user2302780 user2302780 - 26 days ago 8
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:

Array
(
[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] =>
)

)

Answer

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="'.$filename.'";');
    // make php send the generated csv lines to the browser
    fpassthru($f);
}

And you can use it like this:

array_to_csv_download(array(
  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
  "numbers.csv"
);

Update:
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 http://www.php.net/manual/en/wrappers.php.php#refsect2-wrappers.php-unknown-unknown-unknown-descriptioq
    $f = fopen('php://output', 'w');

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