Reducing Tooltip Time in Eclipse 3.5 (Galileo) on Mac OS X

Tooltips in Mac OS X display, by default, after 2 seconds. I find this is ample time in the general operating system, but in Eclipse it’s an eternity. Eclipse uses Tooltips in the Java tooling to display all kinds of useful information, not the least of which is the javadoc for the element and the source.  Waiting for these is frustrating.

The general workaround of using OS X defaulting to change that didn’t work with previous versions of Eclipse because the SWT (IBM’s excellent widget set) was built on Carbon, OS X’s “UI Compatibility Library”, which ignored the default.  Eclipse is now available for Mac in a native Cocoa version, which does take the defaulting into account.

Here’s how to change the global OS X tooltip delay (in Terminal):

defaults write -g NSInitialToolTipDelay -int 100

I personally want to keep the 2-second delay for everything except Eclipse, so I applied the default just to Eclipse using the Eclipse bundle name:

defaults write org.eclipse.eclipse NSInitialToolTipDelay -int 100

The delay time is in milliseconds. You might have to log out and back in again to make the default take, but usually restarting Eclipse does the trick.

Nice work IBM!

6 Replies to “Reducing Tooltip Time in Eclipse 3.5 (Galileo) on Mac OS X”

    1. No, I’m sorry I don’t know how to do this in Windows. I would expect it’s possible though – try google.

    1. Just replace the 100 with 2000 – that will set a tooltip time of 2 seconds. The value is in milliseconds.

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