How to Use PageSetup Options When Saving to a PDF Document

When saving Excel worksheets to a PDF document using the PDF rendering extension methods introduced in OfficeWriter 10.0, it is often useful to be able to specify details about the resulting PDF document, or about how the rendering should behave.  This is achieved by setting properties on the worksheet’s PageSetup property before calling the SavePdf method.  This tutorial will walk through that process.

Setting up your worksheet

For this example, we will open an existing workbook, in order to save the first worksheet of the workbook to a PDF document:

ExcelApplication xla = new ExcelApplication();

Workbook WB = xla.Open(“input.xlsx”);

Worksheet worksheetToSave = WB[0];

 Specifying page properties

 Using the worksheet’s PageSetup property, we can specify the page size, orientation, and margins.  These properties will be reflected in the final PDF document:

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.PaperSize = PageSetup.PagePaperSize.Legal;

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.Orientation = PageSetup.PageOrientation.Landscape;

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.TopMargin = 1.5; // Specified in inches

Setting a header and footer

The PageSetup property can also be used to set a header or footer.  The header and footer will be printed on each page of the PDF:

HeaderFooterSection.Section hfSection = HeaderFooterSection.Section.Center;

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.GetHeader(hfSection).SetContent(“Header text”);

Specifying rendering options

Other PageSetup properties are useful for specifying how the content should be rendered to the PDF document.  For example, we can make the content smaller than normal by using the Zoom property, specify the order in which pages should appear in the PDF document, and print all of the cell comments at the end of the document by setting the relevant properties on the worksheet:

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.Zoom = 50; // Specified as a percentage

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.UseZoom = true;

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.PrintOrder = PageSetup.PagePrintOrder.DownThenOver;

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.PrintComments = true;

worksheetToSave.PageSetup.PrintCommentsAtEnd = true;

There are additional PageSetup properties that may prove useful; for a complete list, see the PageSetup documentation.

Saving the PDF document

Once you have set all desired PageSetup options, you can then save the worksheet to a PDF document:


If you want to save multiple PDF documents from the same workbook, but with different options set, you can repeat this process.  For example, after saving one PDF document, you could then change the PaperSize property to a different size of paper, and then save a second document.  The updated properties will be reflected in any subsequent calls to SavePdf.

When saving an entire workbook to a PDF, each worksheet is rendered using its own PageSetup properties.

Save PDF file to HttpResponse

In a previous blog post we discussed how OfficeWriter 10.0 introduced the ability to save an Excel workbook to a PDF document. When working in a web environment it is common to want to send the generated file to the browser for your end user to download and view on their own machine.

Step 1:
Generate your workbook. A very simple example might be:

var xla = new ExcelApplication();
var wb = xla.Create(ExcelApplication.FileFormat.Xlsx);
var ws = wb[0];
ws.Cells[0, 0].Value = "Hello";
ws.Cells[0, 1].Value = "World!";

Step 2:
Define a helper method to write the file byte to the current response stream:

public static void WriteFileToResponse
(HttpContext context, byte[] bytes, string fileName)

var bytesLength = bytes.Length.ToString(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture);
var response = context.Response;
response.Buffer = true;
response.AddHeader("Content-Length", bytesLength);
response.AddHeader("Content-Disposition", "attachment; filename=" + fileName);
response.ContentType = MimeMapping.GetMimeMapping(fileName);

Step 3:
Save the PDF to a memory stream and call our helper method we just defined. This has the benefit of avoiding disk IO. This may vary if your application actually needs to persist the generated PDF.

using (var memoryStream = new MemoryStream())
var fileName = "generatedfile.pdf";
wb.SavePdf(false, memoryStream);
memoryStream.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);
WriteFileToResponse(HttpContext.Current, memoryStream.ToArray(), fileName);

And that’s it!

How to Save an Excel Workbook to a PDF Document

OfficeWriter 10.0 introduces the ability to save a Workbook, Worksheet, or Area to a PDF document. This makes it possible to produce a searchable, vector-format rendering of your spreadsheet.

