting the text to the user.


    Console.WriteLine(text);

    Console.WriteLine(text);
Console.WriteLine(text)
VB   C#

OUTPUT Text extracted from PDF file

How to Read PDF Files in C#: Figure 7 - The final output of the above code is printed in the console. As you can see, using IronPDF we can successfully extract all the text from within the PDF file and write it in the console.

Conclusion

This article has guided developers through the process of effectively working with PDF files in C# using the IronPDF library. It began by illustrating the setup of a dedicated Visual Studio project and proceeded with the straightforward installation of IronPDF via the NuGet package manager. The article then provided a step-by-step explanation of how to import the necessary libraries, set the IronPDF license key, load a PDF file, extract text content, and display the extracted text from all the pages. You can also save the extracted text into txt file using C#

With its user-friendly approach and comprehensive features, IronPDF serves as an indispensable tool for automating document processes, data extraction, and PDF creation from HTML, URLs, images, making it an invaluable asset for enhancing software development projects involving the PDF file handling in C#.

The complete article on Read PDF files using IronPDF can be found at the following link. The code example on C# PDFreader is available here. For more code examples using IronPDF, please visit this page. IronPDF also offers extensive documentation to answer questions of all the developers and provide full hand on support. IronPDF offers a free trial license so the users can explore its full functionality before deciding to purchase a perpetual license.

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