Headings as Images…Or Not

By Deane Barker on June 30, 2004

Dynamic Text Replacement: Look at this page. It looks like someone did all their headings as images, which hides the text from search engines and has huge usability problems…but then look at the source. It’s all good ‘ol HTML.

I haven’t read the article that explains how to do it, but I’m guessing they use JavaScript to find and replace the H2 tags with IMG tags that use the innerHTML of the H2 as a querystring argument. Then they have a server-side page that renders the headings using GD or ImageMagick, and returns the result as an image.



  1. That seems like a heck of a lot of kung-fu when the old H1/SPAN CSS Trick does the same job without resorting to JS trickery.

  2. But this is dynamic. They can change the text in the H2s, and the resulting images will be different as well. They’re generating the images dynamically based on the content of the H2s at the instant the page is requested.

  3. I agree, but I like these things because (1) they’re a creative use of development tools, and (2) they open your thinking to perhaps use this theory to solve another problem down the road.

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