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CSS Only Tooltips Alternative

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Alternative way of CSS Tooltips! 🤩

10 Aug, 2020 · 3 min read

We made some CSS only tooltips. And the cool part about being a developer is there are always different ways to do it. I got feedback that the data attribute was also an excellent alternative, so I decided to rebuild my ones.

And it is indeed a neet way of doing so. It's a cleaner code, and with this one, we don't have to define a fixed width.

HTML Structure

The HTML Structure only changes slightly from our previous example.

<div class="skills">
  <div class="skills-item" data-tooltip="HTML5">
    <!-- Content -->
  </div>
  <div class="skills-item" data-tooltip="CSS3">
    <!-- Content -->
  </div>
  <div class="skills-item" data-tooltip="JavaScript">
    <!-- Content -->
  </div>
</div>

So basically, we removed our span and placed our tooltip content inside the data-tooltip attribute we created.

CSS Tooltip Alternative

As for our CSS we are using the tooltip attribute selector as such:

.skills-item[data-tooltip] {
  position: relative;
}

Then we will add our actual tooltip element to the box and set the content to be whatever is in our data-tooltip

.skills-item[data-tooltip]:after {
  transition: opacity 0.3s;
  opacity: 0;
  position: absolute;
  content: attr(data-tooltip);
  bottom: 100%;
  background-color: #555;
  padding: 5px 0;
  border-radius: 6px;
  color: #fff;
  padding: 8px;
  width: auto;
  right: 50%;
  transform: translateX(50%);
}

We use the same styling but a slightly different position by offsetting it after placing it to the right.

We also want to have that little arrow at the bottom and leverage the base pseudo-element.

.skills-item[data-tooltip]:before {
  transition: opacity 0.3s;
  opacity: 0;
  content: '';
  position: absolute;
  border-width: 5px;
  border-style: solid;
  border-color: #555 transparent transparent transparent;
  right: 50%;
  transform: translateX(50%);
  margin-top: -10px;
}

Awesome!

Now all that's left is showing it once we hover! Remember, we have to show two elements now, the before and after.

.skills-item[data-tooltip]:hover:after {
  opacity: 1;
}
.skills-item[data-tooltip]:hover:before {
  opacity: 1;
}

There you go, an alternative way of showing a tooltip.

View this on Codepen.

See the Pen CSS Only Tooltips Alternative by Chris Bongers (@rebelchris) on CodePen.

Browser Support

The browser support for this function mainly depends on the attribute selector, and that's pretty well supported!

Attribute Selector support

Thank you for reading, and let's connect!

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