In this article I will explain with an example, how to export GridView with Images from SQL Server database to Word, Excel and PDF formats in ASP.Net using C# and VB.Net.
Exporting GridView to Word and Excel can be easily achieved using ASP.Net without any third party tools, but for exporting to PDF iTextSharp library will be used.
This article will illustrate how to export GridView with Images from SQL Server database to Word, Excel and PDF file along with formatting i.e. Styles and Colors in ASP.Net.
 
 
Database
This article makes use of a table named tblFiles whose schema is defined as follows.
Export GridView with Images from database to Word Excel and PDF Formats
 
Note: You can download the database table SQL by clicking the download link below.
          Download SQL file
 
 
HTML Markup
The following HTML Markup consists of an ASP.Net GridView control with one BoundField column, one TemplateField column consisting of an Image control and three Button controls.
The GridView has been specified with OnRowDataBound event handler and the DataKeyNames property is set.
The Buttons have been assigned OnClick event handlers which will perform the operation for exporting GridView to Word, Excel and PDF files.
<asp:GridView ID="GridView1" HeaderStyle-BackColor="#3AC0F2" HeaderStyle-ForeColor="White"
    Font-Names="Arial" Font-Size="10" RowStyle-BackColor="#A1DCF2" AlternatingRowStyle-BackColor="White"
    AlternatingRowStyle-ForeColor="#000" runat="server" AutoGenerateColumns="false" OnRowDataBound="OnRowDataBound" DataKeyNames="ID">
    <Columns>
        <asp:BoundField DataField="Name" HeaderText="File Name"/>
        <asp:TemplateField ItemStyle-Height="150" ItemStyle-Width="100">
            <ItemTemplate>
                <asp:Image ID="Image1" runat="server" Height="100" Width="100"/>
            </ItemTemplate>
        </asp:TemplateField>
    </Columns>
</asp:GridView>
<br/>
<asp:Button ID="btnExcel" runat="server" Text="Export To Excel" OnClick="ExportToExcel" Width="120"/>
<asp:Button ID="btnWord" runat="server" Text="Export To Word" OnClick="ExportToWord" Width="120"/>
<asp:Button ID="btnPDF" runat="server" Text="Export To PDF" OnClick="ExportToPDF" Width="120"/>
 
 
Namespaces
You will need to import the following namespaces.
C#
using System.IO;
using System.Data;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
using System.Drawing;
using iTextSharp.text;
using iTextSharp.text.pdf;
using iTextSharp.tool.xml;
 
VB.Net
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Data
Imports System.Configuration
Imports System.Data.SqlClient
Imports System.Drawing
Imports iTextSharp.text
Imports iTextSharp.text.pdf
Imports iTextSharp.tool.xml
 
 
Binding the GridView
Inside the Page Load event handler, the records from the database table are fetched and are used to populate the GridView control.
C#
protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    if (!this.IsPostBack)
    {
        this.BindGrid();
    }
}
 
private void BindGrid()
{
    string constr = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["constr"].ConnectionString;
    using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(constr))
    {
        using (SqlDataAdapter sda = new SqlDataAdapter("SELECT * FROM tblFiles", conn))
        {
            DataTable dt = new DataTable();
            sda.Fill(dt);
            GridView1.DataSource = dt;
            GridView1.DataBind();
        }
    }
}
 
VB.Net
Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
    If Not Me.IsPostBack Then
        Me.BindGrid()
    End If
End Sub
 
Private Sub BindGrid()
    Dim constr As String = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings("constr").ConnectionString
    Using conn As SqlConnection = New SqlConnection(constr)
        Using sda As SqlDataAdapter = New SqlDataAdapter("SELECT * FROM tblFiles", conn)
            Dim dt As DataTable = New DataTable()
            sda.Fill(dt)
            GridView1.DataSource = dt
            GridView1.DataBind()
        End Using
    End Using
End Sub
 
 
RowDataBound event
Inside the RowDataBound event of the GridView, the Absolute URL to the application is built by concatenation of the URL segments.
Note: In order to export to Word, Excel or PDF, it is important to generate the complete URL of the handler like this http://localhost:25260/Handler.ashx?id=1.
Such URLs are known as Absolute Path and Word, Excel and PDF files will use this path to download the Image files within the application.
 
