dhtml tooltips

Posted on 2004-08-09
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I'm using a tooltip/mouseover routine to display help text on mouseovers. My problem is that with the script I found, the tip always comes up to the right of the mouseover object. That's all good and well on the left side of the screen, but when I add it to an object on the right side of the screen, when the mouseover happens, the tip displays off-screen to the right of the object. That happening produces a horizontal scroll bar on the browser, but if you try to scroll over, the mouseout event happens, effectively removing the tooltip, eliminating the need for the scroll bar. My question is, what can I do to the following script to be able to specify whether I want the tip to appear to the right or the left of the object.

the css :
  #tipBox {width: 160px;
               z-index: 100;
               border: 1pt black solid;
               background: #eeeeee;
               visibility: hidden;
               font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

the javascript :
  var allSupport = document.all!=null

  function setupEventObject(e) {
    // Map NS event object to IEs
    if (e==null) return // IE returns
      window.event = e
    window.event.fromElement =
    window.event.toElement =
    window.event.srcElement =
    window.event.x = e.x
    window.event.y = e.y
    // Route the event to the original element
    // Necessary to make sure _tip is set.

  function checkName(src) {
    // Look for tooltip in IE
    while ((src!=null) && (src._tip==null))
      src = src.parentElement
    return src

  function getElement(elName) {
    // Get an element from its ID
    if (allSupport)
      return document.all[elName]
      return document.layers[elName]

  function writeContents(el, tip) {
    // Replace the contents of the tooltip
    if (allSupport)
      el.innerHTML = tip
    else {
      // In NS, insert a table to work around stylesheet rendering bug.
      // NS fails to apply style sheets when writing contents into a positioned element.
      el.document.write("<TABLE WIDTH=200 BORDER=1 bordercolor=black><TR><TD WIDTH=100% BGCOLOR=yellow>")

  function getOffset(el, which) {
    // Function for IE to calculate position of an element.
    var amount = el["offset"+which]
    if (which=="Top")
    el = el.offsetParent
    while (el!=null) {
      el = el.offsetParent
    return amount

  function setPosition(el) {
    // Set the position of an element
    src = window.event.srcElement
    if (allSupport) { = getOffset(src, "Top") = getOffset(src, "Left") + 100
    }else{ = src.y + 20
      el.left = src.x

  function setVisibility(el, bDisplay) {
    // Hide or show to tip
    if (bDisplay)
      if (allSupport) = "visible"
        el.visibility = "show";
      if (allSupport) = "hidden"
        el.visibility = "hidden"

  function displayContents(tip) {
    // Display the tooltip.
    var el = getElement("tipBox")
    writeContents(el, tip)
    setVisibility(el, true)

  function doMouseOver(e) {
    // Mouse moves over an element
    var el, tip
    if ((el = checkName(window.event.srcElement))!=null)
      if  (!el._display) {
        el._display = true

  function doMouseOut(e) {
    // Mouse leaves an element
    el = checkName(window.event.srcElement)
    var el, tip
    if ((el = checkName(window.event.srcElement))!=null)
      if (el._display)
        if ((el.contains==null) || (!el.contains(window.event.toElement))) {
          setVisibility(getElement("tipBox"), false)
          el._display = false

  function doLoad() {
    // Do Loading
    if ((window.document.captureEvents==null) && (!allSupport))
      return // Not IE4 or NS4
    if (window.document.captureEvents!=null)  // NS - capture events
      window.document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEOVER | Event.MOUSEOUT)
    window.document.onmouseover = doMouseOver;
    window.document.onmouseout = doMouseOut;

  window.onload = doLoad

At the very start of the html :
<DIV ID="tipBox"></DIV>

The mouseover html :
<a onmouseover="this._tip = 'Questionnaire homepage.'" href="/quest/" style="color:white;font-weight:bold;font-size:10pt;">Questionnaires - Main</a>
Question by:tatlady
  • 2
LVL 36

Accepted Solution

Zyloch earned 125 total points
ID: 11753413

Try changing these lines:

<a onmouseover="this.onLeft=true;this._tip = 'Questionnaire homepage.';'"        (if you want right, onLeft to equal false)

In function doMouseOver(e), change these lines:
if  (!el._display) {
        el._display = true

Change displayContents(tip) to this:

function displayContents(tip,pos) {
   // Display the tooltip.
    var el = getElement("tipBox")
    writeContents(el, tip)
    setVisibility(el, true)

Finally, change setPosition(el) to this:

function setPosition(el,pos) {
    // Set the position of an element
    src = window.event.srcElement
    newPos = (pos) -100 : 100;
    if (allSupport) { = getOffset(src, "Top") = getOffset(src, "Left") + newPos
    }else{ = src.y + 20
      el.left = src.x


Author Comment

ID: 11753875
the following line :

newPos = (pos) -100 : 100;

in setPosition() is giving me an error :

expected ';'
LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 11753972
Oops, my bad, should be

newPos = (pos) ? -100: 100;

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