Click here to Skip to main content
15,921,276 members
Articles / Programming Languages / C#

Printing the .NET TreeView Control

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
4.41/5 (29 votes)
14 Oct 2013Apache2 min read 215K   2.6K   56   54
A class to handle printing a .NET TreeView control.


I looked and looked for a sample code to print TreeView controls in C#. I couldn't find anything that did exactly what I needed, so I broke down and wrote it myself!


During my search for a printing sample, I came across this article by Koay Kah Hoe, which presents a solution in C++. It gave me a few ideas and after finding some information on Usenet about getting an image of a control, I was ready to code.

Using the code

In order to print the entire TreeView, the size of the area of all visible nodes has to be calculated and then the tree must be resized to accommodate the contents. This is all handled in the PrepareTreeImage method of the PrintUtility class.

private void PrepareTreeImage(TreeView tree){
    _scrollBarWidth = tree.Width - tree.ClientSize.Width;
    _scrollBarHeight = tree.Height - tree.ClientSize.Height;
    int height = tree.Nodes[0].Bounds.Height;
    this._nodeHeight = height;
    int width = tree.Nodes[0].Bounds.Right;
    TreeNode node = tree.Nodes[0].NextVisibleNode;
    while(node != null){
        height += node.Bounds.Height;
        if(node.Bounds.Right > width){
            width = node.Bounds.Right;
        node = node.NextVisibleNode;
    //keep track of the original tree settings
    int tempHeight = tree.Height;
    int tempWidth = tree.Width;
    BorderStyle tempBorder = tree.BorderStyle;
    bool tempScrollable = tree.Scrollable;
    TreeNode selectedNode = tree.SelectedNode;
    //setup the tree to take the snapshot
    tree.SelectedNode = null;
    DockStyle tempDock = tree.Dock;
    tree.Height = height + _scrollBarHeight;
    tree.Width = width + _scrollBarWidth;
    tree.BorderStyle = BorderStyle.None;
    tree.Dock = DockStyle.None;
    //get the image of the tree
    this._controlImage = GetImage(tree.Handle, tree.Width, tree.Height);
    //reset the tree to its original settings
    tree.BorderStyle = tempBorder;
    tree.Width = tempWidth;
    tree.Height = tempHeight;
    tree.Dock = tempDock;
    tree.Scrollable = tempScrollable;
    tree.SelectedNode = selectedNode;
    //give the window time to update

When it is time to print the resulting image, there is some calculation to do to divide the image up into sections of the proper size to fit on the printed page. This is handled in the printDoc_PrintPage method which handles the PrintPage event of the PrintDocument. This is pretty straightforward. We have to keep track of the direction we are moving in, horizontally or vertically, across the source image. We also must keep track of where we left off in the image when the previous page was printed.

private void printDoc_PrintPage(object sender, 
        System.Drawing.Printing.PrintPageEventArgs e) {
    Graphics g = e.Graphics;
    Rectangle sourceRect = new Rectangle(_lastPrintPosition, e.MarginBounds.Size);
    Rectangle destRect = e.MarginBounds;

    if((sourceRect.Height % this._nodeHeight) > 0){
        sourceRect.Height -= (sourceRect.Height % this._nodeHeight);
    g.DrawImage(this._controlImage, destRect, sourceRect, GraphicsUnit.Pixel);
    //check to see if we need more pages
    if((this._controlImage.Height - this._scrollBarHeight) > sourceRect.Bottom
     || (this._controlImage.Width - this._scrollBarWidth) > sourceRect.Right){
        //need more pages
        e.HasMorePages = true;
    if(this._currentDir == PrintDirection.Horizontal){
        if(sourceRect.Right < (this._controlImage.Width - this._scrollBarWidth)){
            //still need to print horizontally
            _lastPrintPosition.X += (sourceRect.Width + 1);
            _lastPrintPosition.X = 0;
            _lastPrintPosition.Y += (sourceRect.Height + 1);
            this._currentDir = PrintDirection.Vertical;
    else if(this._currentDir == PrintDirection.Vertical && sourceRect.Right 
    < (this._controlImage.Width - this._scrollBarWidth)){
        this._currentDir = PrintDirection.Horizontal;
        _lastPrintPosition.X += (sourceRect.Width + 1);
        _lastPrintPosition.Y += (sourceRect.Height + 1);

    //print footer
    Brush brush = new SolidBrush(Color.Black);
    string footer = this._pageNumber.ToString(
    Font f = new Font(FontFamily.GenericSansSerif, 10f);
    SizeF footerSize = g.MeasureString(footer, f);
    PointF pageBottomCenter = new PointF(e.PageBounds.Width/2, 
       e.MarginBounds.Bottom + 
       ((e.PageBounds.Bottom - e.MarginBounds.Bottom)/2));
    PointF footerLocation = new PointF(pageBottomCenter.X - (footerSize.Width/2), 
            pageBottomCenter.Y - (footerSize.Height/2));
    g.DrawString(footer, f, brush, footerLocation);
    //print header
    if(this._pageNumber == 1 && this._title.Length > 0){
        Font headerFont = new Font(FontFamily.GenericSansSerif, 24f, 
        FontStyle.Bold, GraphicsUnit.Point);
        SizeF headerSize = g.MeasureString(this._title, headerFont);
        PointF headerLocation = new PointF(e.MarginBounds.Left, 
        ((e.MarginBounds.Top - e.PageBounds.Top)/2) - (headerSize.Height/2));
        g.DrawString(this._title, headerFont, brush, headerLocation);

The PrintUtility class should be fairly easy to use from just about any Windows Forms application. Just call either PrintTree or PrintPreviewTree, passing in your TreeView.

When I first decided to tackle the problem of printing the TreeView, I thought it was going to take quite a bit of time and code. I was really surprised once I figured out the algorithm, how simple it really is.

I will also be posting this article and code on my blog.


The code is now available on GitHub. If you have changes you'd like to see incorporated, fork the code and send a pull request! 


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Apache License, Version 2.0

Written By
Web Developer
United States United States
This member has not yet provided a Biography. Assume it's interesting and varied, and probably something to do with programming.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralUsefull code Pin
Lak2216-Aug-05 1:40
Lak2216-Aug-05 1:40 
GeneralMemory Hungry Pin
djspirit2-Jun-05 0:32
djspirit2-Jun-05 0:32 
GeneralRe: Memory Hungry Pin
Mark Pitman24-Jan-07 20:31
Mark Pitman24-Jan-07 20:31 
Generalcomplete tree Pin
Veera_PV31-May-04 22:14
professionalVeera_PV31-May-04 22:14 
GeneralRe: complete tree Pin
Mark Pitman2-Jun-04 8:20
Mark Pitman2-Jun-04 8:20 
GeneralRe: complete tree Pin
Lak2216-Aug-05 1:41
Lak2216-Aug-05 1:41 
Generalperfect Pin
enders29-Apr-04 15:48
enders29-Apr-04 15:48 
GeneralRe: perfect Pin
Mark Pitman29-Apr-04 16:28
Mark Pitman29-Apr-04 16:28 
Do you mean scaling the treeview to fit the entire page or maximizing the Print Preview window?

I suppose you could scale the image to fit the page, but I think the text would get blurry and it wouldn't look very good.

As for maximizing the Print Preview window, I'm not sure, I'll have to look into that.

Glad you found the code useful!

Mark Pitman
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." - The Tao of Programming

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.