If you need to quickly and easily generate PDF documents from ASP.NET, then the iTextSharp library for .NET is very convenient. To install and start using iTextSharp, you can download the zipped reference files from the SourceForge Web site and then add them to your Visual Studio project the same way as you would do with any other third party library file.
The latest version of iTextSharp has deprecated the older HTMLWorker object in favor of the newer XMLWorkerHelper object. This is good news for any developer who likes to use CSS formatting. Although the CSS support is still basic, it is a definite step up from the earlier version of the object which did not support CSS at all. For example, the new object allows a number of important behaviors such as PDF page breaks that were impossible to do using the older object.
To make use of the XMLWorkerHelper object you will need to reference two DLL files in your Visual Studio project. These are:
Once you have referenced these two libraries you are ready to start coding.
In this article I provide a fully working example in both C# and VB.NET. Each example consists of a report page that outputs a simple table, and the main PDF generation page. See the explanation below for further details.
Just to note: if you are interested in further information about iTextSharp then please have a look at the collection of articles I’ve written that cover using iTextSharp for .NET PDF generation.