PrintPreviewControl in C#

The PrintPreviewDialog control displays the Print Preview Dialog with all buttons and settings so the users can change their settings before a document goes to the printer. But there are circumstances when you would need to just display print preview without any buttons and options and show only the preview. This is where the PrintPreviewControl can be used.
The PrintPreviewControl control represents the raw part of print preview of a document that is ready go to the printer. In this article, I will discuss how to use a PrintPreviewControl control to display print previews of documents in Windows Forms applications.

Creating a PrintPreviewControl

PrintPreviewControl is defined in the System.Drawing.Printing namespace. You must import this namespace before using the PrintPreviewControl class.

We can create a PrintPreviewControl by dragging the control from the Toolbox onto a Form or we can use the PrintPreviewControl class.

The following code snippet creates a PrintPreviewControl, sets it's properties and adds control to the Form by calling Controls.Add() method.

C# Code:

private PrintPreviewControl ppc;

private PrintDocument docToPrint = new PrintDocument();      


private void CreatePrintPreviewControl()


    ppc = new PrintPreviewControl();               

    ppc.Name = "PrintPreviewControl1";

    ppc.Dock = DockStyle.Fill;

    ppc.Location = new Point(88, 80);           

    ppc.Document = docToPrint;

    ppc.Zoom = 0.25;

    ppc.Document.DocumentName = "c:\\";

    ppc.UseAntiAlias = true;


    // Add PrintPreviewControl to Form




VB.NET Code:



Private Sub CreatePrintPreviewControl()

        ppc = New PrintPreviewControl()

        ppc.Name = "PrintPreviewControl1"

        ppc.Dock = DockStyle.Fill

        ppc.Location = New Point(88, 80)

        ppc.Document = docToPrint

        ppc.Zoom = 0.25

        ppc.Document.DocumentName = "c:\"

        ppc.UseAntiAlias = True


        AddHandler docToPrint.PrintPage, AddressOf PrintPage


        ' Add PrintPreviewControl to Form


    End Sub

Adding the PrintDocument.PrintPage Event Handler

Remember, a PrintPreviewControl displays preview only and does not print a document. To print a document, we must implement the PrintDocument.PrintPage event handler.  The following code snippet adds a PrintDocument.PrintPage event handler and prints some text using the DrawString method of the Graphics object.

C# Code:                                                                                                                                  

// Add PrintDocument PrintPage event handler

this.docToPrint.PrintPage +=

    new System.Drawing.Printing.PrintPageEventHandler(PrintPage);


private void PrintPage(object sender, PrintPageEventArgs e)


    string text = "This text to be printed. ";

    e.Graphics.DrawString(text, new Font("Georgia", 35, FontStyle.Bold),

        Brushes.Black, 10, 10);



VB.NET Code:


AddHandler docToPrint.PrintPage, AddressOf PrintPage


Private Sub PrintPage(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As PrintPageEventArgs)

        Dim text As String = "This text to be printed. "

        e.Graphics.DrawString(text, New Font("Georgia", 35, FontStyle.Bold),

          Brushes.Black, 10, 10)

End Sub


The output looks like Figure 1 where the print preview of a document to be printed is displayed.


In this article, we discussed how to use a PrintPreviewControl control to display print preview of documents in Windows Forms applications. Download the attached project to learn more about this control.

Further Readings

Here is a list of top articles and tutorials about printing you will want to read to learn more about printing.