wmode="transparent" in firefox

Well this is going to be a “don’t do it!” post.

To make your flash movies transparent (so you can see the html content through your flash movie). You can specify a special param.

<param name="wmode" value="transparent" />

If you specify ‘opaque’ instead of ‘transparent’ it apparently has the same effect.

However, firefox (and other mozilla-based browsers) have serious issues with this. The most important, in some cases the flash movie doesn’t respond anymore to any input coming from your mouse. So that means users cant click your buttons and what else.. This guy seems to have even weirder problems.

So if you are targeting mozilla, avoid this setting.. there are no good alternatives at this point.

Web mentions


  • csa


  • billos


    dam, i could really use firefox accepting wmode=transparency right now...:\

  • paprika korps

    paprika korps

  • mirabelle


    I've encountered this problem - pretty serious business - FF crashes/slows to a crawl, buttons stop working etc when using wmode with swfobject
  • gary


    so ... this is a FF issue, then? and not with swfobject?

    i'm using a different flash replacement tool and watching FF crash after my initial movie loads and finishes when i supply the wmode=transparent parameter.

    works on IE 7/6 ...
  • Evert


    Thats right, its an issue in Firefox.. Or how the player integrates with it (not sure which one..)

    This is not related on how you embed it
  • Alas


    WTF this doesnt help me im sure there's a way *retard voice* "hey i have a blog and im gonna say something is impossible to do."
  • Evert


    Hey Alas,

    Sorry you feel that way, but I felt that if people are facing similar issues regarding this problem, or considering using wmode in the first place; it might be best to avoid it.

    That being said, I don't know everything either, so part of this was also hoping people who read this would actually convince me otherwise.

    This doesn't help you, so I hope you figure out a workaround; and be sure to let me know!

  • jOE


    Hi, it is a very common problem. You just need to use the wmode tag inside the type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent">

    I am sure that it will work.
  • baiju


  • baiju


    This is my cod , this is not working (Transparent)

  • Evert


    I'm really sorry to hear that :)
  • Villanite


    Evert, I don't understand why you would post a blog telling people something is impossible. Very pointless, in my opinion. It'd make more sense if you ASKED for a solution.

    Anyway, here is the solution:

    top = Flash Name
    573 = Width
    261 = Height
    6 = Flash Version (Could be 8)
    #003 = Background color, which doesn't matter, really. ^_^

    The div is where the flash file writes to. Have fun.

    (This solved the transparent firefox problem for me.)
  • Evert


    Villanite, its meant as a warning and there isn't a solution known. The problem is that in some cases it will just work, while in other cases it doesn't. Why this is, is currently not known.

    Your solution might work for the SWF you're using, but for others it might not.. Its not a matter of specifying opaque or transparent, the real problem is that in some edge-cases it doesn't work a all.

    Please read my post before you make any assumptions. I'll often post stuff about software that won't exactly work as intended, and usually I'll do the appropriate research and based on my research my recommendation is to try to avoid transparency and opaque altogether to avoid any potential problem. Mainly, because its flaky..

    So in short, great that this works for you, but this won't work for everyone. Google the subject if you'd like more info.

    I should also note that this post is made 2,5 years ago and since then we got 2 new flash players. I haven't since checked out if this is still an issue so maybe the issues have been resolved since then. But back then, transparency was flaky and was known to not always work.
  • melissa


    joe's suggestion worked for me but you have to put the wmode right at the end of the tag just as he did above. you can't just insert it anywhere...
  • Zazoo


    Hi nice article, and thx for the solution JOE :) but when I used the code at the end it stops on IE ?? !! so I used it twice like this

    so its working now is this right ? or this what we should do cause on code wont help me
  • Luis


    Hello. The problem is not only the flash showing properly but working properly. The buttons still dont work. And I'm not referring to the html underneath the flash. Flash doesn't respond the button actions. When we have only animations, no problem, but if we have a menu the situation is more complicated.

    Have tried everything and still not resolve this bug in FF. It seems to me that the solution (for now) will be developing 2 versions. One for IE and one for the FF. But that just gives us more work to do the same ...

    I hope that they solve this bug ... (there are posts talking about this from 2004)

  • Caroline


    I have another problem with wmode. I saw that params work for IE, and embed for FF. So, I avoid problems with transparent movies. But, when I print, in IE it's normal; FF don't print tranparent movies.

    I decided not use transparent movies. But I create a movie, to show the score of tests. This is the link:,0

    Changing the parameter Perc, you change de score. I need this movie transparent. But, if I use wmode, it doesn't print!!!

    Help me, please. My e-mail:
  • Roger

    Tranks guys;
    wmode="transparent" inside the embedded object work perfectly on firefox
  • zay


    wmode="transparent" in not FF

    plz help
  • Prakaash


    use and also set property of wmode in embed object
  • zay


    ...still not working..mozilla....i have one div over the video buttons still dont work...
  • Seb


    I had the crash on Firefox 3.5.5 because of wmode=transparent :

    I think the problem come from the loop parameters.

    This is my code , hope it will help someone :

    type="application/x-shockwave-flash" loop="false" wmode="transparent">

    Enjoy !
  • ptucky


    Please advise, wmode="transparent" in tag not working only Firefox.

    I've tried code from "Seb" but still not working any body, who was succes on this problem. please guide me.

    Many thanks.
  • Alexander Ewering

    Alexander Ewering

    As others have already pointed out, it's not a matter of "wmode=transparent" or not. It's simply the fact that Firefox's embedding of the Flashplayer plugin is completely broken (or maybe it is the Plugin itself). There is nothing you can do about it.

    I have the weirdest issues as well on (click my name) - where randomly, alpha will stop working completely EVEN INSIDE THE FLASH. So, for example, if I have movie clips that are supposed to fade in with an alpha effect, they are just fully opaque all the time, etc...

    Probably the old "Open source communists" vs. "Evil commercial software sellers" communication problem :) Because in IE, it always worked perfectly even in 1970.
  • Alexander Ewering

    Alexander Ewering

    I should add: It's really sad that such a showstopper bug doesn't get fixed during what must now be roughly 8 years. Reminds me a bit of the "disappearing cursor in textboxes bug" in Firefox, which took... 6? years to fix. Oh well :)
  • Evert


    It's flash, it's 2010.. who cares?
  • Anthony J

    Anthony J

    I don't care whether or not the Flash file is transparent, but I do need other items to appear over the Flash file, so the transparent or opaque wmode is required.

    My problem is with dragger code. If the user drags outside the stage, the dragger does not release and stays attached to the mouse on re-entry. If I do a stopDrag using an event listener (a mouse position before the edge of the stage), I can fire the stopDrag, but no element will function until I click into onto the stage. The whole stage has become clickable - not just the slider element. Weird. I've tried everything I can think of. No luck.
  • Alexander Ewering

    Alexander Ewering

    Evert: Care to explain what you mean by that statement?

    (My guess: "Hey, Flash is so 1970ish, in 2010 we finally have JavaScript, which works differently in every browser and is dog slow, and oh, we have HTML and CSS, which also works differently in every browser, and doesn't support smooth animation, and doesn't support vectors, and doesn't support gradients, and doesn't support sound, and doesn't support anything? ;-))
  • Evert


    @Alexander: you're assumption of my reasoning is way off. Instead of making my own point, I suggest you just google 'flash is dead' and continue the argument there. This is not the place.
  • Hubyx


    It does work, you have to put both. at parameters and wmode="transparent at the end of the embed section.
    If you can't make it work try using an HTML 4.01 Transitional document instead of an HTMLX. Hope this works