Bootstrap Profile Image and Simplified Form Submission

by | Jul 22, 2016 | Mobile Apps, Web Design

Have you ever tried to put a square peg in a round hole? It just doesn’t work very well. The peg either doesn’t fit at all or there are gaps between the peg and hole. The same can be said about the circular Bootstrap Profile Image. Trying to fit a rectangular image into a circular containing element also leaves gaps and the corners need to be hidden using CSS.

Bootstrap Profile Image

Users are usually given the opportunity to change their profile image via some sort of profile form. The old school way of uploading an image via a form submission is to use a file <input> within the form and retrieve the image server-side using the php $_FILES variable and move_uploaded_file( ). The problem with this approach is that it is awkward because you need to deal with different image types, sizes and error handling. In addition, the user must wait for the form submission and page reload to complete before they see how the profile image looks.  What if there was a better approach?  The following outlines one such approach.


Creating The Form

The form utilizes a jquery plugin called Croppie.  As stated on their website, Croppie is a fast, easy to use image cropping plugin with tons of configuration options! It allows the user to upload an image to their local browser, zoom and pan the image to get it just right, and then crop out a circular image for use. It pulls the croppie plugin up in a bootstrap modal dialog. The user then uploads and crops their image. The resulting image is then base64 encoded and inserted into both the background image for viewing and the hidden input for the form submission. My relevant form markup is shown below.

<h3>Profile Picture</h3>
<div class="profile-pic-container h1">
        <div class="profile-pic">
            <input id="profile-picture-data" type="hidden" name="profile-picture-data" value="">					
                <a href="" data-toggle="modal" data-target="#imageupload">
                    <div id="profile-picture" class="profile-pic-text" style="background-image:url();">
<a href="" data-toggle="modal" data-target="#imageupload" class="btn btn-md btn-default light-icon">Add or Change</a>

The included CSS and javascript files are from Croppie except profile_image.js which is shown below:

function dataURItoBlob(dataURI) {
	var split = dataURI.split(','),
		dataTYPE = split[0].match(/:(.*?);/)[1],
		binary = atob(split[1]),
		array = []
	for(var i = 0; i < binary.length; i++) array.push(binary.charCodeAt(i))
	return new Blob([new Uint8Array(array)], {
			type: dataTYPE
function demoUpload() {
	var $uploadCrop;
	function readFile(input) {
		if (input.files && input.files[0]) {
			var reader = new FileReader();
			reader.onload = function (e) {
				$uploadCrop.croppie('bind', {
		else {
			swal("Sorry - you're browser doesn't support the FileReader API");
	$uploadCrop = $('#upload-demo').croppie({
		viewport: {
			width: 200,
			height: 200,
			type: 'circle'
		boundary: {
			width: 300,
			height: 300
		exif: true
	$('#uploadcroppie').on('change', function () { readFile(this); });
	$('.upload-result').on('click', function (ev) {
		$uploadCrop.croppie('result', {
			type: 'canvas',
			size: 'viewport'
		}).then(function (resp) {
			$('#profile-picture').css('background-image', 'url(' + resp + ')');
	$("#imageupload-cancel").on('click', function (e) {

Server-Side Image Handling

This is the best part in the eyes of a developer because it is extremely easy. All you need to do is decode the data string and put the resulting image where you want. Here’s the code:

$image_data = base64_decode(preg_replace('#^data:image/\w+;base64,#i', '', $_POST["profile-picture-data"));
if(!empty($image_data)) file_put_contents($path, $image_data);
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