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Balloon Tips Galore!

, 14 Sep 2003
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An article describing the various forms of Balloon Tips


This article introduces creating Balloon Tooltips, using available standard APIs. Balloon Tooltips can be very useful sometimes, however if used improperly can be painful for the user. Simply put, the code creates different types of balloon Tooltips. To use this, download the code, and choose the class you want to add in your project. Copy it over to your solution and you are ready to go. Have a look at the code behind the forms (Form1, Form2, Form3) in order to use it. The aim here was to keep the code as simple and modular as possible.

There are quite a few excellent articles on Code Project explaining how to create BalloonTips. Some even create them from scratch and are probably more feature rich. While I found these articles very informative, I also felt the need to use the original tips which come with Windows XP. The result is this simple API based project. Most of the code is based on this MSDN article.

I have omitted a notification kind of Tooltip or a Task Tray kind of balloon tip, just because there is already a good example on Code Project.

Using the code

All classes contain explanatory doc comments where necessary. Also code has been provided in both VB and C# to help ease of usage. The solution has been created in VS. NET 2003, hence may not be usable from VS. NET 2002, However the source code shouldn't be a problem.

HoverBalloon: Instead of showing a Tooltip over a control, a balloon tip can be shown over the control. Use this in cases where you want to attract the user's attention to detail. Use this sparingly in your application, so that user doesn't end up seeing a festival of balloons scattered over the form.

MessageBalloon: Has more control over the display of the balloon. The stem, location of the balloon can be changed with this class. This can be shown and hidden at will. Use this whenever you need a non-modal message box.

EditBalloon: Notice how a balloon comes up while entering the password in a edit control, if the CAPS lock is pressed accidentally ? It just reminds the user, but doesn't stop the process. Use this class as a reminder to the user while entering key edit fields.

If using VS. NET 2002 then a manifest file needs to be added to the directory in which the binary resides. (Find one in the 'bin' directory of download). If using VS. NET 2003 then Application.EnableVisualStyles() needs to be called before any form is loaded.

Enjoy the code, any feedback is appreciated.


If the user has disabled BalloonTips in the registry then this probably wont work. This hasn't been tested on operating systems other than XP, so probably it won't work there.

Future Improvements

Provide designer support similar to the Tooltip control, by deriving from System.ComponentModel.Component class, similar to the System.Windows.Forms.ToolTip class at design time.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Ramesh Shrivastav
Web Developer
United States United States
Ramesh is very much into Microsoft technologies, and silently marvels at the power of Windows SDK.
He juggles his time between his family, work and his computer.

