API quick guide

API quick guide


Each new version of phpdocx adds features and methods to the library. After years of continuous development, the whole of the public API methods has reached such a huge number that it demands a certain knowledge to get through it.

This section summarizes the methods according to its practical utility. The complete list of methods can be found on the API documentation page.


The group of elements meant to insert new contents is one of the most extensives. Thanks to these methods it is possible to add:

The combined use of these methods, along with the WordFragment flexibility, is the base to add contents in new documents and templates. Each method includes styling options and lots of customizing features.

It is also possible to import contents from other DOCX with the importContents method.


The available methods aimed to work with templates allow to replace placeholders, strings and values in lists and tables, as well as more complex operations like replacing contents as a whole or inserting new elements in any place of the main document whatsoever.

These are the methods for replacing placeholders:

DOCXPath comes with two replacing and inserting methods that offer even more flexibility: replaceWordContent, that replaces a content by a WordFragment, and insertWordFragment, to insert a WordFragment before or after an existing content.

Other methods to modify values in documents are:

Premium licenses include Bulk processing methods to to generate multiple documents from a template with maximum performance.


Besides the styling options found on the content methods, it is also possible to create custom styles with the following ones:

In case of needing to import custom styles from existing DOCX instead of creating them dinamically, the next three methods can do the task: importListStyle, importStyles and parseStyles.

Lastly, the customizeWordContent method can change existing styles of a document on the fly.


The group of methods that define and customize the layout of a document is divided between the ones that assign global and particular properties (addProperties, docxSettings and modifyDocxSettings), add and modify line numbering (addLineNumbering and setLineNumbering), insert colors and borders (addPageBorders and setBackgroundColor), establish paper type, size and margins (modifyPageLayout) and apply rtl languages (setRTL).

Images and shapes

Images can be added to a document with addImage or as a background with the help of addBackgroundImage and watermarkDocx.

On the other hand, shapes are added by calling the addShape method.


The addChart method allows to place graphs by setting multiple parameters to define their properties, styles, generate combo charts, trend lines and many more options.

Advanced licenses included support for color schemes. Premium licenses include theme options to customize colors of series and values, add backgrounds, style axis and apply other chart styles.

If a DOCX contains a chart that needs some changes, replaceChartData lets to define new values, texts and more.

Math equations

MathML is a standard format to work with maths equations. MS Word uses OMML as its equations language.

phpdocx includes addMathEquation to convert MathML equations to OMML, and transformOMMLToMathML for the opposite operation. The latter method is the one transformDocAdvHTML calls to transform the contents of a DOCX to HTML.

Get information

It is possible to obtain information of a document and its content thanks to several methods:


Blocks allow to set content groups that can be deleted with deleteBlock, replaced with replaceBlock or cloned, replacing placeholders if needed, with cloneBlock. To clean blocks placeholders, use clearBlocks.


The way to transform HTML and CSS to Word is by using the method embedHtml. For templates, the required method is replaceVariableByHTML. Premium licenses include HTML Extended and CSS Extended, to invoke phpdocx methods with custom HTML tags and add custom styles.

The opposite conversion (DOCX to HTML/CSS) is performed with transformDocAdvHTML.

Document transformations

With the help of the available methods it is possible to convert from one document format to another, from the easier tasks, TXT <=> DOCX with DOCX2TXT and TXT2DOCX to more complex transformations from DOCX to PDF, DOC <=> DOCX and others like RTF and ODT through transformDocument, and DOCX <=> HTML with embedHtml and transformDocAdvHTML.


In order to obtain maximum performance when working with templates, the optimizeTemplate method repairs all placeholders, which skips the whole parsing of XML of contents for each placeholder, spedding up the use of the template methods.

The parseDocx method generates and serializes in-memory DOCX in order to save and reuse them later.

Optimum performance when generating a DOCX can be achieved with zipStream, which doesn't generate documents in the file system but in memory, which returns them directly as a stream.

Existing DOCX documents can be optimized using optimizeDocx.

Protect and sign

The different protection levels for documents are all supported: protectDOCX and protectPDF, for protection and encryptDOCX, encryptXLSX, encryptPPTX and encryptPDF for encryption.

In case of need of protection just for specific parts of a DOCX document, addPermProtection allows to do it.

It is also possible to sign documents via signDOCX, signXLSX, signPPTX and signPDF. Line signatures can be added to DOCX documents using addLineSignature.

Headers, footers and sections

The available methods to work with sections allow to create new ones (addSection), delete them (removeSection) or divide them in separate documents (splitDocx).

It is also feasible to merge several documents while retaining its contents with mergeDocx and mergeDocxAt.

The addHeader and addFooter methods add headers and footers respectively. In case of wanting to import headers and footers from an existing DOCX, it can be done by calling importHeadersAndFooters.

Advanced and Premium licenses include addHeaderSection and addFooterSection methods to add headers and footers in specific sections.


It is viable either to merge PDF documents with mergePdf, to divide them by pages with splitPdf, get information with indexer, or to remove pages using removePagesPdf.

transformDocument, a method included with the conversion plugin, transforms document formats as DOCX, ODT, RTF and others to PDF while keeping styles and contents, as long as the format grants it.

protectPDF and encryptPDF methods protect and encrypt PDF documents. For the task of a digital sign, the signPDF functionality is the right choice.

Finally, watermarkPdf adds texts and images as document watermarks and addBackgroundImage adds an image as background.

Remove, move and clone contents

To move or clone contents in templates or documents created from scratch, DOCXPath provides two powerful methods: cloneWordContent, which clone contents, and moveWordContent, which move them.

If it is necessary to delete contents, the following methods are ready for use:


In case of need of inserting some OOXML directly on a document, it is possible to use addWordML or replace a placeholder with replaceVariableByWordML.


Contents can be replaced and removed in XLSX and PPTX documents using the following methods:

Tracking contents

Some specific methods are available to track added, replaced or modified contents in a document, even accepting or rejecting changes.

The enableTracking method activates change tracking. After activation, the compatible methods include the corresponding tracking tags. E.g., when inserting paragraphs or deleting contents. The disableTracking method deactivates tracking.

Accepting or rejecting contents and styles tracked in a document require the acceptTracking and rejectTracking methods.

The addPerson method includes the people who participate in the document.

Bibliography information

Using addBibliography, addCitation and addSource methods allow generating a full bibliography adding cites with sources, for example to create a research paper.

Other features

Besides all the methods above mentioned, phpdocx includes many others like: rawSearchAndReplace, that replaces strings in any XML present in the DOCX, setEncodeUTF8, that turns text encoding to UTF8, setLanguage, that changes default language or addMacroFromDoc to add an existing macro to a DOCX.

Document generation is done with createDocx. This method creates the document in the file system. To create a document and download it afterwards, run createDocxAndDownload. Generation as a stream is available with zipStream.

Strict and transitional variants are supported using the following methods: generateStrictVariant and generateTransitionalVariant.

The API page of each method details for which license(s) is available.

Premium licenses include phpdocx CLI command to speed up developments with phpdocx by generating code skeletons automatically, check server settings, show recommendations, return information and other useful commands.