Disable tooltips!

For years now, I have been annoyed and exasperated by tooltips in Windows XP. They pop up unexpectedly, obscuring what I’m trying to read (in Internet Explorer, on my desktop, in the Control Panel) or type (in FrontPage – why must it tell me to use ctrl+click every time I hover over a link? After 7 years of web design, I know, believe me). Most of the time, tooltips are worthless. For years I have been trying to find a way to disable them, with little success. Tweak UI (a Windows configuration utility that I highly recommend) helps some, and there are various registry hacks that get rid of a few of more, but nothing that disables all of them. Today, I discovered a brilliant piece of software called AlphaXP. While it doesn’t disable tooltips, it does the next best thing: it makes them invisible.

AlphaXP actually has a whole bunch of features related to transparency, but the only one I care about is the one that lets you set the transparency of tooltips. Putting it at 100% makes them invisible. It’s not free, but the $15 price tag is well worth the disappearance of my number 1 Windows pet peeve. Note that the “lite” (free) version of the software doesn’t offer this feature, though I’m sure it’s a fine program for other transparency needs.

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