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How to Get Tooltips Working Again

I find InDesign’s tooltips (the little box of text that appears when you hover over certain interface elements) extremely useful. For example, to quickly check the destination of a hyperlink, you can just hover over the hyperlink and the destination will be displayed.

InDesign tooltip over Hyperlinks panel showing URL

Or, to display the path to a linked image, hover over the image in the Links panel.

InDesign tooltip over Links panel showing file path

You can also hover over a color swatch in the Swatches panel to view the color percentages of the swatch, hover over an item in the CC Libraries panel to view the creator and size of the item, and hover over a page thumbnail in the Pages panel to see what Master page is applied to the page.

The trouble is, these tooltips frequently stop working. Hover as much as you want, and they just won’t appear. Frustrating! This persistent problem has existed for several versions now. However, I’ve found a workaround, at least on my Macintosh. I haven’t seen this problem on Windows.

Here’s the trick: when a tooltip stops working, just grab the edge of the panel and resize the panel a bit. Once that’s done, the tooltips start working again. While it would be awfully nice if the tooltips would just work consistently, this workaround makes them useful again!

Keith Gilbert

Keith Gilbert

Keith Gilbert is a digital publishing consultant and educator, Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Community Professional, conference speaker, author, and contributing writer for various publications. His work has taken him throughout North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. During his 30 years as a consultant, his clients have included Adobe, Apple, Target, the United Nations, Best Buy, General Mills, Lands' End, and Medtronic. Follow him on Twitter @gilbertconsult and at
Keith Gilbert

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4 Comments on “How to Get Tooltips Working Again

  1. Neat trick Keith. I’ll have to try this next time the Tool Tips don’t report what the Paragraph Style override is. I find this to be the most often time this annoyance occurs.

  2. This is the first time I’ve ever wanted my tooltips to stop working… so I can test your fix! :-)

    (I also experience this annoyance frequently, so I’m sure it won’t be long.)

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