How to implement something like "Balloon Help"?

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Thu Feb 27 00:03:01 CST 2003


valetia at mac.com wrote:

> Anyone knows how this can be done with Revolution?
> 
> toolTips doesn't support more than one line of text.

This was a Mac-specific feature that has been phased out with OS X.

In OS X, Apple has now copied Microsoft in both design and appearance,
opting for a single line of text in a yellow-background popup window.  The
only difference I can see is the name: MS calls them "tooltips", while the
Aqua HIG refers to them as "Help tags":

<http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/Essentials/AquaHIGuidelines/AHIG
Help/chapter_14_section_5.html>

That the new Help tags are more consistent with other operating systems is a
welcome thing for us multi-platform developers, making one less OS-specific
feature to support, and provides a more consistent user experience across
platforms. 

And there may also be a cognitive benefit:  the older Balloon Help
guidelines encouraged longer text and suggested putting them on everything,
which sounds good but in practice can make it hard to sort through the
confusion of balloons to quickly identify non-obvious essentials.

Given the depricated status of Baloon Help, I don't think Rev will be
supporting it.

If your interface could benefit from longer help text, as an alternative you
could display your own borderless palette window of any size you want, or
consider having a section directly in your window for instructions.

Whichever you choose, consider the challenge of needing to hold the mouse
steady while reading the entire text.

-- 
 Richard Gaskin 
 Fourth World Media Corporation
 Developer of WebMerge 2.2: Publish any database on any site
 ___________________________________________________________
 Ambassador at FourthWorld.com       http://www.FourthWorld.com
 Tel: 323-225-3717                       AIM: FourthWorldInc




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