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Problems with opacity and IE

Things to know

4:19 am on Jun 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 28, 2005
posts: 646
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Opacity doesn't work in IE, so you use a filter: the alpha filter.


p.filter { filter: alpha(opacity=40); }

It will only work on elements that have triggered hasLayout.

Problem is, if a user has ClearType font smoothing enabled, and they happen to view an alpha filtered element that has no background colour explicitly set, it will look absolutely horrible -- almost how you can set some text in photoshop to display stroke only, but the font size is too small.

Test it out for yourself.


<p>This is a test paragraph</p>
<p class="filter">This is a test paragraph with the alpha opacity filter</p>
<p class="filter_nobackground">This is a test paragraph with the alpha opacity filter, but with no background colour set</p>


body {
background-color: #9cf;
font: 12px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
p {
padding: 10px 15px;
background-color: #444;
color: #fff;
p.filter {
opacity: 0.4;
filter: alpha(opacity=40); /* this is because IE doesn't render the opacity property */
zoom: 1.0; /* this triggers hasLayout */
p.filter_nobackground {
background-color: transparent; /* this is what happens without a background colour */
opacity: 0.4; /* IE 6 & 7 */
filter: alpha(opacity=40);
zoom: 1.0;

It can easily be fixed by explicitly setting a background colour to

(or whatever colour you want it to be.)

It might be a somewhat specific audience, but I thought it would be helpful when the problem hits someone unexpectedly (like it did me.)


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