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Quick and dirty (but nice!) ToolTips – revisited and interactive

November 12th, 2013

 

Download sources, binaries, and sample application (Version: 1.0.1, 2013.11.22)

 

A few years ago, I posted an article that leveraged markup extensions to quickly show localized ToolTips with minimal effort. Fast forward to 2013: I still like ToolTips, but interactive / clickable ones would be nice, and there’s Blend Behaviors that provides developers with a great design-time experience. As a result, I wrote a simple control and a complementary Blend Behavior that get’s me quite a bit of flexibility with minimal impementation effort.

The behavior allows you very easily create simple ToolTips like this:

A simple ToolTip

 

However, it doesn’t stop there. The following Blend Behavior generates an error ToolTip:

Behavior properties in Expression Blend

 

ErrorToolTip

 

Also, unlike the built-in ToolTip service, the behavior supports interactive/clickable ToolTips. As the ToolTip takes arbitary XAML or a user control for Content or Header properties, you can display arbitrary controls on the popup.

InteractiveToolTip

 

Features at a glance:

  • Blend Behavior with design-time support – you can setup rich ToolTips within Blend in a matter of seconds.
  • Unlike regular ToolTips, those are clickable – you can put interactive content such as buttons or Hyperlinks on them.
  • Built-in header / content support.
  • Data Binding and MVVM-friendly.
  • Content and header not limited to text.
  • Built-in themes: You can show a ToolTip as an information, warning, or error.
  • If bound to strings, values can be formatted on the fly using the HeaderStringFormat and ContentStringFormat properties.
  • Disabling ToolTips through a bindable IsEnabled flag.

 

Some final notes: I didn’t make everything configurable – that would have been overkill for the scope of a ToolTip. Instead, I recommend you to tweak the control styles to your needs. Things you might want to change:

  • When being displayed, ToolTips are slightly transparent – full opacity is only set if you hover over them. You can easily adjust this in the animation that fades in the control.
  • If you shorten the delay in which the ToolTip is being displayed remarkably, you should also adjust animations (fade-in / fade-out in order to not cut them off.
  • Placement of the ToolTip’s popup (near Mouse pointer) is currently hardcoded in the Behavior class.

Happy coding 🙂

 


  1. Daniel
    November 12th, 2013 at 19:06 | #1

    Wow, talk about a long break. ;P
    I don’t need it right now, but I’ll keep in mind that you already made a custom tooltip, in case I ever need it. 😉

  2. November 12th, 2013 at 22:25 | #2

    @Daniel
    I’ll just pretend I’ve been blogging under a pseudonym for the last 3 years 😉

  3. Benjamin
    October 19th, 2014 at 05:47 | #3

    Hi Philipp

    what a nice Tooltip implementation! In your examples, the ToolTips are added exclusively in XAML.. how would I do so in code?

  1. November 12th, 2013 at 16:17 | #1