Cross Browser CSV Download

Posted on 2011-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello Experts!

I need your magnificent help with another problem I am having.  I have set up a site under SSL and am trying to create a dynamic CSV file generated from the contents of the database that can be downloaded when the user clicks on a link.

As of now, I have it set up so that the link redirects to a new PHP page whereupon I am sending the headers and accessing the database to create the CSV file.  This works fine in Firefox, Chrome and Safari.  However in IE I get the following message:

Internet Explorer cannot download download/ from

Internet Explorer was not able to open this Internet site.  The requested site is either unavailable or cannot be found.  Please try again later.

I have tried various methods to get around this situation without success.  I would like to know if any of you experts have code that will work across all browser platforms to accomplish what I am trying to do.
Question by:OmniUnlimited

Expert Comment

ID: 36575884
Always helpful, those messages from IE.

Can you show the code that generates the link, and the code that sends the headers and data?
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Lukasz Chmielewski
ID: 36576436
What type of database ? MySQL ?

Assisted Solution

MattJellings earned 450 total points
ID: 36579205

Take a look at this page:

It may be helpful.

I am currently outputting CSV from one of my sites and I've checked and it works in Chrome, FF and IE but unfortunately I don't have the code to hand.  It's likely you may be missing a header or something which is causing IE to complain.  When I get home if you haven't found a solution yet I'll post the code for you.

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Accepted Solution

MattJellings earned 450 total points
ID: 36582397

Here's the code I'm using, I'll confess I don't fully understand the multiple use of the Content-Type header, but I can say it definitely works in IE 7, 8 and 9.

	header("Pragma: public");
	header("Expires: 0");
	header("Cache-Control: must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0"); 
	header("Content-Type: application/force-download");
	header("Content-Type: application/octet-stream");
	header("Content-Type: application/download");;
	header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=file_name_here.csv ");
	header("Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary ");
	echo $data;

Open in new window

The $data variable  is a string variable containing the comma separated data.

Hope that helps,



Assisted Solution

woepwobin earned 50 total points
ID: 36582763
I cannot reproduce the problem.

This is what I usually use:

header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="'.$filename.'"');
header('Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate, maxage=1');
header('Cache-Control: maxage=1');
header('Pragma: public');
header('Expires: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 15:00:00 GMT+1'); /* Remember my wedding day :) */
header('Content-Type: application/octet-stream');
header('Content-Length: '.strlen($data));
echo $data;

Open in new window

The only big difference I see with your code is the 'Content-Length' header.
LVL 17

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36584798
MattJellings, thank you for taking time and really analyzing my situation for me.  I as well am puzzled by the need for so many headers, but the important thing is that it works!

Thanks to all the experts who participated.

Expert Comment

ID: 36586171

You're welcome, glad to hear you managed to get it working.



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