Small and robust polyfill for the HTML5 placeholder attribut.
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ginader Merge pull request #72 from jonaszuberbuehler/patch-1
using relative paths in bower.json main files
Latest commit b3b2b3e Mar 24, 2016


HTML5 placeholder Polyfill

Lightweight and very robust little jQuery plugin that generates the look and feel of the HTML5 placeholder attribute for browsers without native support. It also adds an extra title in case the placeholder text is too long to be displayed. The polyfill comes with an option to define if the placeholder text should be read to screenreaders or not (on by default). Since version 1.9 the default option is to make it behave like Chrome or mobile Safari (hide placeholder when the users enters content rather than when the fields receives focus).


To see the actual work of this polyfill use an old browser like Firefox 3.6!



  • jQuery (tested with 1.6.2 but might as well work with older versions)

Optional but recommended:

  • Modernizr (tested with 2.0.6) OR yepnope.js

    • yepnope.js is included with Modernizr by default. Just make sure the setting in the Extras-Block: "Modernizr.load (yepnope.js)" is checked on the Modernizr Download Page
  • fontresize (excellent even though terribly unmaintained event plugin that fires when a user changes the font size of their browser (that usually breaks the other placeholder polyfills))


Required if hiding the placeholder when user types instead of onfocus (like Chrome or mobile Safari) {hideOnFocus : false}

Highly optional

only needed if you want users to be able to resize textareas:

  • jquery-resize if included a repositioning is triggered when a user resizes a textarea. If not I disable the resizing of textareas to avoid rendering problems

Browser Support

The placeholder attribute has decent support across current Browsers. This script adds support for the older generations including:

  • Internet Explorer < 10
  • Firefox < 4.0
  • Safari < 4.0
  • iOS Safari < 4.0
  • Android Browser < 2.0

For more details on native support see the browser suppport table at


You can install HTML5 placeholder Polyfill by using Bower.

bower install html5-placeholder-polyfill


Simply include the Javascript and CSS. The Polyfill will only run when needed.

	<link rel="stylesheet" href="placeholder_polyfill.min.css">
	<script src="placeholder_polyfill.jquery.min.combo.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Please bear in mind that every input needs a linked label in order for the plugin to work.

Using Modernizr, modern browser don't even have to load the polyfill at all.

    test: Modernizr.input.placeholder,
    nope: [

Using yepnope.js (used as load() in Modernizr), the same as with Modernizr, but with manual feature detection.

    test: ('placeholder' in $('<input>')[0]),
    nope: [

Configuring the behavior (optional)

	<link rel="stylesheet" href="placeholder_polyfill.min.css">
	placeHolderConfig = {
		// css class that is used to style the placeholder
        	className: 'placeholder',
        // expose the placeholder text to screenreaders or not
            visibleToScreenreaders : true,
        // css class is used to visually hide the placeholder
	        visibleToScreenreadersHideClass : 'placeholder-hide-except-screenreader',
	    // css class used to hide the placeholder for all
            visibleToNoneHideClass : 'placeholder-hide',
        // either hide the placeholder on focus or on type
            hideOnFocus : false,
        // remove this class from a label (to fix hidden labels)
            removeLabelClass : 'visuallyhidden',
        // replace the label above with this class
            hiddenOverrideClass : 'visuallyhidden-with-placeholder',
        // allow the replace of the removeLabelClass with hiddenOverrideClass or not
            forceHiddenOverride : true,
        // apply the polyfill even for browser with native support
            forceApply : false,
        // init automatically or not
        	autoInit : true
	<script src="placeholder_polyfill.jquery.min.combo.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Customizing the styling (optional)

		/* Example how to style the placeholder itself */
		::-webkit-input-placeholder, /* Chrome/Opera/Safari */
		::-moz-placeholder, /* Firefox 19+ */
		:-ms-input-placeholder, /* IE 10+ */
		:-moz-placeholder, /* Firefox 18- */
		::placeholder, /* standard */
		label .placeholder  /* this polyfill */
		    color:red; /* your awesome style for the the placeholder text */

		/* Example how to style the :placeholder-shown pseudo class so it works with this polyfill: */
		input.placeholder-shown  /* just duplicate the selector and change the :peudo selector to a .class selector */
		    border: 2px solid red /* your awesome style for the input element when the placeholder is visible */


See the complete Version History here