user2302780 user2302780 - 8 months ago 38
PHP Question

How to create and download a csv file from php script?

I am a novice programmer and I searched a lot about my question but couldn't find a helpful solution or tutorial about this.

My goal is I have a PHP array and the array elements are showing in a list on the page.

I want to add an option, so that if a user wants, he/she can create a CSV file with array elements and download it.

I don't know how to do this. I have searched a lot too. But yet to find any helpful resource.

Please provide me some tutorial or solution or advice to implement it by myself. As I'm a novice please provide easy to implement solutions.

My array looks like:

[0] => Array
[fs_id] => 4c524d8abfc6ef3b201f489c
[name] => restaurant
[lat] => 40.702692
[lng] => -74.012869
[address] => new york
[postalCode] =>
[city] => NEW YORK
[state] => ny
[business_type] => BBQ Joint
[url] =>



You can use the built in fputcsv() for your arrays to generate correct csv lines from your array, so you will have to loop over and collect the lines. like:

$f = fopen("tmp.csv", "w");
foreach ($array as $line) {
    fputcsv($f, $line)

To make the browsers offer the "Save as" dialog you will have to send HTTP headers like this (see more about this header in the rfc):

header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="filename.csv";');

Putting it all together:

function array_to_csv_download($array, $filename = "export.csv", $delimiter=";") {
    // open raw memory as file so no temp files needed, you might run out of memory though
    $f = fopen('php://memory', 'w'); 
    // loop over the input array
    foreach ($array as $line) { 
        // generate csv lines from the inner arrays
        fputcsv($f, $line, $delimiter); 
    // reset the file pointer to the start of the file
    fseek($f, 0);
    // tell the browser it's going to be a csv file
    header('Content-Type: application/csv');
    // tell the browser we want to save it instead of displaying it
    header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$filename.'";');
    // make php send the generated csv lines to the browser

And you can use it like this:

  array(1,2,3,4), // this array is going to be the first row
  array(1,2,3,4)), // this array is going to be the second row

Instead of the php://memory you can also use the php://output for the file descriptor and do away with the seeking and such:

function array_to_csv_download($array, $filename = "export.csv", $delimiter=";") {
    header('Content-Type: application/csv');
    header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$filename.'";');

    // open the "output" stream
    // see
    $f = fopen('php://output', 'w');

    foreach ($array as $line) {
        fputcsv($f, $line, $delimiter);