I would like to be able to allow the reader of a (readonly) Word (2013) Document to hover over a word or phrase, in the style of a translated text, whereupon they get a very simple (being key) tool-tip (Screentip) or comment like that which pops up, while avoiding the use of (at least standard) hyperlinks or anything that needs to be clicked (or that changes in color or visual format when clicked, such as a hyperlink), and avoiding any of the richer comment options. In other words, for it to be a discreet part of the document which doesn't interfere with readers who may not care for such comments -- just a Screentip without the baggage.

Essentially, to get the following result:


P.S. Not absolutely necessary, but since I intend this document to be read-only, I would prefer to export it to PDF. Is there an easier way to do this within a PDF once exported, or am I better off doing it in Word with a perhaps simpler solution?

Thanks in advance.

  • anyone.... halp
    – SolaGratia
    Dec 2, 2016 at 18:24
  • I think because it's a read-only document, one would not expect the reader to be interacting with it. As in most cases the document would be printed onto actual paper anyway. How about locking the document so that no one can edit and use comments instead?
    – NeVMiku
    Dec 2, 2016 at 18:57
  • @Hatsune Vocaloid Miku I wouldn't, as such, say that hovering over a certain word if at all, is 'interaction'. It's just a tooltip. I don't know what you mean about comments, the ones I can see are far too obtrusive and distracting and changes the look of the document for people who may never use the tooltips.
    – SolaGratia
    Dec 2, 2016 at 19:16
  • That is interaction. Using a device pointer to point at a word that causes the document to respond in some way. By "comments" I mean right-clicking the word and add comment. It may seem intrusive but it won't show up in "Reading Mode". In that mode every comment will be hidden away and if you hover over a word it will say who made the comment, when, and what the comment is. Similar to hyperlink but less intrusive in my opinion. And also probably easier to create.
    – NeVMiku
    Dec 4, 2016 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


The hyperlink method is the only one I've ever been able to come up with for doing this in Word itself.

If you have access to the full version of Adobe Acrobat, I found this article that describes 2 methods for adding screen tips in a PDF. The first method looks pretty nice. I note, though, that the examples included in the author's sample file don't work on my Mac.

One last option that occurs to me is to convert the doc to a webpage (e.g., save the Word file as a Web Page if there aren't images or as a Single File Web Page if there are) and distribute it that way. You could then edit the HTML code, adding a title attribute to the relevant text to specify the tooltip text.

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