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zakgj01

Fixing tooltip behind the Windows taskbar

20 posts in this topic

If you are using Windows XP you'd should have noticed that sometimes, the tooltip appears behind the windows taskbar when you hover on the taskbar icons, such as the time (to get the date).

61888tooltiphidden.jpg

If you've encountered it before, you'd know what I mean. It's THAT annoying! So how do you go about fixing it?

You can download the fix here

http://atpeaz.placidthoughts.com/uploads/tooltipsfix.rar

You might also want to create a shortcut to this fix in the Start Menu and then assign a shortcut key to it. That way, fixing the tooltip problem when it occurs only takes a few combination of keys!

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I have no idea what causes this but I believe it's a mixup in the Z-order of windows...

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This problem is caused by a bug in Windows that causes the taskbar tool-tips to lose their "topmost" window style and be covered up by the taskbar. Microsoft has acknowledged this problem exists (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/912650), but has not yet fixed it.

Tool Tip Manager will to fix this annoying problem by processing taskbar window messages and resetting the "topmost" window style for tool-tips as needed, automatically. This program also allows you to customize the appearance of the task bar tool tips (font & color) and set the automatic hide timer value. This is the only program that actually prevents the problem from occuring and runs automatically without requiring a separate process.

Regards,

Nick Acquaviva

Edited by nickacquaviva
to remove comercial advertising
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Nick, I'm sure your [advertised program] does the job well enough, but zakgj01's solution is free to download and use. As you are also a first poster advertising your business, your reply comes close to commercial spamming :angry: .

[advertised program] was written specifically to fix this annoying problem by processing taskbar window messages and resetting the "topmost" window style for tool-tips as needed, automatically. This program also allows you to customize the appearance of the task bar tool tips (font & color) and set the automatic hide timer value.

Regards,

Nick Acquaviva

Edited by Shark007
remove commercial advertising
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Thanks zakgj01 for this fix. Now this tooltips appears like they shoud.

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Thx a lot can confirm that the fix from zakgj01 also works on Windows 2003. :thumbup

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Just curious. Does restarting XP solve the problem without a fix? It happened to me yesterday and I was going to try your fix. But then after a restart, the problem was solved and so I was like, I don't need to fix it.

I'm not sure if it will come back though; and I'm not sure what triggered it.

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Thx a lot can confirm that the fix from zakgj01 also works on Windows 2003. :thumbup

Yes, I'm using it on Windows 2003 (server-to-desktop adaptation) here as well. What is particularly interesting is that with a fresh install of the OS, the problem now shows itself MUCH more frequently than before, so zakgj01's help is even more useful.

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Just curious. Does restarting XP solve the problem without a fix? It happened to me yesterday and I was going to try your fix. But then after a restart, the problem was solved and so I was like, I don't need to fix it.

Since I used this fix I don't have anymore problem with this tooltips so I think is better to use this fix once than restart computer every time when this problem occur.

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heres another program that does the same thing except it is constantly running, you don't need to make a shortcut to click when the tooltip bugs on ya.

http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=10

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What exactly goes this executable do behind the scenes? Unload / reload dll? Regtweak? What? A little uncomfy with running executables that I know little about...

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heres another program that does the same thing except it is constantly running, you don't need to make a shortcut to click when the tooltip bugs on ya.

http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=10

In my opinion this program uses to much memory and it would be better to fix this problem without need to have some app always running.

What exactly goes this executable do behind the scenes? Unload / reload dll? Regtweak? What? A little uncomfy with running executables that I know little about...

I would like to know this too to maybe fix this problem without any program but I don't know is this possible. I checked and this program do nothing with registry. I hope in sp3 for winxp this problem will be finally fixed.

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Are we questioning the first posters program or the second posters program?

I would like to know what BOTH of them do. I have this problem on and off but I'm leary about running an executable that I don't know about.

Edited by spacesurfer
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This is very annoying bug that I have faced for months, thanks zakgj01 :yes:

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Originally Posted by Computer Guru @ Neowin

The technical explanation is that in the Win32 API, tooltips are coded to have HWND_TOPMOST as their z-index - meaning that they are on top of everything.

However, due to a series (many) (obvious) bugs and miscodings in the Windows Shell, when you perform certain actions with dialogs and Windows that are supposed to appear above current windows (like the context menu when you right click the start menu items) end up coming even above the HWND_TOPMOST entries as well - that's not supposed to happen.

Then it seems (from here on in, i'm only guessing based on what i can see) that the parent window/dialog (in this case, the start menu, then the taskbar) inherits the window status when the child is closed, and keeps it.

Think of it like Dominoes. The first window is made topmost - no problem. as it closes, it's parent takes that z-index. then its parent, and the next, and the next - until you end up with something in the same x-y plane as a HWND_TOPMOST item, and it ends up with a lower z-index; therefore obscuring that item from view.

Basically, it is something that could be avoided by properly handing off z-indexes and keeping these always under HWND_TOPMOST items.

Only the people with Windows' source code or those that have reverse-engineered Windows can actually patch it; so ToolTipFixer runs in the background (as a service) and intercepts calls for HWND_TOPMOST to circumvent the bug. It runs as a service for minimal impact on performance (Start | Run | Services.msc | NST ToolTip Fixer) and for persistence across user-sessions.

^ response from the author to better describe the program. net 2.0 is required, 2.6mb memory usage, but a easy trade-off imo to not be annoyed with the tooltip bug and having to click a script everytime it happens.

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Free and open source tool tip fixer can be found here.

http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/TTF/ToolTipFixer+Home

This is the best fix out there. It fixes it and doesnt give you any "extras" you dont need. Best of all its free.

lol, read a few posts above yours newnew...i already posted and explained it.

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I've reported this bug to be fixed for windows xp sp3. Perhaps it will finally be fixed, dont hold your breath.. :(

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heres another program that does the same thing except it is constantly running, you don't need to make a shortcut to click when the tooltip bugs on ya.

http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=10

In my opinion this program uses to much memory and it would be better to fix this problem without need to have some app always running.

What exactly goes this executable do behind the scenes? Unload / reload dll? Regtweak? What? A little uncomfy with running executables that I know little about...

I would like to know this too to maybe fix this problem without any program but I don't know is this possible. I checked and this program do nothing with registry. I hope in sp3 for winxp this problem will be finally fixed.

This product will prevent the problem from happening. It is not a separately running process on your computer. It is implemented as a standard windows shell extension. It does not use any CPU resources and only a very, very small amount of memory. Oh, and it even lets you change the fonts, colors, and timers for the tool tips. All other products/fixes I know of only attempt to correct the problem after it occurs or require you to manually run something to correct the problem when it happens. Microsoft's answer to fixing this is to up grade to Vista so I would not hold my breath hoping for a fix. I hope that helps.

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