Dialogs & Tooltips

User interaction is extremely important in building responsive, interactive web applications. Web browsers provide basic methods for user interaction in the form of alerts and dialogs, but this functionality is not elegant or flexible. Dijit, the Dojo Toolkit's UI framework, provides cross-browser, extendable, and themeable answers to what the browser's basic functionality lack, in the form of dijit.Tooltip, dijit.Dialog, and dijit.TooltipDialog. In this tutorial, you'll learn about each of these widgets, sample usages of each, and the ins and outs of creating them.

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Dojo Version: 1.6

Getting Started with Tooltips

Native "Tooltips" are created within the browser using title attributes within DOM nodes. These Tooltips are as vanilla as they come: no control over display duration, no rich text abilities, and little uniformity across browsers. Dijit's dijit.Tooltip class fixes all of those issues by:

  • Allowing HTML content within the custom Tooltip
  • Providing methods to control Tooltip display position and duration
  • Repositioning and resizing Tooltips when the browser size is changed
  • Providing four themes for elegant Tooltip display
  • Implementing reliable cross-browser strategies for allowing Tooltips to display over Flash elements
  • "Lazily" creation of Tooltips -- not creating the Tooltip nodes until the Tooltip must display.

The setup for using dijit.Tooltip is the same as using any Dijit widget: add the desired theme stylesheet to the page, add the name of the theme as a CSS class to the body node, and require the widget's JavaScript class:

<head>
<!-- use the "claro" theme -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/dojo/1.6.3/dijit/themes/claro/claro.css">
<!-- load dojo and provide config via data attribute -->
<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/dojo/1.6.3/dojo/dojo.xd.js" data-dojo-config="parseOnLoad:true"></script>
<script>
	// Load the Tooltip widget class
	dojo.require("dijit.Tooltip");
</script>
</head>
<!-- add the "claro" CSS class to the body -->
<body class="claro">

</body>

With the theme and widget class loaded, a basic example of programmatic dijit.Tooltip usage would look like:

// Create a new Tooltip
var tip = new dijit.Tooltip({
	// Label - the HTML or text to be placed within the Tooltip
	label: '<div class="myTipType">This is the content of my Tooltip!</div>',
	// Delay before showing the Tooltip (in milliseconds)
	showDelay: 250,
	// The nodes to attach the Tooltip to
	// Can be an array of strings or domNodes
	connectId: ["myElement1","myElement2"]
});

Important dijit.Tooltip properties include:

  • connectId - An array of IDs or DOM nodes that the Tooltip should be connected to
  • label - The HTML or text content to be placed within the Tooltip
  • showDelay - The show delay of the Tooltip

Notable dijit.Tooltip methods include:

  • addTarget - Adds a Tooltip target if not already connected
  • close - Closes a Tooltip instance (hides its visibility)
  • open - Opens a Tooltip instance (makes the Tooltip visible)
  • removeTarget - Removes a node from the Tooltip target list
  • set - Allows for changing of properties, most notably Tooltip content (myTip.set("label","New content!"))

The dijit.Tooltip object also hosts a configurable defaultPosition array which contains the desired order which a Tooltip instance should try to display:

dijit.Tooltip.defaultPosition = ["above", "below", "after", "before"];

This array may be changed to the developer's liking.

Note that changing the dijit.Tooltip.defaultPosition array changes the display position for all tooltips.

dijit.Tooltip Examples

The following are some very common usages of dijit.Tooltip.

Declarative (HTML) Tooltip Creation

<button id="TooltipButton" onmouseover="dijit.Tooltip.defaultPosition=['above', 'below']">Tooltip Above</button>
<div class="dijitHidden"><span data-dojo-type="dijit.Tooltip" data-dojo-props="connectId:'TooltipButton'">I am <strong>above</strong> the button</span></div>

<button id="TooltipButton2" onmouseover="dijit.Tooltip.defaultPosition=['below','above']">Tooltip Below</button>
<div class="dijitHidden"><span data-dojo-type="dijit.Tooltip" data-dojo-props="connectId:'TooltipButton2'">I am <strong>below</strong> the button</span></div>

<button id="TooltipButton3" onmouseover="dijit.Tooltip.defaultPosition=['after','before']">Tooltip After</button>
<div class="dijitHidden"><span data-dojo-type="dijit.Tooltip" data-dojo-props="connectId:'TooltipButton3'">I am <strong>after</strong> the button</span></div>

<button id="TooltipButton4" onmouseover="dijit.Tooltip.defaultPosition=['before','after']">Tooltip Before</button>
<div class="dijitHidden"><span data-dojo-type="dijit.Tooltip" data-dojo-props="connectId:'TooltipButton4'">I am <strong>before</strong> the button</span></div>
View Demo

