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From Q2 2013 we provide a new export format which is based on the binary Excel format BIFF. Our implementation supports all versions of Microsoft Excel, starting from 2003. The Excel export is based on our "export infrastructure". It is a middle layer positioned between a server control (or user controlled) and a given export library. In this case, we have used it internally in RadGrid, RadTreeList and RadPivotGrid but every developer can take advantage of it.

How to use it

The only thing that you need to do when you want to export the RadPivotGrid in excel is to call its server side ExportToExcel method:


Common properties and events


The ExportSettings group exposes several common properties which:

  • IgnorePaging - by default this property is false. If it is set to true the entire data into the PivotGrid will be exported. Otherwise only the current page is exported.

  • OpenInNewWindow - by default, the exported file will be handled by the program associated with the appropriate file type. If you prefer to give the user the option to choose whether to save, open (inline) or cancel you should enable this property.

    Even if you set OpenInNewWindow="false", that doesn't guarantee that the file will be opened inside the browser window.The way the exported file will be displayed inline depends on the OS/browser settings. The end-user could manage the file extensions with programs like NirSoft's FileTypesMan. For browsers, other than Internet Explorer, you should use the built-in settings.

  • FileName - this is helpful when you want to give a predefined name for your file.Please note that the file name can't be longer than 256 symbols. Unicode names are not supported out-of-the-box for Internet Explorer6 and 7. Of course you can manually encode the file name and it will be shown properly in the "Save" dialog (OpenInNewWindow="true").HttpUtility.UrlEncode ("unicode string", System.Text.Encoding.UTF8);

    Internet Explorer ignores the FileName property when OpenInNewWindow is set to false .


The RadPivotGrid exposes three events which can be used for customizing the exported file:

  • PivotGridExporting event - this event is usable when you want to access the binary data of the exported document.

  • PivotGridBiffExporting event - this event is useable in many scenarios when you want to modify the output file - for example you may want to add some custom information above RadPivotGrid or when you want to remove/add/replace parts of the content. Also into this event you have as argument the entire ExportStructure. It allows you to add additional table into the structure which will be exported as different sheet into the excel file.

  • PivotGridCellExporting event – this event is usable when you want to add formatting and styling options to the exported cell.

Modifying exported excel’ cells formatting and applying styles to them

In order to apply formatting to the exported excel cells or to apply some styles to them you need to handle thePivotGridCellExporting event and to change the ExportedCell formatting or styles. For example the following code snippet adds currency format to all decimal cell, set width and if the value is bigger than 100000 sets yellow background:

protected void RadPivotGrid1_PivotGridCellExporting(object sender, PivotGridCellExportingArgs e)
    PivotGridBaseModelCell modelDataCell = e.PivotGridModelCell as PivotGridBaseModelCell;
    if (modelDataCell != null)
        if (modelDataCell.Data != null && modelDataCell.Data.GetType() == typeof(decimal))
            decimal value = Convert.ToDecimal(modelDataCell.Data);
            if (value > 100000)
                e.ExportedCell.Style.BackColor = Color.Yellow;
            e.ExportedCell.Format = "$0.0";
            e.ExportedCell.Table.Columns[e.ExportedCell.ColIndex].Width = 11D;
Protected Sub RadPivotGrid1_PivotGridCellExporting(sender As Object, e As PivotGridCellExportingArgs)
    Dim modelDataCell As PivotGridBaseModelCell = TryCast(e.PivotGridModelCell, PivotGridBaseModelCell)
    If modelDataCell IsNot Nothing Then
        If modelDataCell.Data IsNot Nothing AndAlso modelDataCell.Data.[GetType]() = GetType(Decimal) Then
            Dim value As Decimal = Convert.ToDecimal(modelDataCell.Data)
            If value > 100000 Then
                e.ExportedCell.Style.BackColor = Color.Yellow
            End If
            e.ExportedCell.Format = "$0.0"
            e.ExportedCell.Table.Columns(e.ExportedCell.ColIndex).Width = 11.0
        End If
    End If
End Sub

pivotgrid-excel-export 1 pivotgrid-excel-export 2

The Format property of the ExportedCell object is the excel based cell format. For example:

The other parameter which is passed into the PivotGridCellExporting is the model cell from which the export structure cells are built. The PivotGridBaseModelCell class contains information related with the PivotGrid cells:

  • Field - Gets the pivot grid field related with this cell

  • Data - Get the object to which the PivtoGrid cell is bound

  • GroupLevel - Gets the cell group level

  • IsCollapsed - Gets whether the cell's group is collapsed

  • HasChildren - Gets whether the cell's group has children groups

  • IsTotalCell - Gets whether the cell is total cell

  • IsGrandTotalCell - Gets whether the cell is grand total cell

  • CellType - Gets the type of data cell

  • TableCellType - Gets the type of cell

Since Q1 2015 version of UI for ASP.NET AJAX you can also access the PivotGridCell object from the PivotGridCellExporting arguments. You can cast the object to the appropriate type and use all its properties which will help you to change the text apply different styles etc.

Additionally since Q1 2015 version you are able to style the elements of RadPivotGrid by using the built-in styles such as RowHeaderCellStyle, ColumnTotalCellStyle etc. It is important to note that you have to enable the UseItemStyle property in order for the applied styles to be exported. This property gives you the ability to apply the item styles to the exported file.

<RowHeaderCellStyle BackColor="Green" />
<ColumnHeaderCellStyle BackColor="Yellow" ForeColor="Red"></ColumnHeaderCellStyle>

Another approach is to handle CellDataBound event handler and apply the styles in code behind. Note that styling via CSS classes is not possible. This approach requires UseItemStyles to be enabled as well.

protected void RadPivotGrid1_CellDataBound(object sender, PivotGridCellDataBoundEventArgs e)
    if (e.Cell is PivotGridRowHeaderCell)
        e.Cell.BackColor = Color.Blue;
    else if(e.Cell is PivotGridColumnHeaderCell)
        e.Cell.ForeColor = Color.Violet;
    else if (e.Cell is PivotGridDataCell)
        e.Cell.BackColor = Color.Gray;
        e.Cell.ForeColor = Color.Pink;
Protected Sub RadPivotGrid1_CellDataBound(sender As Object, e As PivotGridCellDataBoundEventArgs)
    If TypeOf e.Cell Is PivotGridRowHeaderCell Then
        e.Cell.BackColor = Color.Blue
    ElseIf TypeOf e.Cell Is PivotGridColumnHeaderCell Then
        e.Cell.ForeColor = Color.Violet
    ElseIf TypeOf e.Cell Is PivotGridDataCell Then
        e.Cell.BackColor = Color.Gray
        e.Cell.ForeColor = Color.Pink
    End If
End Sub

Modifying the Output

This is the most interesting and flexible functionality the new export brings to the table. Simply put, you have to handle the PivotGridBiffExporting event and then make the desired modification to the structure (accessible via the e.ExportStructure property of the event arguments), generated by RadPivotGrid.

//Adding new worksheet
xls.Table newSheet = new xls.Table("NEW SHEET");
newSheet.Cells[1, 1].Value = "NEW CELL";
'Adding new worksheet
Dim newSheet As New xls.Table("NEW SHEET")
newSheet.Cells(1, 1).Value = "NEW CELL"


  • No automatic column/row resizing.
  • RadPivotGrid export throws an error when using a GetDataItem() in template. - This is a known issue when the Page.GetDataItem() is used. In order to works as expected the DataBinder.GetDataItem(this) needs to be used.
  • Large amounts of data can cause Timeout or OutOfMemory exceptions. Exporting is a resource intensive operation and if you get such issues, you can look into reducing the amount of data to be exported.
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