Then using the Row Index, the DataKeys array is accessed and the ID of the Image is fetched. This ID value will be passed to the Generic Handler, which in turn will return the Image from the SQL Server Database.
Note : For more details on DataKeys refer my article ASP.Net GridView: How to get value of BoundField column set to Visible=False.
 
Finally, the Absolute URL of the Generic Handler along with the ID of the Image is set in the Image control.
C#
protected void OnRowDataBound(object sender, GridViewRowEventArgs e)
{
    if (e.Row.RowType == DataControlRowType.DataRow)
    {
        //Fetch the Current URL.
        Uri uri = Request.Url;
 
        //Generate Absolute Path for the Images folder.
        string applicationUrl = string.Format("{0}://{1}{2}", uri.Scheme, uri.Authority, uri.AbsolutePath);
        applicationUrl = applicationUrl.Replace(Request.Url.Segments[Request.Url.Segments.Length - 1], "");
 
        //Fetch the Image ID from the DataKeyNames property.
        int id = Convert.ToInt32(GridView1.DataKeys[e.Row.RowIndex].Values[0]);
 
        //Generate and set the Handler Absolute URL in the Image control.
        string imageUrl = string.Format("{0}Handler.ashx?id={1}", applicationUrl, id);
        (e.Row.FindControl("Image1") as System.Web.UI.WebControls.Image).ImageUrl = imageUrl;
    }
}
 
VB.Net
Protected Sub OnRowDataBound(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As GridViewRowEventArgs)
    If e.Row.RowType = DataControlRowType.DataRow Then
        'Fetch the Current URL.
        Dim uri As Uri = Request.Url
 
        'Generate Absolute Path for the Images folder.
        Dim applicationUrl As String = String.Format("{0}://{1}{2}", uri.Scheme, uri.Authority, uri.AbsolutePath)
        applicationUrl = applicationUrl.Replace(Request.Url.Segments(Request.Url.Segments.Length - 1), "")
 
        'Fetch the Image ID from the DataKeyNames property.
        Dim id As Integer = Convert.ToInt32(GridView1.DataKeys(e.Row.RowIndex).Values(0))
 
        'Generate and set the Handler Absolute URL in the Image control.
        Dim imageUrl As String = String.Format("{0}Handler.ashx?id={1}", applicationUrl, id)
        TryCast(e.Row.FindControl("Image1"), System.Web.UI.WebControls.Image).ImageUrl = imageUrl
    End If
End Sub
 
 
The Generic Handler
The following Generic Handler accepts the ID of the Image file through the QueryString parameter and fetches the Binary Data of the Image file from the database using its ID.
Finally, the Binary Data is converted into a Byte Array and returned through the response.
C#
<%@ WebHandler Language="C#" Class="Handler" %>
 
using System;
using System.Web;
using System.Data;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
 
public class Handler : IHttpHandler
{
    public void ProcessRequest(HttpContext context)
    {
        int id = 0;
        int.TryParse(context.Request.QueryString["id"], out id);
        if (id > 0)
        {
            string constr = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["constr"].ConnectionString;
            using (SqlConnection con = new SqlConnection(constr))
            {
                string sql = "SELECT Data, ContentType FROM tblFiles WHERE Id =" + id;
                using (SqlDataAdapter sda = new SqlDataAdapter(sql, con))
                {
                    DataTable dt = new DataTable();
                    sda.Fill(dt);
                    byte[] bytes = (byte[])dt.Rows[0]["Data"];
                    context.Response.ContentType = dt.Rows[0]["ContentType"].ToString();
                    context.Response.BinaryWrite(bytes);
                    context.Response.End();
                }
            }
        }
    }
 
    public bool IsReusable
    {
        get
        {
            return false;
        }
    }
}
 
