sIFR: At a glance

sIFR: At a glance


Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (sIFR) is an open source JavaScript and Flash based technology that replaces headings, pullquotes, text blocks in HTML with Flash equivalents. The brain behind sIFR is Shawn Inman and it was later improved by Mike Davidson and Mark Wubben.

For long, designers have faced issues in choosing SEO-friendly fonts for web pages. Though heading tags exist, they are nothing more than compromises compared to the look and feel stylish fonts would lend to web pages. sIFR is a unique technique that can resolve this issue. sIFR allow designers to style their headings, pullquotes, text blocks in HTML with any font by embedding the font of their choice in a Flash element.

Features of sIFR

  • SEO-friendly as content is crawled as HTML.
  • You can have your text styled in the desired font even without having the font installed in the end user’s system.
  • Dynamic content are created easily in the required font thus making it easy to edit and selectable. Better option compared to creating images for text.
  • sIFR loads standard CSS style, when Flash or Javascript is not detected.
  • sIFR 3 supports Flash 8 text filters like drop shadow, gradient, etc.

Though it is a very good alternative to image based content with nice features it also has the following limitations.

Limitations of sIFR

  • Flash is required for editing and controlling.
  • Flash player and Javascript required for viewing.
  • Minimal usage in a website is recommended considering web page load time.

There are lots of dynamic text replacement method available under the sun but sIFR has major votes as its output is not images compared to other techniques. For more information on sIFR 3 Beta please visit Mike Davidson’s blog.

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