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Phplist Documentation List and User functions

Export Users

Exporting users allows you to use the users' data in any spreadsheet program. This can be useful when you wish to conduct a statistical survey on the users on your database which requires specialized computing skills only available on dedicated programs. phplist is not designed to do elaborate calculations or search queries and to present the result in an easy-to-use format.

There are two ways of exporting users depending on which users you are interested in:
  • you can export all the users on your database
To export all the users, you must click on Export in the main menu.
  • you can export the users on a particular list
To export the users on a particular list, see export list.

The procedure is the same in both cases. The result of the export is different. If you export all users, the last column in your file will automatically contain the user's list membership.

The exact format used for the export file is determined by the system administrator. See post-install configuration for more. By default, the file is TAB delimited: each exported column is separated by a TAB, and each line for each user is separated by a line break.

Note: restrictions may apply if you are not a SuperAdmin. For more, see admin attributes and admin permissions to understand who can export what.


You can export users based on date.
If you click the "Export" button, you will get a popup box to download a file.
This will be a TAB delimited text file containing the results of your export query.
You can use this file in most spreadsheet applications.
Reminder of what 'export users' means.

Export users on listname
This line appears only if you are exporting a list, in which case the list's name appears here (listname in this example).

Date From:	[day] [month] [year]
Date To: 	[day] [month] [year]
What date needs to be used:
[radiobutton]	When they signed up
[radiobutton]	When the record was changed
Note: If the year range in the date from field is too limited to include all users you want to export, try changing the 'year ranges' setting in config.php
This is an important feature.
Users are exported by date:
  • when they signed up (i.e. when they subscribed to your database), or
  • when the record was changed (i.e. when the user's file was last modified).
This feature enables you to limit the export to those users whose files you wish to review in bulk. However, if you wish to export absolutely everything, you must make sure that the Date from date is old enough to include all possible users. For example, if your system is 2 years old, select a date that is 3 years old.

Select the columns to include in the export
[checkbox]	Email
[checkbox]	Entered
[checkbox]	Last Modified
[checkbox]	Send this user HTML emails
[checkbox]	Which page was used to subscribe
[checkbox]	RSS Frequency
[checkbox]	Password
[checkbox]	Is this account disabled?
[checkbox]	Additional data
[checkbox]	Foreign Key
[checkbox]	Last Name (example of attribute)
[checkbox]	Other attributes, etc.

	[EXPORT button]
Each column corresponds to an attribute in your database. You cannot change the order in which these columns will be exported in phplist: you must rearrange your data in a spreadsheet program. The list of attributes in your database is ordered by attribute ID please verify!. For descriptions of what the attributes listed above mean, see UserInfo.
Once you have ticked or unticked the columns you wish to export, you must click on Export to begin the export process. By default, all columns are pre-ticked.
Depending on the size of your database and the amount of information which you are exporting, the export might take a while...


  1. Dates: be sure to pick the correct time frame to export all the users you are interested in (either using the date of when the user signed up, or when the record was changed).
  2. Selection of columns to export: if you limit the number of columns you export, you greatly increase the speed with which phplist will export your users. Only export the columns that are useful to you. For instance, you can choose to not export the first few lines of technical data (RSS Frequency, Password, etc.).

Configuring the export function for use with Excel

This block in config.php:

# the mime type for the export files. You can try changing this to
# application/ to make it open automatically in excel
$export_mimetype = 'application/csv';

# if you want to use export format optimized for Excel, set this one to 1

Tip from a phpList user
For user lsander, making the above two changes was absolutely necessary for satisfactory exporting to Excel 2003. Once they were made, exporting was perfect, with one minor exception: If you export the ID field, a minor Excel/phplist incompatibility causes Excel to create an error message when you try to open the exported file. The error message, about SYLK files, is complicated but meaningless. Just click OK, and your file will open perfectly. Once it's open, you can prevent a repeat of the error message by changing the label in cell A1 from ID to 'ID.

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