This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Text Hover


This plugin allows you to easily define help text that appears when a visitor hovers their mouse over a word or phrase in a post or page.

Via the plugin’s settings, simply specify the words or phrases that you want to be associated with hover text, and of course, the desired hover texts themselves. The format is quite simple; an example of which is shown here:

WP => WordPress
Matt => Matt Mullenweg
The Scooby Shack => the bar where the gang hangs out

Additional features of the plugin controlled both via settings and filters:

  • Hover text can be enabled for comments (it isn’t by default)
  • Hover text can be made case insensitive (it is case sensitive by default)
  • Hover text can be limited to doing only one replacement per term, per post (by default, all occurrences of a term are given hovertext)
  • Hover text can be rendered using the default browser tooltip (by default, the better-looking qTip2 library is used)

Note: This is not the same as my Text Replace plugin, which defines terms or phrases that you want replaced by replacement text when displayed on your site. Text Hover instead adds the hover text as additional information for when visitors hover over the term, which is otherwise displayed in the post as you typed it.

Links: Plugin Homepage | Plugin Directory Page | GitHub | Author Homepage


The plugin exposes five filters for hooking. Typically, the code to utilize these hooks would go inside your active theme’s functions.php file. Bear in mind that all of the features controlled by these filters are configurable via the plugin’s settings page. These filters are likely only of interest to advanced users able to code.

c2c_text_hover_filters (filter)

The ‘c2c_text_hover_filters’ hook allows you to customize what hooks get text hover applied to them.


  • $hooks (array): Array of hooks that will be text hovered.


 * Enable text hover for post/page titles.
 * @param array $filters Filters handled by the Text Hover plugin.
 * @return array
function more_text_hovers( $filters ) {
    $filters[] = 'the_title'; // Here you could put in the name of any filter you want
    return $filters;
add_filter( 'c2c_text_hover_filters', 'more_text_hovers' );

c2c_text_hover (filter)

The ‘c2c_text_hover’ hook allows you to customize or override the setting defining all of the text hover terms and their hover texts.


  • $text_hover_array (array): Array of text hover terms and their hover texts. This will be the value set via the plugin’s settings page.


 * Add dynamic text hover.
 * @param array $text_hover_array Array of all text hover terms and their hover texts.
 * @return array
function my_text_hovers( $text_hover_array ) {
    // Add new term and hover text
    $text_hover_array['Matt'] => 'Matt Mullenweg';
    // Unset a term that we never want hover texted
    if ( isset( $text_hover_array['Drupal'] ) )
        unset( $text_hover_array['Drupal'] );
    // Important!
    return $text_hover_array;
add_filter( 'c2c_text_hover', 'my_text_hovers' );

c2c_text_hover_text_comments (filter)

The ‘c2c_text_hover_text_comments’ hook allows you to customize or override the setting indicating if text linkification should be enabled in comments.


  • $state (bool): Either true or false indicating if text linkification is enabled for comments. The default value will be the value set via the plugin’s settings page.


// Prevent text linkification from ever being enabled in comments.
add_filter( 'c2c_linkify_text_comments', '__return_false' );

c2c_text_hover_case_sensitive (filter)

The ‘c2c_text_hover_case_sensitive’ hook allows you to customize or override the setting indicating if text hover should be case sensitive.


  • $state (bool): Either true or false indicating if text hover is case sensitive. This will be the value set via the plugin’s settings page.


// Prevent text hover from ever being case sensitive.
add_filter( 'c2c_text_hover_case_sensitive', '__return_false' );

c2c_text_hover_once (filter)

The ‘c2c_text_hover_once’ hook allows you to customize or override the setting indicating if text hovering should be limited to once per term per piece of text being processed regardless of how many times the term appears.


  • $state (bool): Either true or false indicating if text hovering is to only occur once per term. The default value will be the value set via the plugin’s settings page.


// Only show hovertext for a term/shortcut once per post.
add_filter( 'c2c_text_hover_once', '__return_true' );

c2c_text_hover_use_pretty_tooltips (filter)

The ‘c2c_text_hover_use_pretty_tooltips’ hook allows you to customize or override the setting indicating if text hovering should use prettier tooltips to display the hover text. If false, the browser’s default tooltips will be used.


  • $state (bool): Either true or false indicating if prettier tooltips should be used. The default value will be the value set via the plugin’s settings page.


