Read and write tab seperated files

Two simple functions to read an write tab seperated files (like CSV files, etc).
(BTW: The files are good readable for humans ;-)

// save an array as tab seperated text file
function write_tabbed_file($filepath, $array, $save_keys=false){
    $content = '';
    while(list($key, $val) = each($array)){
        // replace tabs in keys and values to [space]
        $key = str_replace("\t", " ", $key);
        $val = str_replace("\t", " ", $val);
        if ($save_keys){ $content .=  $key."\t"; }
        // create line:
        $content .= (is_array($val)) ? implode("\t", $val) : $val;
        $content .= "\n";
    if (file_exists($filepath) && !is_writeable($filepath)){ 
        return false;
    if ($fp = fopen($filepath, 'w+')){
        fwrite($fp, $content);
    else { return false; }
    return true;
// load a tab seperated text file as array
function load_tabbed_file($filepath, $load_keys=false){
    $array = array();
    if (!file_exists($filepath)){ return $array; }
    $content = file($filepath);
    for ($x=0; $x < count($content); $x++){
        if (trim($content[$x]) != ''){
            $line = explode("\t", trim($content[$x]));
            if ($load_keys){
                $key = array_shift($line);
                $array[$key] = $line;
            else { $array[] = $line; }
    return $array;
** Example usage:
$array = array(
    'line1'  => array('data-1-1', 'data-1-2', 'data-1-3'),
    'line2' => array('data-2-1', 'data-2-2', 'data-2-3'),
    'line3'  => array('data-3-1', 'data-3-2', 'data-3-3'),
    'line4' => 'foobar',
    'line5' => 'hello world'
// save the array to the data.txt file:
write_tabbed_file('data.txt', $array, true);
/* the data.txt content looks like this:
line1	data-1-1	data-1-2	data-1-3
line2	data-2-1	data-2-2	data-2-3
line3	data-3-1	data-3-2	data-3-3
line4	foobar
line5	hello world
// load the saved array:
$reloaded_array = load_tabbed_file('data.txt',true);
// returns the array from above
Snippet Details

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Older comments:

Scott June 01, 2010 at 12:32
For the function load_tabbed_file i would forget the array_shift function.
If the first value in the row is the same as a different row then it will over right it.

Just use
$key = array_shift($line);
$array[$key] = $line;
With this:
$array[$x] = $line;
Scott June 01, 2010 at 12:11
Great script, just what i was looking for.
If you are using Google Chroom to copy paste the code it will not work.