In this article I will explain with an example, how to export data from database to PDF file in ASP.Net Core MVC.
The data from the database is fetched using Entity Framework and dynamic HTML string is generated using StringBuilder class.
Finally, the generated HTML string will be exported to PDF file using itext7.pdfhtml library in ASP.Net Core MVC.
Installing itext7.pdfhtml Library
In order to install itext7.pdfhtml library, use the following command in Nuget Package Manager Console window.
Install-Package itext7.pdfhtml -Version 4.0.4
Here I am making use of Microsoft’s Northwind Database. You can download it from here.
You need to import the following namespaces.
using System.IO;
using System.Text;
using iText.Html2pdf;
using iText.IO.Source;
using iText.Kernel.Geom;
using iText.Kernel.Pdf;
The Model class consists of the following four properties.
public class Customer
    public string CustomerID { get; set; }
    public string ContactName { get; set; }
    public string City { get; set; }
    public string Country { get; set; }
Database Context
Once the Entity Framework is configured and connected to the database table, the Database Context will look as shown below.
Note: For beginners in ASP.Net Core and Entity Framework, please refer my article ASP.Net Core: Simple Entity Framework Tutorial with example. It covers all the information needed for connecting and configuring Entity Framework with ASP.Net Core.
using Microsoft.EntityFrameworkCore;
namespace Export_Data_Database_PDF_MVC_Core
    public class DBCtx : DbContext
        public DBCtx(DbContextOptions<DBCtx> options) : base(options)
        public DbSet<Customer> Customers { get; set; }
The Controller consists of following two Action methods.
Action method for handling GET operation
Inside this Action method, the Top 10 records are fetched from the Customers table using Entity Framework and returned to the View.
Action method for handling the PDF File Export and Download operation
This Action method is executed when the Export button is clicked.
Note: The following Action method performs File Download operation. Hence the return type is set to FileResult. For more details on FileResult, please refer my article FileResult return type in ASP.Net Core MVC.
Inside this Action Method, the Top 10 Customer records are fetched from the Customers Table using Entity Framework and then using the StringBuilder class, a string consisting of an HTML Table is generated.
Then, the HTML string is read and saved to the MemoryStream class object.
Next, the ByteArrayOutputStream class object is created and passed to the PdfWriter class object and the PdfDocument is initialized using the PdfWriter class object.
Then, the ConvertToPdf method of HtmlConverter class object is used to convert it to PDF document by passing the MemoryStream and PdfDocument object.
Finally, the ByteArrayOutputStream class object is converted to Byte Array and exported and downloaded as PDF file using the File function.
public class HomeController : Controller
    private DBCtx Context { get; }
    public HomeController(DBCtx _context)
        this.Context = _context;
    public IActionResult Index()
        return View(this.Context.Customers.Take(10).ToList());
    public FileResult Export()
        List<object> customers = (from customer in this.Context.Customers.Take(10)
                                  select new[] {
        //Building an HTML string.
        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
        //Table start.
        sb.Append("<table border='1' cellpadding='5' cellspacing='0' style='border: 1px solid #ccc;font-family: Arial;'>");
        //Building the Header row.
        sb.Append("<th style='background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc'>CustomerID</th>");
        sb.Append("<th style='background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc'>ContactName</th>");
        sb.Append("<th style='background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc'>City</th>");
        sb.Append("<th style='background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc'>Country</th>");
        //Building the Data rows.
        for (int i = 0; i < customers.Count; i++)
            string[] customer = (string[])customers[i];
            for (int j = 0; j < customer.Length; j++)
                //Append data.
                sb.Append("<td style='border: 1px solid #ccc'>");
        //Table end.
        using (MemoryStream stream = new MemoryStream(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(sb.ToString())))
            ByteArrayOutputStream byteArrayOutputStream = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
            PdfWriter writer = new PdfWriter(byteArrayOutputStream);
            PdfDocument pdfDocument = new PdfDocument(writer);
            HtmlConverter.ConvertToPdf(stream, pdfDocument);
            return File(byteArrayOutputStream.ToArray(), "application/pdf", "Grid.pdf");
Inside the View, in the very first line the Customer Model is declared as IEnumerable which specifies that it will be available as a Collection.
Displaying the Records
For displaying the records, an HTML Table is used.
A loop will be executed over the Model which will generate the HTML Table rows with the Customer records.
Exporting database data to PDF File
Below the HTML Table, there is an HTML Submit button enclosed inside a Form which has been created with following ASP.Net Tag Helpers attributes.
asp-action – Name of the Action. In this case the name is Export.
asp-controller – Name of the Controller. In this case the name is Home.
method – It specifies the Form Method i.e. GET or POST. In this case it will be set to POST.
When the Submit button is clicked, the Form is submitted.
@model IEnumerable<Export_Data_Database_PDF_MVC_Core.Models.Customer>
@addTagHelper*, Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.TagHelpers
    Layout = null;
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width" />
    <hr />
    <div id="Grid">
        <table cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0" style="border: 1px solid #ccc;">
                <th style="background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc">CustomerID</th>
                <th style="background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc">ContactName</th>
                <th style="background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc">City</th>
                <th style="background-color: #B8DBFD;border: 1px solid #ccc">Country</th>
            @foreach (var customer in Model)
                    <td style="border: 1px solid #ccc">@customer.CustomerID</td>
                    <td style="border: 1px solid #ccc">@customer.ContactName</td>
                    <td style="border: 1px solid #ccc">@customer.City</td>
                    <td style="border: 1px solid #ccc">@customer.Country</td>
    <br /><br />
    <form method="post" asp-action="Export" asp-controller="Home">
        <input type="submit" id="btnSubmit" value="Export" />
HTML Table
ASP.Net Core MVC: Export data from Database to PDF File
Exported PDF File
ASP.Net Core MVC: Export data from Database to PDF File