Authored by: Jonas
Date created: 3 March 1998
Date last modified:
Principles and Guidelines
Use of ToolTips
ToolTips can be used for many user interface elements, as well as user
objects, data or selections.
ToolTip Text Guidelines
ToolTips should be short. Most ToolTips should be around 3 words.
ToolTip text should answer the question "What will this do?" or "What is
The most descriptive text has both a noun and a verb. Use this form whenever
possible. For example:
Display images (rather than Images)
Insert link (rather than Link)
Description of ToolTips
The ToolTip is shown after the pointer remains stationary over the
control for a short period of time (around 1 second).
The ToolTip remains displayed until the user presses the button or moves
off of the control.
If the user moves the pointer directly to another control supporting a
ToolTip, the new ToolTip is immediately displayed, replacing the former
ToolTips are shown even when the control is disabled. (Due to constraints,
this is not currently the case in the Mac version).
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