// Prevent pretty tooltips from being used.
add_filter( 'c2c_text_hover_use_pretty_tooltips', '__return_false' );


  • A screenshot of the admin options page for the plugin, where you define the terms/acronyms/phrases and their related hover text
  • A screenshot of the plugin in action for a post when the mouse is hovering over a defined hover text term using the pretty tooltips
  • A screenshot of the plugin in action for a post when the mouse is hovering over a defined hover text term using default browser tooltips (in this case, Chrome on OSX)


  1. Whether installing or updating, whether this plugin or any other, it is always advisable to back-up your data before starting
  2. Install via the built-in WordPress plugin installer. Or download and unzip inside the plugins directory for your site (typically wp-content/plugins/)
  3. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ admin menu in WordPress
  4. Go to the Settings -> Text Hover admin settings page and customize the settings (namely to define the terms/abbreviations and their explanations).
  5. Use the terms/abbreviations in posts and/or pages (terms/abbreviations appearing in existing posts will also be affected by this plugin)


In my posts, hover text terms do not appear any differently than regular text (though I can hover over them and see the hover text)! What gives?

The plugin currently makes use of the standard HTML tag abbr to specify the terms and their hover text. Browsers have default handling and display of abbr. It’s possibly that the CSS for your theme is overriding the default display. I use the following in my site’s styles.css file to ensure it displays for me in the manner I prefer (which, by the same token, you can use more CSS formatting to further format the hover terms) :

abbr {
    text-decoration: underline dotted #000;
Does this plugin modify the post content in the database?

No. The plugin filters post content on-the-fly.

Will this work for posts I wrote prior to installing this plugin?

Yes, if they include strings that you’ve now defined as terms.

What post fields get handled by this plugin?

By default, the plugin filters the post content, post excerpt fields, widget text, and optionally comments and comment excerpts. You can use the ‘c2c_text_hover_filters’ filter to modify that behavior (see Hooks section).

How can I get text hover to apply for post titles (or something not processed for text hover by default)?

You can add to the list of filters that get processed for text hover terms. See the Hooks section for an example.

Is the plugin case sensitive?

By default, yes. There is a setting you can change to make it case insensitive. Or you can use the ‘c2c_text_hover_case_sensitive’ filter (see Hooks section). Note that the option applies to all terms/abbreviations. If you want to selectively have terms/acronyms be case insensitive, you should leave the case sensitive setting checked and add a listing for each case variation you wish to support.

Will all instances of a given term be hovered in a single post?

By default, yes. There is a setting you can change so that only the first occurrence of the term in the post gets hovered. Or if you are a coder, you can use the ‘c2c_text_hover_replace_once’ filter (see Hooks section).

Can I style the tooltip?

Yes, but only if you have the pretty tooltips enabled (via settings or the filter). The class you want to style in your custom CSS is ‘.text-hover-qtip’.

Does this plugin include unit tests?



August 21, 2019
Works perfectly and does what it says it will do: add text hover/tooltip functionality. This plugin is easy to use and I've become a fan of all the plugins by this author (Scott Reilly) that I've tried so far! Thanks for creating so many great plugins!
February 8, 2017
So ... totally cool, and can I just say it's amazing that this seems to be the only plugin that adds hover text to text? Image hovers just seem dumb to me ... because they cover the image. That's what a caption is for. Anywho if the yellow background made you want to puke, like it did me try this hack (newbies: go to this plug-in, click "edit", then search for "new-text", add this to the beginning of that line: "//" [but without the quotes] to make it just a comment) and replace the $new-text command with this: $new_text = "<span style='" . "color:#333; border-bottom: 1px dotted #000; cursor: help;" . "' . title='" . esc_attr( addcslashes( $hover_text, '\\$' ) ) . "'>\\1</span>"; now you might have to retype the single and double quotes to get it work ... wordpress sometimes converts those to the left and right quotes which will kill your code.
Read all 16 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Text Hover” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


Translate “Text Hover” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.


3.8 (2018-08-01)

  • New: Ensure longer, more precise link strings match before shorter strings that might also match, regardless of order defined
  • New: Add support for finding text to hover that may span more than one line or whose internal spaces vary in number and type
  • Fix: Prevent hover text from being embedded within other hover text
  • Change: Switch for using deprecated ‘acronym’ tag to using ‘abbr’
  • Change: Display fancy hover text as white text on a dark gray background
  • Change: Cast return values of hooks to expected data types
  • Change: Add version number when enqueuing CSS files
  • Change: Update plugin framework to 048
    • 048:
    • When resetting options, delete the option rather than setting it with default values
    • Prevent double “Settings reset” admin notice upon settings reset
    • 047:
    • Don’t save default setting values to database on install
    • Change “Cheatin’, huh?” error messages to “Something went wrong.”, consistent with WP core
    • Note compatibility through WP 4.9+
    • Drop compatibility with version of WP older than 4.7
    • 046:
    • Fix reset_options() to reference instance variable $options
    • Note compatibility through WP 4.7+
    • Update copyright date (2017)
    • 045:
    • Ensure reset_options() resets values saved in the database
  • New: Add
  • New: Add GitHub link to readme
  • Change: Store setting name in constant
  • Unit tests:
    • Change: Improve test initialization
    • Change: Improve tests for settings handling
    • Change: Default WP_TESTS_DIR to /tmp/wordpress-tests-lib rather than erroring out if not defined via environment variable
    • Change: Enable more error output for unit tests
    • New: Add more tests
    • New: Add header comments to bootstrap
  • Change: Note compatibility through WP 4.9+
  • Change: Drop compatibility with version of WP older than 4.7.
  • Change: Tweak plugin description
  • Change: Minor code reformatting
  • Change: Add example of better looking tooltip alongside basic tooltip example
  • Change: Rename readme.txt section from ‘Filters’ to ‘Hooks’
  • Change: Modify formatting of hook name in readme to prevent being uppercased when shown in the Plugin Directory
  • Change: Update installation instruction to prefer built-in installer over .zip file
  • Change: Update copyright date (2018)

