Skip to main content

This site requires you to update your browser. Your browsing experience maybe affected by not having the most up to date version.

Template Questions

how to download pdf file ?


10 Posts   5855 Views


19 July 2011 at 5:54am (Last edited: 19 July 2011 7:13am), Community Member, 102 Posts

> I really don't thinkit's necessary to start throwing HTTP headers for a PDF download

The problem is if the PDF files are big and/or the server is slow, the browser gives no progress indication, so after 5 seconds, people give up and click Back. If it's a download, then they get a pop-up as soon as they click, then they get progress indication. Far more users see the download through to completion.

> send_file() is a function on HTTPRequest not HTTPResponse.

True, SS_HTTPRequest::send_file works for me.

OK, here's a working example, using SilverStripe 2.4.5

I have multiple DataObject classes that have a file field called Document (among other fields of course)...

class NewsObject extends DataObject {

   public static $has_one = array(
       'Document' => 'File'

   public function getCMSFields_forPopup() {
         new FileIFrameField('Document', 'File', null, null, null, self::$defaultFileFolder)

In the Page_Controller, I add a download action for each of the DataObject classes...

class Page_Controller extends ContentController {

   public static $allowed_actions = array (
      'downloadevent', 'downloadnews'


   private function download($classname) {

      $id = intval( Director::URLParam('ID') );
      $object = $id ? DataObject::get_one($classname, 'ID=' . $id ) : null;
      $document = $object ? $object->Document() : null;

      if ( $document )
         return SS_HTTPRequest::send_file(file_get_contents($document->getFullPath()), $document->getFilename() );
         return $this->httpError(404);
   public function downloadevent() {
      return $this->download('EventObject');
   public function downloadnews() {
      return $this->download('NewsObject');
   function BaseUrl() {
      return Director::baseURL() . $this->URLSegment;
} all page types inherit the download functionality, and the download actions can be used in any .ss file...

   <% control NewsObjects %>
      <a href="$Top.BaseUrl/downloadnews/$ID">
   <% end_control %>

   <% control EventObjects %>
      <a href="$Top.BaseUrl/downloadevent/$ID">
   <% end_control %>


23 July 2011 at 8:02am Community Member, 528 Posts

FYI soon this will all become redundant. A download property is being added the a element in html5