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PHP: How Do I Read From a Text File?

How do I read from text file using PHP under Linux or UNIX?

PHP does supports the file reading and writing. You can open a file using the fopen() function. Once the file is open, you can use the fgets() function to read from the file.

For example, if you wish to open file called /tmp/file1.txt then following PHP code will help you to read file. fopen() will open fine in r (read) mode. Then while loop will open file using fgets() function till end of file:

php source code

<title>File read demo</title>
$file = "/tmp/file1.txt";
$f = fopen($file, "r");
while ( $line = fgets($f, 1000) ) {
print $line;

See fopen() and fgets() for more information.

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Chidambaram February 23, 2009, 11:12 am

    Thanks for the provide the coding ..
    I need a another one help ,( unknow size of the text file ) using for loop to retrieve the textf ile value…

  • Balaviswanathan.V April 7, 2009, 7:17 am

    Thanks a lot Vivek for providing necessary information and also would like to know that
    Is it possible to execute perl script inside php?

  • vimal mishra October 1, 2009, 7:29 am

    very good code

  • mc February 7, 2010, 8:53 am

    $str = file_get_contents(“file.txt”);

    • Mukesh Dak June 17, 2010, 1:27 pm

      Really simplest way to read a file.

  • Chals March 18, 2011, 6:25 am

    if i read this file and print, than
    -new line char, tabs, gets lost

    is it possible to print text file as same as its in original format !

    please suggest

  • Warkanum April 27, 2011, 8:24 am

    This works for me:

    if ($_FILES['fileUpload']['error'] == UPLOAD_ERR_OK               
          && is_uploaded_file($_FILES['fileUpload']['tmp_name'])) { 
      echo file_get_contents($_FILES['fileUpload']['tmp_name']); 

    Hope it helps.

    Edited by admin: added pre tags.

    • Warkanum April 27, 2011, 8:25 am

      Well, use the pre tags to display the variable with file contents with print. Obove example posted a bit weird.

  • Mukesh Soni October 1, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Very very good cods & thanks for making this code

  • sh November 30, 2011, 5:18 am

    it prints only the last line from the text file..do we need to use any foreach loop?

  • lucky January 3, 2012, 8:24 pm

    hi, i want to ask a question that . it i have a test.txt file with this data .

    Student Table.
    1- student 1
    2- student 2
    3- student 3

    this file located in D:\test.txt …..
    how can i read this file on web page and show out put like first line as title and other lines are same as it is.

    plz help. sorry for bad english.
    Thanx in advance

  • M. Muneer January 31, 2012, 10:10 am

    thanks its very use full code for me

  • King Musa July 16, 2012, 8:27 am

    @sh I don’t knw why it does that from your side but to me this cript does exactly the real job : what I dont undestand is that 1000
    : This is gud thanks

  • Anov Siradj August 6, 2013, 7:14 pm

    Thanks, it’s very helpfull…, :)

  • Arup Ghosh June 2, 2015, 6:13 pm

    Thanks for the code. Can you please elaborate how can we handle a specific column or row of text in php?

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