Using the Imaging Extension DLL

The PDF functionality is included in the rendering extensions DLL (SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter.Imaging.dll). The first thing you will need to do is include this DLL as a reference in your project in Visual Studio. You will also need to tell the compiler to use the imaging namespace in your source file. This can be accomplished by adding a using statement to the top of the file where you want to save a PDF document:

using SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter.Imaging;

Setting up your workbook

In order to save an Excel workbook to a PDF document, you first need a workbook with contents in it. For this example, let’s create a simple workbook with three worksheets:

ExcelApplication xla = new ExcelApplication();
Workbook WB = xla.Create(ExcelApplication.FileFormat.Xlsx);
Worksheet ws0 = WB[0];
Worksheet ws1 = WB.Worksheets.CreateWorksheet("Sheet2");
Worksheet ws2 = WB.Worksheets.CreateWorksheet("Sheet3");

ws0[0, 0].Value = “Sheet 1, Cell A1”;
ws1[0, 0].Value = “Sheet 2, Cell A1”;
ws2[0, 0].Value = “Sheet 3, Cell A1”;

For this example, we are just exporting some cells with text in them. However, the rendering extensions support more dynamic content as well, such as cell formatting, charts, images, comments, or conditional formats. We could also use a workbook that we opened from a file, that already had contents and formatting applied.

Saving a PDF document

There are three ways to save a PDF document: through the workbook, through a worksheet, or through a specific area. Specific PDF rendering options can be specified by setting a worksheet’s PageSetup properties; this will be covered in a later tutorial. If you have not set any of the worksheet’s PageSetup properties, then default settings will be used.

You can save multiple PDF files from one workbook. First, let’s save multiple worksheets to a single PDF document. This can be achieved by using the Workbook.SavePdf method. The first parameter is a Boolean; if this is set to true, then only selected worksheets will be saved. Otherwise all visible worksheets will be saved.

For this example, lets save the first and the third worksheet to a single PDF document. Continuing from the code above, we can achieve this with the following two lines of code:

WB.Worksheets.Select(new object[]{0, 2});
WB.SavePdf(true, “MultipleWorksheets.pdf”);

We can also save the remaining worksheet to a separate PDF file containing only the contents of that worksheet:


This allows to either generate multiple PDF documents, each containing one worksheet, or a single PDF document containing multiple sheets.

Calls to SavePdf must be made before saving a workbook to an xlsx/xlsm file. Once you have exported all of the PDF documents that you want, you can then also save the workbook to an Excel file as you normally would:

xla.Save(WB, “workbook.xlsx”);

Putting it all together

Here’s what the final code looks like:

using SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter;
using SoftArtisans.OfficeWriter.ExcelWriter.Imaging;

public class SampleProgram
public static void Main(string[] args)
ExcelApplication xla = new ExcelApplication();
Workbook WB = xla.Create(ExcelApplication.FileFormat.Xlsx);

// Set up the workbook with some content
Worksheet ws0 = WB[0];
Worksheet ws1 = WB.Worksheets.CreateWorksheet(“Sheet2”);
Worksheet ws2 = WB.Worksheets.CreateWorksheet(“Sheet3”);
ws0[0, 0].Value = “Sheet 1, Cell A1”;
ws1[0, 0].Value = “Sheet 2, Cell A1”;
ws2[0, 0].Value = “Sheet 3, Cell A1”;

// Select two worksheets and save them to a single PDF document
WB.Worksheets.Select(new object[]{0, 2});

// The ‘true’ argument tells the rendering method to only save worksheets
// that are currently selected. If it were ‘false’, then all worksheets
// would be saved to the PDF.
WB.SavePdf(true, “MultipleWorksheets.pdf”);

// Save one worksheet to a separate PDF

// Finally, save the workbook to an Excel file in case we need to edit it later
xla.Save(WB, “workbook.xlsx”);

How to Calculate Unsupported or Custom Formulas on the Server with ExcelWriter

Beginning in OfficeWriter 9.1, ExcelApplication’s calculation engine will offer the ability to implement custom formulas. This feature should prove helpful to users whom would like to calculate their own custom formulas or calculate formulas not currently supported by ExcelWriter on the server using ExcelWriter. This tutorial will show you how to implement these formulas.

