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Cufón – a cool alternative to sIFR

On one of our sites, we’ve implemented the sIFR technology to introduce an easily translateable interface with True Type Fonts other than the browser-safe ones.

Honestly, sIFR is a hard-to-tame kind of beast. Only sIFR 3 nightly builds gave the so-so compatibility we’ve needed on this site, and even these builds did produce strange bugs. To name a few: setting up sIFR was quirky when the sIFRed text was also a link (the .sIFR-root class didn’t work in such cases); sIFR text was clipped sometimes; under some circumstances, you needed to click twice on sIFRed links; in Opera sIFR menu items were unclickable when the mouse cursor was below about half of the screen (what the…?).

That’s why we became quite delighted when read first about Cufón, the lib with the strange name (CUstom FONts, FYI). If you’re looking for really easy-to-use font replacement library, go no further. Using Cufón is quite easy, and it works absolutely flawlessly compared to sIFR in every browser that counts for us. Cufón technology is based not on Flash but Canvas and VML (IE).

Setting up Cufón is very easy: you only need to convert your fonts to a JS representation using an online font converter, and insert several instructions to do the actual replacement. Cufón even recognizes JS frameworks/libraries if they’re available, this way you can use CSS selectors too. If interested, go and give a try, I’m sure you’ll be pleased!

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