Client-Side File Generation and File Downloads on Modern Browsers

Sometimes, you just need an extension method to generate and download files from the client-side of most modern browsers. The only real takeaway from the code below is that Internet Explorer browser agents like to behave differently and require a different function call to provide this type of functionality. Other than that its pretty clear-cut, with most other modern browsers supporting the download attribute.

$(document).ready(function() {
    saveFile("Example.txt", "data:attachment/text", "Hello, world.");

function saveFile (name, type, data) {
    if (data != null && navigator.msSaveBlob)
        return navigator.msSaveBlob(new Blob([data], { type: type }), name);
    var a = $("<a style='display: none;'/>");
    var url = window.URL.createObjectURL(new Blob([data], {type: type}));
    a.attr("href", url);
    a.attr("download", name);


"To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing." - Aristotle

"It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people; to focus your energies on answers - not excuses." - William Arthur Ward

"Science does not know its debt to imagination." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game." - Donald Trump

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

"Mitch flashes back to a basketball game held in the Brandeis University gymnasium in 1979. The team is doing well and chants, 'We're number one!' Morrie stands and shouts, 'What's wrong with being number two?' The students fall silent." - Tuesdays with Morrie

I'm not entirely sure what makes me successful in general programming or development, but to any newcomers to this blood-sport, my best guess would be that success in programming comes from some strange combination of interest, persistence, patience, instincts (for example, someone might tell you that something can't be done, or that it can't be done a certain way, but you just know that can't be true, or you look at a piece of code and know something doesn't seem right with it at first glance, but you can't quite put your finger on it until you think it through some more), fearlessness of tinkering, and an ability to take advice because you should be humble. Its okay to be wrong or to have a bad approach, realize it, and try to find a better one, and even better to be wrong and find a better approach to solve something than to have had a bad approach to begin with. I hope that whatever fragments of information I sprinkle across here help those who hit the same roadblocks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *