Customize those tooltips…

Tooltips are those ‘helpful’ yellow tags containing messages that sometimes appear when the mouse pointer hovers over controls in many programs. For various reasons, I sometimes find aspects of their implementation to be unsatisfactory. Fortunately, it turns out to be possible to tweak tooltip characteristics (at least in Cocoa apps) to some extent, by adding various properties to the .GlobalPreferences.plist file, or an individual program’s .plist file.

Some of the available properties (their functions are more or less self-explanatory) include:

defaults write -g NSInitialToolTipDelay -int 10000 (time in ms)
defaults write -g NSToolTipAutoWrappingDisabled -bool true (or false)
defaults write -g NSToolTipsFont -string fontname (substitute fontname)
defaults write -g NSToolTipsFontSize -int 10 (or some other font size)

Note that this will only affect programs launched after the change is made.

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