Tuesday, 20 December 2011

HTML Hack to get Flash Banners to click through to external URL's

Flash Banner Click Hack

This might be old news to some of you but for those of us who spend most of our time developing rather than designing or cutting up sites this is a neat hack for getting flash banners to have click-through events without having to build them into the Flash Object itself.

I was given some banners the other day written in flash to put on a new site I am working on the-jag.com.

However these banners did not have any links built into them and as we all know you unless a flash object has a click event and a redirect to a URL, either hardcoded or passed in as a parameter then you cannot just add an <A> tag around it as you would with an animated gif or another image as it just won't work.

As CSS is not my speciality I asked a friend how to hack this so I wouldn't have to go back to the designer to get such a URL click through parameter added and these are the steps he gave me.

So if you ever want to add a click event or <A> around a flash banner then this is what you can do.

1. The original banner code. This was the standard OBJECT / EMBED mix, which although not standard compliant is still used a lot on the web.


<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0" 
 width="300" height="300" id="banner-300-300" align="middle">
<param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" />
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="false" />
<param name="wmode" value="transparent">
<param name="movie" value="banner-300-300.swf" />
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="bgcolor" value="#fff200" /> 
 <embed src="banner-300-300.swf" 
  quality="high" 
  bgcolor="#fff200" 
  width="300" 
  height="300" 
  name="banner-300-300" 
  align="middle" 
  wmode="transparent" 
  allowScriptAccess="sameDomain"
  allowFullScreen="false" 
  type="application/x-shockwave-flash" 
  pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
</object>



2. First off I added the wmode="transparent" parameter to the object and embed tag to stop the flash object being the top most element in the DOM. This allows you to then add other objects on top of it.

3. I then wrapped the object in a DIV tag that was position relative, had the same width and height as the banner I was showing which was 468x60 and had the same background colour.

This was because adding the wmode="transparent" removed the colour from the banner so it needed to be replaced by the DIV.


<div style="position:relative;background:#fff200;width:300px;height:300px;">


4. I then added some styling to the actual object tag to make it absolutely positioned within the DIV and positioned as the first item within it e.g top: 0px; left: 0px;

I also add a z-index on it of 5. You will see why later.


<object style="position:absolute;top:0px;left:0px;z-index:5;" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" 


5. I then added my <A> tag with the href of the URL I wanted the user to go to when they clicked the flash banner at the bottom of the <OBJECT> and before the closing </DIV>.


</object>
<a href="http://www.google.com" title="Google Search Engine" />Google Search Engine</a>
</div>


6. I then added some styling to the <A> element so that it was also positioned absolutely within the DIV and was the same size as the banner.

I also made sure the text within the anchor element was hidden off screen by adding text-indent:-9000px; to it. This allows search engines to still access the anchor text for Search Engine Optimisation but it doesn't appear on screen which would look silly.

I also made sure the <A> was the top element in the DOM (above the FLASH object) by increasing it's z-index to a figure larger than the value of 5 I had set earlier on the DIV (see point 4)


</object>
<a style="position:absolute;top:0px;left:0px;z-index:10;width:468px;height:60px;text-indent:-9000px;" href="http://www.google.com" title="Google Search Engine" />Google Search Engine</a>
</div>



7. Putting this all together looks like this.


<div style="position:relative;background:#fff200;width:468px;height:60px;">
 <object style="position:absolute;top:0px;left:0px;z-index:5;" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0" width="468" height="60" id="jag-banner-468-60" align="middle">
 <param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" />
 <param name="allowFullScreen" value="false" />
 <param name="wmode" value="transparent">
 <param name="movie" value="banner-468-60.swf" />
 <param name="quality" value="high" />
 <param name="bgcolor" value="#fff200" /> 
  <embed src="jag-banner-468-60.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#fff200" width="468" height="60" name="banner-468-60" align="middle" wmode="transparent" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" allowFullScreen="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
 </object>
 <a style="position:absolute;top:0px;left:0px;z-index:10;width:468px;height:60px;text-indent:-9000px;" href="http://www.google.com" title="Google Search Engine" />Google Search Engine</a>
</div>


I tested this code in the latest versions of Google, Firefox, IE as well as going back to IE 7 in quirks mode and the banner was shown as it should and any click on it took the user to the desired anchor location. No text within the anchor was seen on the screen.

This is just a hack that non designers, like myself, might like to know for future reference as it saves having to ask the developer of the flash file to re-develop it to allow for click-throughs.

1 comment:

Sharu said...

Thank you very much friends for such a wonderful tutorials, it really help me out.

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