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Hovering Tooltips Without Javascript Using the HTML5 Data Attribute

Tooltips have become an important part of User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Design patterns.  They can provide important details about HTML elements when we hover over them with our cursor without interfering with the design of the page. This can really help if we want to make things as simple as possible.

This method is for instances where you want to have complete control over the style of the tooltip. Alternatively, the best solution is to use the title attribute as this will appear even without any CSS. The following is the simplest method available for implementing styleable hovering tooltips without requiring Javascript.

We are going to use the HTML5 data attribute. This new feature gives us a lot of freedom to assigning data to elements. We can add whatever name we want after data- to create an attribute. For example, we will give the following paragraph element the attribute data-summary.

We’ll make this work for us with a simple CSS trick to give us a tooltip that we can style however we want. This is our HTML.

The following is our CSS which will show the tooltip on a mouse hover. We can put the rest of our styling in here too.

.tooltip:hover:after {

content: attr(data-tooltip);

position: absolute;

}

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