Evgenii Goryaev
Development, support and optimization

floor12/yii2-module-files Easy add custom files filed to ActiveRecord models of Yii2 framework

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About the module


This module was designed to solve the problem of creating file fields in ActiveRecord models of the Yii2 framework. The main components of the module are:

  • floor12\files\components\FileBehaviour - behavior that must be connected to the ActiveRecord model;
  • floor12\files\components\FileInputWidget - an InputWidget that allows you to add, edit and generally work with files;
  • floor12\files\components\FileListWidget - an additional widget to display a list of files with the abilities to view images in the Lightbox2 gallery, download all files of the current field in zip format and view the Word and Excel files using the Microsoft office online.

Key features

  • adding one or more fields with files to the ActiveRecord model;
  • setting up validation of these fields using the standard FileValidator defined in therules ()section;
  • in the case of working with images - the ability to configure the image ratio (in this case, when loading an image through the FileInputWidget widget will automatically open a modal window to crop the image with the desired ratio);
  • thumbnails creating with optimal sizes for each case in the site template. Also, these thumbnails supports WEBP format;
  • download files in ZIP-format
  • FileInputWidget supports changing of files order by drag-and-drop, cropping and filename updating;
  • in case of drag-and-drop uploading, the file result file order is the same as on client folder;
  • automatic horizon detection by EXIF ​​tag;
  • if you need to add images to the model, not with the web interface of the site, but using console parsers and other similar cases - its possible. For this case, the module includes two classes: FileCreateFromInstance andFileCreateFromPath which helps add files to AR model from server file system;
  • in case of video files: recoding them to h264 using the FFmpeg utility;


At this stage, the module supports the following languages:

  • English
  • Russian  

    Principle of operation

    All files data is stored in the file table. The file model relay to the model by three fields:

  • class - the full class name of the relay model
  • field - the name of the model field
  • object_id - primary key of the model

When the file added to the form, it uploads to a server in the background where all processing takes place. As a result of this processing, it is written to disk and a new entry is created for it in the file table, with the fieldsclass and field filled with data from the model, andobject_id is empty and will assign only after saving the ActiveRecord model.  When a file is deleted from the widget, it is not deleted from the disk and the file table, just obejct_id equals 0. You can use the console commandfiles/console /clean to periodically clean up this kind of orphan files.

Install and setup

To add this module to your app, just run:

 $ composer require floor12/yii2-module-files

or add this to the require section of your composer.json.

 "floor12/yii2-module-files": "dev-master"

Then execute a migration to create file table.

 $ ./yii migrate --migrationPath=@vendor/floor12/yii2-module-files/src/migrations/

After that, include module data in modules section of application config:

 'modules' => [
             'files' => [
                 'class' => 'floor12\files\Module',
                 'storage' => '@app/storage',
                 'cache' => '@app/storage_cache',
                 'token_salt' => 'some_random_salt',

Parameters to set:

  • storage - the path alias to the folder to save files and image sources, by default it is located in the storage folder in the project root;
  • cache - path alias to the folder of thumbnails of images that the module creates on the fly upon request and caches;
  • token_salt - a unique salt to generate InputWidget tokens.  


Work with ActiveRecord Model

To add one or more files fields to the ActiveRecord model, you need to connect floor12\files\components\FileBehaviour to it and pass list the field names that will store the files in the model. For example, for the User model, 2 file fields are defined here : avatar anddocuments:

  public function behaviors()
      return [
          'files' => [
              'class' => 'floor12\files\components\FileBehaviour',
              'attributes' => [

To have nice attribute labels in forms, add some labels to attributeLabels():

  public function attributeLabels()
         return [
             'avatar' => 'Аватар',
             'documents' => 'Документы',

Setup validation rules in the rules() method of ActiveRecord model:

 public function rules()
     return [
         // Avatar is required attribute 
         ['avatar', 'required'],

         // Avatar allow to uploade 1 file with this extensions: jpg, png, jpeg, gif
         ['avatar', 'file', 'extensions' => ['jpg', 'png', 'jpeg', 'gif'], 'maxFiles' => 1], 

         // Documens allows to upload a few files with this extensions: docx, xlsx
         ['documents', 'file', 'extensions' => ['docx', 'xlsx'], 'maxFiles' => 10],

Work with files

If maxFiles in FileValidator equals to 1, this attribute will store an floor12\files\models\File object. Example:

 // The href field contains web path to file source
 echo Html::img($model->avatar->href)     

 // __toString() method of File object will return href as well
 echo Html::img($model->avatar)          

If the file is an image, the getPreviewWebPath method returns a web path to image thumbnail. By default thumbnail created with the jpeg or png format, depends to the source file. But also the WEBP option is available.

File::getPreviewWebPath(int $width = 0, int $height = 0 ,bool $webp = false)

Usage example:

 // User avatar thumbnail with 200px width 
 echo Html::img($model->avatar->getPreviewWebPath(200));     

 // User avatar thumbnail with 200px width  and WEBP format
 echo Html::img($model->avatar->getPreviewWebPath(200, 0, true));     

 // User avatar thumbnail with 300px height  and WEBP format
 echo Html::img($model->avatar->getPreviewWebPath(0, 300, true));       

When maxFiles equals to 1, multiple upload is available. In this case, model field will contains an array if floor12\files\models \File objects:

 foreach ($model->docs as $doc}
     Html::a($doc->title, $doc->href);

Here is another example, the advanced usage of thumbnails. In this case, we use modern picture andsource tags, as well as media queries. As a result, we have 8 different thumbnails: 4 has WEBP format for those browsers that support this it, and 4 has jpeg format. Devices with retina displays will get an image with a double resolution, regular screens have regular-sized pictures. This example also uses different images widths at different screen widths (just as example of mobile/desktop image switching):

     <source type="image/webp" media='(min-width: 500px)' srcset="
                              <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(150, 0, 1) ?> 1x,
                              <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(300, 0, 1) ?> 2x">
     <source type="image/webp" media='(max-width: 500px)' srcset="
                              <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(350, 0, 1) ?> 1x,
                              <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(700, 0, 1) ?> 2x">
     <source type="image/jpeg" media='(min-width: 500px)' srcset="
                              <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(150, 0, 0) ?> 1x,
                              <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(300, 0, 0) ?> 2x">
     <img src="<?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(150) ?>" 
                <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(350) ?> 1x, 
                <?= $model->poster->getPreviewWebPath(700) ?> 2x"
          alt="<?= $model->title ?>">

Listing the files

There is a widget for listing all files. It supports Lightbox2 gallery to display images and MS Office files preview. Its also supports downloading of all the files attached to the field in a ZIP-archive.

 echo \floor12\files\components\FileListWidget::widget([
     'files' => $model->docs, 
     'downloadAll' => true, 
     'zipTitle' => "Documents of {$user->fullname}" 

An array of File objects must be passed to the widget files field. Also additional parameters available:

  • title - optionally set the title of the block (by default its taken from AttributeLabels())",
  • downloadAll - show the "download all" button,
  • zipTitle - set the file name of zip archive,
  • passFirst - skip first file in array (it is often necessary to display the gallery without the first picture. For example, in the news view page, when the first image used to be news main image).


InputWidget for ActiveFrom

To display files block in your forms use the floor12\files\components\FileInputWidget:

<?= $form->field($model, 'avatar')->widget(floor12\files\components\FileInputWidget::class) ?>

Moreover, if maxFiles parameter inFileValidator equals to 1 or more, FileInputWidget will take the necessary form to load one file or several at once. If necessary, you can pass uploadButtonText anduploadButtonClass parameters to the widget.


I will be glad of any help in the development, support and bug reporting of this module.