DX filters are no longer supported

DirectX-based Filters and Transitions (DX filters) are obsolete in Internet Explorer 10 for webpages in the Internet Zone. By default, they are disabled for webpages in the Local Intranet and Trusted Sites zones, but can be enabled for selected document modes.

It's best to update websites and applications that rely on these features to use the features defined in Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3 (CSS3), Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and other widely supported standards.

For Internet Explorer 10, DX filters won't work (are obsolete) in the following document modes:

  • Quirks mode
  • IE10 standards mode

For other document modes, DX filters are (by default) disabled for the Internet Zone and enabled for the Local Intranet and Trusted Sites zones. This affects the following document modes:

  • IE9 Standards mode
  • IE8 Standards mode
  • IE7 Standards mode
  • IE5 (Quirks) mode

End-users can change these settings (for these document modes only) by using Internet Options to change the security settings for the zone in question. Administrators can also use Group Policy.

Note For security and performance reasons, this is strongly discouraged. In addition, webpages cannot modify these settings (generally for the same reasons).

CSS3, as implemented in Internet Explorer 10 (and current versions of other browsers), provides a standards-based alternative to common DX filters. This legacy Windows Internet Explorer feature remains available in Internet Explorer 10 in document modes 5, 7, 8, and 9 though their performance is inferior to their hardware-accelerated, standards-based replacements. We encourage web developers to move their sites to standards-based technologies rather than relying on legacy document modes.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 introduced a set of visual filters and transitions to allow web developers to apply multimedia-style effects to their webpages. The name DX filters comes from their underlying implementation, DirectX, and their long-form syntax (such as filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(opacity=50)). DX filters are not the same as SVG Filter Effects, though both use the CSS property name filter. The most popular of the DX filter effects have since become CSS3 Working Drafts or Candidate Recommendations including opacity, gradients, and shadows. With Internet Explorer 10 supporting these CSS3 specifications, there’s little need for the legacy, IE-specific filters.

Note AlphaImageLoader, and IE-specific filter, was once popular to work around bugs that had PNG transparency in Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, but those bugs were fixed in Windows Internet Explorer 7.

The following table lists the most popular DX filters and their standards-based alternatives.

DX filter Standards-based alternative
Alpha opacity
AlphaImageLoader <img> or background-image and related properties
Gradient background-image: linear-gradient()
DropShadow text-shadow or box-shadow
Matrix transform and transform-origin

Be aware that SVG Filter Effects in Internet Explorer 10 can be used to simulate some of the less common, more esoteric filters.

Note Because Windows Internet Explorer 9 document mode supports both DX filters and some of the standards-based alternatives, avoid specifying both properties on the same element. Libraries such as Modernizr make it easy to use feature detection with CSS and avoid duplicate declarations.

Moving to Standards-based Web Graphics in IE10

SVG Filter Effects in IE10

Internet Explorer 10 Compatibility Cookbook