CSS Only Tooltips Alternative

The other day we made some CSS only tooltips. And the cool part about being a developer is there are always different ways to do it. I got some feedback that the data-attribute was also a nice alternative way, so I decided to rebuild my ones.

And it is indeed a neet way of doing so. It's cleaner code, and with this one, we don't have to define a fixed width.

HTML Structure

The HTML Structure only changes slightly from our previous example.

<div class="skills">
  <div class="skills-item" data-tooltip="HTML5">
    <!-- Content -->
  </div>
  <div class="skills-item" data-tooltip="CSS3">
    <!-- Content -->
  </div>
  <div class="skills-item" data-tooltip="JavaScript">
    <!-- Content -->
  </div>
</div>

So basicly we removed our span and placed our tooltip content inside the data-tooltip attribute we created.

CSS Tooltip Alternative

As for our CSS we are using the tooltip attribute selector as such:

.skills-item[data-tooltip] {
  position: relative;
}

Then we will add our actual tooltip element the box and set the content to be whatever is in our data-tooltip

.skills-item[data-tooltip]:after {
  transition: opacity 0.3s;
  opacity: 0;
  position: absolute;
  content: attr(data-tooltip);
  bottom: 100%;
  background-color: #555;
  padding: 5px 0;
  border-radius: 6px;
  color: #fff;
  padding: 8px;
  width: auto;
  right: 50%;
  transform: translateX(50%);
}

We use the same styling, but position it slightly different by offsetting it after placing it to the right.

Now we also want to have that little arrow at the bottom and will leverage the bottom pseudo-element.

.skills-item[data-tooltip]:before {
  transition: opacity 0.3s;
  opacity: 0;
  content: '';
  position: absolute;
  border-width: 5px;
  border-style: solid;
  border-color: #555 transparent transparent transparent;
  right: 50%;
  transform: translateX(50%);
  margin-top: -10px;
}

Awesome!

Now all that's left is showing it once we hover! Remember we have to show two elements now the before and after.

.skills-item[data-tooltip]:hover:after {
  opacity: 1;
}
.skills-item[data-tooltip]:hover:before {
  opacity: 1;
}

There you go, an alternative way of showing a tooltip.

View this on Codepen.

Browser Support

The browser support for this function mainly depends on the attribute selector, and that's pretty well supported!

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