PowerTip features a very flexible design that is easy to customize, gives you a number of different ways to use the tooltips, has APIs for developers, and supports adding complex data to tooltips. It is being actively developed and maintained, and provides a very fluid user experience.

Download v1.3.0 Zip file with examples, CSS, and script.

Here are some basic examples of PowerTip in action. You can also fiddle with PowerTip on the official JSFiddle demo.

Placement examples

Mouse follow example

The PowerTip for this box will follow the mouse.

Mouse on to popup example

The PowerTip for this box will appear on the right and you will be able to interact with its content.

Unique Features



Important note: The <body> tag must use the default CSS position.

Design Goals


The first step for using this plugin in your project is to include the needed files.

Manual installation

The most direct way to install this plugin is to download the latest version from the project page and copy the needed file into your project. At the very least you will want one of the js file and one of the css files.

npm Installation

This plugin has been published to npm as jquery-powertip. This means that if you are using npm as your package manager then you can install PowerTip in your project by simply adding it to your package.json and/or running the following command:

npm install jquery-powertip --save

Then you can include it in your pages however you like (HTML tags, browserify, Require.js).

Including resources


Once the PowerTip files are in your project you can simply include them in your web page with the following HTML tags:

<script type="text/javascript" src="path/to/jquery.powertip.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="path/to/jquery.powertip.css" />

Important note: Make sure you include jQuery before PowerTip in your HTML.


PowerTip supports the CommonJS loading specification. If you are using npm to manage your packages and Browserify to build your project then you can load it and use it with a simple require('jquery-powertip').

The PowerTip API will be loaded into jQuery as well as the return object from the require().

Important notes: You will still need to include the CSS in your web page.


PowerTip also supports the AMD loading specification used by RequireJS. You can load and use it by adding the path to your paths configuration and referencing it in your define() call(s).

Example paths configuration:

	paths: {
		jquery: 'https://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.11.3',
		'jquery.powertip': '../dist/jquery.powertip'

The PowerTip API will be loaded into jQuery as well as returned to the PowerTip parameter in your define() (query.powertip in the example above).

Important notes:


Running the plugin is about as standard as it gets.


Where options is an object with the various settings you want to override (all defined below).

For example, if you want to attach tootips to all elements with the “info” class, and have those tooltip appear above and to the right of those elements you would use the following code:

	placement: 'ne' // north-east tooltip position

Setting tooltip content

Generally, if your tooltips are just plain text then you probably want to set your tooltip text with the HTML title attribute on the elements themselves. This approach is very intuitive and backwards compatible. But there are several ways to specify the content.

Title attribute

The simplest method, as well as the only one that will continue to work for users who have JavaScript disabled in their browsers.

<a href="/some/link" title="This will be the tooltip text.">Some Link</a>


Basically the same as setting the title attribute, but using an HTML5 data attribute. You can set this in the markup or with JavaScript at any time. It only accepts a simple string, but that string can contain markup. This will also accept a function that returns a string.

$('#element').data('powertip', 'This will be the <b>tooltip text</b>.');


$('#element').data('powertip', function() {
	return 'This will be the <b>tooltip text</b>.';


<a href="/some/link" data-powertip="This will be the &lt;b&gt;tooltip text&lt;/b&gt;.">Some Link</a>


This is a data interface that will accept a jQuery object. You can create a jQuery object containing complex markup (and even events) and attach it to the element via jQuery’s .data() method at any time. This will also accept a function that returns a jQuery object.

var tooltip = $('<div>This will be the tooltip text. It even has an onclick event!</div>');
tooltip.on('click', function() { /* ... */ });

$('#element').data('powertipjq', tooltip);


$('#element').data('powertipjq', function() {
	var tooltip = $('<div>This will be the tooltip text. It even has an onclick event!</div>');
	tooltip.on('click', function() { /* ... */ });
	return tooltip;


You can specify the ID of an element in the DOM to pull the content from. PowerTip will replicate the markup of that element in the tooltip without modifying or destroying the original.

<div id="myToolTip">
	<p><b>Some Title</b></p>
	<p>This will be the tooltip text.</p>
	<p><a href="#">This link will be in the tooltip as well.</a></p>
$('#element').data('powertiptarget', 'myToolTip');

Changing the tooltip content

After you invoke powerTip() on an element the title attribute will be deleted and the HTML data attributes will be cached internally by jQuery. This means that if you want to change the tooltip for any element that you have already run PowerTip on then you must use the .data() method provided by jQuery. Changing the markup attributes will have no effect.

Tooltips that are created using the HTML title attribute will have their content saved as “powertip” in the data collection. If you want to change the content of a tooltip after setting it with the title attribute then you must change the “powertip” data attribute.


