PHP class to export data in CSV, TSV, or Excel XML (aka SpreadsheeML) format to a file or directly to the browser
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php-export-data by Eli Dickinson

Released under the permissive MIT License:

A simple library for exporting tabular data to Excel-friendly XML, CSV, or TSV. It supports streaming exported data to a file or directly to the browser as a download so it is suitable for exporting large datasets (you won't run out of memory).

Excel XML code is based on Excel_XML by Oliver Schwarz (

How to use it


// When executed in a browser, this script will prompt for download 
// of 'test.xls' which can then be opened by Excel or OpenOffice.

require 'php-export-data.class.php';

// 'browser' tells the library to stream the data directly to the browser.
// other options are 'file' or 'string'
// 'test.xls' is the filename that the browser will use when attempting to 
// save the download
$exporter = new ExportDataExcel('browser', 'test.xls');

$exporter->initialize(); // starts streaming data to web browser

// pass addRow() an array and it converts it to Excel XML format and sends 
// it to the browser
$exporter->addRow(array("This", "is", "a", "test")); 
$exporter->addRow(array(1, 2, 3, "123-456-7890"));

// doesn't care how many columns you give it

$exporter->finalize(); // writes the footer, flushes remaining data to browser.

exit(); // all done


See the test/ directory for more examples.

Some other options for creating Excel files from PHP are listed here: