Displays a highly customizable tooltip when the user interacts with the matched element.

Downloads in past


1.2.108 years ago8 years agoMinified + gzip package size for cluetip in KB


jQuery clueTip Plugin

Important: This plugin is no longer being maintained.

I originally wrote clueTip back in 2006 as my first attempt at a jQuery plugin. If I were to write it now, I would do it completely differently. However, I don't have the time or energy to work on it. The good news is that you can use any one of a number of better tooltip plugins. Here are a few:


Dual licensed under the MIT license:

Copyright Karl Swedberg


  • jQuery v1.3+


Displays a highly customizable tooltip when the user interacts with the matched element. As of clueTip version 1.1, this plugin is ThemeRoller Ready1.

Known Issues

  • When .cluetip() is invoked from an image map <area> element, the plugin ignores the postionBy option. Positioning the tooltip by the coords is beyond the scope of the plugin, so it instead falls back to positioning according to the mouse's position (event.pageX and event.pageY) when it enters the <area>.

Important clueTip 1.2 Change

Version 1.2 of the clueTip plugin changes the HTML structure of the tooltip. It uses classes instead of IDs for the elements within the clueTip. This allows multiple tooltips to be visible at the same time (one per call to the .cluetip() method) if the multiple option is set to true.
The plugin may not work as expected if you update jquery.cluetip.js to version 1.2+ and you don't also update the jquery.cluetip.css stylesheet.
If you have a lot invested in the old clueTip's structure with the IDs, you can get it back by:
  1. adding the lib/jquery.compat.cluetip.js file immediately after jquery.cluetip.js, AND
  2. replacing lib/jquery.cluetip.css with jquery.compat.cluetip.css.



The clueTip plugin allows for (too?) many options. For a complete list, check out the plugin's homepage2

Content via ajax

By default, the clueTip plugin loads a page indicated by the "rel" attribute via ajax and displays its contents. However, the attribute to be used for both the body and the heading of the clueTip is user-configurable. If a "title" attribute is specified, its value is used as the clueTip's heading.

Content from HTML element

Optionally, the clueTip's body can display content from an element on the same page.
Just indicate the element's id (e.g. "#some-id") in the rel attribute.

Content from title attribute

Optionally, the clueTip's body can display content from the title attribute, when a delimiter is indicated.
  • The string before the first instance of the delimiter is set as the clueTip's heading.
  • All subsequent strings are wrapped in separate DIVs and placed in the clueTip's body.



This is the most basic clueTip. It displays a 275px-wide clueTip on mouseover of the element with an ID of "tip." On mouseout of the element, the clueTip is hidden.

Setting Multiple Options

The following displays a clueTip on mouseover of all <a> elements with class="clue". The hovered element gets a class of "highlight" added to it (so that it can be styled appropriately. This may be useful for non-anchor elements in older browsers such as IE6.). The clueTip is "sticky," which means that it will not be hidden until the user either clicks on its "close" text/graphic or displays another clueTip. The "close" text/graphic is set to display at the bottom of the clueTip (default is top) and display an image rather than the default "Close" text. Moreover, the body of the clueTip is truncated to the first 60 characters, which are followed by an ellipsis (...). Finally, the clueTip retrieves the content with a POST request rather than the default GET.
  hoverClass: 'highlight',
  sticky: true,
  closePosition: 'bottom',
  closeText: '<img src="cross.png" alt="close" />',
  truncate: 60,
  ajaxSettings: {
    type: 'POST'

Triggering the hideCluetip event (useful for touch devices)

You can programmatically hide (close) a clueTip by triggering the "hideCluetip" custom event. On a touch-enabled device, for example, you could hide any visible clueTips when the user touches anywhere in the body except on a link or on the clueTip itself:
$('body').bind('touchstart', function(event) {
 event = event.originalEvent;
 var tgt = event.touches[0] && event.touches[0].target,
     $tgt = $(tgt);

 if (tgt.nodeName !== 'A' && !$tgt.closest('div.cluetip').length ) {

More examples can be found at


  • Originally inspired by Cody Lindley's jTip (
  • Huge thanks to Jonathan Chaffer, Glen Lipka, Shelane Enos, Hector Santos, Torben Schreiter, Dan G. Switzer, Jörn Zaefferer, and the many others who helped report and fix bugs and suggest features.