Use Tooltips to Add Context

Tooltips are boxes that pop up when a user hovers (or clicks) on a link.  They can be used to add context to an external link – for example to advise that the link leads off-site or will play a video or sound.

They are also useful as a substitute for footnotes in longer articles.  Use them to cite a source in a less obtrusive way, or add a comment to a word or phrase.  The following demo shows a lightweight tooltip plugin that is easy to use and reader-friendly.  I especially like them in article where a lot of acronyms or foreign words are found – it is easy to hover over the link to display the expanded meaning of the word.

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