This is not code I am writing. Otherwise I would use CSS, JavaScript, or an Internet Explorer 8 accelerator for what I need.

Also, I am looking for something my endusers (non-technical) can use. So viewsource, etc. won't help.

  • 2
    Is this an application that you are writing or is this in the context of any application that you are running on your machine?
    – Babak Naffas
    Dec 16, 2010 at 19:40
  • I edited my question. This is not my code. I upvoted all your answers. If I could have selected all of your answers as the accepted answer I would have. I thought maybe there was a hot key or something. Thanks, all.
    – Lill Lansey
    Dec 16, 2010 at 19:49

9 Answers 9


Open page source, find element, copy title attribute. Assuming that the attribute is not set with JavaScript.

If you are using Firefox, install Firebug and use the element selector to select the element with the tooltip you want to copy, then copy the title attribute from the DOM tree displayed. This will work even if the attribute is set with JavaScript.


In Chrome:

  1. Load the web page
  2. Open Chrome DevTools... Ctrl+Shift+I (Windows) or Cmd+Opt+I (Mac)
  3. On the web page:
    • Display the tooltip (usually by hovering over some part of the page)
    • Right-click while the tooltip is visible, but do NOT select an item from the context menu (to ensure the tooltip remains visible for step 4)
  4. In Chrome DevTools:
    • Click the "Elements" tab to give the "Elements" panel focus
    • Crtl+F to search within the "Elements" panel
    • Type the first few words of the tooltip text into the search box... now the search string should appear highlighted in the "Elements" panel
    • Click on the element that contains the tooltip text
    • Right-click on the selected element
    • From the content menu, select "Copy" -> "Copy element"

Done... the entire tooltip text will be on the clipboard now.

Tested in Chrome 54.0.2840.99 m.


Not from the tooltip directly.

But if you're willing to do a little work, there's always ways to get at this stuff:

  • Right click on the page and select your browser's equivalent of "View Source". Assuming there's no evil JavaScript code preventing access to your source and that the tooltip wasn't pulled via an Ajax request, you should now be able to study the source for the page and find your text somewhere among the HTML and JavaScript content you see there.
  • Alternatively, use a debugger like Firebug that can inspect the active DOM for the page to find the tooltip text in a place that can be copied directly.
  • Great ideas, but I am looking for something my endusers (non technical) can use.
    – Lill Lansey
    Dec 16, 2010 at 19:48
  • @Lill Lansey: If it's a page you control then there are any number of ways to present copyable text to them, so I'm assuming this is just something your users want to be able to do in any page? If that's the case, you'll either need to write some kind of browser plugin for them or give them some basic instruction in Firebug (or some equivalent in the browser of choice) to right-click on an element and see its text. But based on the number of varying ways to create a tooltip, even that will have limited success.
    – David
    Dec 16, 2010 at 19:54

Nope, unfortunately not ... unless someone writes some sort of browser plugin that does this.


Babak's comment is kind of important. As it stands right now, it sounds like you're not really writing any code or developing any application; you just want to copy something from your browser to the clipboard.

Assuming that's what you're trying to do, then it's possible that the tooltip is in the HTML code. Explicit text can be placed in HTML that most browsers render as a tooltip on mouseover (such as the alt property on an img tag). If the tooltip you want to copy to the clipboard is part of the HTML content, then you can view the source from within your browser and copy it from there.

Some browsers have more modern debugging and inspection tools which allow you to right-click on the element itself and go straight to that point in the source as well.


SnagIt, a commercial screen capture tool, can extract text out of a tool tip as well.

There are also other alternatives but I haven't tried them.


Clearly by Evernote evernote.com/clearly/‎ works for me - it shows all the tooltips in a list after any normal text in the page.

(I've only tried this on one type of page, which didn't provide any useful information in in Source Page for the htm.)


Alternatively, you may try opening the page source and searching for a part of the description text by manually typing it into the search box.

Also, browsers these days have developer tools built in, so if you're familiar with how they work, it might be easier to just analyze an image and find that text in one of its properties. Or you could search through all connected files using devtools for a part of the description text as well.


If you want easy solution: Move mouse pointer on the item you want to copy its tooltip to show tooltip, mark all contents on webpage (CTRL+A), copy it (CTRL+C) and paste it to text procesor (for example notepad++). The last line is the text in the tooltip. I use this solution and it is easy, not needed knowledge about DOM and HTML.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .