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Description

We are a company (Smart In Media GmbH & Co. KG, https://www.smartinmedia.com) and have to pay salaries to our developers. As we also believe in free software, we give away this under the MIT license and you can do whatever you want with it. Other than with commercial libraries, you are not bound to making continuous paments, etc. So, if you saved money and time by using this library, please donate to us via Paypal!

Programming language: C#
Tags: Office     Word     Docx    
Latest version: v0.3

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README

Report-From-DocX-HTML-To-PDF-Converter - Create custom reports based on Word docx or HTML documents and convert to PDF with .NET CORE

Please Donate!

Now also as a Nuget Package (just search for "DocXToPdfConverter")!

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We are a company (Smart In Media GmbH & Co. KG, https://www.smartinmedia.com) and have to pay salaries to our developers. As we also believe in free software, we give away this under the MIT license and you can do whatever you want with it. Other than with commercial libraries, you are not bound to making continuous paments, etc. So, if you saved money and time by using this library, please donate to us via Paypal!

Background/Why?

I was working on a medical project (https://www.easyradiology.net) and wanted that users receive a dynamically created PDF document via e-mail. Can't be too difficult, I thought. There'll be some library to do that. I discovered that in fact, there is PDF Sharp, an open source library. However, I found out that you have to "code" each line of the PDF yourself. What happens, if your sales department or user support wants to change just one line here or update a logo there in the document? Then, you have to go back to your code, change it, talk again to the sales dept or user support, if they are happy, etc until you can create a new release. This is super tedious. So I thought, would be great, if the sales department / user support can just create a simple Word docx or a HTML document with some placeholders and as a developer, you can just paste your dynamic content. Using Word docx - a Microsoft product - in .NET and adding stuff to it and then converting to PDF cannot be too difficult, right? Unfortunately, I was surprised, just how difficult that endeavour is if you don't want to pay huge amounts of money to commercial libraries. The cheapest started at U$300 and the most expensive were around U$5,000. So, I started deloping a solution myself. It is not perfect, but it seems to work... Again, if you like it, please donate money or code!

What's the functionality?

Report from DOCX / HTML to PDF Converter can parse the source document and introduce the dynamic content into predefined placeholders It works on Windows (tested) and should work on Linux and MacOS. Then it can perform the following conversions:

  • DOCX to DOCX (no need for LibreOffice)
  • DOCX to PDF
  • DOCX to HTML
  • HTML to HTML (no need for LibreOffice)
  • HTML to DOCX
  • HTML to PDF

What do you need to get started?

Don't get scared away that I use LibreOffice, it is easier than you may think!

  1. LibreOffice - just get the PORTABLE EDITION as you don't screw up your webserver with an installation. The portable version just runs without any installation. We need LibreOffice for converting from DOCX or from HTML to PDF and DOCX, etc

  2. Nuget:

  3. Microsoft.NetCore.App

  4. Document.Format.OpenXml

  5. System.Drawing.Common

  6. The OpenXml PowerTools (thanks to Eric White for this great work), which I already included into the project, the whole code!

Get started here!

  1. Add dependencies to a) Document.Format.OpenXml (by Microsoft). For the OpenXml Powertools by Eric White (which are already included in the project), add System.Drawing.Common (for .NET Core). The regular System.Drawing won't work!

  2. Download LibreOffice (https://www.libreoffice.org/download/portable-versions/). I recommend the portable edition as it does not install anything in your server. It is like unzipping files onto your harddrive. Note the path to "soffice.exe" (I don't know what the file is called in Linux / MacOS, probably just soffice. It is an executable to run a headless, mute version of LibreOffice for conversion processes). On my Windows machine, it is under: C:\PortableApps\LibreOfficePortable\App\libreoffice\program\soffice.exe.

  3. Have your templates (Word docx or HTML) ready. In the repository of the project ExampleApplication, i added both, docx and HTML: Test-html-page.html and Test-Template.docx. When you run the sample application, the output will land in: \DocXToPdfConvter\ExampleApplication\bin\Debug\netcoreapp2.1

 string executableLocation = Path.GetDirectoryName(
                Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location);

            //Here are the 2 test files as input. They contain placeholders
            string docxLocation = Path.Combine(executableLocation, "Test-Template.docx");
            string htmlLocation = Path.Combine(executableLocation, "Test-HTML-page.html");
  1. In this repository, there are 2 projects: the library itself and the ExampleApplication. Have a look at program.cs on how to implement the library. Here are the steps:

a) Add the path to your soffice.exe from LibreOffice, e. g.:

string locationOfLibreOfficeSoffice =
                @"C:\PortableApps\LibreOfficePortable\App\libreoffice\program\soffice.exe";

b) Define your placeholders, which you want to use either in your Word document or in a HTML document. There are 3 types of placeholders: one for plain text, one for table rows and one for images. A placeholder consists of a start tag, a string for the placeholder and an end tag. For instance, in your Word document or HTML document, you can place "##ThisIsAPlaceholder## - then the start and end tags are "##" and the "ThisIsAPlaceholder" is the string. To define placeholders, you have to create an object of the Placeholders class. You can customize the placeholder start and end tags and the "NewLineTag" (only for docx documents - for HTML, you just use the standard <br/>). If you don't define them, the following standard placeholders will be used. A start and an end tag do not have to be the same, they can also differ. Important: Different placeholder types (text, table row and images) MUST have different start/end tags!