VB.Net
<%@ WebHandler Language="VB" Class="Handler" %>
 
Imports System
Imports System.Web
Imports System.Data
Imports System.Configuration
Imports System.Data.SqlClient
 
Public Class Handler : Implements IHttpHandler
 
    Public Sub ProcessRequest(ByVal context As HttpContext) Implements IHttpHandler.ProcessRequest
        Dim id As Integer = 0
        Integer.TryParse(context.Request.QueryString("id"), id)
        If id > 0 Then
            Dim constr As String = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings("constr").ConnectionString
            Using con As SqlConnection = New SqlConnection(constr)
                Dim sql As String = "SELECT Data, ContentType FROM tblFiles WHERE Id =" & id
                Using sda As SqlDataAdapter = New SqlDataAdapter(sql, con)
                    Dim dt As DataTable = New DataTable()
                    sda.Fill(dt)
                    Dim bytes As Byte() = CType(dt.Rows(0)("Data"), Byte())
                    context.Response.ContentType = dt.Rows(0)("ContentType").ToString()
                    context.Response.BinaryWrite(bytes)
                    context.Response.End()
                End Using
            End Using
        End If
    End Sub
 
    Public ReadOnly Property IsReusable() As Boolean Implements IHttpHandler.IsReusable
        Get
            Return False
        End Get
    End Property
 
End Class
 
 
Exporting GridView with Images to Excel with Formatting
When the Export Button is clicked, first the Content Type is set in the Response Stream in order to specify the Browser that the downloading file is an Excel file.
The Paging is disabled for the GridView by setting the AllowPaging property to False and the GridView is again populated with records from the Database by making call to the BindGrid method.
Then a loop is executed over the GridView rows and the style and formatting are applied to the Row and Alternating Row of the GridView control.
Note: The colors are applied to individual cell of each Row and not to the whole Row as if this is not done then the color will spread on all cells of the Excel sheet.
 
CSS class named textmode is applied to each cell of the GridView. This class makes sure that all the contents are rendered in Text format (mso number format).
Note: The mso number format style prevents large numbers from getting converted to exponential values.
 
C#
protected void ExportToExcel(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    Response.Clear();
    Response.Buffer = true;
    Response.AddHeader("content-disposition""attachment;filename=GridViewExport.xls");
    Response.Charset = "";
    Response.ContentType = "application/vnd.ms-excel";
    using (StringWriter sw = new StringWriter())
    {
        HtmlTextWriter hw = new HtmlTextWriter(sw);
 
        //To Export all pages.
        GridView1.AllowPaging = false;
        this.BindGrid();
 
        GridView1.HeaderRow.BackColor = Color.White;
        foreach (TableCell cell in GridView1.HeaderRow.Cells)
        {
            cell.BackColor = GridView1.HeaderStyle.BackColor;
        }
        foreach (GridViewRow row in GridView1.Rows)
        {
            row.BackColor = Color.White;
            foreach (TableCell cell in row.Cells)
            {
                if (row.RowIndex % 2 == 0)
                {
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.AlternatingRowStyle.BackColor;
                }
                else
                {
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.RowStyle.BackColor;
                }
                cell.CssClass = "textmode";
            }
        }
 
        GridView1.RenderControl(hw);
 
        //Style to format numbers to string.
        string style = @"<style> .textmode { mso-number-format:\@; } </style>";
        Response.Write(style);
        Response.Output.Write(sw.ToString());
        Response.Flush();
        Response.End();
    }
}
 
VB.Net
Protected Sub ExportToExcel(sender As Object, e As EventArgs)
    Response.Clear()
    Response.Buffer = True
    Response.AddHeader("content-disposition""attachment;filename=GridViewExport.xls")
    Response.Charset = ""
    Response.ContentType = "application/vnd.ms-excel"
    Using sw As New StringWriter()
        Dim hw As New HtmlTextWriter(sw)
 
