Tooltip for disabled controls

Claus Luethje Claus.Luethje at
Thu Apr 4 08:02:41 PDT 2013

I don't support encouraging the usage of tooltips on inactive controls.
I never came across this behavior in my work on GUIs and with tools.
Just my 2cts,

Am 04.04.2013 um 16:52 schrieb "Mario Torre" <neugens at>:

> On Thu, 2013-04-04 at 16:21 +0200, Werner Lehmann wrote:
>> I have heard about such requests as well (tooltip on disabled control). 
>> Personally, I consider this to be very unorthodox. I have never seen 
>> this anywhere.
>> If it is not obvious why a control is disabled (I am thinking of a 
>> button here): keep it enabled and show a message when users click on it 
>> but some data is missing (for example). My 2c.
>> Rgds
>> Werner
>> On 04.04.2013 15:34, Pavel Safrata wrote:
>>> Thoughts? Ideas?
> I also don't agree in enabling tooltip for a disabled components [1],
> since this would be just bad design.
> I think one possible way to solve this elegantly is to have a small text
> in close proximity to the disabled component specifying the action
> needed to enable the component.
> Nevertheless, even if it's clear that the toolkit should not enforce any
> particular habit in UI design, in my opinion it should also try to
> address the developer away from clearly wrong or confusing patterns,
> especially when supporting those patterns means cluttering the API.
> I can't see a reason why a disabled component needs to receive events.
>> Do nothing and force users to workarounds like put the disabled 
>> control into an enabled Pane and set the tooltip on the Pane. Sounds 
>> horrible, especially for complex applications.
> I don't think this is horrible. It's just as inelegant as the problem it
> tries to solve.
> Cheers,
> Mario
> [1] In fact, I'm not much of "drive UI interactions via tooltip" fan,
> but anyway.

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