In this article I will explain with an example, how to export WebGrid to HTML File (HTML String) in ASP.Net MVC Razor.
First, the WebGrid will be populated from database using Entity Framework and then the generated HTML Table of WebGrid will be sent as HTML string to the Controller which will be exported to HTML (.htm) file in ASP.Net MVC Razor.
Here I am making use of Microsoft’s Northwind Database. You can download it from here.
Entity Framework Model
Once the Entity Framework is configured and connected to the database table, the Model will look as shown below.
Note: For beginners in ASP.Net MVC and Entity Framework, please refer my article ASP.Net MVC: Simple Entity Framework Tutorial with example. It covers all the information needed for connecting and configuring Entity Framework.
ASP.Net MVC: Export WebGrid to HTML File (HTML String)
You will need to import the following namespace.
using System.Text;
The Controller consists of following two Action methods.
Action method for handling GET operation
Inside this Action method, the Top 10 records from the Customers Table are fetched using Entity Framework and returned to the View.
Action method for handling the HTML File Export and Download operation
This Action method is executed when the Export Submit button is clicked.
Note: The following Action method performs File Download and hence the return type is set to FileResult. For more details on FileResult, please refer my article FileResult return type in ASP.Net MVC.
The HTML of the WebGrid sent from the View is extracted from the GridHtml parameter.
Note: By default posting of HTML content via input fields is disabled. For more details on enabling it, please refer my article What is ValidateInput(false) attribute, its Uses and Examples in ASP.Net MVC.
Finally, the HTML is read and converted to Byte Array and exported and downloaded as HTML (.htm) file using the File function.
public class HomeController : Controller
    // GET: Home
    public ActionResult Index()
        NorthwindEntities entities = new NorthwindEntities();
        return View(from customer in entities.Customers.Take(10)
                    select customer);
    public FileResult Export(string GridHtml)
        return File(Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(GridHtml), "text/html", "Grid.htm");
Inside the View, in the very first line the Customer Entity is declared as IEnumerable which specifies that the Model will be available as a Collection.
Displaying the records
For displaying the records, the WebGrid is rendered using GetHtml function which renders the WebGrid using Model with the following parameters.
HtmlAttributes – It is used to set the HTML attributes to the HTML Table generated by WebGrid such as ID, Name, Class, etc.
Columns – It is used to specify the columns to be displayed in WebGrid and also allows to set specific Header Text for the columns.
Note: For more details on using WebGrid, please refer my article WebGrid Step By Step Tutorial with example in ASP.Net MVC.
In order to export WebGrid with formatting, in-line CSS styles are applied to the WebGrid and its Header and Data rows using jQuery.
Exporting the WebGrid to HTML (.htm) file
Below the WebGrid, there is an HTML Submit button enclosed inside a Form which has been created using the Html.BeginForm method with the following parameters.
ActionName – Name of the Action. In this case the name is Export.
ControllerName – Name of the Controller. In this case the name is Home.
FormMethod – It specifies the Form Method i.e. GET or POST. In this case it will be set to POST.
Also, there is an HTML Hidden Field element which will be used to send the HTML content of the WebGrid to the Controller’s Action method.
When the Submit button is clicked, first the HTML of the WebGrid is extracted and set into the Hidden Field element and finally, the Form is submitted.
@model IEnumerable<Customer>
    Layout = null;
    WebGrid webGrid = new WebGrid(source: Model, canSort: false, canPage: false);
<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width" />
    <div id="Grid">
        htmlAttributes: new { @id = "WebGrid" },
        columns: webGrid.Columns(
                 webGrid.Column("CustomerID", "CustomerID"),
                 webGrid.Column("ContactName", "ContactName"),
                 webGrid.Column("City", "City"),
                 webGrid.Column("Country", "Country")))
    @using (Html.BeginForm("Export", "Home", FormMethod.Post))
        <input type="hidden" name="GridHtml" />
        <input type="submit" id="btnSubmit" value="Export" />
    <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        $(function () {
            // Add CSS to the Table for formatting.
            $("#Grid table").attr("cellpadding", "5");
            $("#Grid table").css({ "border-collapse": "collapse", "border": "1px solid #ccc" });
            $("#Grid th").css({ "background-color": "#B8DBFD", "border": "1px solid #ccc" });
            $("#Grid td").css({ "border": "1px solid #ccc" });
            // Assign Click event to Button.
            $("#btnSubmit").click(function () {
ASP.Net MVC: Export WebGrid to HTML File (HTML String)
WebGrid exported as HTML (.htm) file
ASP.Net MVC: Export WebGrid to HTML File (HTML String)