⚠️ Warning: This website is still being developed. Code examples, videos, and links may be broken while I continue to work on it. -- Scott, May 10, 2020
Resources for visualizing data using C# and the .NET platform

Drawing in C# Quickstart

This example uses System.Drawing in a Console Application to draw 10,000 random lines on a dark blue background and save the output as a PNG file.

In the past System.Drawing could only be used on Windows, but System.Drawing.Common (released in 2017) brings System.Drawing to .NET Core for use on any operating system.


This code creates a Bitmap in memory, creates a Graphics object for it, then use the Graphics methods for drawing. When run, this code block produces the image at the top of the page.

static void Main(string[] args)
    Random rand = new Random();
    using (var bmp = new Bitmap(600, 400))
    using (var gfx = Graphics.FromImage(bmp))
    using (var pen = new Pen(Color.White))
        gfx.SmoothingMode = System.Drawing.Drawing2D.SmoothingMode.AntiAlias;
        for (int i = 0; i < 10_000; i++)
            pen.Color = Color.FromArgb(rand.Next());
            var pt1 = new Point(rand.Next(bmp.Width), rand.Next(bmp.Height));
            var pt2 = new Point(rand.Next(bmp.Width), rand.Next(bmp.Height));
            gfx.DrawLine(pen, pt1, pt2);

Respect IDisposable

Many System.Drawing objects inherit from IDisposable and it is critical that they are disposed of properly to avoid memory issues. This means calling Dispose() after you're done using an object, or better yet throwing its instantiation inside a using statement.

💡 Deep Dive: Read Microsoft's documentation about using objects that implement IDisposable

Take care to properly dispose of these common System.Drawing objects:

Drawing Anti-Aliased Graphics and Text

By default graphics will not be anti-aliased. Anti-aliasing is slower (especially for long lines), but looks superior when drawing angled lines and edges.

Anti-aliasing is controlled differently for graphics and text:

// set anti-aliasing mode for graphics
gfx.SmoothingMode = System.Drawing.Drawing2D.SmoothingMode.AntiAlias;
gfx.SmoothingMode = System.Drawing.Drawing2D.SmoothingMode.HighSpeed;

// set anti-aliasing mode for text
gfx.TextRenderingHint = System.Drawing.Text.TextRenderingHint.AntiAlias;
gfx.TextRenderingHint = System.Drawing.Text.TextRenderingHint.SingleBitPerPixel;

Download Source Code

This code supports .NET Core and .NET Framework