Creating Your Own Formula

  1. Create a class that implements an interface provided by ExcelWriter called IFunction. The IFunction interface implements a method called Calculate.
  2. Inside of your class, create the Calculate method with this signature:
    FunctionValue Calculate(IList<FunctionValue> args, Cell currentCell)
  3. Inside of the Calculate Function, code the logic of the formula you would like to implement.
    1. The first argument of Calculate is a list of FunctionValue objects. FunctionValue objects are how we pass values in and out of formulas. FunctionValues have several properties available to them, so please see the documentation for more information about how you can use the properties in your formula logic.
    2. The second argument of Calculate is the cell that contains the formula. Please see the documentation for more information about Cell objects and their available properties and methods.

Registering the Formula with ExcelWriter

  1. Once the formula is written, register the function using Workbook.RegisterCustomFunction.
    WB.RegisterCustomFunction("MyFormula", new MyClass());

Calculating the Formula and Removing it From a Workbook

Once your formula is registered, you can use WB.CalculateFormulas to have ExcelWriter calculate the value of any cells that use the formula in your Workbook. If you are generating Excel output using ExcelApplication.Save, please note that if you have implemented a custom formula that it is not recognized by Microsoft Excel, the end user will not see the calculated values in the output workbook when opened in Excel. To get around this issue, you can use Workbook.RemoveFormulas or Worksheet.RemoveFormulas to remove the formulas from the worksheet or workbook, while leaving the last calculated values in the cells.

Here is an example of what your finished code should look like:

public class sample
      ExcelApplication xla = new    ExcelApplication(ExcelApplication.FileFormat.Xlsx);
      Workbook WB = xla.Create(ExcelApplication.FileFormat.Xlsx);
      WB[0]["A1"].Formula = "=COUNTARGUMENTS(4, 5, 6)";
      WB.RegisterCustomFunction("COUNTARGUMENTS", new Formula());
      //Optionally remove all formulas from the workbook, so only values remain. This is good in case you are using a custom formula that Excel will not be able to calculate.

class Formula : IFunction
   public FunctionValue Calculate(IList<FunctionValue> args, Cell cell)
      //Returns the number of arguments
      return new FunctionValue(args.Count);

Saving Your Report’s Data in CSV Format

If you have ever filed a support incident with SoftArtisans Technical Services concerning your OfficeWriter reports, you know that one of the most important steps in resolving an issue is having a Technical Services Engineer reproduce it. While there are many components to reproducing a customer issue, one of the most critical aspects is having sample data to run the affected report with. Unfortunately, this can be a special challenge because a Technical Services Engineer does not have access to your data sources. The inability to run the report can delay or even halt Technical Service’s ability to troubleshoot an issue. However, do not fret, as CSV files can save the day!

Steps to Save Your Report Data as a CSV File

  1. Download the attached template Collecting_Data_For_SA. The template will allow you to gather data for up to 10 datasources with up to 35 columns each.
  2. Run this template through your application:
    1. If you have a custom web application that uses ExcelTemplate: run this template through your application.
    2. If you have a custom web application that uses  ExcelApplication or Word Application: run this template through your application using ExcelTemplate with code that looks something like this:
      ExcelTemplate xlt= new ExcelTemplate();
      //Open the collecting_data_for_sa template
      //Bind each of your datasources to the template
      xlt.BindData([YOUR DATA SOURCE], "Something", xlt.CreateDataBindingProperties());
      xlt.BindData([YOUR DATA SOURCE2], "Something2", xlt.CreateDataBindingProperties());
      xlt.BindData([YOUR DATA SOURCE3], "Something3", xlt.CreateDataBindingProperties());
    3. If you are using SSRS integration:
      1. Create a copy of your affected RDL.
      2. Open the copy RDL in the OfficeWriter Designer or OfficeWriter Designer .NET for Microsoft Excel.
      3. Click “Import Template” in the Designer tab and overwrite your existing template with the collecting_data_for_sa file.
      4. The copy rdl should now contain the collecting_data_for_sa template.
      5. Upload the rdl to SSRS and run the report.
  3. Send the results to SoftArtisans Technical Services