3.7.1 (2016-06-10)

  • Change: Update qTip2 to v3.0.3.
    • Fixes a JS invalid file reference.
    • Add plugin IE6 support.
  • Change: Update plugin framework to 044.
    • Add reset_caches() to clear caches and memoized data. Use it in reset_options() and verify_config().
    • Add verify_options() with logic extracted from verify_config() for initializing default option attributes.
    • Add add_option() to add a new option to the plugin’s configuration.
    • Add filter ‘sanitized_option_names’ to allow modifying the list of whitelisted option names.
    • Change: Refactor get_option_names().

3.7 (2016-04-28)

  • New: Allow HTML to be matched for text hovering. Recommended only for non-block level tags.
  • New: Allow single replacement (based on setting) for multibyte strings.
  • Bugfix: Improve text replacement regex to account for text immediately bounded by HTML tags.
  • Change: Update plugin framework to 043:
    • Change class name to c2c_TextHover_Plugin_043 to be plugin-specific.
    • Disregard invalid lines supplied as part of a hash option value.
    • Set textdomain using a string instead of a variable.
    • Don’t load textdomain from file.
    • Change admin page header from ‘h2’ to ‘h1’ tag.
    • Add c2c_plugin_version().
    • Formatting improvements to inline docs.
  • Change: Add support for language packs:
    • Set textdomain using a string instead of a variable.
    • Remove .pot file and /lang subdirectory.
    • Remove ‘Domain Path’ from plugin header.
  • Change: Add many more unit tests.
  • Change: Prevent web invocation of unit test bootstrap.php.
  • New: Add LICENSE file.
  • New: Add empty index.php to prevent files from being listed if web server has enabled directory listings.
  • Change: Minor code reformatting.
  • Change: Add proper docblocks to examples in readme.txt.
  • Change: Note compatibility through WP 4.5+.
  • Change: Dropped compatibility with version of WP older than 4.1.
  • Change: Update copyright date (2016).

3.6 (2015-02-19)

  • Improve support of ‘&’ in text to be replaced by recognizing its encoded alternatives (‘&amp;‘, ‘&‘) as equivalents
  • Support replacing multibyte strings. NOTE: Multibyte strings don’t honor limiting their replacement within a piece of text to once
  • Add class of ‘c2c-text-hover’ to acronym tags added by plugin
  • Update packaged qTip2 JS library to v2.2.1
  • Limit qTip2 only to acronyms added by the plugin
  • Update plugin framework to 039
  • Add more unit tests
  • Explicitly declare activation() static
  • Cast filtered value of ‘c2c_text_hover’ filter as array
  • Reformat plugin header
  • Change regex delimiter from ‘|’ to ‘~’
  • Change documentation links to to be https
  • Minor documentation spacing changes throughout
  • Note compatibility through WP 4.1+
  • Update copyright date (2015)
  • Add plugin icon
  • Regenerate .pot

3.5.1 (2014-01-28)

  • Fix logic evaluation to properly honor replace_once checkbox value
  • Minor code reformatting

3.5 (2014-01-05)

  • Add setting to allow limiting text replacement to once per term per text
  • Add filter ‘c2c_text_hover_once’
  • Add qTip2 library for better looking hover popups
  • Add setting to allow use of prettier tooltips (i.e. the qTip2 library). Default is true.
  • Add filter ‘c2c_text_hover_use_pretty_tooltips’
  • Add setting to allow text hover to apply to comments (default is for it not to)
  • Add filter ‘c2c_text_hover_comments’
  • Add text_hover_comment_text()
  • Add preview for tooltips to plugin’s settings page
  • Add unit tests
  • Add file assets/text-hover.js (to enable qTip)
  • Add file assets/text-hover.css (to provide default styling for qTip)
  • Update plugin framework to 037
  • Better singleton implementation:
    • Add get_instance() static method for returning/creating singleton instance
    • Make static variable ‘instance’ private
    • Make constructor protected
    • Make class final
    • Additional related changes in plugin framework (protected constructor, erroring __clone() and __wakeup())
  • Add checks to prevent execution of code if file is directly accessed
  • Re-license as GPLv2 or later (from X11)
  • Add ‘License’ and ‘License URI’ header tags to readme.txt and plugin file
  • Use explicit path for require_once()
  • Discontinue use of PHP4-style constructor
  • Discontinue use of explicit pass-by-reference for objects
  • Remove ending PHP close tag
  • Minor documentation improvements
  • Minor code reformatting (spacing)
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.8+
  • Drop compatibility with version of WP older than 3.6
  • Update copyright date (2014)
  • Regenerate .pot
  • Change donate link
  • Add assets directory to plugin repository checkout
  • Update screenshots
  • Add third screenshot
  • Move screenshots into repo’s assets directory
  • Add banner


