Frequently asked questions

There seems to be a problem with character encoding...

It is necessary to use UTF-8 encoding for all texts in PhpSpreadsheet. If the script uses different encoding then you can convert those texts with PHP's iconv() or mb_convert_encoding() functions.

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of xxx bytes exhausted (tried to allocate yyy bytes) in zzz on line aaa

PhpSpreadsheet holds an "in memory" representation of a spreadsheet, so it is susceptible to PHP's memory limitations. The memory made available to PHP can be increased by editing the value of the memory_limit directive in your php.ini file, or by using ini_set('memory_limit', '128M') within your code.

Some Readers and Writers are faster than others, and they also use differing amounts of memory.

Protection on my worksheet is not working?

When you make use of any of the worksheet protection features (e.g. cell range protection, prohibiting deleting rows, ...), make sure you enable worksheet security. This can for example be done like this:


Feature X is not working with Reader_Y / Writer_Z

Not all features of PhpSpreadsheet are implemented in all of the Reader / Writer classes. This is mostly due to underlying libraries not supporting a specific feature or not having implemented a specific feature.

For example autofilter is not implemented in PEAR Spreadsheet_Excel_writer, which is the base of our Xls writer.

We are slowly building up a list of features, together with the different readers and writers that support them, in the features cross reference.

Formulas don't seem to be calculated in Excel2003 using compatibility pack?

This is normal behaviour of the compatibility pack, Xlsx displays this correctly. Use \PhpOffice\PhpSpreadsheet\Writer\Xls if you really need calculated values, or force recalculation in Excel2003.

Setting column width is not 100% accurate

Trying to set column width, I experience one problem. When I open the file in Excel, the actual width is 0.71 less than it should be.

The short answer is that PhpSpreadsheet uses a measure where padding is included. See how to set a column's width for more details.

I cannot serialize or json_encode my Spreadsheet

No, you can't. Consider the Spreadsheet object as a PHP resource, which cannot be serialized.