2.0.0 • Public • Published

Primer Tooltips

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Add tooltips built entirely in CSS to nearly any element. Just add a few classes and an aria-label attribute.

This repository is a module of the full primer repository.


This repository is distributed with npm. After installing npm, you can install primer-tooltips with this command.

$ npm install --save primer-tooltips


The source files included are written in Sass (scss) You can simply point your sass include-path at your node_modules directory and import it like this.

@import "primer-tooltips/index.scss";

You can also import specific portions of the module by importing those partials from the /lib/ folder. Make sure you import any requirements along with the modules.


For a compiled css version of this module, a npm script is included that will output a css version to build/build.css The built css file is also included in the npm package.

$ npm run build


Add tooltips built entirely in CSS to nearly any element.


Implementation and accessibility

Attention: we use aria-label for tooltips instead of something like data-tooltip because it is crucial that the tooltip content is available for screen reader users as well. However, aria-label replaces the text content of an element for screen reader users, so only use tooltip if there is no better way to present the information, or consider using title for supplement information.

Note: Tooltip classes will conflict with Octicon styles, and as such, must be applied to the parent element instead of the icon.

Tooltip direction

Specify the direction of a tooltip with north, south, east, and west directions:

  • .tooltipped-n
  • .tooltipped-ne
  • .tooltipped-e
  • .tooltipped-se
  • .tooltipped-s
  • .tooltipped-sw
  • .tooltipped-w
  • .tooltipped-nw
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-n border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the North side.">
  Tooltip North
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-ne border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the North East side.">
  Tooltip North East
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-e border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the East side.">
  Tooltip East
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-se border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the South East side.">
  Tooltip South East
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-s border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the South side.">
  Tooltip South
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-sw border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the South West side.">
  Tooltip South West
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-w border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the West side.">
  Tooltip West
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-nw border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the North West side.">
  Tooltip North West

Tooltip alignment

Align tooltips to the left or right of an element, combined with a directional class to specify north or south.

<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-ne tooltipped-align-left-1 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped NE and aligned left.">
  Tooltip North East align left 1
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-ne tooltipped-align-left-2 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped NE and aligned left.">
  Tooltip North East align left 2
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-se tooltipped-align-left-1 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped SW and aigned left.">
  Tooltip South East align left 1
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-se tooltipped-align-left-2 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped SW and aigned left.">
  Tooltip South East align left 2
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-nw tooltipped-align-right-1 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped NW and aligned right.">
  Tooltip North West align right 1
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-nw tooltipped-align-right-2 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped NW and aligned right.">
  Tooltip North West align right 2
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-sw tooltipped-align-right-1 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped SE and aligned right.">
  Tooltip South West align right 1
<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-sw tooltipped-align-right-2 border p-2 mb-2 mr-2 float-left" aria-label="Tooltipped SE and aligned right.">
  Tooltip South West align right 2

Tooltips with multiple lines

Use .tooltipped-multiline when you have long content. This style has some limitations: you cannot pre-format the text with newlines, and tooltips are limited to a max-width of 250px.

<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-multiline tooltipped-n border p-2" aria-label="This is the tooltip with multiple lines. This is the tooltip with multiple lines.">
  Tooltip with multiple lines

Tooltips No Delay

By default the tooltips have a slight delay before appearing. This is to keep multiple tooltips in the UI from being distracting. There is a modifier class you can use to override this. .tooltipped-no-delay

<span class="tooltipped tooltipped-n tooltipped-no-delay border p-2" aria-label="This is the tooltip on the no delay side.">
  Tooltip no delay


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