$('#element').data('powertip', 'new tooltip content');

Security considerations

It should be noted that PowerTip uses jQuery’s append() method for placing content in the tooltip. This method can potentially execute code. Do not attempt to show tooltips with content from untrusted sources without sanitizing the input or you may introduce an XSS vulnerability on your web page.


The tooltip behavior is determined by a series of options that you can override. You can pass the options as an object directly to the plugin as an argument when you call it. For example:

	option1: 'value',
	option2: 'value',
	option3: 'value'

The settings will only apply to those tooltips matched in the selector. This means that you can have different sets of tooltips on the same page with different options. For example:

$('.tips').powerTip(/** options for regular tooltips **/);

$('.specialTips').powerTip(/** options for special tooltips **/);

You can change the default options for all tooltips by setting their values in the $.fn.powerTip.defaults object before you call powerTip(). For example:

// change the default tooltip placement to south
$.fn.powerTip.defaults.placement = 's';

$('.tips').powerTip(); // these tips will appear underneath the element

Of course those defaults will be overridden with any options you pass directly to the powerTip() call.

List of options

Name Type Description
followMouse Boolean (default: false) If set to true the tooltip will follow the users mouse cursor.
mouseOnToPopup Boolean (default: false) Allow the mouse to hover on the tooltip. This lets users interact with the content in the tooltip. Only applies if followMouse is set to false and manual is set to false.
placement String (default: 'n') Placement location of the tooltip relative to the element it is open for. Values can be n, e, s, w, nw, ne, sw, se, nw-alt, ne-alt, sw-alt, or se-alt (as in north, east, south, and west). This only matters if followMouse is set to false.
smartPlacement Boolean (default: false) When enabled the plugin will try to keep tips inside the browser view port. If a tooltip would extend outside of the view port then its placement will be changed to an orientation that would be entirely within the current view port. Only applies if followMouse is set to false.
popupId String (default: 'powerTip') HTML id attribute for the tooltip div.
popupClass String (default: '') Space separated custom HTML class(es) for the tooltip div. Since this plugs directly into jQuery’s addClass() method it will also accept a function that returns a string.
offset Number (default: 10) Pixel offset of the tooltip. This will be the offset from the element the tooltip is open for, or from from mouse cursor if followMouse is true.
fadeInTime Number (default: 200) Tooltip fade-in time in milliseconds.
fadeOutTime Number (default: 100) Tooltip fade-out time in milliseconds.
closeDelay Number (default: 100) Time in milliseconds to wait after mouse cursor leaves the element before closing the tooltip. This serves two purposes: first, it is the mechanism that lets the mouse cursor reach the tooltip (cross the gap between the element and the tooltip div) for mouseOnToPopup tooltips. And, second, it lets the cursor briefly leave the element and return without causing the whole fade-out, intent test, and fade-in cycle to happen.
intentPollInterval Number (default: 100) Hover intent polling interval in milliseconds.
intentSensitivity Number (default: 7) Hover intent sensitivity. The tooltip will not open unless the number of pixels the mouse has moved within the intentPollInterval is less than this value. These default values mean that if the mouse cursor has moved 7 or more pixels in 100 milliseconds the tooltip will not open.
manual Boolean (default: false) If set to true then PowerTip will not hook up its event handlers, letting you create your own event handlers to control when tooltips are shown (using the API to open and close tooltips).
openEvents Array of Strings (default: [ 'mouseenter', 'focus' ]) Specifies which jQuery events should cause the tooltip to open. Only applies if manual is set to false.
closeEvents Array of Strings (default: [ 'mouseleave', 'blur' ]) Specifies which jQuery events should cause the tooltip to close. Only applies if manual is set to false.

Tooltip CSS

If you use one of the included CSS files then you do not need to add any other CSS to get PowerTip running.

PowerTip includes some base CSS that you can just add to your site and be done with it, but you may want to change the styles or even craft your own styles to match your design. PowerTip is specifically designed to give you full control of your tooltips with CSS, with just a few basic requirements.

I recommend that you either adapt one of the base stylesheets to suit your needs or override its rules so that you don’t forget anything.

Important notes:

CSS requirements

The bare minimum that PowerTip requires to work is that the #powerTip element be given absolute positioning and set to not display. For example:

#powerTip {
	position: absolute;
	display: none;

CSS recommendations

High z-index

You will want your tooltips to display over all other elements on your web page. This is done by setting the z-index value to a number greater than the z-index of any other elements on the page. It’s probably a good idea to just set the z-index for the tooltip element to the maximum integer value (2147483647). For example:

#powerTip {
	z-index: 2147483647;

CSS arrows

You probably want to create some CSS arrows for your tooltips (unless you only use mouse-follow tooltips). This topic would be an article unto itself, so if you want to make your own CSS arrows from scratch you should just Google “css arrows” to see how it’s done.

CSS arrows are created by using borders of a specific color and transparent borders. PowerTip adds the arrows by creating an empty :before pseudo element and absolutely positioning it around the tooltip.