Adding SSRS Formulas, Global Variables, and Parameters to Your Designer .NET Report

The original OfficeWriter Designer allowed users to add the equivalent to SSRS expressions in their Designer report by using a feature built-in to the Designer called the formula manager. However, in recent months, SoftArtisans has released a new, beautiful, more robust designer called the Designer .NET. The only complication is that the Designer. NET does not yet have a built in formula manager. Fortunately, you can still add many calculated values, parameters, and other report information to your report by using SSRS calculated fields in Visual Studio.

NOTE:  Currently Reporting Services does not allow Visual Studio calculated fields to contain user-defined variables, aggregate, RowNumber, RunningValue, Previous, or lookup functions when rendering the report.

Adding Expressions to Your DataSet

  1. Open your RDL in Visual Studio.
  2. Right click the dataset you want to add the expression to and click “Add Calculated Field…”
    Add a Calculated Field...
  3. A dialog should appear with two columns: Field Name and Field Source.
  4. Enter any name into Field Name
  5. Click the fx symbol to create a formula for the value of your field.
    Click the "fx" button
  6. In the new dialog, you decide what formula you want your field to express. Let’s say you want to display a parameter in your report. In this case, you would click “Parameters”, and then double-click the parameter you want to add. You should now see a formula at the top of the window.
    Add a parameter by double-clicking the one you want to add
  7. Hit “Ok” and exit out of the dialogs.
  8. Save your RDL and open it in the Designer .NET.
  9. While designing the report, add the data marker that corresponds to your expression into your report.
  10. When you’re finished designing the report, deploy it to SSRS from the OfficeWriter Designer .NET

How to Use Process Monitor (ProcMon) to Troubleshoot Web Applications

Process Monitor is a great tool that can help you troubleshoot applications when error messages alone just aren’t enough information to solve a problem. Process Monitor works by logging in-depth about the actions of particular processes. It will give you in-depth information about file access, registry access, threading, and permissions. In this how-to tutorial, we will show you how to collect information on the process that ASP and ASP.NET web applications run on – wpw3.exe.

Step 1:  Download Process Monitor

You can download Process Monitor here.

Step 2:  Open Your Web Application

Go to the page in your web application before your error occurs. You need to be easily able to trigger the event that causes the error while ProcMon is running to avoid collecting too much information.

Step 3:  Monitor the w3wp.exe Process

  1. Reset the filter by clicking Filter -> Reset Filter
  2. Add the w3wp.exe process to the filter by going to Filter -> Filter…
  3. A dialog box will appear.
  4. Create a rule that says “Process Name is w3wp.exe”
    Process is w3wp.exe Rule
  5. Click “Add”
  6. Click “Apply” and then “OK” to exit the Dialog

Step 4:  Collect Information from ProcMon

  1. Please make sure that the Capture icon (shaped like a magnifying class) is enabled. There should NOT be a red “X” through it.
    Capture Events
  2. Go to your web application and trigger the error.
  3. Once the error occurs, go back to ProcMon and click the Capture Icon to stop capturing events.

Step 5:  Examine the ProcMon Logs

  1. The first thing you should do when examining the logs is to see if anything in the “Result” column is not “SUCCESS”. Please take notes of any warnings or errors.
  2. Once you find the errors, determine if they are relevant to your issue.
  3. If you would like to save the logs, you can by going to File -> Save.

How to Avoid Extra Page at Document End When Using WordTemplate

When you want part of your WordTemplate document to repeat on every page, you must set a PageBreak on that page. However, if you set a default PageBreak, Word will automatically insert what is called a Page Break After. The Page Break After  will result in an extra page at the end of your document. In order to fix this, you will need to set a Page Break Before  at the beginning of the page you want to repeat.

