Generate pdf and send as attachment in Email using iTextSharp and Exception Filters of C# 6.0

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In this article, we will look into as how can we generate a pdf file from a HTML source and make that pdf as an attachment and send email. Also we have used the Exception Filters of C# 6.0 for retry count if the Email can not be sent for the first time because of any reason.

 Download source code for Generate pdf and send as attachment in Email using iTextSharp and Exception Filters of C# 6.0

Read Map and Reduce function of Javascript before this article.


iText is a open source project for java that helps to generate the pdf file. And iTextSharp is the .NET port that uses the iText library for generating the pdf files dynamically from any kind of source which can be a database, model, xml,json etc. We have a very good article in DotNetFunda written by Mr.Sheo Narayan, the founder of where he talked about Dynamically generate .pdf in ASP.NET using iTextSharp library. In this article, we will look into as how can we generate a pdf file from a HTML source and make that pdf as an attachment and send email. Also we have used the Exception Filters of C# 6.0 for retry count if the Email cannot be send for the first time because of any reason.

Environment Setup

Open Visual Studio 2015 and fire up a Console Application. Then by using the Nuget Package Manager GUI, let us install iTextSharp

We can equally do the same from the Nuget Package Manager Console by issuing the below command

 Install-Package iTextSharp 

At the time of writing this article, the version is iTextSharp.5.5.7

Using the code

We have the below main functions

static void Main(string[] args)
    //Step 1: Prepare the email content
    var emailContent = GetEmailContent();

    //Step 2: Generate the PDF and hold in memory
    var attachment = GetAttachment(emailContent);

    //Step 3: Send Email
    var sendEmail = SendEmail(attachment, emailContent);

In the first step, we are prepare the email content.For this to happen, we have a dedicated class call EmailTemplate

using System.Text;

namespace ConsoleApplication7
    public class EmailTemplate
        StringBuilder sbEmailMsg;       

        public string GetEmailContent()
            sbEmailMsg = new StringBuilder();  
            return sbEmailMsg.ToString();

        #region Private methods

        private void ComposeEmail()

        private void EmailHeader()
            sbEmailMsg.Append("<html><head><body><h2><center><u>RNA Pdf Content - made by RNA Team</u></center></h2>");

        private void EmailBody()
            sbEmailMsg.Append("<p>This is a test mail from <font color='blue' size='4'>RNA Team</font></p><p>This is a sample generated pdf by using <b><a href=''>iTextSharp</a></b>.Click on the iTextSharp text to know more about it.</p><p>Have a nice day</p><p><span style='color:blue;'><strong><em>Regards RNA Team</em></strong></span>");            

        private void EmailFooter()

The ComposeEmail() function is the one that is composing the email content as is return as a string

Once the email has been composed, the next task is to form the attachment.

private static Attachment GetAttachment(string emailContent)
   var file = ConvertHtmlToPDF(emailContent);
    file.Seek(0, SeekOrigin.Begin);
    Attachment attachment = new Attachment(file, "RNATeam.pdf", "application/pdf");
    ContentDisposition disposition = attachment.ContentDisposition;
    disposition.CreationDate = System.DateTime.Now;
    disposition.ModificationDate = System.DateTime.Now;
    disposition.DispositionType = DispositionTypeNames.Attachment;
    return attachment;

In the first line itself we can figure out that, we have a function that converts the Html content to PDF by using iTextSharp.The ConvertHtmlToPDF function is as under.

private static MemoryStream ConvertHtmlToPDF(string emailContent)
    //Create a MemoryStream which will hold the data
    var ms = new MemoryStream();

    //Create an iTextSharp Document
    using (var doc = new Document())
        //Create a pdf writer that will hold the instance of PDF abstraction which is doc and the memory stream
        var writer = PdfWriter.GetInstance(doc, ms);
        //Open the document for writing

        //Create a new HTMLWorker bound to our document
        using (var htmlWorker = new iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLWorker(doc))
            //HTMLWorker needs a TextReader (in this case a StringReader) to read string 
            using (var sr = new StringReader(emailContent))
                //Parse the HTML

        writer.CloseStream = false;
        //close the document
        //return the stream
        return ms;

Since the above program is heavily documented, needless to explain anything further on that.Once the Attachment is ready, the final step is to send that in Email.So the purpose of the function SendEmail(attachment, emailContent)

private static string SendEmail(Attachment attachment,string emailContent)
    return new EmailProvider().Send(""
        , ""
        , ""
        , ""
         , ""
        , "Sub: Pdf attachment sent from RNA Team by using iTextSharp"
        , emailContent
        , EmailProvider.Format.Html
        , attachment, null, null);

The SendEmail method inside the Send method looks as under

        done = true;
        response = "Email send successfully";
    //observe the usage of Exception filters of C# 6.0
    catch (SmtpException smtpEx) when (retryCount++ <= 5) 
        response = smtpEx.Message;
    //observe the usage of Exception filters of C# 6.0
    catch (Exception ex) when (retryCount++ <= 5) 
        response = ex.Message;
} while (!done);

return response;

A careful observation reveals that, we are using the new C# 6.0's Exception filters

After the email is sent successfully, we will receive the below

Once we open the pdf file it looks as under


Overview of iTextSharp


In this article we have learnt how to send Pdf file as attachement in Email using iTextSharp.Thanks for reading. Zip file attached

N.B.~The solution was built using VS2015.

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About the Author

Full Name: Niladri Biswas (RNA Team)
Member Level: Platinum
Member Status: Member,Microsoft_MVP,MVP
Member Since: 3/17/2015 2:41:06 AM
Country: India
-- Thanks & Regards, RNA Team

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Comments or Responses

Posted by: Sheonarayan on: 12/1/2015 | Points: 25
Nice peace of code dear, I particularly liked the Send method. Nice feature of retry in C# 6.0. Wow!
Posted by: Rajnilari2015 on: 12/1/2015 | Points: 25
thank you Sir
Posted by: Poster on: 12/2/2015 | Points: 25
I agree that Send method retry piece of code is awesome and newly introduced and very useful. Thanks for posting Raj.
Posted by: Rajnilari2015 on: 12/2/2015 | Points: 25
Thanks @Poster

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