Disabling the Image Toolbar in IE 6 for Your Site

Preventing the image toolbar from showing up over your images

Disabling the Image Toolbar in Internet Explorer 6 for Your Site

by Christopher Heng, thesitewizard.com

If you have visited your site using Internet Explorer 6 (IE 6), you may have noticed that whenever your mouse pointer (or mouse cursor) moves over an image that is greater than a certain size on your site, an image toolbar automatically pops up, giving you the option to save that image, resize it, print it, send the picture to someone in an email, etc. Much as this may please some of your visitors, it annoys a number of webmasters who are not thrilled that IE encourages copyright infringement by suggesting that it is acceptable to pilfer pictures on others' websites. If you feel the same way, you may be comforted that it is an easy matter to prevent the toolbar from showing over images on your site. In fact if you're using IE 6, you will probably have noticed that the image toolbar does not show when you are reading the articles on thesitewizard.com, even when your mouse is hovering over large images. This article gives the details of how you can do this for your site as well.

Disabling the Toolbar for the Entire Page

To disable the image toolbar for a particular page on your website, simply add the following META tag to the HEAD section of your HTML document:

<meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="no" />

The "no" setting disallows the toolbar.

Disabling the Toolbar on an Image by Image Basis

If you only want to prevent the toolbar from appearing for certain graphics on your page, you can disable it on an image by image basis.

For example, if you have a picture called "proprietary.gif", you can add a GALLERYIMG attribute to the image tag that you used to display it:

<img src="proprietary.gif" galleryimg="no" />

The "no" prevents the toolbar from showing. Setting it to "yes" allows the toolbar, and is useful if you have set the entire page to default to not showing the toolbar, and only want to enable it on an image by image basis.


Note that disabling the image toolbar does not actually prevent visitors from saving your images, sending them to others or printing them. It merely disables the toolbar. Period. It is not a solution to theft of your graphics. Visitors can still right click the mouse on your pictures and save them from the right click menu, or save the entire page with all the images to their disk, etc (the list of ways to do this is very long). However, it is still useful for people who prefer not to have the toolbar pop out on the pictures appearing on their website. In fact, judging by the response of one very irritated IE user, who called the toolbar "that stupid IE image popup", you may even be doing your visitors a service.

Copyright 2002-2003 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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