        'To Export all pages.
        GridView1.AllowPaging = False
        Me.BindGrid()
 
        GridView1.HeaderRow.BackColor = Color.White
        For Each cell As TableCell In GridView1.HeaderRow.Cells
            cell.BackColor = GridView1.HeaderStyle.BackColor
        Next
        For Each row As GridViewRow In GridView1.Rows
            row.BackColor = Color.White
            For Each cell As TableCell In row.Cells
                If row.RowIndex Mod 2 = 0 Then
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.AlternatingRowStyle.BackColor
                Else
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.RowStyle.BackColor
                End If
                cell.CssClass = "textmode"
            Next
        Next
 
        GridView1.RenderControl(hw)
 
        'Style to format numbers to string.
        Dim style As String = "<style> .textmode { mso-number-format:\@; } </style>
        Response.Write(style)
        Response.Output.Write(sw.ToString())
        Response.Flush()
        Response.End()
    End Using
End Sub
 
 
Exporting GridView with Images to Word document with Formatting
When the Export Button is clicked, first the Content Type is set in the Response Stream in order to specify the Browser that the downloading file is a Word document.
The Paging is disabled for the GridView by setting the AllowPaging property to False and the GridView is again populated with records from the Database by making call to the BindGrid method.
Then a loop is executed over the GridView rows and the style and formatting are applied to the Row and Alternating Row of the GridView control.
Finally, GridView is rendered as Word document and written to the Response which initiates the File download.
C#
protected void ExportToWord(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    Response.Clear();
    Response.Buffer = true;
    Response.AddHeader("content-disposition""attachment;filename=GridViewExport.doc");
    Response.Charset = "";
    Response.ContentType = "application/vnd.ms-word";
    using (StringWriter sw = new StringWriter())
    {
        HtmlTextWriter hw = new HtmlTextWriter(sw);
 
        //To Export all pages.
        GridView1.AllowPaging = false;
        this.BindGrid();
 
        GridView1.HeaderRow.BackColor = Color.White;
        foreach (TableCell cell in GridView1.HeaderRow.Cells)
        {
            cell.BackColor = GridView1.HeaderStyle.BackColor;
        }
        foreach (GridViewRow row in GridView1.Rows)
        {
            row.BackColor = Color.White;
            foreach (TableCell cell in row.Cells)
            {
                if (row.RowIndex % 2 == 0)
                {
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.AlternatingRowStyle.BackColor;
                }
                else
                {
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.RowStyle.BackColor;
                }
            }
        }
 
        GridView1.RenderControl(hw);
 
        Response.Output.Write(sw.ToString());
        Response.Flush();
        Response.End();
    }
}
 
VB.Net
Protected Sub ExportToWord(ByVal sender As ObjectByVal e As EventArgs)
    Response.Clear()
    Response.Buffer = True
    Response.AddHeader("content-disposition""attachment;filename=GridViewExport.doc")
    Response.Charset = ""
    Response.ContentType = "application/vnd.ms-word"
 
    Using sw As StringWriter = New StringWriter()
        Dim hw As HtmlTextWriter = New HtmlTextWriter(sw)
 
        'To Export all pages.
        GridView1.AllowPaging = False
        Me.BindGrid()
 
        GridView1.HeaderRow.BackColor = Color.White
        For Each cell As TableCell In GridView1.HeaderRow.Cells
            cell.BackColor = GridView1.HeaderStyle.BackColor
        Next
        For Each row As GridViewRow In GridView1.Rows
            row.BackColor = Color.White 
            For Each cell As TableCell In row.Cells 
                If row.RowIndex Mod 2 = 0 Then
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.AlternatingRowStyle.BackColor
                Else
                    cell.BackColor = GridView1.RowStyle.BackColor
                End If
            Next
        Next
 
        GridView1.RenderControl(hw)
 
        Response.Output.Write(sw.ToString())
        Response.Flush()
        Response.End()
    End Using
End Sub
 
 
Exporting GridView with Images to PDF with Formatting
Note: The iTextSharp and XmlWorkerHelper DLL files are available in the attached sample of this article.
 
