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to_csv plugin

This simple plugin gives you the ability to call to_csv to a collection of activerecords. The builder options are the same as to_json / to_xml, except for the :include.


@users = User.all

# defaults are export headers and all fields

@users.to_csv(:only => [:last_name, :role]) # This will also set the order
@users.to_csv(:headers => false)
@users.to_csv(:except => [:last_name, :role])
@users.to_csv(:methods => :admin?)
@users.to_csv({:methods => :admin?}, {:col_sep => '\t'}) # Send csv generation options

Real life example

In the controller where you want to export to csv, add the format.csv line (as of rails 2.1 it is not necessary to register the csv myme_type)

class UserController < ApplicationController
  def index
    @users = User.all

    respond_to do |format|
      format.xml { render :xml => @users }
      format.csv { send_data @users.to_csv }


None if using ruby >= 1.9

Else, install fastercsv:
sudo gem install fastercsv


./script/plugin install git://


I got ideas and influence from Mike Clarks recipe #35 in Rails Recipes book, some anonymous pastie, and whoever wrote to_xml/to_json builders.


Does not work on a single activerecord, ie, User.first.to_csv.

Copyright © 2008-2011 Ary Djmal, released under the MIT license

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