ExpressionEngine Docs

File Uploading Class

ExpressionEngine’s File Uploading Class permits files to be uploaded. You can set various preferences, restricting the type and size of the files.

The Process

Uploading a file involves the following general process:

To demonstrate this process here is brief tutorial. Afterward you’ll find reference information.

Creating the Upload Form

Create a view called upload_form.php. In it, place this code and save it to your addon/views/ directory:

<?php echo $error;?>
<?php echo form_open_multipart('upload/do_upload');?>
<input type="file" name="userfile" size="20" />
<br /><br />
<input type="submit" value="upload" />

You’ll notice we are using a form helper to create the opening form tag. File uploads require a multipart form, so the helper creates the proper syntax for you. You’ll also notice we have an $error variable. This is so we can show error messages in the event the user does something wrong.

The Success Page

Create a view called upload_success.php. In it, place this code and save it to your addon/views/ directory:

<h3>Your file was successfully uploaded!</h3>

<?php foreach ($upload_data as $item => $value):?>
    <li><?php echo $item;?>: <?php echo $value;?></li>
<?php endforeach; ?>

<p><?php echo anchor('upload', 'Upload Another File!'); ?></p>

The Controller

Inside your controller (most likely in a mcp.addon.php file) you’ll need to add a few methods. First create a method to display your upload_form.php view:

public function index()
    ee()->load->view('upload_form', array('error' => ' ' ));

Then, you’ll need to create a method to handle the form:

public function do_upload()
    $config['upload_path']   = './uploads/';
    //$config['upload_destination'] = 5;
    $config['allowed_types'] = 'gif|jpg|png';
    $config['max_size']      = 100;
    $config['max_width']     = 1024;
    $config['max_height']    = 768;

    ee()->load->library('upload', $config);

    if ( ! ee()->upload->do_upload())
        $error = array('error' => ee()->upload->display_errors());

        ee()->load->view('upload_form', $error);
        $data = array('upload_data' => ee()->upload->data());

        ee()->load->view('upload_success', $data);

Inside that method, you can see that we’re initializing the Upload library and checking to see if the upload was successful. If not, we kick back to the upload_form.php view.

The Upload Directory

You’ll need a destination directory for your uploaded images, most likely created by the person installing your add-on. If you’re only using the file temporarily, you can use the PATH_CACHE constant.

Reference Guide

Initializing the Upload Class

Like most other classes in ExpressionEngine, the Upload class is initialized in your controller using the ee()->load->library() method:


Setting Preferences

Similar to other libraries, you’ll control what is allowed to be upload based on your preferences. In the controller you built above you set the following preferences:

$config['upload_path'] = './uploads/';
//$config['upload_destination'] = 5;
$config['allowed_types'] = 'gif|jpg|png';
$config['max_size'] = '100';
$config['max_width'] = '1024';
$config['max_height'] = '768';

ee()->load->library('upload', $config);

// Alternately you can set preferences by calling the ``initialize()`` method. Useful if you auto-load the class:

The above preferences should be fairly self-explanatory. Below is a table describing all available preferences.


The following preferences are available. The default value indicates what will be used if you do not specify that preference.

