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Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to Print in ASP.NET 2.0

One of the most common functionality in any ASP.NET application is to print forms and controls. There are a lot of options to print forms using client scripts. In the article, we will see how to print controls in ASP.NET 2.0 using both server side code and javascript.
Step 1: Create a PrintHelper class. This class contains a method called PrintWebControl that can print any control like a GridView, DataGrid, Panel, TextBox etc. The class makes a call to window.print() that simulates the print button.
using System;
using System.Data;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Security;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebParts;
using System.Web.UI.HtmlControls;
using System.IO;
using System.Text;
using System.Web.SessionState;
public class PrintHelper
    public PrintHelper()
    public static void PrintWebControl(Control ctrl)
        PrintWebControl(ctrl, string.Empty);
    public static void PrintWebControl(Control ctrl, string Script)
        StringWriter stringWrite = new StringWriter();
        System.Web.UI.HtmlTextWriter htmlWrite = new System.Web.UI.HtmlTextWriter(stringWrite);
        if (ctrl is WebControl)
        Unit w = new Unit(100, UnitType.Percentage); ((WebControl)ctrl).Width = w;
        Page pg = new Page();
        pg.EnableEventValidation = false;
        if (Script != string.Empty)
        pg.ClientScript.RegisterStartupScript(pg.GetType(),"PrintJavaScript", Script);
        HtmlForm frm = new HtmlForm();
        frm.Attributes.Add("runat", "server");
        string strHTML = stringWrite.ToString();

Step 2: Create two pages, Default.aspx and Print.aspx. Default.aspx will contain the controls to be printed. Print.aspx will act as a popup page to invoke the print functionality.
Step 3: In your Default.aspx, drag and drop a few controls that you would like to print. To print a group of controls, place them all in a container control like a panel. This way if we print the panel using our PrintHelper class, all the controls inside the panel gets printed.
Step 4: Add a print button to the Default.aspx and in the code behind, type the following code:
protected void btnPrint_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        Session["ctrl"] = Panel1;
        ClientScript.RegisterStartupScript(this.GetType(), "onclick", "");
The code stores the control in a Session variable to be accessed in the pop up page, Print.aspx. If you want to print directly on button click, call the Print functionality in the following manner :

Step 5: In the Page_Load event of Print.aspx.cs, add the following code:
protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        Control ctrl = (Control)Session["ctrl"];

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