Make a “Download This as HTML” Link

Sometimes on a web page, you want to give the user the ability to download a particular snippet of code or text in a common format like HTML. For example, you could have a text field that allows the user to enter their own HTML:

<textarea id="txt" cols="60"></textarea>

The user can enter any text they want into that <textarea> element, which can then be downloaded using the following link:

<a href="nothing.html" id="link" download="code.html">Download Content as HTML</a>

Things to note about the HTML:

  • The file name is whatever you specify in the download attribute
  • If no value is provided in download, the browser will attempt to download the file referenced in the href attribute
  • The href value “nothing.html” is just a placeholder; you can enter a default page of some sort, in case the JavaScript doesn’t run

When that link is clicked, the following JavaScript will execute:

function downloadCode(link, code) { link.href = 'data:text/html;charset=utf-8,' + code; } document.getElementById('link').addEventListener('click', function () { downloadCode(this, txt.value); }, false);

Things to note about the JavaScript:

  • The href of the link is replaced with a data URI, which builds the page on the fly
  • The txt.value parameter that gets passed into the function is a reference to the <textarea> which has an ID of “txt”

The following CodePen is a working example of the above code:

Note: To the best of our knowledge, the information above and the snippet are accurate and up to date. However, in case you notice something wrong, please report snippet or leave a comment below.
Back to SnippetsShow Comments

Or start the conversation in our Facebook group for WordPress professionals. Find answers, share tips, and get help from other WordPress experts. Join now (it’s free)!