Customized tooltips

Since the writing of this sheet, the ARIA specification has been updated from ARIA 1.0 to ARIA 1.1.

This fact sheet is based on the ARIA 1.0 design from WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.0, and the recommendations below may have to be modified once the ARIA 1.1 design patterns are formalized.

For more information on the changes in the ARIA 1.1 update, see WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1.



Tooltips are messages that allow the user to obtain additional information about an item. The message is displayed on hover and also when keyboard focus is on the element.

A tooltip is “customized using ARIA” when it is not built using the standard HTML code as found in the specification, which is the title attribute.

This code is based on the “Tooltip Widget” design pattern found in the WAI-ARIA 1.0 Authoring Practices of the W3C.

Core HTML base

<a href="#" aria-describedby="extrainfo">[Link text]</a>
<div role="tooltip" id="extrainfo">[Content of the tooltip]</div>

ARIA roles, states and properties

Keyboard interaction


When the tooltip is visible, this key hides the tooltip.

Expected behavior


The major advantage of a custom tooltip over its standard HTML counterpart (title attribute) is that the custom tooltip is also accessible for keyboard users.


Customized tooltip components are shown here because their level of accessibility is considered good or very good.

However, before using them in your project, it is important to check for compliancy with the specifications presented above. Certain components may require some adjustments..


Add a comment

Required fields are marked *.

Back to top