How to Turn off ScreenTips in Microsoft Word

856201 How to Turn off ScreenTips in Microsoft Word

ScreenTips are those small explanatory boxes that pop up when you hover over items in the Microsoft Word interface. Some users find ScreenTips helpful for remembering what buttons do or viewing more descriptive names for ribbon items. However, others may find the frequent popups distracting or unnecessary once they become accustomed to Word’s layout.

Fortunately, Word provides a simple toggle to disable ScreenTips site-wide based on your personal preference. This article will walk through the step-by-step process.

What are ScreenTips in Word?

ScreenTips, sometimes called screentips or screen tips, are the small text boxes that appear when users hover over items in the Word interface such as:

  • Buttons on the ribbon
  • Items in drop down menus
  • Quick access toolbar icons

The ScreenTips display the name of the item or feature and sometimes a brief description.

For example, hovering over the bold button displays a ScreenTip that reads “Bold (Ctrl+B)”. Hovering over less recognizable features like the borders dropdown button in the Paragraph section of the Home tab may show more descriptive ScreenTips like “Paragraph Borders and Shading”.

An image showing ScreenTips in Microsoft Word

ScreenTips provide users with helpful reminders and descriptions as they navigate through Word’s extensive menu system. However, some users may find the frequent popups distracting once they become more comfortable with the interface.

Fortunately, Word provides a simple option to globally disable ScreenTips site-wide.

Step 1: Open Word Options

The ScreenTip toggle is located in the Word Options menu:

  1. Open the Word document where you want to disable ScreenTips.
  2. Click the File tab in the top-left corner.
  3. Select Options from the left sidebar. This will open the Word Options menu.

Step 2: Navigate to the General Settings

  1. Select the General tab at the top of the Word Options menu. This will display general interface settings for Word documents.
  2. Scroll down and locate the User Interface Options section. Here we will find the global ScreenTips setting.

Step 3: Change the ScreenTip Style

  1. In the User Interface Options section, locate the ScreenTip style dropdown menu.
  2. Click the dropdown and select Don’t show ScreenTips. The ScreenTip style dropdown menu
  3. Click OK at the bottom of the menu to save the changes. Word will now disable ScreenTips site-wide. Hovering over items will no longer trigger popups.

That’s all there is to it! ScreenTips are now turned off in Word based on your personal preference.

Alternative ScreenTip Options

The ScreenTip style dropdown provides a couple alternative options besides disabling ScreenTips completely:

  • Show feature descriptions in ScreenTips: Keeps the explanatory ScreenTips enabled but shows more detailed descriptions rather than just the feature names.
  • Show ScreenTip names: Only shows the bare names of features in the popup ScreenTips, without descriptions.

Feel free to experiment with the alternatives if you find value in abbreviated or descriptive ScreenTips but don’t want the fully featured popups.

Do ScreenTips Affect Other Word Features?

Disabling ScreenTips only affects the contextual popups that appear when hovering over elements in the Word interface.

It does not disable other types of textual descriptions like:

  • Text that appears when hovering over citations
  • Comments or tracked changes
  • Text formatting tooltips (bold, italic, etc)

The setting purely toggles the UI element explanations that appear around the ribbon, menus, and toolbar.

However, take note that disabling standard ScreenTips also disables the larger Enhanced ScreenTips in Word.

Enhanced ScreenTips Overview

Enhanced ScreenTips are similar to normal ScreenTips but much larger, spanning multiple lines of descriptive text.

Enhanced ScreenTips

Enhanced ScreenTips appear on first use of newer features and walk users through how the feature works. They act as tiny onboarding tutorials.

But Enhanced ScreenTips are toggled on/off together with the standard ScreenTips. Disabling one disables both.

If you want to retain the onboarding-style Enhanced ScreenTips but lose the hover-based UI popups, unfortunately Word does not accommodate splitting those settings.

When Do ScreenTips Appear in Word?

ScreenTips and Enhanced ScreenTips appear under the following conditions by default when their toggle is enabled:

  • New installations – Fresh Word installations will trigger Enhanced ScreenTips that explain parts of the interface. ScreenTips will also appear when hovering over items.
  • New UI items – Word releases semi-regular updates adding new features. The first time you encounter those new features, an Enhanced ScreenTip will appear explaining functionality.
  • Hovering – Anytime users hover over buttons, dropdown items, or toolbar icons, the standard ScreenTips will appear with names + descriptions of that element.

Simply disabling ScreenTips through the preferences handles all cases – new installations, new features, and hover interactions.

Now that you know the basics of managing ScreenTips in Word, let’s walk through the simple process again from start to finish:

How to Turn Off ScreenTips Step-By-Step

  1. Open a Word document.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Go to the General tab.
  5. Scroll to the User Interface Options section.
  6. Locate the ScreenTip style dropdown.
  7. Select Don’t show ScreenTips.
  8. Click OK to save the changes.

And that’s all it takes to toggle off ScreenTips in Word! The contextual explanatory popups will no longer appear when hovering over items.

Applies To:

  • Microsoft Word 2007 and newer
  • Word for Windows
  • Word for Mac
  • Word for the web

Older versions have different menu layouts but generally provide ScreenTip toggles under interface preferences.

Hopefully this guide covered everything you need to know about managing ScreenTips based on your personal preferences in Microsoft Word. The built-in setting makes it simple and straightforward to show or hide the UI popups.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions!

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