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Tip of the Day
Language: .NET
Expertise: Intermediate
Jun 16, 2009

Create and Save Thumbnails of Web Pages

You can use the .NET WebBrowser control to take thumbnails or full-size screenshots of loaded web pages, and then use the Bitmap class to save them locally.

For example, to generate a thumbnail, use:

public Bitmap GenerateThumbnail(string url)
    //rendered at full size
    return GenerateScreenshot(url, -1, -1);

public Bitmap GenerateThumbnail(string url, int width, int height)
    // Load the webpage into a WebBrowser control
    WebBrowser wb = new WebBrowser();
    wb.ScrollBarsEnabled = false;
    wb.ScriptErrorsSuppressed = true;
    while (wb.ReadyState != WebBrowserReadyState.Complete) {   Application.DoEvents(); }

    // Set the size of the WebBrowser control
    wb.Width = width;
    wb.Height = height;

    if (width == -1)
        // Take Screenshot of the web pages full width
        wb.Width = wb.Document.Body.ScrollRectangle.Width;

    if (height == -1)
        // Take Screenshot of the web pages full height
        wb.Height = wb.Document.Body.ScrollRectangle.Height;

    // Get a Bitmap representation of the webpage as it's rendered in the WebBrowser control
    Bitmap bitmap = new Bitmap(wb.Width, wb.Height);
    wb.DrawToBitmap(bitmap, new Rectangle(0, 0, wb.Width, wb.Height));

    return bitmap;

Here are a couple of examples of calling the preceding code:

// Generate thumbnail of www.devx.com at 1024x768 resolution
Bitmap thumbnail = GenerateThumbnail("http://www.devx.com", 1024, 768);

// Generate thumbnail of a www.devx.com at full size
thumbnail = GenerateThumbnail("http://www.devx.com");
Srinath MS
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