HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
sIFR and Other Text Replacement Techniques
One font replacement technique that has gained favor in recent years is sIFR (short for
“Scalable Inman Flash Replacement”). sIFR basically uses JavaScript, CSS, and Flash to pull in
Flash fonts, creating smoother, less pixilated graphics. Using sIFR for large blocks of content is
not advised, but this approach is ideal for creating customized font styles for headlines and
headers. Judicial use of CSS on the content rendered by sIFR will allow browsers without
Flash or JavaScript to display a very close equivalent to the sIFR font, assuming that font is
installed on the end user's computer. sIFR does have its problems, besides relying on the use
of JavaScript and Flash. The author has had significant problems with it in various situations
and does not recommend it despite its popularity.
Not all font replacement schemes require Flash; some JavaScript-powered schemes exist
that use the <canvas> tag and VML to create similar results. Given the fluid nature of these
techniques, we present this information more as proof that other font replacement
techniques exist, but we encourage readers wanting custom fonts to use downloadable fonts
if at all possible. If not, use the image replacement technique previously discussed instead.
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