Displaying multi-page tiff files using the ImageBox control and C#

c# winforms imagebox tiff sample 1 Comments Downloads

Earlier this week I received a support request from a user wanting to know if it was possible to display multi-page tiff files using the ImageBox control. As I haven't wrote anything about this control for a while, it seemed a good opportunity for a short blog post.

Viewing pages in a multi-page file
Viewing pages in a multi-page file

Getting the number of pages in a TIFF file

One you have obtained an Image instance containing your tiff graphic, you can use the GetFrameCount method in conjunction with a predefined FrameDimension object in order to determine how many pages there are in the image.

private int GetPageCount(Image image)
{
  FrameDimension dimension;

  dimension = FrameDimension.Page;

  return image.GetFrameCount(dimension);
}

I have tested this code on several images, and even types which don't support pages (such as standard bitmaps) have always return a valid value. However, I have no way of knowing if this will always be the case (I have experienced first hand differences in how GDI+ handles actions between different versions of Windows). The Image object does offer a FrameDimensionsList property which returns a list of GUID's for the dimensions supported by the image, so you can always check the contents of this property first if you want to be extra sure.

Selecting a page

To change the active page the Image object represents, you can its SelectActiveFrame method, passing in a FrameDimension object and the zero-based page index. Again, we can use the predefined FrameDimension.Page property, similar to the following

image.SelectActiveFrame(FrameDimension.Page, page - 1);

After which, we need to instruct our ImageBox control (or whatever control we have bound the image to) to repaint to pick up the new image data.

imageBox.Invalidate();

You don't need to reassign the image (which probably won't work anyway if the control does an equality check), simply instructing it to repaint via Invalidate or Refresh ought to be sufficient.

A sample multi-page tiff file

As multi-page tiffs aren't exactly common images to be found in plenty on the internet, I've prepared a sample image based on a Newton's Cradle animation from Wikipedia.

Download NewtonsCradle.tif (4MB)

Short and sweet

The sample application in action
The sample application in action

That is all the information we need to create a viewer - you can download the project shown in the above animation from the links below.