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October 24, 2006

IE Background Image Flicker Fix //

Internet Explorer 6 has a lot of “quirks”. Some might call them bugs. Some might trade their soul for all users of said browser to give it up and just move to Firefox, skipping the just-released IE7 entirely. The web design community at large might get to keep more of their hair on their heads if that were the case. Sadly, not much chance of that.

One “bug” is an annoying flickering problem when images are specified as a background on links. The fix has been around for some time but I’ve seen very little mention of it anywhere. I came across it a few weeks back and finally had an opportunity to try it out in a real-world test. And guess what? It bloody well works!

So, here’s what you need to do.

In your site/app/blog/whatever — either encapsulate the bit of code below as a piece of inline Javascript or drop it into a linked JS file and you’re all set. No need to worry about onload handlers and the like. It just works.

// Fix for IE background image flickering
try {
  document.execCommand('BackgroundImageCache', false, true);
catch(e) {}

That’s it. No more image flickering. One bug down. Now back to cursing at the others…

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