When the Export Button is clicked, first the Content Type is set in the Response Stream in order to specify the Browser that the downloading file is a PDF file.
The Paging is disabled for the GridView by setting the AllowPaging property to False and the GridView is again populated with records from the Database by making call to the BindGrid method.
First, the GridView is rendered into an HTML string using HtmlTextWriter and then the generated HTML is added to the iTextSharp PDF Document, which is then export to PDF through the Response Stream.
C#
protected void ExportToPDF(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    Response.Clear();
    Response.Buffer = true;
    Response.AddHeader("content-disposition""attachment;filename=GridViewExport.pdf");
    Response.Charset = "";
    Response.ContentType = "application/pdf";
 
    //To Export all pages.
    GridView1.AllowPaging = false;
    this.BindGrid();
 
    using (StringWriter sw = new StringWriter())
    {
        using (HtmlTextWriter hw = new HtmlTextWriter(sw))
        {
            GridView1.RenderControl(hw);
            StringReader sr = new StringReader(sw.ToString());
            Document pdfDoc = new Document(PageSize.A4, 10f, 10f, 10f, 0f);
            PdfWriter writer = PdfWriter.GetInstance(pdfDoc, Response.OutputStream);
            pdfDoc.Open();
            XMLWorkerHelper.GetInstance().ParseXHtml(writer, pdfDoc, sr);
            pdfDoc.Close();
            Response.Cache.SetCacheability(HttpCacheability.NoCache);
            Response.Write(pdfDoc);
            Response.End();
        }
    }
}
 
VB.Net
Protected Sub ExportToPDF(ByVal sender As ObjectByVal e As EventArgs)
    Response.Clear()
    Response.Buffer = True
    Response.AddHeader("content-disposition""attachment;filename=GridViewExport.pdf")
    Response.Charset = ""
    Response.ContentType = "application/pdf"
 
    'To Export all pages.
    GridView1.AllowPaging = False
    Me.BindGrid()
 
    Using sw As StringWriter = New StringWriter()
        Using hw As HtmlTextWriter = New HtmlTextWriter(sw)
            GridView1.RenderControl(hw)
            Dim sr As StringReader = New StringReader(sw.ToString())
            Dim pdfDoc As Document = New Document(PageSize.A4, 10.0F, 10.0F, 10.0F, 0.0F)
            Dim writer As PdfWriter = PdfWriter.GetInstance(pdfDoc, Response.OutputStream)
            pdfDoc.Open()
            XMLWorkerHelper.GetInstance().ParseXHtml(writer, pdfDoc, sr)
            pdfDoc.Close()
            Response.Cache.SetCacheability(HttpCacheability.NoCache)
            Response.Write(pdfDoc)
            Response.End()
        End Using
    End Using
End Sub
 
 
Error
When you run the application first time and click on export you might receive the following error.
Server Error in '/ASP.Net' Application.
Control 'GridView1' of type 'GridView' must be placed inside a form tag with runat=server.
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.Web.HttpException: Control 'GridView1' of type 'GridView' must be placed inside a form tag with runat=server.
 
The solution to the above exception is to override VerifyRenderingInServerForm event handler, thus informing the Compiler that the control has been rendered explicitly.
C#
public override void VerifyRenderingInServerForm(Control control)
{
    /* Verifies that the control is rendered. */
}
 
VB.Net
Public Overrides Sub VerifyRenderingInServerForm(control As Control)
    ' Verifies that the control is rendered.
End Sub
 
 
Screenshots
GridView
Export GridView with Images from database to Word Excel and PDF Formats
 
Exported Excel file
Export GridView with Images from database to Word Excel and PDF Formats
 
Exported Word Document
Export GridView with Images from database to Word Excel and PDF Formats
 
Exported PDF file
Export GridView with Images from database to Word Excel and PDF Formats
 
 
Downloads