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Submitting a form with a file attachment

Understand how to download a file, attach it to a form using a headless browser in Playwright or Puppeteer, then submit the form.

We can use Puppeteer or Playwright to simulate submitting the same way a human-operated browser would.

Downloading the file

The first thing necessary is to download the file, which can be done using the request-promise module. We will also be using the fs/promises module to save it to the disk, so make sure they are included.

import * as fs from 'fs/promises';
import request from 'request-promise';

The actual downloading is slightly different for text and binary files. For a text file, it can simply be done like this:

const fileData = await request('');

For a binary data file, we need to provide an additional parameter so as not to interpret it as text:

const fileData = await request({
uri: '',
encoding: null,

In this case, fileData will be a Buffer instead of a string.

To use the file in Puppeteer/Playwright, we need to save it to the disk. This can be done using the fs/promises module.

await fs.writeFile('./file.pdf', fileData);

Submitting the form

The first step necessary is to open the form page in Puppeteer. This can be done as follows:

const browser = await puppeteer.launch();
const page = await browser.newPage();
await page.goto('');

To fill in any necessary form inputs, we can use the page.type() function. This works even in cases when elem.value = 'value' is not usable.

await page.type('input[name=firstName]', 'John');
await page.type('input[name=surname]', 'Doe');
await page.type('input[name=email]', '');

To add the file to the appropriate input, we first need to find it and then use the uploadFile() function.

const fileInput = await page.$('input[type=file]');
await fileInput.uploadFile('./file.pdf');

Now we can finally submit the form.