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c# – How to open an Excel file and view in WPF?

Posted by: admin March 9, 2020 Leave a comment


Im creating some excel files using my c# application and save them in my pc.
I want to open and view them inside my application how can i do it?
My application is developed using WPF C#

How to&Answers:

You can use DocumentViewer WPF control.

First you should convert your office document to XPS format.
Please look at this post.

And then bind it to the Document property of the DocumentViewer Control.


<DocumentViewer Name="myDocumentViewer" Margin="0,0,0,59">


Code Behind

myDocumentViewer.Document = this.ConvertPptxDocToXPSDoc(this.FileName, this.newXPSDocumentName).GetFixedDocumentSequence();


You could utilize preview handlers mechanism.
Here is the control I made to host a preview handler:

public class FilePreviewControl : HwndHost { private const int Child = 0x40000000, Visible = 0x10000000, HostId = 0x00000002, ClipChild = 0x02000000; public static readonly DependencyProperty PathProperty = DependencyProperty.Register( "Path", typeof (string), typeof (FilePreviewControl), new UIPropertyMetadata(Update)); public static readonly DependencyProperty ExtensionProperty = DependencyProperty.Register( "Extension", typeof (string), typeof (FilePreviewControl), new UIPropertyMetadata(Update)); public static readonly DependencyProperty SourceStreamProperty = DependencyProperty.Register( "SourceStream", typeof (Stream), typeof (FilePreviewControl), new UIPropertyMetadata(Update)); private readonly PreviewManager manager; private IntPtr hwndHost; public FilePreviewControl() { this.manager = new PreviewManager(); } public Stream SourceStream { get { return (Stream) this.GetValue(SourceStreamProperty); } set { this.SetValue(SourceStreamProperty, value); } } public string Extension { get { return (string) this.GetValue(ExtensionProperty); } set { this.SetValue(ExtensionProperty, value); } } public string Path { get { return (string) this.GetValue(PathProperty); } set { this.SetValue(PathProperty, value); } } private static void Update(DependencyObject d, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e) { ((FilePreviewControl) d).RefreshPreview(); } protected override HandleRef BuildWindowCore(HandleRef hwndParent) { this.hwndHost = IntPtr.Zero; this.hwndHost = CreateWindowEx(0, "static", "", Child | Visible | ClipChild, 0, 0, (int) this.ActualWidth, (int) this.ActualHeight, hwndParent.Handle, (IntPtr) HostId, IntPtr.Zero, 0); this.RefreshPreview(); return new HandleRef(this, this.hwndHost); } protected override void DestroyWindowCore(HandleRef hwnd) { DestroyWindow(hwnd.Handle); this.manager.Dispose(); } protected override void OnRenderSizeChanged(SizeChangedInfo sizeInfo) { base.OnRenderSizeChanged(sizeInfo); var rect = new Rect(new Size(this.ActualWidth, this.ActualHeight)); this.manager.InvalidateAttachedPreview(rect); } protected override IntPtr WndProc(IntPtr hwnd, int msg, IntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam, ref bool handled) { handled = false; return IntPtr.Zero; } [DllImport("user32.dll", EntryPoint = "CreateWindowEx", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)] private static extern IntPtr CreateWindowEx( int dwExStyle, string lpszClassName, string lpszWindowName, int style, int x, int y, int width, int height, IntPtr hwndParent, IntPtr hMenu, IntPtr hInst, [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.AsAny)] object pvParam); [DllImport("user32.dll", EntryPoint = "DestroyWindow", CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)] private static extern bool DestroyWindow(IntPtr hwnd); private void RefreshPreview() { if (this.hwndHost == IntPtr.Zero) return; var filePath = this.Path; var extension = this.Extension; if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(extension) && !string.IsNullOrEmpty(filePath)) extension = System.IO.Path.GetExtension(filePath); var shouldBeDeactivated = this.Visibility != Visibility.Visible || (string.IsNullOrEmpty(filePath) || !File.Exists(filePath)) && this.SourceStream == null || string.IsNullOrEmpty(extension); if (shouldBeDeactivated) { this.manager.Detach(); return; } var rect = new Rect(new Size(this.RenderSize.Width, this.RenderSize.Height)); try { this.manager.AttachPreview( this.hwndHost, rect, extension, filePath, this.SourceStream); } catch (Exception exception) { Trace.TraceError(exception.ToString()); } } public static bool CanPreview(string extension) { return PreviewManager.GetPreviewHandlerKey(extension) != null; } #region Nested type: InteropStream private sealed class InteropStream : IStream, IDisposable { private readonly Stream stream; private bool disposed; public InteropStream(Stream sourceStream) { if (sourceStream == null) throw new ArgumentNullException("sourceStream"); this.stream = sourceStream; } #region IDisposable Members public void Dispose() { this.Dispose(true); GC.SuppressFinalize(this); } #endregion #region IStream Members public void Clone(out IStream ppstm) { throw new NotSupportedException(); } public void Commit(int grfCommitFlags) { throw new NotSupportedException(); } public void CopyTo(IStream pstm, long cb, IntPtr pcbRead, IntPtr pcbWritten) { throw new NotSupportedException(); } public void LockRegion(long libOffset, long cb, int dwLockType) { throw new NotSupportedException(); } [SecurityCritical] public void Read(byte[] pv, int cb, IntPtr pcbRead) { var count = this.stream.Read(pv, 0, cb); if (pcbRead != IntPtr.Zero) Marshal.WriteInt32(pcbRead, count); } public void Revert() { throw new NotSupportedException(); } [SecurityCritical] public void Seek(long dlibMove, int dwOrigin, IntPtr plibNewPosition) { var origin = (SeekOrigin) dwOrigin; var pos = this.stream.Seek(dlibMove, origin); if (plibNewPosition != IntPtr.Zero) Marshal.WriteInt64(plibNewPosition, pos); } public void SetSize(long libNewSize) { this.stream.SetLength(libNewSize); } public void Stat(out STATSTG pstatstg, int grfStatFlag) { pstatstg = new STATSTG { type = 2, cbSize = this.stream.Length, grfMode = 0 }; if (this.stream.CanRead && this.stream.CanWrite) pstatstg.grfMode |= 2; else if (this.stream.CanWrite && !this.stream.CanRead) pstatstg.grfMode |= 1; else throw new IOException(); } public void UnlockRegion(long libOffset, long cb, int dwLockType) { throw new NotSupportedException(); } [SecurityCritical] public void Write(byte[] pv, int cb, IntPtr pcbWritten) { this.stream.Write(pv, 0, cb); if (pcbWritten != IntPtr.Zero) Marshal.WriteInt32(pcbWritten, cb); } #endregion private void Dispose(bool disposing) { if (this.disposed) return; if (disposing && this.stream != null) this.stream.Dispose(); this.disposed = true; } ~InteropStream() { this.Dispose(false); } } #endregion private sealed class TempFile : IDisposable { private string path; public TempFile() : this(System.IO.Path.GetTempFileName()) { } private TempFile(string path) { if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(path)) throw new ArgumentNullException("path"); this.path = path; } public string Path { get { if (this.path == null) throw new ObjectDisposedException(this.GetType().Name); return this.path; } } #region IDisposable Members public void Dispose() { this.Dispose(true); } #endregion private void Dispose(bool disposing) { if (disposing) GC.SuppressFinalize(this); if (this.path == null) return; try { File.Delete(this.path); } catch { Trace.TraceWarning("Can't delete file " + this.path); } // best effort this.path = null; } ~TempFile() { this.Dispose(false); } } #region Nested type: PreviewManager private sealed class PreviewManager : IDisposable { private IPreviewHandler currentHandler; private bool disposed; private InteropStream stream; #region IDisposable Members public void Dispose() { this.DisposeInternal(); GC.SuppressFinalize(this); } #endregion public void AttachPreview(IntPtr handler, Rect viewRect, string extension, string filePath, Stream sourceStream) { this.Unload(); var classKey = GetPreviewHandlerKey(extension); if (classKey == null) return; var guid = new Guid(classKey.GetValue(string.Empty).ToString()); var type = Type.GetTypeFromCLSID(guid, true); var instance = Activator.CreateInstance(type); var fileInit = instance as IInitializeWithFile; var streamInit = instance as IInitializeWithStream; if (streamInit != null && sourceStream != null) { this.stream = new InteropStream(sourceStream); streamInit.Initialize(this.stream, 0); } else if (fileInit != null) if (filePath != null) fileInit.Initialize(filePath, 0); else if (sourceStream != null) using (var tempFile = new TempFile()) { using (var fileStream = File.Create(tempFile.Path)) sourceStream.CopyTo(fileStream); fileInit.Initialize(tempFile.Path, 0); } else return; else return; this.currentHandler = instance as IPreviewHandler; if (this.currentHandler == null) { this.Unload(); return; } var rect = new ShellRect(viewRect); this.currentHandler.SetWindow(handler, ref rect); this.currentHandler.SetRect(ref rect); try { this.currentHandler.DoPreview(); } catch { this.Unload(); throw; } } internal static RegistryKey GetPreviewHandlerKey(string extension) { var commonGuid = new Guid("8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f"); var classKey = Registry.ClassesRoot.OpenSubKey(string.Format(@"{0}\ShellEx\{1:B}", extension, commonGuid)); return classKey; } public void Detach() { this.Unload(); } public void InvalidateAttachedPreview(Rect viewRect) { if (this.currentHandler == null) return; var rect = new ShellRect(viewRect); this.currentHandler.SetRect(ref rect); } private void DisposeInternal() { if (this.disposed) return; this.Unload(); this.disposed = true; } private void Unload() { if (this.currentHandler != null) { this.currentHandler.Unload(); Marshal.FinalReleaseComObject(this.currentHandler); this.currentHandler = null; } if (this.stream != null) { this.stream.Dispose(); this.stream = null; } } ~PreviewManager() { this.DisposeInternal(); } #region Nested type: IInitializeWithFile [ComImport] [InterfaceType(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)] [Guid("b7d14566-0509-4cce-a71f-0a554233bd9b")] internal interface IInitializeWithFile { void Initialize([MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPWStr)] string pszFilePath, uint grfMode); } #endregion #region Nested type: IInitializeWithStream [ComImport] [InterfaceType(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)] [Guid("b824b49d-22ac-4161-ac8a-9916e8fa3f7f")] internal interface IInitializeWithStream { void Initialize(IStream pstream, uint grfMode); } #endregion #region Nested type: IPreviewHandler [ComImport] [InterfaceType(ComInterfaceType.InterfaceIsIUnknown)] [Guid("8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f")] internal interface IPreviewHandler { void SetWindow(IntPtr hwnd, ref ShellRect rect); void SetRect(ref ShellRect rect); void DoPreview(); void Unload(); void SetFocus(); void QueryFocus(out IntPtr phwnd); [PreserveSig] uint TranslateAccelerator(ref MSG pmsg); } #endregion #region Nested type: ShellRect [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential)] internal struct ShellRect { public readonly int left; public readonly int top; public readonly int right; public readonly int bottom; public ShellRect(Rect rect) { this.top = (int) rect.Top; this.bottom = (int) rect.Bottom; this.left = (int) rect.Left; this.right = (int) rect.Right; } } #endregion } #endregion } 

And here is how to use it:

<local:FilePreviewControl Path="Book1.xlsx" /> 

It will work only if you have Microsoft Office installed on your computer.


The solution from SHSE is underestimate. It works perfectly and the advantages are :

  • no activeX msgBox (open, save, cancel) like in the WebBrowser solution
  • no need to regsvr32 dsoframer.ocx as admin in client machine with the AxFramerControl solution
  • no need to convert in XPS format, so you can keep Excel style

Drawbacks are :

  • Office is required
  • have to find a way to terminate Excel process when the app is closing on Windows 7 (no need on Windows 10, Excel terminate itself)
  • the document is readonly

You just have to add :

using System.Runtime.InteropServices; using System.Runtime.InteropServices.ComTypes; using System.Security; using System.Security.AccessControl; 

and add the latest Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel reference

I wanted to just add a comment but I don’t have enough reputation. However, this solution can save you days !