Export javascript data to CSV file without server interaction

If we were on a nodeJS server, we could write a header, set a mime type, and send it:

res.header("Content-Disposition", "attachment;filename="+name+".csv"); 
res.type("text/csv");
res.send(200, csvString);

and because of the headers, the browser will create a download for the named csv file.

When useful data is generated in a browser, one solution to getting it in a CSV file is to use ajax, upload it to the server, (perhaps optionally save it there) and get the server to send it back with these headers to become a csv download back at the browser.

However, I would like a 100% browser solution that does not involve ping-pong with the server.

So it occurred to me that one could open a new window and try to set the header with a META tag equivalent.

But this doesn't work for me in recent Chrome.

I do get a new window, and it contains the csvString, but does not act as a download.

I guess I expected to get either a download in a bottom tab or a blank new window with a download in a bottom tab.

I'm wondering if the meta tags are correct or if other tags are also needed.

Is there a way to make this work without punting it to the server?

JsFiddle for Creating a CSV in the Browser (not working - outputs window but no download)

var A = [['n','sqrt(n)']];  // initialize array of rows with header row as 1st item
for(var j=1;j<10;++j){ A.push([j, Math.sqrt(j)]) }
var csvRows = [];
for(var i=0,l=A.length; i<l; ++i){
    csvRows.push(A[i].join(','));   // unquoted CSV row
}
var csvString = csvRows.join("\n");
console.log(csvString);
var csvWin = window.open("","","");
csvWin.document.write('<meta name="content-type" content="text/csv">');
csvWin.document.write('<meta name="content-disposition" content="attachment;  filename=data.csv">  ');
csvWin.document.write(csvString);

Answers:

Answer

There's always the HTML5 download attribute :

This attribute, if present, indicates that the author intends the hyperlink to be used for downloading a resource so that when the user clicks on the link they will be prompted to save it as a local file.

If the attribute has a value, the value will be used as the pre-filled file name in the Save prompt that opens when the user clicks on the link.

var A = [['n','sqrt(n)']];

for(var j=1; j<10; ++j){ 
    A.push([j, Math.sqrt(j)]);
}

var csvRows = [];

for(var i=0, l=A.length; i<l; ++i){
    csvRows.push(A[i].join(','));
}

var csvString = csvRows.join("%0A");
var a         = document.createElement('a');
a.href        = 'data:attachment/csv,' +  encodeURIComponent(csvString);
a.target      = '_blank';
a.download    = 'myFile.csv';

document.body.appendChild(a);
a.click();

FIDDLE

Tested in Chrome and Firefox, works fine in the newest versions (as of July 2013).
Works in Opera as well, but does not set the filename (as of July 2013).
Does not seem to work in IE9 (big suprise) (as of July 2013).

An overview over what browsers support the download attribute can be found Here
For non-supporting browsers, one has to set the appropriate headers on the serverside.


Apparently there is a hack for IE10 and IE11, which doesn't support the download attribute (Edge does however).

var A = [['n','sqrt(n)']];

for(var j=1; j<10; ++j){ 
    A.push([j, Math.sqrt(j)]);
}

var csvRows = [];

for(var i=0, l=A.length; i<l; ++i){
    csvRows.push(A[i].join(','));
}

var csvString = csvRows.join("%0A");

if (window.navigator.msSaveOrOpenBlob) {
    var blob = new Blob([csvString]);
    window.navigator.msSaveOrOpenBlob(blob, 'myFile.csv');
} else {
    var a         = document.createElement('a');
    a.href        = 'data:attachment/csv,' +  encodeURIComponent(csvString);
    a.target      = '_blank';
    a.download    = 'myFile.csv';
    document.body.appendChild(a);
    a.click();
}
Answer

@adeneo answer works for Firefox and chrome... For IE the below can be used.

if (window.navigator.msSaveOrOpenBlob) {
  var blob = new Blob([decodeURIComponent(encodeURI(result.data))], {
    type: "text/csv;charset=utf-8;"
  });
  navigator.msSaveBlob(blob, 'FileName.csv');
}

Answer

Once I packed JS code doing that to a tiny library:

https://github.com/AlexLibs/client-side-csv-generator

The Code, Documentation and Demo/Playground are provided on Github.

Enjoy :)

Pull requests are welcome.

Answer

See adeneo's answer, but to make this work in Excel in all countries you should add "SEP=," to the first line of the file. This will set the standard separator in Excel and will not show up in the actual document

var csvString = "SEP=, \n" + csvRows.join("\r\n");
Answer

We can easily create and export/download the excel file with any separator (in this answer I am using the comma separator) using javascript. I am not using any external package for creating the excel file.

    var Head = [[
        'Heading 1',
        'Heading 2', 
        'Heading 3', 
        'Heading 4'
    ]];

    var row = [
       {key1:1,key2:2, key3:3, key4:4},
       {key1:2,key2:5, key3:6, key4:7},
       {key1:3,key2:2, key3:3, key4:4},
       {key1:4,key2:2, key3:3, key4:4},
       {key1:5,key2:2, key3:3, key4:4}
    ];

for (var item = 0; item < row.length; ++item) {
       Head.push([
          row[item].key1,
          row[item].key2,
          row[item].key3,
          row[item].key4
       ]);
}

var csvRows = [];
for (var cell = 0; cell < Head.length; ++cell) {
       csvRows.push(Head[cell].join(','));
}
            
var csvString = csvRows.join("\n");
let csvFile = new Blob([csvString], { type: "text/csv" });
let downloadLink = document.createElement("a");
downloadLink.download = 'MYCSVFILE.csv';
downloadLink.href = window.URL.createObjectURL(csvFile);
downloadLink.style.display = "none";
document.body.appendChild(downloadLink);
downloadLink.click();

Answer

See adeneo's answer, but don't forget encodeURIComponent!

a.href     = 'data:application/csv;charset=utf-8,' + encodeURIComponent(csvString);

Also, I needed to do "\r\n" not just "\n" for the row delimiter.

var csvString = csvRows.join("\r\n");

Revised fiddle: http://jsfiddle.net/7Q3c6/

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