Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX

General information

CSV format is based on a plain text - it is widely used to display simple tabular data. Due to its simplicity and portability, it can be seen in various platforms - web, desktop, mobile, embedded, etc.

By default, RadGrid's CSV engine encloses all the data within double quotes to allow the usage of commas, new lines and so on.


GridExporting event allows the developer to change the generated file directly. This approach could be used to achieve some custom functionality that is not supported out of the box. For example you can use it to add header text to the output and then save it to TXT format (since it won't be valid CSV anymore).


Depending on your local settings, the default column separator might be a comma or a semicolon. Excel won't be able to properly separate the columns when the column separator is not valid for the current culture.


Note, that if you set ExportOnlyData="true", the contents (text) of all template columns will be removed but the columns will be still visible in the exported file.

CSV specific settings

RadGrid exposes the following properties for customizing the output:





Colon, Comma, NewLine, Semicolon, Tab, VerticalBar

Used to specify the column delimiter


Colon, Comma, NewLine, Semicolon, Tab, VerticalBar

Used to specify the row delimiter


File extension string

Useful when the developer wishes to change the file extension. Since the CSV format is text-based, it is often saved as TXT instead of CSV



Determines whether the exported values are enclosed with quotes.

    <Csv ColumnDelimiter="Tab" RowDelimiter="NewLine" FileExtension="TXT" EncloseDataWithQuotes="true" />

Microsoft Excel parses the cell values automatically depending on the local settings. For example the string 19/05 might change to 19.May automatically. The only workaround would be to insert a sign of equality (=) before the relevant string. For example: "012" should be modified as ="012".

Encoding support

UI for ASP.NET AJAX Q2 2009 SP1 and later fully supports Unicode symbols in both left-to-right and right-to-left modes. RadGrid automatically saves the file in UTF-8 encoding.


If you open the CSV file in some editors, you will notice some strange characters at the beginning. This is BOM (Byte Order Mark) header - it marks the file content as Unicode. These characters wouldn't be visible under normal circumstances.

Since UI for ASP.NET AJAX Q3 2014 SP1 version, you are able to change the default encoding of the CSV format. The property that allows you to change the encoding is named Encoding and has the following predefined values.

  • Utf8

  • Ascii

    (US ASCII)
  • Default

    (system default (ANSI); depends on the regional settings of the OS)
  • Windows1252

    (Western European encoding)
  • Unicode

    (UTF16 little endian)
  • Utf7

  • Utf32

    (UTF32 little endian)

Along with Encoding property we introduce a possibility to disable the BOM (Byte Order Mark) header by setting EnableBomHeader. This property is of type boolean and accepts True (Default) and False values. You can find more information about BOM header in the following article.

<telerik:RadGrid ID="RadGrid1" runat="server">
    <MasterTableView CommandItemDisplay="Top">
        <CommandItemSettings ShowExportToCsvButton="true" />
        <Csv EnableBomHeader="true" Encoding="Unicode" />

Exporting unsupported controls

Since CSV is text-based format it doesn't support images or complex structures like tables. It is possible to replace such content manually by removing the unwanted objects before exporting or on ItemDataBound/ItemCreated events:

This approach won't work if your RadGrid rebinds before export. In such cases (for instance, when using IgnorePaging="true") the developer should put the code on ItemCreated/ItemDataBound:


Note that you don't need to set isExport="false" explicitly because the changes we perform will affect only the response streamed to the client. In other words, the user won't see any change to the actual page.

Exporting the selected rows only

You can hide the unselected rows and export the rest in a manner similar to the example above. This approach is applicable also for HTML Excel/Word and PDF.

Hiding columns

You can use the HideStructureColumns property to hide GridRowIndicatorColumn, GridExpandColumn and GridGroupSplitterColumn. For the other columns types, you can use the following approach:


From Q2 2013 we introduced a new propery named Exportable. This property allows you to choose whether a certain column should be included in the exported file or not. By setting this property to false the related column will be excluded from the exported file. Its default value is true.

Hiding items

There are two common ways to hide an item.

  • Directly - in the button handler when exporting from a button or on ItemCommand when exporting from the built-in buttons

  • On ItemCreated / ItemDataBound - this approach should be used when IgnorePaging="true" or when you call RadGrid.Rebind before exporting.

CSV Export Q & A

Q: Can I export content from GridTemplateColumn?

A: Yes, as long as it contain a binding expression or regular Label control and ExportOnlyData is set to "false".

Q: How to export GridCheckBoxColumn?

A: You have to set ExportOnlyData to "false"

Unsupported scenarios

  • Hierarchical structure

  • Grouping

  • Exporting invisible RadGrid