New Wave Text Replacement With Cufon
Cufon is a new strategy for in-browser text replacement, similar in approach to sIFR but requiring no images or Flash. It renders the fonts into client browsers using Canvas and VML and is insanely easy to set up and use. Basically, this means that designers can now use their favorite font when building web properties, even if the users browsing that site don't have the font installed. This was possible before, with sIFR, but the big difference now is that it's easy.
I've always been intrigued by sIFR, which has been the real poster child of the text replacement movement for awhile, but in practice it's just a bit clunky and far too difficult to get working. Fortunately Cufon simplifies usage dramatically, and actually makes me believe that text replacement might not only become practical but actually commonplace at some point, at least for a certain class of sites and user experiences.
The example page should render fine in IE 6, 7, 8, Firefox 1.5+, Safari 3+, and a host of other modern browsers including Chrome and Opera. Interestingly, the Cufon rendering engine is actually two separate rendering engines -- one uses VML for fast rendering in Internet Explorer, and the other works with the widely support HTML5 canvas tag. The result is fast font replacement in pretty much all major browsers.