• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Gecko Designs
523 N Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802

Phone:
(406) 662-1123

Dreamweaver Tutorial: Use CSS to replace HTML text with an image


Written by Gabriel on January 18, 2010

dw-tut-h1-start

CSS Image Replacement Using Dreamweaver

Search engines place great emphasis on the words shown in a documents’ headings (Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc). For that reason we try to place important keywords and phrases into these headings. Unfortunately, there are only a dozen or so web-friendly fonts that we can use and safely assume that all browsers will display correctly. Herein lies our problem. We want to place important keywords and phrases in headings, but we don’t want to be limited by what are considered web-friendly fonts.

The image at right shows a default Heading 1 with a paragraph below it. Our goal is to replace that web-friendly font with the custom image below that was made in Photoshop. Save it to your own computer and use it to try out this technique yourself. It is 472 pixels wide and 26 pixels tall.

dw-tut-h1-sample

Why not place this image inside of a heading?
Search engines and vision-impaired users are not able to interpret images. We always describe images with alternate text but alternate text in an image has very little search engine value, even if the image is inside of a heading.

The Trick Using CSS

The solution is to create a heading just as your normally would and then apply special CSS rules to that heading that hide the text and replace it with a cool image. Here’s how it works:

dw-tut-h1-prop

Step 1: Name Your Heading
Create a heading and give it an ID. The ID can be anything that makes sense to you. I’ll call mine “heading-minivans”. Our heading needs to have an ID so that we can target this specific heading with CSS instead of affecting all headings on the page.

dw-tut-h1-rule

Step 2: Create a New CSS Rule
Create a new CSS rule for the ID you created – in this example the rule will be for the ID called “heading-minivans”.

dw-tut-h1-bg

Step 3: Add a Background Image
The first property we will apply to this CSS rule will be a background image. Note that the image will tile (repeat) horizontally and vertically. In the next step we will correct this.

dw-tut-h1-size

Step 4: Define the Size
Next, we will assign a width and height in order to display the background image properly without tiling or appearing cut off.

dw-tut-h1-indent

Step 5: Hide the Text
Our final step will be to hide the HTML text that is shown on top of the background image. We can do this easily by using the text-indent property in a tricky way. In the Block category of your CSS Rule definition dialog, set the Text-indent property to -9999 pixels. This will position the HTML text 9,999 pixels to the left of the screen which will place it completely off screen.

dw-tut-h1-end

CSS Image Replacement

The finished product is a heading that search engines and visually-impaired users can interpret that looks cool and isn’t limited by web friendly fonts. Because the heading contains HTML text, it has all the search engine benefits that come along with placing keywords into headings.

Taking it Further

A great way to use this trick is to create buttons that change when you hover over them without creating a traditional JavaScript-based Dreamweaver rollover image. Try creating a link, give it an ID and replace it with a background image using the CSS technique above. Then create another CSS rule with the same name adding :hover to the end. Change the background image for this rule and presto! A CSS-driven roll over button that search engines and vision impaired users can interpret.

Posted in Adobe Dreamweaver CSS

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Featured Clients


Responsive Classroom

APTA Home Health Badge

Take the first step


Questions? Give us a ring, shoot us an email or send a homing pigeon our way. Let’s get the ball rolling! We can’t wait to hear from you!


Gecko Designs, LLC
523 N Higgins Ave
Missoula, MT 59802


Phone:
(406) 662-1123

5
523 N Higgins Ave, Missoula
5
5
Jenni Fuller in the last week
Gabe at Gecko helped me not only with my business site, but also with my business in general, helping me imagine and re-imagine the user-experience. He sat with me for an hour, two different times, as I talked through what I wanted my site to be capable of, and then pointed me in a direction of how to make it happen. I am not entirely tech-savvy, and he gave me the tools I needed to take the next steps...and I always know I can call on Gecko if I get stuck or need a second look at what I've created. I highly recommend Gecko!
5
Bob Rock a week ago
WOW! It was a pleasure working with the team at GECKO. Easy to work with and the final product is better than I imagined. Looking forward to a long term relationship.
5
patrick archie 2 weeks ago
Gabe at Gecko Designs rescued a project of mine on short notice. He did a stellar job when it really mattered. Ninja at graphic design and great with communication skills. Highly recommend.
5
Michelle Levitus 8 months ago
Gecko Designs was a pleasure to work with while building out a brand new website. They understood what we were after and had creative and useful ideas to help us reach our goals for the website and for our organization. Communication was friendly and reliable throughout the process and they were available to troubleshoot any issues that arose before we went live, and after. Highly recommend!
5
Martin Judnich 9 months ago
From intro meeting to final website, this was a great experience. Gecko created exactly what I was looking for, and was very timely and affordable. Great collaboration, lots of changes, and they made me feel comfortable every step of the way. I could not recommend more.