WPF Data grid to CSV and HTML the easy way
Written by Mike James   
Thursday, 11 November 2010
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WPF Data grid to CSV and HTML the easy way
Using the clipboard

The WPF DataGrid can be a difficult beast to tame but it has a lot of built in power and once you get to understand the way that it works it can save you a lot of code and a lot of time.

 

 

If you are new to the WPF Data Grid refer to:

Using the WPF .NET 4.0 DataGrid

 

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Accessing grid data

One fairly common requirement is to take data that is stored in the grid, usually as the result of some data processing, and load it into another applications such as Excel or a statistical analysis tool. In an ideal world we would expect to make use of something sophisticated data exchange format but in the real world something simple like Comma Separated CSV values or at best HMTL. are often more practical choices.

So how best to get data out of the DataGrid and into CSV or HTML?


You could do the job from scratch reading each value from the grid and then writing it to a file putting a comma between each value and a carriage return at the end of each row. This works perfectly well but there is an easier way. The DataGrid supports a copy to the clipboard operation which places data on the clipboard in CSV, HTML and text formats. All you have to do is retrieve the data from the clipboard and write it to a file. Easy quick and mostly foolproof.

Along the way we learn a little about the clipboard and a little about WPF commands.

A little data

First we need some data to test the program with. Rather than invent a complicated database scenario we can simply create some data and load it into a suitable grid.

First we need a simple struct that we can use to define the data items:

public struct MyData
{
public string name { set; get; }
public int age { set; get; }
}

 

We can use object initialisation fo add the data to the DataGrid's Items collection:

dataGrid1.Items.Add(new MyData() { 
name = "John", age = 25 });
dataGrid1.Items.Add(new MyData() {
name = "Jill", age = 29 });
dataGrid1.Items.Add(new MyData() {
name = "Jack", age = 23 });
dataGrid1.Items.Add(new MyData() {
name = "Jane", age = 20 });

At this point we have the data in the grid but it doesn't know what the structure of the data is. To define this we need to add two Text columns and bind the columns to the struct's properties:

DataGridTextColumn col1 = 
new DataGridTextColumn();
col1.Binding = new Binding("name");
DataGridTextColumn col2 =
new DataGridTextColumn();
col2.Binding = new Binding("age");

Finally we can add headers to the columns and add them to the DataGrid:

col1.Header = "Name";
col2.Header = "Age";
dataGrid1.Columns.Add(col1);
dataGrid1.Columns.Add(col2);

Now if you run the program you will see a DataGrid with a small amount of data suitable for testing:

new-1

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 November 2010 )
 
 

   
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