Preference Default Value Options Description
upload_destination NULL None ID of upload directory where the file should be saved. Mandatory, unless upload_path is specified
upload_path None None The path to the directory where the upload should be placed. The directory must be writable and the path can be absolute or relative.
allowed_types None None The mime types corresponding to the types of files you allow to be uploaded. Usually the file extension can be used as the mime type. Can be either an array or a pipe-separated string.
file_name None Desired file name If set ExpressionEngine will rename the uploaded file to this name. The extension provided in the file name must also be an allowed file type. If no extension is provided in the original file_name will be used.
file_ext_tolower FALSE TRUE/FALSE (boolean) If set to TRUE, the file extension will be forced to lower case
overwrite FALSE TRUE/FALSE (boolean) If set to true, if a file with the same name as the one you are uploading exists, it will be overwritten. If set to false, a number will be appended to the filename if another with the same name exists.
max_size 0 None The maximum size (in kilobytes) that the file can be. Set to zero for no limit. Note: Most PHP installations have their own limit, as specified in the php.ini file. Usually 2 MB (or 2048 KB) by default.
max_width 0 None The maximum width (in pixels) that the image can be. Set to zero for no limit.
max_height 0 None The maximum height (in pixels) that the image can be. Set to zero for no limit.
min_width 0 None The minimum width (in pixels) that the image can be. Set to zero for no limit.
min_height 0 None The minimum height (in pixels) that the image can be. Set to zero for no limit.
max_filename 0 None The maximum length that a file name can be. Set to zero for no limit.
max_filename_increment 100 None When overwrite is set to FALSE, use this to set the maximum filename increment for ExpressionEngine to append to the filename.
encrypt_name FALSE TRUE/FALSE (boolean) If set to TRUE the file name will be converted to a random encrypted string. This can be useful if you would like the file saved with a name that can not be discerned by the person uploading it.
remove_spaces TRUE TRUE/FALSE (boolean) If set to TRUE, any spaces in the file name will be converted to underscores. This is recommended.
auto_resize FALSE TRUE/FALSE (boolean) If set to TRUE, the uploaded image will be automatically resized to the max_width / min_height dimensions.

Class Reference

class EE_Upload

initialize([array $config = array()[, $reset = TRUE]])

Parameter Type Description
$config Array Preferences
$reset Bool Whether to reset preferences (that are not provided in $config) to their defaults
Returns EE_Upload EE_Upload instance (method chaining)

do_upload([$field = 'userfile'])

Parameter Type Description
$field String Name of the form field
Returns Bool TRUE on success, FALSE on failure

Performs the upload based on the preferences you’ve set.

Note: By default the upload routine expects the file to come from a form field called userfile, and the form must be of type multipart.

<form method="post" action="some_action" enctype="multipart/form-data" />

If you would like to set your own field name simply pass its value to the do_upload() method:

$field_name = "some_field_name";

display_errors([$open = '<p>'[, $close = '</p>']])

Parameter Type Description
$open String Opening markup
$close String Closing markup
Returns String Formatted error message(s)

Retrieves any error messages if the do_upload() method returned false. The method does not echo automatically, it returns the data so you can assign it however you need.

Formatting Errors

By default the above method wraps any errors within <p> tags. You can set your own delimiters like this:

 ee()->upload->display_errors('<p>', '</p>');

data([$index = NULL])

Parameter Type Description
$data String Element to return instead of the full array
Returns Mixed Information about the uploaded file

This is a helper method that returns an array containing all of the data related to the file you uploaded. Here is the array prototype:

    [file_name] => mypic.jpg
    [file_type] => image/jpeg
    [file_path] => /path/to/your/upload/
    [full_path] => /path/to/your/upload/jpg.jpg
    [raw_name]  => mypic
    [orig_name] => mypic.jpg
    [client_name]   => mypic.jpg
    [file_ext]  => .jpg
    [file_size] => 22.2
    [is_image]  => 1
    [image_width]   => 800
    [image_height]  => 600
    [image_type]    => jpeg
    [image_size_str] => width="800" height="200"

To return one element from the array:

ee()->upload->data('file_name');    // Returns: mypic.jpg

Here’s a table explaining the above-displayed array items:

Item Description
file_name Name of the file that was uploaded, including the filename extension
file_type File MIME type identifier
file_path Absolute server path to the file
full_path Absolute server path, including the file name
raw_name File name, without the extension
orig_name )riginal file name. This is only useful if you use the encrypted name option.
client_name File name as supplied by the client user agent, prior to any file name preparation or incrementing
file_ext Filename extension, period included
file_size File size in kilobytes
is_image Whether the file is an image or not. 1 = image. 0 = not.
image_width Image width
image_height Image height
image_type Image type (usually the file name extension without the period)
image_size_str A string containing the width and height (useful to put into an image tag)