Instructions on Setting a Page Break Before

  1. Click on the top left corner of the page where you want your page break to occur.
  2. In the “Home” tab, there should be a “Paragraph” section. Click the arrow on the bottom-right of the Paragraph Section.
    Screenshot 2014-06-20 11.30.19
  3. Go to the “Line and Page Breaks” tab and check the “Page Break Before” option.
    Screenshot 2014-06-20 11.35.51
  4. Click “Ok”.

Word will have now inserted a PageBreak before at the spot where you cursor lay in the document. Your document should now generate the correct number of pages.

How to Send OfficeWriter Output in an E-mail

Sending OfficeWriter output in an e-mail is possible while either using OfficeWriter in .NET or with SSRS integration. When using the OfficeWriter .NET API, you can use the .NET MailMessage class to send your OfficeWriter output as an attachment in an e-mail. In SSRS, you can send the output as a subscription-based e-mail.

Sending OfficeWriter Output Using the .NET MailMessage Class

In order to send OfficeWriter in an e-mail output using .NET, you need to use the MailMessage object. If you save the workbook,  document, or presentation to a stream, you can create an attachment out of the file in the stream. This attachment can be added to the MailMessage object and sent to the workbook’s or document’s end users.

//Open Word Template
WordTemplate wt= new WordTemplate();

//Do some databinding and processing here

//Create a file stream that will save the output file on the server
FileStream myStream = new FileStream(@"C:\temp\outfile.xlsx", FileMode.Create);

//Save the output to the stream

//Create an Attachment of the file in the stream
Attachment myAttachment= new Attachment(myStream, "output.xlsx");

//Create a mailmessage obj
MailMessage mailObj = new MailMessage("From Address", "To Address", "Subject", "Body");

//Add the attachment

//Connect to the server that will send the email
SmtpClient SMTPServer = new SmtpClient("thenameofyourhost");

//Set credentials
SMTPServer.UseDefaultCredentials = true;

//Try sending
//Basic error handling
catch (Exception ex)

Sending OfficeWriter Output Using a SSRS Subscription

If you are integrating OfficeWriter with SSRS, it also possible to send OfficeWriter output by using subscriptions. Be aware that the credentials to run the report must be stored inside of the report.

  1. After uploading your report to the SSRS server, open Report Manager
  2. Find your report and from the Drop Down, select “Manage”
  3. In the left-hand menu, select “Subscriptions” and then “New Subscription”
  4. Fill out the form, including:
    1. Who you want to send the report to
    2. When you want to send it
    3. What parameters the report should run with
    4. Be sure to select either “Excel designed by OfficeWriter” or “Word designed by OfficeWriter” as the rendering format.
  5. Click “Ok”
  6. Your new subscription should now appear in the Subscriptions list for your report and will run at the time you specified.

Using OfficeWriter .NET on a 64-bit machine

What version of OfficeWriter do I need for 64-bit support?

  • Full 64-bit support for OfficeWriter’s pure .NET classes was introduced in OfficeWriter 3.9.1 (ExcelWriter 6.9.1). The OfficeWriter .NET dlls are compiled with the /anycpu flag so they will work fine on either 32-bit or 64-bit systems.
  • OfficeWriter’s COM dlls are still 32-bit. If you have old ASP.NET applications that are still using the .NET wrapper classes for ExcelWriter COM, you will need to run those applications in a 32-bit application pool or change your code to use the pure .NET objects. See Using OfficeWriter COM.

What is the difference between the 32-bit and 64-bit installers?

  • There are no significant differences between OfficeWriter’s 32-bit and 64-bit installers. Both contain the same .NET dlls which are compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
  • The 64-bit installer will create the OfficeWriter program folder in Progam Files rather than Program Files (x86)
  • You can run the 32-bit installer on a 64-bit OS. However if you are installing OfficeWriter in SSRS integration mode, the 32-bit installer may have trouble finding a 64-bit instance of SSRS.
  • There is no problem manually deploying files from a 32-bit installation to a 64-bit machine