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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Creating Tool-Tip Text for WebPages Using CSS Only

Creating Tool-Tip Text for WebPages Using CSS Only

[You might also be interseted in Deigning a Simple HTML Menu-Bar Using CSS]

All right, so today we are going to use CSS along with some HTML to create Tooltip text for WebPages without using JavaScript. Yeah, you heard it right using only CSS and of course HTML. Do I need to explain what a Tooltip is, BTW? Nah, you guys already know it. I do not think many sites use tooltips or anything of that sort on their websites but in case you do or you just want to learn, read on…

Well, the first thing that I want to tell is that the basic technique I’ll be using to create tooltips is not mine, I saw someone using it for a slightly different purpose, I changes it to suite mine. As I said earlier we’d be using CSS and HTML only, I guess HTML is easier so here it is:

<a href="#" class="tooltip">Hover Here<span>This is the Tool-Tip Text</span></a>

As you can see there is nothing special, a plain simple link but wait what is that <span> for? Good question! Well the text under the <span> tag wouldn’t be visible unless you hover the mouse over the link. When you do so that’d become visible, neatly formatted to look just like a real Tooltip text. But how? You might ask. It has been classified (class="tooltip") to do so.

The heart of all this is the CSS:


  a.tooltip{
    /* for postioning the tool-tip box relative to the link */
    position:relative;

    /* no underline needed */
    text-decoration: none;
  }

  a.tooltip span{
    /* tool-tip text will not be visible initially */
    display: none;
  }

  a.tooltip:hover span{
    /* make tool-tip text visible */
    display:block;

    /* for postioning */
    position:absolute;
    top:20px; left:20px;
    padding: 5px;

    /* width of the tool-tip box
    if text is longer, it will be
    made into two lines */
    width:150px;

    /* style the box to look like a tool-tip box */
    border:1px solid #000;
    background-color:#FFFFAA;
    color:#000;
  }

Now to make it more clear, I’d break the whole code into smaller pieces and discuss what that does:

1.

a.tooltip { position:relative; }

This would make the tooltip (whenever) it appears to be positioned relatively to where the link is.

2.

a.tooltip span { display: none; }

It’d (as you might have guessed) make the tooltip text (or the <span> tag) to be invisible.

3.

  a.tooltip:hover span {  
    display:block; 
    position:absolute; 
    top:20px; 
    left:20px; 
    padding: 5px; 
    width:150px;
    border:1px solid #000; 
    background-color:#FFFFAA; 
    color:#000; 
  }

This defines what the <span> tag would be when mouse is hovered over the link.

First it’d make the <span> visible (thus the tooltip text) by using display: block;. Next it’d position and style the <span> text to look like a “Real” tooltip.

Easy! Now it is…

Here is the complete code:


  <html>
  <head>

  <title>ToolTip Text Example</title>
  <style>
  a.tooltip{
    /* for postioning the tool-tip box relative to the link */
    position:relative;

    /* no underline needed */
    text-decoration: none;
  }

  a.tooltip span{
    /* tool-tip text will not be visible initially */
    display: none;
  }

  a.tooltip:hover span{
    /* make tool-tip text visible */
    display:block;

    /* for postioning */
    position:absolute;
    top:20px; left:20px;
    padding: 5px;

    /* width of the tool-tip box
    if text is longer, it will be
    made into two lines */
    width:150px;

    /* style the box to look like a tool-tip box */
    border:1px solid #000;
    background-color:#FFFFAA;
    color:#000;
  }
    </style>

  </head>
  <body>
  <a href="#" class="tooltip">Hover Here<span>This is the Tool-Tip Text</span></a>

  </body>
  </html>

Previous Posts:

12 comments:

  1. When I tried this, I can see other text through the tooltip. Any suggestions?
    Thanks, Gabe

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Gabe

    You should try giving the tooltip class some z-order.
    e.g.
    .tooltip{
    ...
    z-order: 1000;
    }

    That'd make it appear above all.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Tool-Tips worked great, BUT... the original text is whited out in the sentence place where the 'hover' would normally appear. What am I doing wrong??

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Ray,

    Thank you for trying out my code.

    Regarding the problem I'd like to tell you the following:

    1. "a" tag might be styled to look white in your CSS. Do other links look fine?

    2. If specific part of the page has problem, try making sure if it is in some "div" or something that has been styled that way.

    3. Please tell me the location or give me the code so that I can look into the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Romain8:08 PM

    Hi, thank you for your code.

    But I have a problem .. when I try to use tooltips in a form, it doesn't work : the tooltip appears BUT in transparency :(

    In the same page, outside of the form it works very well.

    If you have any clues ..

    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  6. @ Romain,

    You could try giving some z-index to the tooltip hover span element like:

    a.tooltip:hover span{
    z-index: 100;
    ...
    ...
    }

    Hope this helps!
    Please get back to me after trying.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Works like a charm!! Perfect thanks

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ Anonymous,

    My pleasure!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous7:09 PM

    it works great but i need the tool tip to apear on click no on mouse over...what shoud i do???help pls

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Anonymous,

    First of all sorry for taking this long to reply.

    I'm sorry but I don't think what you wanted could be done just with CSS. If you don't mind having JavaScript, the following websites have great script:

    http://javascript.internet.com/miscellaneous/popup-div.html

    another one, very similar to mine:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/create-pop-up-notes-dhtml/

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice Tip!
    Just what I wanted! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Great and neat. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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