It is important to note that if you increase the size of the tooltip arrows and want users to be able to interact with the tooltip content via the mouseOnToPopup option then you will probably need to increase the closeDelay option to provide enough time for the cursor to cross the gap between the element and the tooltip div.

Fixed width

It is recommend, but not required, that tooltips have a static width. PowerTip is designed to work with elastic tooltips, but it can look odd if you have huge tooltips so it is probably best for you to set a width on the tooltip element or (if you have short tooltip text) disable text wrapping. For example:

#powerTip {
	width: 300px;


#powerTip {
	white-space: nowrap;


There are times when you may need to open or close a tooltip manually. To make this possible PowerTip exposes a couple of API methods on the $.powerTip object.

Method Description
show(element, event) This function will force the tooltip for the specified element to open. You pass it a jQuery object with the element that you want to show the tooltip for. If the jQuery object you pass to this function has more than one matched elements then only the first element will show its tooltip. You can also pass it the event (a $.Event) with the pageX and pageY properties for mouse tracking.
hide(element, immediate) Closes any open tooltip. You do not need to specify which tooltip you would like to close (because there can be only one). If you set immediate to true there will be no close delay.
toggle(element, event) This will toggle the tooltip, opening a closed tooltip or closing an open tooltip. The event argument is optional. If a mouse event is passed then this function will enable hover intent testing when opening a tooltip, or enable a close delay when closing a tooltip. Non-mouse events are ignored.
reposition(element) Repositions an open tooltip on the specified element. Use this if the tooltip or the element it opened for has changed its size or position.
destroy(element) This will destroy and roll back any PowerTip instance attached to the matched elements. If no element is specified then all PowerTip instances will be destroyed, including the document events and tooltip elements.

You can also pass the API method names as strings to the powerTip() function. For example $('#element').powerTip('show'); will cause the matched element to show its tooltip.


// run powertip on submit button

// open tooltip for submit button

// close (any open) tooltip


PowerTip Events

PowerTip will trigger several events during operation that you can bind custom code to. These events make it much easier to extend the plugin and work with tooltips during their life cycle. Using events should not be needed in most cases, they are provided for developers who need a deeper level of integration with the tooltip system.

List of events

Event Name Description
powerTipPreRender The pre-render event happens before PowerTip fills the content of the tooltip. This is a good opportunity to set the tooltip content data (e.g. data-powertip, data-powertipjq).
powerTipRender Render happens after the content has been placed into the tooltip, but before the tooltip has been displayed. Here you can modify the tooltip content manually or attach events.
powerTipOpen This happens after the tooltip has completed its fade-in cycle and is fully open. You might want to use this event to do animations or add other bits of visual sugar.
powerTipClose Occurs after the tooltip has completed its fade-out cycle and fully closed, but the tooltip content is still in place. This event is useful do doing cleanup work after the user is done with the tooltip.

Using events

You can use these events by binding to them on the element(s) that you ran powerTip() on, the recommended way to do that is with the jQuery on() method. For example:

	powerTipPreRender: function() {
		console.log('powerTipRender', this);

		// generate some dynamic content
		$(this).data('powertip' , '<h3 class="title">Default title</h3><p>Default content</p>');
	powerTipRender: function() {
		console.log('powerTipRender', this);

		// change some content dynamically
		$('#powerTip').find('.title').text('This is a dynamic title.');
	powerTipOpen: function() {
		console.log('powerTipOpen', this);

		// animate something when the tooltip opens
		$('#powerTip').find('.title').animate({ opacity: .1 }, 1000).animate({ opacity: 1 }, 1000);
	powerTipClose: function() {
		console.log('powerTipClose', this);

		// cleanup the animation
		$('#powerTip').find('.title').stop(true, true);

The context (the this keyword) of these functions will be the element that the tooltip is open for.

About smart placement

Smart placement is a feature that will attempt to keep non-mouse-follow tooltips within the browser view port. When it is enabled PowerTip will automatically change the placement of any tooltip that would appear outside of the view port, such as a tooltip that would push outside the left or right bounds of the window, or a tooltip that would be hidden below the fold.

Without smart placement:

Example without smart placement

With smart placement:

Example with smart placement

It does this by detecting that a tooltip would appear outside of the view port, then trying a series of other placement options until it finds one that isn’t going to be outside of the view port. You can define the placement fall backs and priorities yourself by overriding them in the $.fn.powerTip.smartPlacementLists object.

