Export Gridview To Excel


I would like to have the ability to export to Excel a gridview. I’m focusing in the Yii part as I already have a view that renders the models to Excel.

I already have a first version that is capable of writing a simple yii gridview maintaining the order and filters in Excel. But having a gridview with a relation, I would like to have some tips or directions to export all columns defined.

For the purpose of this test I have two related models: Employee and Country.

The grid I have is:

		echo GridView::widget([

			'dataProvider' => $dataProvider,

			'filterModel' => $searchModel,

			'columns' => [

				//['class' => 'yii\grid\SerialColumn'],






					'class' => DataColumn::className(),

					'attribute' => 'countryName',

					'format' => 'html',

					'value' => function($model, $index, $column) {

							$country = Country::find($model->country_id);

							return $country ? Html::a($country->nm_country, array('country/update', 'id'=>$model->country_id)) : 'Unknown';


					'label' => 'Country',


				['class' => 'yii\grid\ActionColumn',

				 'contentOptions' => [ 'nowrap' => 'nowrap']




As this is a temporary test I altered ActionColumn.php (should have extended) and added the following line of code to the end.

	protected function renderHeaderCellContent()


		$querystr = $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'] == null ? '' : '?'.$_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'];

		return html::tag('a','xls',['href' => 'excel'.$querystr])



This is to send the EmployeeSearch data that is currently selected to the excel action of the Employee Controller:

public function actionExcel()


		$searchModel = new EmployeeSearch;

		$dataProvider = $searchModel->search($_GET, false);

		$this->layout = '$content';

		return $this->renderPartial('excel', [

			'dataProvider' => $dataProvider,

			'searchModel' => $searchModel,



I know this is not the best way, but if you can give any ideas to improve this, I would appreciate it.

Right now i can manage to export to Excel but the main problems are:

  1. Dataprovider is being setup only with the options sent with ExployeeSearch Model, which doesn’t take into account the columns defined (how to send this?).

  2. What is the best way to integrate this into the widget? (where should I send this to? which view should render this?)

I’m fairly new to Yii, so this was a good way to explore but now I’m a little bit stuck.

Thanks in advance.