Programmatic Tooltip Creation

// Add Tooltip of his picture
new dijit.Tooltip({
	connectId: ["nameTip"],
	label: "<img src='rod-stewart.jpg' alt='Rod Stewart' width='300' height='404' />"
});
// Add Tooltip of North London
new dijit.Tooltip({
	connectId: ["londonTip"],
	label: "<img src='emirates-stadium.jpg' alt='The Emirates in London' width='400' height='267' />"
});
//Add Tooltip of record
new dijit.Tooltip({
	connectId: ["recordsTip"],
	label: "<img src='every-picture.jpg' alt='Every Picture Tells a Story' width='200' height='197' />"
});
// Add custom Tooltip
var myTip = new dijit.Tooltip({
	connectId: ["hoverLink"],
	label: "Don't I look funky?",
	"class": "customTip"
});
View Demo

Product Details

<ul>
	<li><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112573/" id="movieBraveheart">Braveheart</a></li>
	<li><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0237534/" id="movieBrotherhood">Brotherhood of the Wolf</a></li>
	<li><a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245844/" id="movieCristo">The Count of Monte Cristo</a></li>
</ul>
<div class="dijitHidden">
	<div data-dojo-type="dijit.Tooltip" data-dojo-props="connectId:'movieBraveheart'">
		<img style="width:100px; height:133px; display:block; float:left; margin-right:10px;" src="braveheart.jpg" />
		<p style="width:400px;"><strong>Braveheart</strong><br />Braveheart is the partly historical, partly mythological, story of William Wallace, a Scottish common man who fights for his country's freedom from English rule around the end of the 13th century...</p>
		<br style="clear:both;">
	</div>
</div>
<div class="dijitHidden">
	<div data-dojo-type="dijit.Tooltip" data-dojo-props="connectId:'movieBrotherhood'">
		<img style="width:100px; height:133px; display:block; float:left; margin-right:10px;" src="brotherhood.jpg" />
		<p style="width:400px;"><strong>Brotherhood of the Wolf</strong><br />In 1765 something was stalking the mountains of central France. A 'beast' that pounced on humans and animals with terrible ferocity...</p>
		<br style="clear:both;">
	</div>
</div>
<div class="dijitHidden">
	<div data-dojo-type="dijit.Tooltip" data-dojo-props="connectId:'movieCristo'">
		<img style="width:100px; height:133px; display:block; float:left; margin-right:10px;" src="count.jpg" />
		<p style="width:400px;"><strong>The Count of Monte Cristo</strong><br />'The Count of Monte Cristo' is a remake of the Alexander Dumas tale by the same name. Dantes, a sailor who is falsely accused of treason by his best friend Fernand, who wants Dantes' girlfriend Mercedes for himself...</p>
		<br style="clear:both;">
	</div>
</div>
View Demo

Dijit Tooltip A Tooltip featuring rich HTML content

The basic Tooltip widget is great for providing feature-rich information, but what if you need a widget that will stand out a bit more? Dijit's Dialog widget is the perfect choice!

Getting Started with Dialogs

When looking to get information from the user, or serve a notification, the browser's native alert and confirm methods simply aren't good enough. They're inflexible and ugly. Luckily, the Dojo Toolkit offers an alternative with dijit.Dialog. Much like dijit.Tooltip, dijit.Dialog allows for HTML content and easy theming. A sample usage of dijit.Dialog would look like:

// Create a new instance of dijit.Dialog
var myDialog = new dijit.Dialog({
	// The dialog's title
	title: "The Dojo Toolkit",
	// The dialog's content
	content: "This is the dialog content.",
	// Hard-code the dialog width
	style: "width:200px;"
});

One important fact to know about dijit.Dialog is that instances are added to a "stack" so that you may have instances on top of one another. Displaying dialogs are also backed up by an iFrame so that they are ensured to always be "on top" of other elements. A single dijit.DialogUnderlay instance is shared by all Dialogs.

Important dijit.Dialog properties include:

  • content - The HTML or text content for the Dialog
  • draggable - Represents if the Dialog should be draggable
  • href - If content is to be loaded by Ajax (dojo.xhrGet), a path to that content file
  • loadingMessage - Message to be shown while the Ajax content is loading.
  • open - Returns true if the Dialog instance is presently open
  • title - The title to display atop the Dialog

Notable dijit.Dialog methods include:

  • hide - Hides the dialog and underlay
  • refresh - Refreshes the content of the Dialog if it's Ajax-based
  • show - Displays the dialog and underlay

dijit.Dialog also provides the callback methods you'd expect from a Dijit widget: onShow, onHide, onLoad, onClick, and more.

dijit.Dialog Examples

The following are some very common usages of dijit.Dialog:

Terms and Conditions

<script>
	// Require the Dialog class
	dojo.require("dijit.Dialog");
	// Show the dialog
	function showDialog() {
		dijit.byId("terms").show();
	}
	// Hide the dialog
	function hideDialog() {
		dijit.byId("terms").hide();
	}
</script>
<button onclick="showDialog();">View Terms and Conditions</button>