These are the default smart placement priority lists:

$.fn.powerTip.smartPlacementLists = {
	n: [ 'n', 'ne', 'nw', 's' ],
	e: [ 'e', 'ne', 'se', 'w', 'nw', 'sw', 'n', 's', 'e' ],
	s: [ 's', 'se', 'sw', 'n' ],
	w: [ 'w', 'nw', 'sw', 'e', 'ne', 'se', 'n', 's', 'w' ],
	nw: [ 'nw', 'w', 'sw', 'n', 's', 'se', 'nw' ],
	ne: [ 'ne', 'e', 'se', 'n', 's', 'sw', 'ne' ],
	sw: [ 'sw', 'w', 'nw', 's', 'n', 'ne', 'sw' ],
	se: [ 'se', 'e', 'ne', 's', 'n', 'nw', 'se' ],
	'nw-alt': [ 'nw-alt', 'n', 'ne-alt', 'sw-alt', 's', 'se-alt', 'w', 'e' ],
	'ne-alt': [ 'ne-alt', 'n', 'nw-alt', 'se-alt', 's', 'sw-alt', 'e', 'w' ],
	'sw-alt': [ 'sw-alt', 's', 'se-alt', 'nw-alt', 'n', 'ne-alt', 'w', 'e' ],
	'se-alt': [ 'se-alt', 's', 'sw-alt', 'ne-alt', 'n', 'nw-alt', 'e', 'w' ]

As you can see, each placement option has an array of placement options that it can fall back on. The first item in the array is the highest priority placement, the last is the lowest priority. The last item in the array is also the default. If none of the placement options can be fully displayed within the view port then the last item in the array is the placement used to show the tooltip.

You can override these default placement priority lists before you call powerTip() and define your own smart placement fall back order. Like so:

// define custom smart placement order
$.fn.powerTip.smartPlacementLists.n = [ 'n', 's', 'e', 'w' ];

// these tips will use the custom 'north' smart placement list
	placement: 'n',
	smartPlacement: true

Smart placement is disabled by default because I believe that the world would be a better place if features that override explicit configuration values were disabled by default.

Custom PowerTip Integration

If you need to use PowerTip in a non-standard way, that is to say, if you need tooltips to open and close in some way other than the default mouse-on/mouse-off behavior then you can create your own event handlers and tell PowerTip when it should open and close tooltips.

This is actually quite easy, you just tell PowerTip not to hook the default mouse and keyboard events when you run the plugin by setting the manual option to true, then use the API to open and close tooltips. While this is a bit more technical then just using the default behavior it works just as well. In fact, PowerTip uses this same public API internally.

Disable event binding

To disable binding of the events that are normally attached when you run powerTip() just set the manual option to true.

$('.tooltips').powerTip({ manual: true });

Now PowerTip has initialized and set up the .tooltips elements, but it will not open tooltips for those elements automatically. You have to manually open the tooltips using the API.

Building your own event handlers

Here is an example of a manually implemented click-to-open tooltip to show you how it’s done:

// run PowerTip - but disable the default event hooks
$('.tooltips').powerTip({ manual: true });

// hook custom onclick function
$('.tooltips').on('click', function() {
	// toggle the tooltip for the element that received the click event

// Note: this is just for example - for click-to-open you should probably just
// use the openEvents/closeEvents options, like this:
// $('.tooltips').powerTip({ openEvents: [ 'click' ], closeEvents: [ 'click' ] });

This code will open a tooltip when the element is clicked and close it when the element is clicked again, or when another one of the .tooltips elements gets clicked.

Now it’s worth noting that this example doesn’t take advantage of the hover intent feature or the tooltip delays because the mouse position was not passed to the toggle() method.

So let’s take a look at a more complex situation. In the following example we hook up mouse events just like PowerTip would internally (open on mouse enter, close on mouse leave).

// run PowerTip - but disable the default event hooks
$('.tooltips').powerTip({ manual: true });

// hook custom mouse events
	mouseenter: function(event) {
		// note that we pass the jQuery mouse event to the show() method
		// this lets PowerTip do the hover intent testing
		$.powerTip.show(this, event);
	mouseleave: function() {
		// note that we pass the element to the hide() method
		// this lets PowerTip wait before closing the tooltip, if the users
		// mouse cursor returns to this element before the tooltip closes then
		// the close will be canceled

And there you have it. If you want to enable the hover intent testing then you will need to pass the mouse event to the show() method and if you want to enable the close delay feature then you have to pass that element to the hide() method.

Additional notes

Change Log

v1.3.0 - API enhancements, new options, and several bug fixes (January 15, 2017)

v1.2.0 - Major release with lots of improvements and a significant code rewrite (April 3, 2013)

v1.1.0 - Major release with several significant improvements (August 8, 2012)

v1.0.4 - Minor release to address issues with IE8 (July 31, 2012)

v1.0.3 - Minor release to address a couple issues (July 31, 2012)

v1.0.2 - Minor release to make a couple small improvements and bug fixes (July 26, 2012)

v1.0.1 - Minor release to fix a tip tracking issue (July 11, 2012)

v1.0.0 - Initial public release (July 1, 2012)


Special thanks to the contributors who have helped build PowerTip.

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