(Special thanks to Andre Michaud and Mike Russell who showed me how to do this.)

ToolTips are quite useful for for displaying helpful information when the user hovers over a control. The way that ToolTips are usually used is by setting the ToolTipService.ToolTip property to some text. This will display the text in a rather bland rectangle, without wrapping. Here are some ways to make your ToolTips more useful and nicer looking.

ToolTip are typically defined like this:

<TextBox Height="20" Width="100" ToolTipService.ToolTip="Some helpful text"/>

The standard ToolTip looks like this:

image

ToolTipService.ToolTip is an attached property that defines the Content of the ToolTip. It will get put into a ContentPresenter. In this case, since it is a string, the ContentPresenter will create a TextBlock for it. The TextBlock does not wrap, however, so if you have too much text, it just looks silly. But knowing that the ToolTipService.ToolTip defines the Content of the ToolTip, you can add your own UIElements, and not rely on the ContentPresenter to do it for you.

Here's some XAML that makes a ToolTip that can wrap text. It also modifies some of the font properties:

<TextBox Height="20" Width="100">
    <ToolTipService.ToolTip>
        <TextBlock MaxWidth="150" 
                   Text="This is a longer string of text. It is even in a different font. Aren't ToolTips exciting?" 
                   FontFamily="Georgia" FontSize="14" TextWrapping="Wrap"/>
    </ToolTipService.ToolTip>
</TextBox>

This will show a ToolTip that is a little more interesting.

image

Because you can set the Content property to anything that you want, you can do this:

<TextBox Height="20" Width="100">
    <ToolTipService.ToolTip>
        <StackPanel>
            <Border Background="CadetBlue">
                <TextBlock Text="Some sort of title" TextAlignment="Center"/>
            </Border>
            <TextBlock MaxWidth="150" 
               Text="This is a longer string of text. It is even in a different font. Aren't ToolTips exciting?" 
               FontFamily="Georgia" FontSize="14" TextWrapping="Wrap"/>
        </StackPanel>
    </ToolTipService.ToolTip>
</TextBox>
This looks like this:

image

Note that the Content of the ToolTip can't be interacted with, so you can't put a Button (for example) in the ToolTip and expect the user to be able to interact with it, or for it to get the focus.

But this is still kind of a boring ToolTip: a plain-looking rectangle. But it is possible to make that look nicer, too.

You can retemplate the ToolTip to give it new visuals. Here's an example:

image

The XAML is below. You'll note that I rearranged things a little bit: I put a ToolTip element under the ToolTipService.ToolTip element. I made the ToolTip.Content just a simple TextBlock again, and set the ToolTip's Template property to a fancy new Template which is defined in the page resources.

<UserControl x:Class="ToolTipTest.Page"
    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation" 
    xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml" 
    Width="400" Height="300">
    <UserControl.Resources>
        <ControlTemplate x:Key="ToolTipTemplate">
            <Border BorderBrush="Black" BorderThickness="4" CornerRadius="8" Background="PaleGoldenrod" MaxWidth="200">
                <Grid>
                    <Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
                        <ColumnDefinition Width="auto"/>
                        <ColumnDefinition Width="*"/>
                    </Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
                    <Grid Margin="2">
                        <Ellipse Fill="Black" Height="52" Width="52"/>
                        <Ellipse Stroke="White" StrokeThickness="4" Fill="Blue" Height="50" Width="50"/>
                        <TextBlock Text="i" FontStyle="italic" FontSize="40" FontFamily="Georgia" 
                                               VerticalAlignment="Center" HorizontalAlignment="Center" Foreground="White"/>

                    </Grid>
                    <ContentPresenter Grid.Column="1"
                                        Content="{TemplateBinding Content}"
                                        ContentTemplate="{TemplateBinding ContentTemplate}"
                                        Margin="{TemplateBinding Padding}" 
                                        VerticalAlignment="Center"/>
                </Grid>
            </Border>
        </ControlTemplate>
    </UserControl.Resources>
    <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="Gainsboro">
        <TextBox Height="20" Width="100">
            <ToolTipService.ToolTip>
                <ToolTip Template="{StaticResource ToolTipTemplate}">
                    <ToolTip.Content>
                        <TextBlock 
                           Text="This is a longer string of text." 
                           FontFamily="Georgia" FontSize="14" TextWrapping="Wrap"/>
                    </ToolTip.Content>
                </ToolTip>
            </ToolTipService.ToolTip>
        </TextBox>
    </Grid>
</UserControl>