Get rid of dotted border from links

November 22, 2007 • 132 comments

We’ve all seen how Firefox will add a dotted border on any links are clicked. When coupled with the Phark technique, Firefox extends that dotted border to include your extremely indented text. However there are three different solutions to this:

  1. Getting rid of the dotted border completely
  2. Stopping the border from stretching
  3. Editing the Firefox default user style sheet to do solution 1 or two for all websites you visit

The first solution will essentially turn of the border completely leaving no outline

a {
    outline: none;

long dotted border around image

no dotted outline on image

The second solution will keep the border nice and tidy with your image.

a {
    overflow: hidden;

long dotted border around image

Tidy dotted outline border

Lastly if you’re annoyed by the border as much as I am, there are two ways to perform either one of these solutions using the Firefox user style sheet.

But we’ll save that for the next entry.

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Image Replacement using CSS

November 21, 2007 • 4 comments

Most web designers have all used one sort of image replacement technique somewhere. (This blog uses sIFR for the title) However the most common method for image replacement is the Revised Phark Method. This method still allows for semantic XHTML code and is accessible to screen readers.

The technique is quite simple, you use the text-indent CSS property and indent your text negatively so far off the screen it doesn’t show up. Designers have come to adopt -9999px or -9000px. This value insures that if you have a right aligned header and the site is being displayed on a large monitor, your text will still be pushed off screen.

Using this method you can put push your text off the screen and replace it with an image or logo and still have semantic and accessible XHTML. Of course you can also link it so that it returns to your home page as is generally practiced.

<h3 id="header">
	Company Name

In the CSS you want to make sure that you define a width and height for the image, otherwise the element will colapse onto itself.

/* css */
#header {
	text-indent: -9999px;
	background: url(logo.gif);
        width: 300px:
	height: 25px;

This code shows how you can replace an <h1> tag with an image, yet keeping the <h1> visible to screen readers and search engine robots. However Firefox creates slight problem with links. Theres a thin dotted outline around the tags. Ever since version 1.5 Firefox has started to include the -9999px indention, so the border goes to the far left of the screen at when the link is clicked.

In the next entry we’ll see how to get rid of the dotted line border on the links in Firefox.

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A List Of Things NOT To Do On Your Website

October 26, 2007 • 4 comments

OK AOL kiddies and other high school webmasters… today’s lesson in Webmastering 101 class is a list of things NOT to do on your website.

Everything on this list is obvious yet I see it happen all the time. Most of what’s on this list, everyone already knows, however people STILL feel it absolutely necessary to do. This is simply a list of things you should not do on a website. Period.

Splash pages. If I have to choose high or low bandwidth before entering your website you’ve failed. This is 2007. There is no need for splash pages anymore… personally I don’t think there ever was. From an SEO standpoint having a splash page can be very hurtful towards your rankings. Search engine spiders will index your splash page instead of your home page and usually a splash page consist of flash or some other form of media such as a picture. The only actual text content on a traditional splash page is the “skip intro” link. Users with dial up or even slow broadband will become frustrated after waiting for your page to load up only to find its a splash page and no actual content is on there. You want to make it easy as possible for users to navigate your website, and you want them to do as little work as possible. Having them wait for a splash page and then click “continue” goes against this principle.
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