<div class="dijitHidden">
	<div data-dojo-type="dijit.Dialog" style="width:600px;" data-dojo-props="title:'Terms and Conditions'" id="terms">
		<p><strong>Please agree to the following terms and conditions:</strong></p>
		<div style="height:160px;overflow-y:scroll;border:1px solid #769dc4;padding:0 10px;width:600px"><p>
		Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed sed suscipit massa. Aenean vel turpis tincidunt velit gravida venenatis. In iaculis urna non quam tincidunt elementum. Nunc pellentesque aliquam dui, ac facilisis massa sollicitudin et. Donec tincidunt vulputate ultrices. Duis eu risus ut ipsum auctor scelerisque non quis ante. Nam tempor lobortis justo, et rhoncus mauris cursus et. Mauris auctor congue lectus auctor ultrices. Aenean quis feugiat purus. Cras ornare vehicula tempus. Nunc placerat, lorem adipiscing condimentum sagittis, augue velit ornare odio, eget semper risus est et erat....
		</p></div>

		<button onclick="hideDialog();">I Agree</button>
		<button onclick="alert('You must agree!');">I Don't Agree</button>
	</div>
</div>
View Demo

Dijit Dialog "Agree to Terms" dialog

Stacked Dialogs

<script>
	// Require the Dialog class
	dojo.require("dijit.Dialog");
	// Create counter
	var counter = 1;
	// Create a new Dialog
	function createDialog(first) {
		// Create a new dialog
		var dialog = new dijit.Dialog({
			// Dialog title
			title: "New Dialog " + counter,
			// Create Dialog content
			content: (!first ? "I am a dialog on top of other dialogs" : "I am the bottom dialog") + "<br /><br /><button onclick='createDialog();'>Create another dialog.</button>"
		});
		dialog.show();
		counter++;
	}
</script>
<button onclick="createDialog(true);">Create New Dialog</button>
View Demo

Ajax Dialogs with Black Underlay

<style>
	/* colors the underlay black instead of white
	 * We're using '.claro .dijitDialogUnderlay' as our selector,
	 * to match the specificity in claro.css */
	.claro .dijitDialogUnderlay { background:#000; }
</style>

<button onclick="dijit.byId('ajaxDialog').show();">Load Ajax Dialog</button>

<div class="dijitHidden">
	<!-- dialog that gets its content via ajax, uses loading message -->
	<div data-dojo-type="dijit.Dialog" style="width:600px;" data-dojo-props="title:'Ajax Dialog',href:'dialog-ajax.php',loadingMessage:'Loading dialog content...'" id="ajaxDialog"></div>
</div>
View Demo

Getting Started with dijit.TooltipDialog

Dijit's TooltipDialog widget mixes the best pieces of Tooltip and Dialog to create a focusable, rich "pop-in" element. The TooltipDialog widget is opened by other widgets as dropdowns, usually dijit.form.DropDownButton. The difference between Tooltip and TooltipDialog widget is that the TooltipDialog stays open until the user clicks outside of the widget so that the "Tooltip" can have clickable links, form elements, etc. inside the widget without it closing when you "mouseout" like a Tooltip would.

The dijit.TooltipDialog widget features most of the same properties, methods, and events supported by Tooltip and Dialog.

dijit.TooltipDialog Example

The following is a very common usage of dijit.TooltipDialog.

Button Dropdown

<script>
	// Require the Button, TooltipDialog, DropDownButton, and TextBox classes
	dojo.require("dijit.form.DropDownButton");
	dojo.require("dijit.TooltipDialog");
	dojo.require("dijit.form.TextBox");
</script>
<button data-dojo-type="dijit.form.DropDownButton">
	<span>Login</span><!-- Text for the button -->
	<!-- The dialog portion -->
	<div data-dojo-type="dijit.TooltipDialog" id="ttDialog">
		<strong><label for="email" style="display:inline-block;width:100px;">Email:</label></strong>
		<div data-dojo-type="dijit.form.TextBox" id="email"></div>
		<br />
		<strong><label for="pass" style="display:inline-block;width:100px;">Password:</label></strong>
		<div data-dojo-type="dijit.form.TextBox" id="pass"></div>
		<br />
		<button type="submit" onclick="alert('Logging in!');">Submit</button>
	</div>
</button>
View Demo

Dijit TooltipDialog A TooltipDialog used to log into a website

TooltipDialog can be an invaluable way to allow interaction of popup content without the need to use a full dialog.

Conclusion

The Dojo Toolkit not only provides the tools you need to accomplish basic tasks easier but also provides cross-browser consistent, flexible, and themeable widgets. The Tooltip, Dialog, and TooltipDialog offer great alternatives to the basic functionalities provided by the browser. Enrich your website with Dijit's Tooltip, Dialog, and TooltipDialog widgets!

Dialog and Tooltip Resources

Looking for more detail about Dijit's Dialogs and Tooltips? Check out these great resources:

Error in the tutorial? Can’t find what you are looking for? Let us know!