Thoughts on Embedding Fonts In Web Pages & Navigational Menus

I'm working on a little web interface for a friend that involves the use of a specific font for the navigation menu items. So far, I've have been a good little developer and have kept everything neat and tidy. The html contains just html with imported style sheets and I have eschewed using javascript by positioning everything with CSS. I can get away with it as a conscious decision was made to ignore IE6 and conform to standards (at least insomuch as the standards are implemented in IE7+, FF3+, and Chrome (assuming that means all webkit browsers & I'll test to make sure that it looks OK in AIR applications too) ).

But fonts are a pain. The friend is a designer, the font WILL be used. That leaves embedding graphics, sIFR, prepackaged Flash or custom Flash. Custom Flash is last because that is what I used, but I will dispatch with the other options as quickly as I can. (There is the @font-face; MS has an IE only font embedding scheme, *.eot files, and FF3.5 will support embedding TTFs but neither is presently practical for wide use.)

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Free Business Cards

Just a quick heads up. My employer, imageMEDIA (a great source for postcard printing and more) is launching an improved version of our flash-based business card designer (Alex did the work on improving this one) and are offering 100 free business cards to the first 100 users. If you need business cards, this ought to be pretty handy.

Just go to the promotional landing page for the details or go straight to the template selector for the Business Card Designer and use promo code FreeBizCard09.

More Flash Site Navigation

Some additional thoughts on the site navigation in Flash. I have a deployed version that you can check out at a great place for postcard printing - actually, make it a two-fer and checkout a mail roi calculator that Alex and I created (Alex made it pretty). (Quick aside, I am responsible it seems for a lot of the facets of SEO at imageMEDIA, so I am pretty much obliged to give the link).

I ran into a few problems at deployment that were aggravating, yet solvable. So, for my own recollection and the potential to help someone else, here we go:

Problems:

  1. Firefox: When the swf loses focus, particularly with scrolling and other page interaction, the drop down menus will not display until the swf is re-focused by clicking.
  2. Firefox: A border will sometimes appear around the swf; particularly after you click it to re-activate the drop downs.
  3. IE: Browser lose track of the swf and not align mouse event with the flash.

Solutions:

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Site Navigation Menus, Pure Actionscript & FlashDevelop

A recent requirement at work had me having to forgo Flex for a Flash project. I'm replacing a DHTML site navigation system that employs several images, javascript libraries and, more importantly, places over 70 links onto any given page of the site. I've inherited the job of cleaning up the site SEO-wise and all of these links prevent me from cleanly sculpting the site. At the same time, I am working on improving the performance of the site, and, soon, improving the functionality of the navigation.

Anyway, while I like Flex - really, I like Flex, we need to get a room or something - she can be too heavy for some tasks, and the thought of dropping over 100KB of Flashy goodness on everything single page of the site is less than desirable. Instead, at my current level, I am more than halfway there just using a pure Actionscript Flash project and I have kept my SWF size down to under 4KB. Keep in mind, I am using an XML supporting doc that adds 7KB or so, but I would use the same file for Flex or Flash.

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