Setting Content-Type for multipart/form-data values

I was recently creating a form that submitted two elements at once: a JSON payload, and a file. My back-end kept choking on the JSON payload, claiming it did not know how to decode it. That seemed odd, to say the least.

My first attempt looked something like this:

    const file ....
    const jsonPayload: String = JSON.stringify(objToSend);
    const formData: FormData = new FormData();

    formData.append('jsonPayload', jsonPayload);
    formData.append('my-file', file);

    return<File>(`${this.resourceUrl}`, formData, {
        observe: 'response'

This appears to work, however your backend will likely start complaining about the jsonPayload field. Why?

Let’s see what the browser sent:

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="jsonPayload"


Content-Disposition: form-data; name="my-file"; filename="something.csv"
Content-Type: text/csv (1)


At first blush, everything seems okay; the data is there, and the names seem correct. However, on closer inspection, notice that my-file has a Content-Type set at (1), whilst jsonPayload does not.

By default, most browsers will infer a File Content-Type correctly, but will not set a the Content-Type for the jsonPayload string.

Unfortunately, the standard append String method on FormData doesn’t seem to let us set the content type; so we must take a slightly more obscure route by creating a new Blob, into which goes our jsonPayload — setting the content type in the subsequent options parameter:

   formData.append('jsonPayload', new Blob([
   ], {
       type: "application/json"

Now it should be behaving as expected:

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="jsonPayload"; filename="blob"
Content-Type: application/json (1)

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="my-file"; filename="something.csv"
Content-Type: text/csv

1 Now our JSON payload has the correct Content-Type, hooray!
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