So, here we first define the NewLineTag (only for Word documents) and the start/end tags. If you want to use these exactly, you don't have to define them, they are autocreated by the constructor.

var placeholders = new Placeholders();
placeholders.NewLineTag = "<br/>";
placeholders.TextPlaceholderStartTag = "##";
placeholders.TextPlaceholderEndTag = "##";
placeholders.TablePlaceholderStartTag = "==";
placeholders.TablePlaceholderEndTag = "==";
placeholders.ImagePlaceholderStartTag = "++";
placeholders.ImagePlaceholderEndTag = "++";

Now, let's make placeholders for texts:

placeholders.TextPlaceholders = new Dictionary<string, string>
            {
                {"Name", "Mr. Miller" },
                {"Street", "89 Brook St" },
                {"City", "Brookline MA 02115<br/>USA" },
                {"InvoiceNo", "5" },
                {"Total", "U$ 4,500" },
                {"Date", "28 Jul 2019" }
            };

A cool feature is creating placeholders for table rows. The rows of the template will be multiplied according to the number of placeholders in an array. In this example, we have 2 different table rows (actually, 2 different tables), which are automatically duplicated and filled:

  placeholders.TablePlaceholders = new List<Dictionary<string, string[]>>
  {

          new Dictionary<string, string[]>()
          {
              {"Name", new string[]{ "Homer Simpson", "Mr. Burns", "Mr. Smithers" }},
              {"Department", new string[]{ "Power Plant", "Administration", "Administration" }},
              {"Responsibility", new string[]{ "Oversight", "CEO", "Assistant" }},
              {"Telephone number", new string[]{ "888-234-2353", "888-295-8383", "888-848-2803" }}
          },
          new Dictionary<string, string[]>()
          {
              {"Qty", new string[]{ "2", "5", "7" }},
              {"Product", new string[]{ "Software development", "Customization", "Travel expenses" }},
              {"Price", new string[]{ "U$ 2,000", "U$ 1,000", "U$ 1,500" }},
          }

  };

Of course, you can also add images of many formats (jpg/jpeg, png is supported and a couple of others, too) into placeholders. Since version 1.0.2, you can also set the dots per inch (DPI) for embedding images. The placeholders for images are again in a Dictionary of the type . ImageElement is a class inside the placeholder class file. In ImageElement, you define Dpi as a double and the MemoryStream of the image. To get the image as a MemoryStream, just use the StreamHandler static class. Here is an example:

var productImage = StreamHandler.GetFileAsMemoryStream(Path.Combine(executableLocation, "ProductImage.jpg"));

var qrImage =
    StreamHandler.GetFileAsMemoryStream(Path.Combine(executableLocation, "QRCode.PNG"));

var productImageElement = new ImageElement() {Dpi = 96, memStream = productImage};
var qrImageElement = new ImageElement() {Dpi = 300, memStream = qrImage};

placeholders.ImagePlaceholders = new Dictionary<string, ImageElement>
{
    {"QRCode", qrImageElement },
    {"ProductImage", productImageElement }
};

c) As we now have everything setup, we can now start the conversion process(es). While converting, the placeholders are filled with the values. Of course docx to docx and html to html aren't really conversions, but I also added them to the functionality of the library, because that may be useful for some people.

var test = new ReportGenerator(locationOfLibreOfficeSoffice);

//Convert from HTML to HTML
test.Convert(htmlLocation, Path.Combine(Path.GetDirectoryName(htmlLocation), "Test-HTML-page-out.html"), placeholders);

//Convert from HTML to PDF
test.Convert(htmlLocation, Path.Combine(Path.GetDirectoryName(htmlLocation), "Test-HTML-page-out.pdf"), placeholders);

//Convert from HTML to DOCX
test.Convert(htmlLocation, Path.Combine(Path.GetDirectoryName(htmlLocation), "Test-HTML-page-out.docx"), placeholders);

//Convert from DOCX to DOCX
test.Convert(docxLocation, Path.Combine(Path.GetDirectoryName(htmlLocation), "Test-Template-out.docx"), placeholders);

//Convert from DOCX to HTML
test.Convert(docxLocation, Path.Combine(Path.GetDirectoryName(htmlLocation), "Test-Template-out.html"), placeholders);

//Convert from DOCX to PDF
test.Convert(docxLocation, Path.Combine(Path.GetDirectoryName(htmlLocation), "Test-Template-out.pdf"), placeholders);

That's all folks, I hope it works well for you. Please don't forget to donate!!!


*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the Report-From-DocX-HTML-To-PDF-Converter README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.