Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (sIFR) is an open source JavaScript and Adobe Flash dynamic web fonts implementation, Enabling the replacement of text elements on HTMLweb pages with Flash equivalents. It was first developed by Mike Davidson and improved by Mark Wubben . It is a scalable variety of text-to-flash replacement pioneered by Shaun Inman .


CSS support in web browsers did not, at the time of sIFR’s creation, allow webpages to dynamically include web fonts , so it was no guarantee that CSS or HTML would be the specified font installed in their system. sIFR embeds a text in a flash element that displays the text, pre-empting the need for a manually pre-installed on a user’s system.

A common technique is to use raster graphics to display text in a font that can not be trusted. Text created this way pixelates when scaled and can not be partially selected. In contrast, sIFR text elements mimic normal HTML text – they are relatively resizable and copyable.

sIFR requires JavaScript to be enabled and the Flash plugin installed in the browser. If it is not the case, the reader’s browser will automatically display CSS based styling instead of sIFR rendering. sifR is not designed for body copy text Due to this restriction, Mike Davidson himself admitted that [1]

While sIFR gives us better typography today, it is clearly not the solution for the next 20 years.

SIFR has been used on the web, such as those of GE , Nike and Red Hat . As of December 2008, the current sIFR release is version 2.0.7. Version 3 is in beta. [2]


Although this web site can be used with this technique, users should be aware of the fact that they are affected by the page loading time (from the multiple requests required for the Flash, JavaScript and CSS files used by sIFR). Also, the growing popularity of browser blockers plugins and some smartphones can prevent the content of the browser . [3]


Since the establishment of sIFR, dynamic web fonts Support in browsers has-been Renewed, with at least the latest versions of the oven Most Popular browsers Supporting Them.

Older alternatives to sIFR included:

  • Facelift Image Replacement (FLIR) is a similar software to sIFR. But instead of using flash, it embeds plain images, which are generated automatically from the text on the webpage. So even if you do not have a flash plugin installed, it will be replaced by FLIR. However, FLIR requires that the website host is capable of running PHP , and it is even less accessible than sIFR. dubious – discuss ]
  • Cufon is an alternative that converts paths to vector graphics stored in JSON data format and then renders the fonts to canvas elements or VML (depending on availability) using a JavaScript rendering engine. A significant Disadvantage in using Cufon is the requirement que la’s embedded are licensed allow icts distribution in unencrypted form, qui font Many shopping EXPRESSLY forbid.


The name of the original technique was derived from an anagram of the acronym for the CSS image-replacement technique, it was designed to replace, Fahrner Image Replacement .

See also

  • Web typography


  1. Jump up^ “Online type”. (Oct. 2005). Computer Arts Projects, p. 64.
  2. Jump up^ Wubben, Mark. “sIFR Documentation & FAQ” . Retrieved 2007-07-20 .
  3. Jump up^ Mendez, David. “How to display Flash SIFR with a Flash Block Plugin Installed” . Retrieved 2010-12-28