How To Convert PDF To Base64 In C#


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How To Convert PDF To Base64 In C#

Overview of Converting PDF to Base64 in C#

Base64 encoding is a technique used to convert binary data into an ASCII string format. This method is commonly used to embed binary files within scripts, data files, or HTML/XML documents. In the context of C# programming, converting a PDF file to Base64 is a useful skill when you need to transmit the file over a medium that does not support binary data or when you need to include the file within a JSON or XML object.

The benefits of converting PDF to Base64 include:

  • Increased Portability: Base64 encoded data can be easily embedded and transported in text-based formats.
  • Compatibility: Encoding ensures that binary data remains intact without modification during transport.
  • Security: While Base64 is not an encryption method, it can obfuscate content from casual viewers.
  • Simplicity: Base64 encoded data can be handled with standard string manipulation techniques in C#.


  • A development environment capable of running C# code (like Visual Studio)
  • A PDF file that you wish to convert to Base64
  • The necessary permissions to read the PDF file from the filesystem

How to Convert PDF to Base64 in C#

Step 1: Read the PDF File as a Byte Array

Use the System.IO.File class to read the PDF file into a byte array. This will allow you to manipulate the binary data before converting it to Base64.

Step 2: Convert the Byte Array to a Base64 String

Utilize the Convert.ToBase64String method provided by the .NET framework to convert the byte array into a Base64 encoded string.

Step 3: Use the Base64 String as Needed

With the Base64 string, you can now embed it within HTML/XML, store it in a database, or transmit it over text-based protocols like HTTP or JSON.

PDF File: Ensure you have access to the PDF file you wish to convert.

C# Development Environment: A software application like Visual Studio that allows you to write and execute C# code.

Detailed Guide with Code Examples

To implement the above steps, here’s a detailed guide with code examples:

using System;
using System.IO;

class Program
static void Main()
// Define the path to the PDF file
string pdfFilePath = “path/to/your/file.pdf”;

// Step 1: Read the PDF file into a byte array
byte[] pdfBytes = File.ReadAllBytes(pdfFilePath);

// Step 2: Convert the byte array to a Base64 string
string base64EncodedPdf = Convert.ToBase64String(pdfBytes);

// Step 3: Output the Base64 string or use it as needed

// Optionally, you might want to write this string to a text file or transmit it over a network.

This simple program demonstrates how you can quickly convert any PDF file into a Base64 encoded string using C#. The resulting string can then be used in various applications as per your requirements.

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