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Posted 15 Sep 2004

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PNG alpha support for Internet Explorer

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15 Sep 2004
An article on how to implement PNG alpha support for Internet Explorer


Internet Explorer doesn’t support the alpha channel in PNG images. However the fix is to use the "AlphaImageLoader" filter. This script replaces all PNG images on the page with a blank image (blank.gif) and adds the "AlphaImageLoader" filter with the original image source. The blank image is to avoid the "broken image" picture to display above the filter. This script also supports printing and changing the source image at runtime.


//Array containing all PNG images on the page
var PNGimageArray = new Array();
var isPrinting = false;

//Path to the blank image (1x1 transparent)
var blankSrc = "blank.gif";

//Captures print events
window.attachEvent("onbeforeprint", function () { beforePrint(); } );
window.attachEvent("onafterprint", function () { afterPrint(); } );
//Tests if element is a PNG image, and if so fixes it
function addPngImage(element){
  if (/\.png$/i.test(element.src)) {
    element.attachEvent("onpropertychange", function () 
      { propertyChanged(); } );
    PNGimageArray[PNGimageArray.length] = element;

//Applies filter and changes source to blank
function fixImage(element) {
  element.runtimeStyle.filter = 
      src='" + element.src + "')";
  element.src = blankSrc;

//If property "src" is changed fixs image (not 
//if it is changed to blank though)
function propertyChanged() {
  if (isPrinting) return;
  var element = event.srcElement;
  var pName = event.propertyName;
  if (pName != "src") return;
  if (!new RegExp(blankSrc).test(element.src))


//Turns image back to original before print (Explorer can't print filters)
function beforePrint() {
  isPrinting = true;
  var element;
  for(var i = 0; i < PNGimageArray.length; i++){
    element = PNGimageArray[i];
    element.src = element.filters[0].src;
    element.runtimeStyle.filter = "";


//Fixes image after print
function afterPrint() {
  isPrinting = false;
  var element;
  for(var i = 0; i < PNGimageArray.length; i++){
    element = PNGimageArray[i];

Style that makes all images run the addPngImage function. I use "expression" instead of "behavior" to avoid some security issues in Internet Explorer.
<style type="text/css"> img { filter:expression(addPngImage(this)); }


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Web Developer
Sweden Sweden
Software developer

Comments and Discussions

GeneralFIX for resizing images Pin
Max Hamner8-Dec-07 18:29
MemberMax Hamner8-Dec-07 18:29 
QuestionWhat license? Pin
chappi120-Sep-06 3:55
Memberchappi120-Sep-06 3:55 
GeneralGreat Work But Resizing images doesnt work!!! Pin
Pier...29-Jun-06 1:28
MemberPier...29-Jun-06 1:28 
GeneralResource Protocol ! Pin
Nicolas MEURET13-Feb-06 22:49
MemberNicolas MEURET13-Feb-06 22:49 
GeneralMaps Pin
EDB_ENVC17-Jun-05 4:09
MemberEDB_ENVC17-Jun-05 4:09 
GeneralRe: Maps Pin
noname987631-Jul-05 0:56
Membernoname987631-Jul-05 0:56 
GeneralFix for filenames with "(" or ")" Pin
PolyVector17-Feb-05 12:03
MemberPolyVector17-Feb-05 12:03 
QuestionPNG Background images??? Pin
dclark11-Jan-05 14:26
Memberdclark11-Jan-05 14:26 
GeneralCross-Browser Compatibilty Pin
Davy Boy29-Nov-04 11:53
MemberDavy Boy29-Nov-04 11:53 
GeneralIt is a problem Pin
sanjit_rath17-Oct-04 8:33
Membersanjit_rath17-Oct-04 8:33 
GeneralBrilliant Pin
CSnerd14-Oct-04 15:19
MemberCSnerd14-Oct-04 15:19 
GeneralRe: Brilliant Pin
Magnus_15-Oct-04 6:06
MemberMagnus_15-Oct-04 6:06 
GeneralLooks Familiar Pin
DFU2323-Sep-04 6:59
MemberDFU2323-Sep-04 6:59 
GeneralRe: Looks Familiar Pin
Magnus_23-Sep-04 11:43
MemberMagnus_23-Sep-04 11:43 
GeneralWell known problem Pin
Philippe Lhoste22-Sep-04 0:15
MemberPhilippe Lhoste22-Sep-04 0:15 

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