PHPExcel: Download the Excel file on the client side


The problem was solved: For other users that may have this problem – notice the encoding of the PHP file. If you use PHPExcel it must be ANSII encoding and not UTF8, otherwise the EXCEL will be downloaded corruptly. The Headers that were added (answer 1) solved the problem after i changed the encoding of the file itself.

I am using PHPExcel in order to create an EXCEL from a table in MYSQL DB, so the user can download it to his computer.

The code bellow creates a correct Excel file but the problem is that it is downloaded to my server. I read in PHPExcel manual that i need to add headers:

header('Content-Type: application/');
header('Content-Disposition: attachment;filename="'.$name.'.xls"');
header('Cache-Control: max-age=0');
header('Cache-Control: max-age=1');
header ('Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT'); // Date in the past
header ('Last-Modified: '.gmdate('D, d M Y H:i:s').' GMT'); // always modified
header ('Cache-Control: cache, must-revalidate'); // HTTP/1.1
header ('Pragma: public'); // HTTP/1.0

$objWriter = PHPExcel_IOFactory::createWriter($objPHPExcel, 'Excel5');

But if i do that, the downloaded file is:
1. Has some jibrish inside
2. Says that Excel needs to fix it because the file is not good.
The problem is that this file is saved as UTF8 and if i encode it as ANSI then it is working properly but of course it is a manual change and i need a working properly excel to reach the users.

What is the bug?

My code that works (but download the file to the server):

include 'connection.php';
include 'checkUser.php';

//Getting all the needed information from the DB
$query2 = "SELECT * FROM projects WHERE ProjectID=$task_id";
$data2 = mysqli_query($con, $query2);
$row = mysqli_fetch_array($data2);
$project_type = $row['ProjectType'];
$project_name = $row['ProjectName'];

switch ($project_type){
                    case 2: $NumberOfRows=22;  $project = "slivedetails"; break;
                    case 3: $NumberOfRows=30;  $project = "plivedetails"; break;
                    default: $NumberOfRows=0; $project = "none";
//column names
if ($project="slivedetails"){
    $ColumnNames = mysqli_query($con,"SHOW COLUMNS FROM slivedetails") or die("mysql error"); 
else if ($project="plivedetails"){
    $ColumnNames = mysqli_query($con, "SHOW COLUMNS FROM plivedetails") or die("mysql error"); 

$query = "SELECT * FROM $project WHERE TaskID=$task_id";
$data = mysqli_query($con, $query);
$num_rows = mysqli_num_rows($data); 

/** Include PHPExcel */
require_once 'PHPExcel_1.7.9_doc/Classes/PHPExcel.php';
require_once 'PHPExcel_1.7.9_doc/Classes/PHPExcel/IOFactory.php';

// create new PHPExcel object
$objPHPExcel = new PHPExcel();
    $objPHPExcel = new PHPExcel();

// writer already created the first sheet for us, let's get it
$objSheet = $objPHPExcel->getActiveSheet();
// rename the sheet
$objSheet->setTitle('Task Results');

// let's bold and size the header font and write the header
// as you can see, we can specify a range of cells, like here: cells from A1 to A4

$char = 65;
// write header]
for ($i=1;$i<=$NumberOfRows;$i++){
    $col_name = mysqli_fetch_array($ColumnNames);

// Now we need to get the data from the DB. While we have a row in the result:
$rowIterator=2; //our row number. We begin from 2 because the first one is the title.

while ($RowInfo = mysqli_fetch_array($data)){
//We will fill the information based on the amount of columns:
$char = 65; //we set the first char as column A
for ($i=0;$i<$NumberOfRows;$i++){

// autosize the columns
$char = 65;
for ($i=1;$i<=$NumberOfRows;$i++){

// create the writer
$objWriter = PHPExcel_IOFactory::createWriter($objPHPExcel, "Excel2007");



Remove the following inclusion:

require_once 'PHPExcel_1.7.9_doc/Classes/PHPExcel/IOFactory.php';

You declared the object twice. Remove one of them:

// create new PHPExcel object
$objPHPExcel = new PHPExcel();

Insert the following headers just before creating the Writer:

header("Content-Type: application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet");
header("Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=\"results.xlsx\"");
header("Cache-Control: max-age=0");

Instead of the following (which actually saves the file in the server):


Insert the following (which will create the downloadable file):


This should solve the gibberish text. If you still get such text, insert the following code before the last line ($objWriter->save("php://output");):


This worked for me. Hope it helps.

Answered By – Placid

This Answer collected from stackoverflow, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published