Downloading Files With Angular 4

  • angular

Saving a file with Angular is a bit tedius when we get the file as a blog from an API call. A traditional way of doing is to open the url in a new window. It can work unless there’s no authentication required by the API. In my situation though, the API validated authentication.

An easy way to save the file in this case is to use file-saver library. It’s not an angular variant but works. One aspect to focus on here is to wrap out third party libraries that we might replace in the future.

File Downloader

Make sure you install file-saver first.

npm install --save file-saver

So, here’s my file downloader. It wraps the file-saver functionality so that we don’t depend on the library in 10 different places.


import { saveAs } from 'file-saver/FileSaver';
import { Response } from '@angular/http';

 * Saves a file by opening file-save-as dialog in the browser
 * using file-save library.
 * @param blobContent file content as a Blob
 * @param fileName name file should be saved as
export const saveFile = (blobContent: Blob, fileName: string) => {
    const blob = new Blob([blobContent], { type: 'application/octet-stream' });
    saveAs(blob, fileName);

 * Derives file name from the http response
 * by looking inside content-disposition
 * @param res http Response
export const getFileNameFromResponseContentDisposition = (res: Response) => {
    const contentDisposition = res.headers.get('content-disposition') || '';
    const matches = /filename=([^;]+)/ig.exec(contentDisposition);
    const fileName = (matches[1] || 'untitled').trim();
    return fileName;

Using In a Service

Here’s an example of the above helper being used in a service. Notice the service here downloads the file content and then uses our helper to trigger save as. My InterceptorService is an http intercepter that will attach the Bearer Token to the request. Thus the api is able to authenticate the user.

import { Injectable } from '@angular/core';
import { RequestOptions, ResponseContentType } from '@angular/http';
import { Observable } from 'rxjs/Observable';
import { InterceptorService } from 'ng2-interceptors';

import { ConfigService } from 'app/common/services/config.service';
import { getFileNameFromResponseContentDisposition, saveFile } from 'app/core/helpers/file-download-helper';

export class FileService {
        private config: ConfigService,
        private http: InterceptorService,
    ) {}

    downloadFile(propertyId: string, fileId: string) {
        const url = `${this.config.baseUrl}/properties/${propertyId}/files/${fileId}`;
        const options = new RequestOptions({responseType: ResponseContentType.Blob });

        // Process the file downloaded
        this.http.get(url, options).subscribe(res => {
            const fileName = getFileNameFromResponseContentDisposition(res);
            saveFile(res.blob(), fileName);

Neat! there you go. You could use this Service from a Component just like any other service.

Written on December 7, 2017