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Use view to generate custom CSV


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I was thinking of using the custom display system to generate a custom made csv file with selected fields. I have not started yet, but I would like to have your opinion about this.
I am planning to add a php to force the download on the "After Content" section.
Do you think this could work?
69 votes +1

I suppose this could maybe work, but would require a lot more work then just displaying the content on a page and sticking in a button. I don't have any direction to provide at this point without researching and testing myself. This isn't a high priority at the moment though, so I'd suggest hiring a developer to do this for you. We'll wait and see if there is a lot of interest, and then look further into the feasibility.

You can do this with a relatively small amount of hassle already.  However, this will only work well for small data sets.  If you are working with large (5000+) exports, I recommend you try something else.  You are also going to need some basic JavaScript know-how.
Here are the steps I took:
1) Create a custom display table for all entries containing the fields you want to be exported.
     Before Content area gets your <table>  <thead>'s <tfoot>'s and <th>'s and opening <tbody>
     Content area gets your <tr>'s and <td>'s
     After Content gets your </tbody></table>

2) Install DataTables jquery plugin
3) Install TableTools DataTables plugin (they are usually downloaded together)
4) Add necessary javascript to your page that contains the table you want to export.  You can do this in the theme template(where I put mine because I plan on using this a lot) and also (I assume) in the Before Content/After Content areas
5) Add the necessary class and id to your <table> tag.

DataTables will give you really great control over your data display with built in search/sort for free.
TableTools will give you the export to CSV functionality.  Also, with this setup you can display a subset of your export fields by using the bVisible property.

Good luck!

Awesome! I didn't know there was a plugin that could do that. Thanks so much for the instructions!

Something that has made this product even greater for me has been Excel Interactive View Plugin.   After installing you put a simple shortcode on any page you have a Custom Display with a table.  It allows you pull out whatever is in that table and either work on via Excel Interactive version(almost all Excel capabilities) or download that table to your desktop and work on in your local Excel.

It is currently still in Beta, but so far works flawlessly for me.

I was looking for a way to display information on my site, but allow the user to download to excel or PDF. The Excel Interactive View Plugin just work great with FormidablePro.It added flexibility to my tables that I had not had before.

Only concern is that it is in a Beta version and it seems  not to be supported anymore. I do believe it will be a great add-on to FormidablePro or if you can create something very similar.

Hi! Did anyone get this to work? I really liked the suggestions pcofield but tablepress won't update when a user edits his entry. My client wants as much of his site as possible to be on the frontend. I have made a searchable entry list but haven't found a way to export. The entries list only shows 8 of my 20 form fields. My search searches the whole form. I'd like a way to export all 20 as well. Basically I want my frontend entry list to have what the backend  admin page has on Formidable>Entries. A way to sort, search fields and export. Is this possible? Again, I have pretty much figured out the sort and search- although I like your search by dropdowns of fields better than just a search bar- but the export hasn't worked at all. I also tried the Excel Interactive View plugin but it doesn't pull all fields from the form- just from the table on that page.

Hope this makes sense.

Yes I absolutely agree with this basic feature. Users (visitors) can downlaoad pdf and excel file in front end view. This is very basic feature that FP must have.

Thank you.

Great find, pcofield. In looking at the plugin, it is a wrapper for the Excel Mashup service (which piggybacks on Microsoft Excel Online to do the conversion/display).

Petrus: that's probably why the plugin hasn't been updated in such a long time (while the underlying Excel Mashup has).

You can also achieve this manually without having to use a plugin, by adding the following line of code in the Before Content section of a view above your <table> line of code:

<a href="#" name="MicrosoftExcelButton" data-xl-tableTitle="" data-xl-buttonStyle="Standard" data-xl-fileName="Book1" data-xl-attribution="" ></a>

Then add this line of code, in the After Content section:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

This allows you to dynamically filter/sort the table like with Excel, and to export it to XLSX format.

Hope that helps.

Hi Ccicoe ,

I used  Excel Interactive View plugin but it slows my view to show up in the interactive way.

Now I am trying your method above. Yes it works perfectly. I prefrer using your suggested way than using the plugin.

Thank you so much for sharing this information.


Hi Vaughan,

I have been using the [excel-interactive-view], but seem to stopped working in January, 2015

Tried your solution, but same problem - no icon.

May be the Excel-team has changed something, see


It would be a nice improvement to have this option available in general. Creating an export like this feels 'hacky'.

I would like to see a feature that allows for the frontend export of filtered data too.  I hope the Foridablepro team add this soon.  Thanks

This is a serious functional need for all of the views and forms that I've been building as well.  it needs to be a simple function that comes with the product.  Feature has my vote.

Please give us something like the old "Excel Interactive View"
This was very userfriendly - loved it.

CSV layout and copy/paste is to hard for most users.


I'm really hoping some alternative comes out for this at some point soon.  Without exaggeration, every single view I create needs to allow front-end exporting.  The only solution I found, and it's way more difficult than just using Formidable, is to link Formidable with Tabulizer, which is an incredible product for generating tables from a database.  But it takes a lot of work - basically you have to massage all the data from the Formidable meta_values table into row objects.  I only do it because Tabulizer has a feature allowing you to export to CSV, XLS and XLSX.  It probably at least doubles my efforts.

How is this not a feature - less integrations and more practical usage!!!!!!

It only makes business sense, fcs.

Please count my vote for this feature. It's an absolute essential!

Hi Everybody,

7 years have passed since my first post (wow!)

I found a couple of solutions on stackoverflow (

These only work if your view shows fields of a single entry. I am sure this can be improved to work with any kind of views, but I am not a programmer...

This shows 2 possible solutions. Put this javascript in your "Detail page" of a view:

<a id="a" target="_blank">Download CSV (via btoa)</a>
var csv = "[2598],[2599],[2600]";
var a = document.getElementById("a");
a.href = "data:text/csv;base64," + btoa(csv);
<a id="a2" download="Download.csv" type="text/csv">Download CSV (via Blob)</a>
var csv = "[2598],[2599],[2600]";
var data = new Blob([csv]);
var a2 = document.getElementById("a2");
a2.href = URL.createObjectURL(data);

I also found another solution here:

Hope this helps!


Another strong vote from me for this feature please. It is essential.

Best wishes,


I also vote for this feature, it is practically essential.

allow front-end export of view data
create sortable+filterable+editable views easily on the spot

I've solved this issue by the way...

If anyone wants me to post the code, please let me know...

It'd be great if you could post the code, Sam.


I would love to see you code too, Sam.




Hi all,
I had the same problem with giving my users the possibility to export data from a view preconfigured with the colums I wanted them to see.

I have used a plugin called:

Here we use a slightly different approach. The script uses HTML5 and javascript to create downloadable files in different formats ( you chose the ones as an admin).
Filetypes available ie.
And more options are available like print and so on... Easy to download with buttons.

The full documentation for this opensource project is here:

The code to make it work is super simple and you just tell the script the ID of the table, and you are ready to fine adjust the functions like search, filtering and more... I love this script!

Take a look at the plugin documentation before you look at the "big" reference so you get the basics... then there are no limits for what you can do!

Good Luck

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