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Positions and Ranges

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Position and range are key entities in Word Processing Document API. They define the location of every object in a document model.

Position

Position (the DocumentPosition object) is a zero-based index of every symbol in a document. Each position identifies a possible placement for a caret. Position 0 is the beginning of a document and precedes the first character. When the caret moves to the next character, it moves to position 1 and so on.

Positions

Obtain a Position

The following code sample calls the SubDocument.CreatePosition method to obtain the document position at the given index and inserts a text in it:

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Document document = server.Document;
DocumentPosition pos1 = document.CreatePosition(2);
document.InsertText(pos1,"The Word Processing Document API is a non-visual .NET library.\r
It allows you to automate frequent word processing tasks.\n");

You can use DocumentPosition objects to insert other elements into a document. The table below lists APIs that use a position as a parameter or returns a DocumentPosition object.

API Description
SubDocument.InsertText Inserts a given text string at the specified position.
SubDocument.InsertDocumentContent Inserts content from a range, stream or text string at the specified position.
ParagraphCollection.Insert Insert a new paragraph at the specified position.
Document.InsertSection Inserts a section break at the given position.
FieldCollection.Create Creates a new field at the specified position.
BookmarkCollection.Create Creates a new bookmark at the given position.
FormFieldCollection.InsertCheckBox Creates a new checkbox at the given position.
ShapeCollection.InsertPicture Inserts a new image at the given position.
ShapeCollection.InsertTextBox Inserts a new text box at the given position.
CommentCollection.Create Creates a comment anchored to the specified position
TableCollection.Create Inserts a new table with the given number of rows and columns in the specified position.

The code sample below appends an image at the end of the document:

insertImage

document.Images.Insert(document.Range.End,
DocumentImageSource.FromFile("Documents//DevExpress.png"));

Range

The range (the DocumentRange object) is an interval between two positions (DocumentRange.Start and DocumentRange.End). The difference between them is equal to DocumentRange.Length.

Positions

Obtain a Range

Use the SubDocument.CreateRange method to create a new DocumentRange object with the specified start and end positions.

The following API allows you to obtain a range associated with document elements or obtain elements from a specified range:

Object

Obtain a Range Related to an Element

Retrieve an Element from a Range

Text

SubDocument.Range

SubDocument.GetText

SubDocument.GetRtfText

SubDocument.GetHtmlText

SubDocument.GetMhtText

SubDocument.GetOpenXmlBytes

SubDocument.GetDocBytes

Paragraph

Paragraph.Range

ReadOnlyParagraphCollection.Get

Section

Section.Range

Document.GetSection

Image

Image.Range

ReadOnlyDocumentImageCollection.Get

Shape

Shape.Range

ReadOnlyShapeCollection.Get

Table

Table.Range

ReadOnlyTableCollection.Get

Hyperlink

Hyperlink.Range

ReadOnlyHyperlinkCollection.Get

Bookmark

Bookmark.Range

ReadOnlyBookmarkCollection.Get

Comment

Comment.Range

ReadOnlyCommentCollection.Get

Field

Field.Range

ReadOnlyFieldCollection.Get

The code sample below retrieves all images from the document and moves the first image to the header:

IMAGE

Document document = server.Document;
if (document.Images.Count != 0)
{
    //Obtain all images
    ReadOnlyDocumentImageCollection images = document.Images.Get(document.Range);

    //Start the header update
    SubDocument header = document.Sections[0].BeginUpdateHeader();

    //Insert the retrieved image in the header
    header.Images.Insert(header.Range.Start, images[0].Image.NativeImage);
    header.EndUpdate();

    //Remove the image from its initial place
    document.Delete(images[0].Range);
}

How Content Modifications Affect Ranges

When you modify content within a range, the range can expand or shrink automatically.

If you append a single line to a document and change its format options, the format is applied to the new content only.

Tip

Refer to the Text Formatting article for more information on how to format text.

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using (RichEditDocumentServer server = new RichEditDocumentServer())
{
    Document document = server.Document;

    //Append the line
    DocumentRange newRange = document.AppendText("Word Processing Document API\r\n");


    //Change the range's format options
    CharacterProperties characterProperties = document.BeginUpdateCharacters(newRange);
    characterProperties.ForeColor = Color.DarkGray;
    characterProperties.FontSize = 16;
    characterProperties.FontName = "Georgia";
    characterProperties.Italic = true;
    document.EndUpdateCharacters(characterProperties);

    server.SaveDocument("result.docx", DocumentFormat.OpenXml);
}

If you sequentially append multiple fragments to a document, the DocumentRange object may expand with each new added fragment. The examples below demonstrate the possible results and two ways to resolve these issues.

Append two lines of text and then change the range's formatting, as shown below:

using (RichEditDocumentServer server = new RichEditDocumentServer())
{
    Document document = server.Document;

    //Append the first line
    DocumentRange newRange = document.AppendText("Word Processing Document API\r\n");

    //Append the second line
    document.AppendText("The Word Processing Document API is a non-visual .NET library.\r " +
        "It allows you to automate frequent word processing tasks.\n");

    //Change the range's format options
    CharacterProperties characterProperties = document.BeginUpdateCharacters(newRange);
    characterProperties.ForeColor = Color.DarkGray;
    characterProperties.FontSize = 16;
    characterProperties.FontName = "Georgia";
    characterProperties.Italic = true;
    document.EndUpdateCharacters(characterProperties);

    server.SaveDocument("result.docx", DocumentFormat.OpenXml);
}

When you execute this code, it changes the format of all the text.

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Solution #1

Change the format options before inserting new content to avoid this behavior. In this case, the new content remains unformatted.

IMAGE

using (RichEditDocumentServer server = new RichEditDocumentServer())
{
    Document document = server.Document;

    //Append the first line
    DocumentRange newRange = document.AppendText("Word Processing Document API\r\n");

    //Apply formatting for the first line
    CharacterProperties characterProperties = document.BeginUpdateCharacters(newRange);
    characterProperties.ForeColor = Color.DarkGray;
    characterProperties.FontSize = 16;
    characterProperties.FontName = "Georgia";
    characterProperties.Italic = true;
    document.EndUpdateCharacters(characterProperties);

    //Append the second line
    document.AppendText("The Word Processing Document API is a non-visual .NET library.\r " +
    "It allows you to automate frequent word processing tasks.\n");

    server.SaveDocument("result.docx", DocumentFormat.OpenXml);
}

Solution #2

Another way to format the initial content is to store the target range's position and length and create a new DocumentRange object.

The code sample below appends two lines to the document, but changes the format options only for the first line.

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using (RichEditDocumentServer server = new RichEditDocumentServer())
{
    Document document = server.Document;

    //Append the first line
    DocumentRange newRange = document.AppendText("Word Processing Document API.\r\n");

    //Preserve the range's start position and length
    int rangeStart = newRange.Start.ToInt();
    int rangeLength = newRange.Length;

    //Append the second line
    document.AppendText("The Word Processing Document API is a non-visual .NET library.\r " +
        "It allows you to automate frequent word processing tasks.\n");

    //Recreate the initial range
    DocumentRange formattedRange = document.CreateRange(rangeStart, rangeLength);

    //Format the target range
    CharacterProperties characterProperties = document.BeginUpdateCharacters(formattedRange);
    characterProperties.ForeColor = Color.DarkGray;
    characterProperties.FontSize = 16;
    characterProperties.FontName = "Georgia";
    characterProperties.Italic = true;
    document.EndUpdateCharacters(characterProperties);

    server.SaveDocument("result.docx", DocumentFormat.OpenXml);
}
See Also