This class shows how I went about implementing my own tooltip window when I had trouble getting the standard Tooltips to provide the functionality I wanted. The attached code readily demonstrates the concepts of defining your own windows for use with MFC, installing keyboard hooks, and handling the correct clean-up of the system on completion (note the static methods and instance counting). The windows use the same colour scheme as Tooltips under Win95/NT (COLOR_INFOBK + COLOR_INFOTEXT) but you can choose your own colours should you wish (see the OnPaint method).

The class uses the standard two-stage MFC creation process. You use the class by defining an instance of the class in your view/dialog/etc and then calling the Create method passing it a pointer to the parent window (normally in your OnInitialUpdate or OnInitDialog methods).

You then handle the OnMouseMove event and call the Set method passing it a display point and display string. If the mouse remains static for the pre-defined delay time (set via SetDelay) then a tip window will be displayed at the appropiate point. Pressing a key, pressing a mouse button, or moving the mouse outside of a pre-defined are will remove the tip window from the display.


class CMyView : public CView
	SIMDataTip m_datatip;

void CMyView::OnInitialUpdate()

	// enable datatips for this window

void CMyView::OnMouseMove(UINT nFlags, CPoint point)
	CView::OnMouseMove(nFlags, point);

	// intialise the datatip for this point
	m_datatip.Set(point, "message");

The tip window can be turned on and off by calling the On method. It's current status is available via the IsOn method, and the display offset position (from the passed cursor position in Set) can be set using the overloaded SetOffset method.

The class maintains a pointer to the active tip window ensuring that a single tip window is visible at a time.

Please bear in mind that it hasn't been designed for extending but does readily demonstrate the concepts behind getting it to work. If you wanted to change it so that you could use multi-line tips, then the Display and OnPaint methods can be changed to change the window size and display the text over the correct number of lines respectively. Please let me know if you find this class useful. If there is sufficient interest then I may update the class to enable it to be more easily extendable.

The class was developed and tested under Visual C++ v4.1 but should work equally well under VC5. (Note that with a few minor changes the class will work under VC1.5)

Download Files


Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • Moving from an on-premises environment to Office 365 does not remove the need to plan for disruptions or reduce the business risk requirements for protecting email services. If anything, some risks increase with a move to the cloud. Read how to ease the transition every business faces if considering or already migrating to cloud email. This white paper discusses: Setting expectations when migrating to Office 365 Understanding the implications of relying solely on Exchange Online security Necessary archiving …

  • Enterprises are increasingly looking to platform as a service (PaaS) to lower their costs and speed their time to market for new applications. Developing, deploying, and managing applications in the cloud eliminates the time and expense of managing a physical infrastructure to support them. PaaS offerings must deliver additional long-term benefits, such as a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), rapid scalability, and ease of integration, all while providing robust security and availability. This report …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date