Java TM Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics > Part I: General Topics > 4: Behavior > Tool Tips   Previous Next Contents/Index/Search


 

Tool Tips

Tool tips are small rectangles of text that describe a component or area whenever the pointer is over it. Among the properties of an application's tool tips are:

  • Onset delay--The amount of time before a tool tip is displayed
  • Duration--The amount of time for which a tool tip is displayed

An application's settings for the onset delay and duration of tool tips apply to all tool tips in the application.

Choosing an appropriate onset delay and duration for your application's tool tips improves their usability. This section provides guidelines that help you choose an appropriate onset delay and duration.

For additional guidelines about tool tips, see Chapter 9 of Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines , 2d ed.

 Provide a tool tip for each control in your application.

 Set the tool tip duration to at least 15 seconds if any tool tip is longer than 10 words or if any tool tip provides information, such as numerical data, that users need to analyze.

 If either or both of the following statements are true, set the onset delay of your application's tool tips to no more than 250 milliseconds:

  • At least one tool tip provides information that all users need.
  • At least one tool tip displays data that users can find only in tool tips--for example, numerical values represented by bars in a bar graph.

If neither statement is true, consider using the JFC's default values for the onset delay and duration of tool tips.




Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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