Text in hotspot

  fly2hi 00:00 06 Nov 2004

Netobjects Fusion 7..
this is probably really simple but I'm not seeing it. I have an image on the page with a hotspot linked to another page. The link works ok, but what I want to do is to have a little text message activate when the mouse hovers over the link (instead of the little hand that shows). Something like "walk right in" if you know what I mean? it says that multiple actions are possible but I must be looking at the wrong setup property.
Any clues please...

  Taran 00:25 06 Nov 2004

You could misuse the Alt tag to do this. An Alt tag is an alternative desciption of an image and is used for accessibility, among other things.

You can also add a tooltip to your hyperlink, but adding a tooltip to the hyperlink if an Alt tag for the image is already present can become problematic, although it is possible.

There are a bunch of solutions, from JavaScript with CSS to adding the plain vanilla title="" into the hyperlink code.

Here is an example of a hyperlinks code, where the link reads Home and points to a page called index.html:


a href="index.html"


Now, here is the same link, but with a pop-up tooltip that appears as text when the mouse cursor hovers over the link:


a href="index.html"

title="Return to our home page"


Simply adding title="" into the hyperlink code gives you the text message, which can obviously be altered to suit your requirements.

I'll be in front of a machine with version 7 of NetObjects tomorrow morning, so I'll have a closer look at the available options. The notebook I'm typing this on only has versions 7.5 and 8 installed and, being a naturally lazy hack, I'm not going to crank up another machine in a different room at this hour.

Assuming the title="" is a little undergunned for what you'd like to see, I'll take a look in the morning and see what can be done.


  fly2hi 00:46 06 Nov 2004

Thanks Taran, really appreciate it.

  fly2hi 19:18 06 Nov 2004

Taran..you're my hero. yes, simply a matter of adding the abovementioned line to the HTML source box. I thought it would be a bit more complicated.


  barryoneoff.co.uk 01:00 07 Nov 2004

use the 'Alt' text box on your properties pallette to save going into the source code. It will automatically alter the code.

  fly2hi 10:47 07 Nov 2004

I had assumed that the alt tag was for displaying text when the user's browser was set to not display the image. Guess I should spend a bit more time experimenting to discover the full potential rather than relying on the help screen as the definitive guide.
Thanks for the tip barryxxxxx

  fly2hi 13:53 07 Nov 2004

I can see the point you are making,so basically the 'alt' text will always display if the image doesn't (telling someone what they are missing).
Now..if the image doesn't display at all due to the user's browser settings, i'm asuming that the 'hotspot' will not display either..or will it? There would not seem much point in having an active link to another image if the user didn't see the first image.
Of course the other scenario is for visually disabled, where the user will 'hear ' the 'alt' tag with the appropriate software, which would mean the 'alt' tag should be very descriptive to be meaningful.
so what is the in-depth difference between the 'alt tag' and the 'title' as regards images that may or may not show and which may just confuse the user?
Bit of a jumbled question but,
Am I thinking along the right lines ?

  barryoneoff.co.uk 14:32 07 Nov 2004

Alt tag if all you want is to show where the hotspot will take them, or a brief description. It's the simplest way in NOF.

  Taran 19:09 07 Nov 2004

"You could misuse the Alt tag..."

An Alt tag should be a brief explanation of what the image is, without using the word image, picture or graphic. A page banner could be tagged as:

"PC Advisor banner"

An image of the Alps taken in the evening could be:

"The French Alps at sunset"

There is another tag called the longdesc value, which is implemented by placing a textual description of the image in a separate html file. A longdesc tag for our French Alps picture could be referenced as follows:

<IMG src="french_alps.jpg" ALT="French Alps at sunset" LONGDESC="french_alps.html">

In plain English, you make a new html page for the longdesc tag which contains a long, text description of the image.

Now, the Alt tag is the least you should include for accessibility reasons, while the longdesc tag is about as far as you can go to cater for accessibility issues for images on web pages.

When I said that you could misuse the Alt tag, I meant just that. Using it for hotspot hyperlinking is not its intended use, but it was an easy solution to the problem at hand, as was using the title="" if the hyperlink is text based. Using Alt and title="" tags together can be done, but unless you really want to know how I'd rather not go through the long description and explanation of how to do it - it's very involved and doesn't make interesting reading (or writing).

Now, all of the above is all well and good, up to a point. By using hotspot navigation elements, accessibility issues are usually not being addressed by default, and NetObjects does not produce cross-browser accessible code to begin with, so I didn't feel it necessary to cover the point.

You have two real choices. Either you proceed with a solution that will not address accessibility issues (title="" or a JavaScript rollover effect, just for the sake of discussion) or you start hacking the pages produced by NetObjects and seriously rewrite the code by hand. And when I sau seriously rewrite the source code, I mean it. NetObjects source code is not the most efficient. It is meant as a code generating program where you add your page elements in a visual environment and it does the rest for you and, to be fair, it excels at this.

NetObjects is a nice application and I enjoy using it. It does not produce accessible sites without a lot of extra work on your behalf though, and if you are using its point and click interface to produce your site then a simple title="" or similar should suffice in this case.

If you'd prefer a JavaScript solution then ask and I'll post one for you, but it won't be any more accessible than the above.


  fly2hi 01:05 08 Nov 2004

Thanks guys (let me know if that asumption is incorrect!)
To make it a bit clearer, what I was trying to do was;
The image on the front page was a picture of my shop from across the street. In the doorway I've added a hotspot that links to an image of the inside of the shop. When the mouse hovers over the door the alt tag shows 'see inside shop' and a click takes you there. Correct, the 'title' element that i inserted doesn't show at all on the image. Naturally some users will miss the link completely if the mouse doesn't hover over it, but that's not a problem, there are other links to the images. Call it a sort of 'easter egg' if you like. I suspect another alt tag for the front page image (as opposed to the one on the hotspot) is required to address the disability issue. I'm not too concerned about the disability issue regarding the link as it's not too important.

I get the feeling i may have to start learning to hard code it at some time, for much the same reasons i've always used Clipper instead of Foxbase.

For the time being i've just got to get this site up in the air in some respectable form so i can pay the mortgage. First draft is about 50 pages and then there's the e'shop thing so i think things will get a bit more complicated as time goes by.

Wish I was 20 years younger.

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