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Dialog with a Recalcitrant Computer: Mine!

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: June 6, 1999
E-Mail Faculty on the Site.

Now What Is It Doing?
by Dolly Klett. Link added June 6, 1999.
Tool Tips
What are they, for goodness' sakes? Link added June 6, 1999.



Now What Is It Doing?

by Dolly Klett

On Sunday morning, June 6, 1999, Dolly Klett wrote:

Jeanne, I saw an url in the space where the eagle picture had been, but faliled to get the whole new url for credit  which was in his space. How about getting it back to me. The eagle is now back in his space and I can't seem to get him out of the way !!!!!!! 
Dolly


Dolly, It's OK. The eagle is not trying to prevent your getting to the URL. Honest. That's not an URL. It's a tool tip. Tool tips are rectangular (usually yellow) boxes that identify an image. We need them because sometimes the image doesn't come through, just that broken picture frame. When that happens, by holding your cursor very still at the image spot, you can get the "tip" to appear. It will tell you what the image is that you're missing. This means that if you want to browse the Web, or "surf" quickly, you can turn images off, and access URLs much faster. The tips tell you what the images were, and you can then load images if you want to see them.

Now, I just glossed over a couple of things there. Did you catch me? Why would we call this a tool tip, when the eagle isn't a tool? Good question. The answer is because that's how I learned it. These tips are normally used in software programs with each icon on the toolbars. To make the tips appear you must hold your cursor very still over the icon. Do NOT click. A click will just activate the icon. Most programs have a means to turn the tool tips off, so that once you are familiar with the program and don't need them anymore, they won't annoy you. Look under "options" or "preferences" for that.

But the eagle is still not a tool. He's the central image on our home page this week. So why does he have a tool tip? Well, on a scholarly homepage we can't exactly put links back to the artist's page who put the eagle up for us to use on the Web. It wouldn't be properly decorous. But html provides us with a way to hide the art credits. If you hold your cursor steady over the eagle, the "tip" will come up, and the "tip" tells you where you can find the credits. That "tip" also tells you what the picture is, in case you have your browser images turned off, remember?

One last caveat. In order for the "tip" you saw to appear, I had to place a switch in the image tag for the eagle. The eagle's image is: img src="eagle3.jpg". To make the tip appear, I have to add to that tag: alt="Message that will appear in the tool tip rectangle.". When a "tip" appears for you on a Web page, you know that the webmaster of that page took the trouble to be sure that you could tell what that image was.

Now go see if the eagle will cooperate by making his tool tip appear when you hold your cursor steady (and do not click) over his image.

p.s. Credits for all the art on Dear Habermas can be found at Art for Our Site, just in case the eagle misbehaves again.

jeanne