Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Helpful Pop-up Screen Tips.

Helpful Pop-up Screen Tips

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 30, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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Suppose you wish to create pop-up screen tips similar to the ones you see in Help files, where the cursor turns to a hand and, when the user clicks the link, a pop-up screen tip appears (as opposed to a link to another page). Ordinarily, just inserting a hyperlink would work. However, the cursor would then move to the target of the hyperlink. The instructions below make for a much cleaner user experience.

Let's say you wish to create a pop-up screen tip for the word "hyperlink" in the following sentence:

A hyperlink is useful when navigating in Word.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select the word "hyperlink".
  2. In the Insert tab of the ribbon, click the Bookmark tool in the Links group. Word displays the Bookmark dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Bookmark dialog box.

  4. Give the bookmark a name, such as BK1, and click on Add.
  5. While the word "hyperlink" is still selected, press Ctrl+K. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box appears. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

  7. Click the ScreenTip button. Word displays the Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  8. Figure 3. The Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box.

  9. Type the text you want to use for your screen tip and click on OK.
  10. Click the Place in This Document button, at the left side of the screen. Word displays a list of locations in the middle of the dialog box.
  11. In the list of locations, choose the name of the bookmark you created in step 3, then click OK.

When you're finished, you will have a hyperlink that essentially goes nowhere. When you hold the mouse over it, a yellow screen tip will pop up with your message. If the user activates the link (by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the link) it will change color, flash, and the cursor will go to the beginning of the bookmark.

There are a couple of drawbacks to using this approach. First, the screen tip you create cannot be that long; Word has a relatively short limit to what it will accept. Thus, this approach isn't viable if you want entire paragraphs or a sequence of steps to appear. Second, Word will still display the "Click to follow link" message, automatically, when the user hovers over the text. This is built in to the program and is used for all hyperlinks (which you created in these steps).

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10306) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Helpful Pop-up Screen Tips.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is six less than 9?

2023-10-09 12:20:29

Kiwerry

Thanks for yet another useful trick, Allen.
Curiosity led me to try a variation of this trick in Excel; Bookmarks do not exist there, but Names do, so I gave a cell a name and hyperlinked it to itself approximately as described above, entering a Tootip during the process. Once that was done, hovering on the cell brought up the tooltip.

On a more personal note: Your recent ribbon circulars have mentioned your mother's illness. I hope the support of very many in your online community helps give you strength, even though there is not much we can do in practical terms.


2023-10-03 03:45:14

Arya

Another useful tip. Thanks, Allen.


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