Thursday, November 26, 2009

Zend Framework: Returning pdf file from an action controller

Lets assume that we have an action called getpdfAction in a Zend Controller. When we execute the action in a browser (e.g. http:://, the Zend Application by default will render view associated with the action and if necessary layout. However, when we want to have a pdf file returned or any other file from the action this behaviour is not needed. So, before we read a pdf for returning, we have to disable view script and layout rendering. This can be done as in the example getpdfAction function below:public function getpdfAction() {

//Disable rendering of view script and layout

// We'll be outputting a PDF
header('Content-type: application/pdf');

// It will be called downloaded.pdf
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="downloaded.pdf"');

// The PDF source is in original.pdf


  1. Anonymous7:46 PM

    since you haven't specified you need to create a pdf on-the-fly or require a user to login in order to download the specified file -- a better approach woould be to use Apache's mod_xsendfile as the file will not need to be read by PHP first to be passed off to the client.

    fore examples see

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  4. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Good article!
    Very simple and very good!