Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies
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An HTML web form can receive documents and other files, such as images, from users. When a user submits the form, the browser grabs a copy of the file and sends it with the other form data. To create a file upload field, this is what you do:

  1. Use the element with the type attribute set to file.

    The file itself is the form field value.

  2. Use the name attribute to give the control a name.

Here’s an example of markup for a file upload field:

<form action="bin/guestbook.php" method="post">
<p>Please submit your resume in Microsoft Word or plain text format:<br>
   <input type="file" name="resume">

Browsers render a file upload field with a Browse button (or a button similarly named) that allows a user to navigate a local hard drive and select a file to send, as shown in this figure.


When you accept users’ files through a form, you may receive files that are either huge or perhaps virus-infected. Consult with whomever is programming your form handler to discuss options to protect the system where files get saved. Several barriers can help minimize your risks, including the following:

  • Virus-scanning software

  • Restrictions on file size

  • Restrictions on file type

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Ed Tittel is a 30-year veteran of the technology industry with more than 140 computing books to his credit, including the bestselling HTML For Dummies.

Chris Minnick runs Minnick Web Services. He teaches, speaks, and consults on web-related topics and has contributed to numerous books, including WebKit For Dummies.

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