Comments and Discussions

Question[Resolved] How to move the Balloon with the form? [modified] PinmemberOlivier1757857857804-Feb-14 4:44 
QuestionLicence PinmemberDommett16-May-13 1:01 
QuestionIt is getting crashed everytime on startup of the program in win7 Pinmembergaurish thakkar18-Jan-13 1:58 
QuestionRightToLeft Support Pinmembercearsh11-May-12 22:47 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermanoj kumar choubey23-Mar-12 5:01 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberjtxd5-May-11 23:05 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberraiserle7-Apr-11 10:39 
QuestionHow to show the balloon tooltip using the TTM_POPUP message Pinmemberfeg200027-Aug-10 11:17 
Questionhow to disable windows' balloon PinmemberHZ216-Dec-09 3:43 
GeneralCrash on Windows 7 (64bit) PinmemberMember 344021116-Dec-09 1:47 
AnswerRe: Crash on Windows 7 (64bit) PinmemberHZ216-Dec-09 3:54 
I also use this code on W7 64bit, and works fine!
Have you got any error messages?
GeneralRe: Crash on Windows 7 (64bit) PinmemberAlex Casamassima8-Jan-10 5:09 
GeneralRe: Crash on Windows 7 (64bit) PinmemberHimal1619813-Jun-10 6:36 
GeneralAnother Thanks PinmemberGary Huckabone8-Dec-09 10:37 
GeneralThanks Pinmemberoldsellerros30-Nov-09 4:30 
Generalensure message balloon dies when window changes or closes PinmemberBobishKindaGuy9-Apr-09 12:53 
AnswerRe: ensure message balloon dies when window changes or closes [modified] PinmemberKPEBEDKO13-Aug-09 23:23 
GeneralHoverBalloon disappears rather quickly PinmemberBobishKindaGuy4-Jan-09 1:37 
GeneralRe: HoverBalloon disappears rather quickly Pinmembersgennette9-Apr-09 9:54 
GeneralRe: HoverBalloon disappears rather quickly [modified] PinmemberBobishKindaGuy9-Apr-09 11:48 
GeneralRe: HoverBalloon disappears rather quickly Pinmembersgennette10-Apr-09 4:06 
GeneralRe: HoverBalloon disappears rather quickly PinmemberBobishKindaGuy10-Apr-09 10:15 
GeneralBalloonTip Visual Stype & WPF PinmemberRStern26-Aug-08 1:15 
QuestionHow to do it for richtextbox? PinmemberPriyank Bolia10-Apr-08 10:29 
GeneralHelp with edit tooltip Pinmemberrageit15-Jul-07 20:22 
GeneralEdit ToolTip Appears and dissapears PinmemberCarl Ja23-May-07 14:52 
GeneralRe: Edit ToolTip Appears and dissapears PinmemberCarl Ja23-May-07 17:28 
QuestionHOW TO ADD CUSTOM ICON PinmemberNicola Costantini12-Mar-07 7:10 
QuestionMissing feature? Pinmemberpetemaverick11-Feb-07 9:29 
Generalballoon becomes orphan PinmemberHarm Salomons25-Oct-06 8:38 
GeneralTimeout option Pinmemberkikhan_2115-Jun-06 5:42 
AnswerRe: Timeout option PinmemberJesusAbizanda23-Jun-06 1:35 
GeneralRe: Timeout option Pinmembersgennette9-Apr-09 9:53 
Questionproblem with OpenFIleDialog, SaveFileDialog and FolderBrowseDialog Pinmemberkikhan_2131-May-06 4:07 
AnswerRe: problem with OpenFIleDialog, SaveFileDialog and FolderBrowseDialog Pinmembermarantz11-Jul-07 0:45 
GeneralDirectly copied from MSDN bugs and all PinmemberMach00512-May-06 14:32 
GeneralRe: Directly copied from MSDN bugs and all Pinmemberramshri13-May-06 12:36 
GeneralAccessViolationException: Bug in FMSEditTip.cs PinmemberMach00510-May-06 14:11 
GeneralRe: AccessViolationException: Bug in FMSEditTip.cs Pinmemberjose.mira1-Oct-08 4:44 
QuestionHow can the EditBallon be hidden? PinmemberKelraad14-Feb-06 3:53 
AnswerRe: How can the EditBallon be hidden? PinmemberKelraad14-Feb-06 4:18 
QuestionHow to enable balloon on XP Pinmemberriscy19-Dec-05 21:23 
AnswerRe: How to enable balloon on XP PinmemberFabio Poroli4-Jan-06 4:59 
QuestionWhat with tray? Pinmemberrent0n25-Nov-05 0:00 
QuestionRight to Left Ballon PinmemberAmirSasan10-Nov-05 11:38 
AnswerRe: Right to Left Ballon PinmemberfreshonlineMax4-Mar-06 19:21 
NewsUpdate Balloon Text Pinmemberbelzu13-Oct-05 2:12 
GeneralProblems with Message Tip PinmemberTerrel7-Aug-05 8:35 
GeneralMessageBalloon Problems PinmemberChoudhry2-Jan-05 22:59 
GeneralBalloon Tips with ListView control Pinmembermistert00620-Oct-04 10:07 

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