  • Fix bug where special characters were being double-escaped prior to use in regex
  • Update plugin framework to 034


  • Fix bug where $x (where x is number) when used in hover text gets removed on display
  • Fix to properly escape shortcut keys prior to internal use in preg_replace()
  • Update plugin framework to 032


  • Fix bug with settings form not appearing in MS
  • Update plugin framework to 030
  • Remove support for ‘c2c_text_hover’ global
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.3+
  • Drop support for versions of WP older than 3.1
  • Regenerate .pot
  • Add ‘Domain Path’ directive to top of main plugin file
  • Add link to plugin directory page to readme.txt
  • Update copyright date (2012)


  • Fix cross-browser (namely IE) handling of non-wrapping textarea text (flat out can’t use CSS for it)
  • Update plugin framework to version 028
  • Change parent constructor invocation
  • Create ‘lang’ subdirectory and move .pot file into it
  • Regenerate .pot
  • Tweaked description


  • Fix to properly register activation and uninstall hooks
  • Update plugin framework to version 023
  • Save a static version of itself in class variable $instance
  • Deprecate use of global variable $c2c_text_hover to store instance
  • Add __construct() and activation()
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.2+
  • Drop compatibility with version of WP older than 3.0
  • Minor code formatting changes (spacing)
  • Fix plugin homepage and author links in description in readme.txt


  • Update plugin framework to version 021
  • Delete plugin options upon uninstallation
  • Explicitly declare all class functions public static
  • Note compatibility through WP 3.1+
  • Update copyright date (2011)


  • Update plugin framework to version 018
  • Fix so that textarea displays vertical scrollbar when lines exceed visible textarea space


  • Update plugin framework to version 016


  • Re-implementation by extending C2C_Plugin_015, which among other things adds support for:
    • Reset of options to default values
    • Better sanitization of input values
    • Offload of core/basic functionality to generic plugin framework
    • Additional hooks for various stages/places of plugin operation
    • Easier localization support
  • Full localization support
  • Disable auto-wrapping of text in the textarea input field for hovers
  • Allow filtering of text hover terms and replacement via ‘c2c_text_hover’ filter
  • Allow filtering of hooks that get text hover processing via ‘c2c_text_hover_filters’ filter
  • Allow filtering/overriding of case_sensitive option via ‘c2c_text_hover_case_sensitive’ filter
  • Filter ‘widget_text’ for text hover
  • Rename class from ‘TextHover’ to ‘c2c_TextHover’
  • Assign object instance to global variable, $c2c_text_hover, to allow for external manipulation
  • Remove docs from top of plugin file (all that and more are in readme.txt)
  • Update readme.txt
  • Minor code reformatting (spacing)
  • Add Filters and Upgrade Notice sections to readme.txt
  • Note compatibility with WP 3.0+
  • Drop support for versions of WordPress older than 2.8
  • Add .pot file
  • Update screenshot
  • Add PHPDoc documentation
  • Add package info to top of file
  • Update copyright date
  • Remove trailing whitespace


  • Fixed bug that allowed text within tag attributes to be potentially replaced
  • Fixed bug that prevented case sensitivity-related option from being taken into account
  • Removed ‘case_sensitive’ argument from text_replace() function since it is controlled by a setting
  • Changed pattern matching criteria to allow text-to-be-hovered to be book-ended on either side with single or double quotes (either plain or curly), square brackets, curly braces, or parentheses
  • Added ability to filter text hover shortcuts via ‘c2c_text_hover_option_text_to_hover’
  • Changed the number of rows for textarea input from 5 to 15
  • Changed plugin_basename to be a class variable initialized during constructor
  • Removed use of single-use temp variable (and instead directly used the value it was holding)
  • Minor code reformatting (mostly spacing)


  • (Privately released betas previewing features released as part of v2.2)


  • Encapsulated all functionality into its own class
  • Added ‘Settings’ link to plugin’s plugin listing entry
  • Noted compatibility with WP2.8+
  • Dropped support for pre-WP2.6
  • Updated screenshots
  • Updated copyright date


  • Initial release