Jan '10

The Secret to Transparency with PNG8′s and IE6

As much as we would like it to go away, the sad reality of web design today is that there is still a significant number of people out there who surf the web with Internet Explorer 6. And, in many cases, it’s not their fault – they just can’t help themselves! No, really, they can’t – because they work in corporate environments where their IT department has their machines locked down. For those of us who have had the dubious pleasure of experiencing a large corporate IT department, you know how slow they can be in upgrading anything. I’ve heard anecdotes as recently as a few months ago or departments just now beginning their move from Windows 2000. Sad, but true.

As a web designer, the need to support Internet Explorer also means that you have to make a ton of other trade-offs. One of which, I myself had (un)happily accepted as a fact of life, the inability to leverage PNGs for transparency. Now, before we go any further, I realize that there are several Javascript approaches to achieving transparency, but none of the ones that I have tried have “worked” in every circumstance. That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised that a solution had been under my nose for many, many years and I simply hadn’t known about it. (more…)