The HTML input of type file consists of a text filed and a button that says "Browse". Because our users are not English speakers, we would like to change the wording on the button to be in Hebrew.
But of course, the wording on that button can't be changed - it's built into the control. The only option I know of is to use a workaround, which essentially hides the input of type file, and shows an input of type text with a button next to it, and with css & javascript makes it look and work exactly like the file input. You can read more details about it here.

My question is - is it worth it to add HTML, CSS and Javascript, just for the usability of the file input button?

3 Answers 3


These controls translate to the user's browser language automatically (may not happen in some cases).

Unless you plan to have it on a multi-language site, in that case, js + css will have to be used...

  • That's true, but there are 2 problems with that: 1) Not all our users install the browser in Hebrew. 2) The translation for "Browse" in Hebrew is not so understandable by our users. We would write something else
    – Lea Cohen
    Commented May 1, 2011 at 11:22

As jackJoe said, the browse button will translate into the users locale installation of the browser. If they don't have an Hebrew browser, I would guess they either know English (or whatever language that browser has) or are used to seeing "Browse" everywhere they are asked to upload something.

I would say it is more worth it to explain what this button does/means by having a good explaining header or text above it. This way you can educate your users.

I'm living in the Netherlands where a lot of people have an English browser, and I'm having the same issue now and then. I guess that quite a lot of people know what that button means, even if they learned it the hard way.


Personally, if that is your requirement, then there is nothing wrong with doing that. But please keep in mind any users (they might be very very less) who do not have their CSS and JavaScript enabled. What I mean is, that on disabling the JavaScript and CSS, your page should not display 2 textboxes and buttons. I'm pretty sure you would have taken care of that, but just something to keep in mind.

You can also look at this http://www.filamentgroup.com/lab/jquery_custom_file_input_book_designing_with_progressive_enhancement/ as another example. This uses JQuery. Haven't really used this, so can't say how good it is, but does look promising. Hope this helps.

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