Generating Excel spreadsheets is a task that most programmers are regularly called on to do. Whether we like it or not, the fact is that an Excel spreadsheet has become the standard for presenting and sharing tabular data. The easy-to-use format coupled with the general availability of Excel-compatible programs makes it the format of choice for many companies when they need to create reports for their management or exchange data with other offices.
While there are several different techniques for generating Excel-compatible files, which are mentioned briefly at the end of this section, the PEAR class
Spreadsheet_Excel_Writer stands out as the only pure PHP method of creating native Excel spreadsheets.