Re: How to popdown a tooltip

Padraig O'Briain wrote:

> Should the Escape key cause a tooltip to be popped down, only if the tooltip
> is for the focus widget?
> Do we expect different behavior if the tooltip was displayed because of mouse
> movement or because Ctrl+F1 key was pressed?
> What effect should other keys have while the tooltip is showing?

All very good questions... I'm not sure I can give you any very good
answers, at least not that I can back up with any good accessibility or
usability reasons  :)

My first thought was that if there's a tooltip visible, I'd expect to be
able to pop it down with Esc regardless of how it had been posted
(mouseover or Ctrl+F1), or whether or not it referred to the
currently-focused control.

However, I can envisage situations where this might cause usability
problems-- in dialogs that have both a Cancel button and controls with
tooltips, mostly.  If you're a keyboard user but your mouse happens to
stray over one of those controls with a tooltip, you then have to press
Esc twice to cancel the dialog, which may not be obvious (especially if
you're blind, say), and could be critical in some cases, e.g. if it's a
progress indicator type dialog and you need to cancel the in-progress
operation fast.

So, actually I'm beginning to wonder if any keypress should pop down a
tooltip, regardless of how it was posted and which control now has
focus-- but only if that keypress could also still be passed through to
do its "normal" job.  Which is a big "if", I guess.

Either way, there's at least one special case, unfortunately-- the
panel, the objects on which show tooltips when you mouse over them, even
though the panel itself never really gains focus.  Therefore there's no
obvious way to pop down those tooltips from the keyboard, because your
keypresses will go to whatever window on your desktop really does have
focus at that time.  Maybe that's not such a big deal, though.


CALUM BENSON, Usability Engineer       Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum benson ireland sun com    Desktop Engineering Group                      +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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