Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: ScreenTip for an Image.

ScreenTip for an Image

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 29, 2016)

Eddie has added a small graphic image to a worksheet and tied a macro to the image. When the image is clicked, the macro is executed. Eddie wonders if it is possible to add a label or comment to the image so that when a user hovers the mouse pointer over the image, the label/comment appears and tells the user what the macro does.

You might at first think that you could add a ScreenTip to the image, but that can only be done if you assign a hyperlink to it. Adding the hyperlink (and ScreenTip) is easy enough, but you'll find that the hyperlink takes precedence over the macro, stopping it from being run.

This means that you need to look for other ways to tackle the problem. Unfortunately there is no easy way to create this type of ScreenTip, but there are a couple of ways you can approach the task. One thing you can do is to add a command button to the worksheet, and then assign the image to the button. The whole image then serves as a button. When you click the button, it executes the CommandButton1_Click event handler (assuming you use the default name for the command button).

Next you need to create a text box that approximates what a ScreenTip looks like. Actually the text box gives you more latitude than you have with a regular ScreenTip, because it can be formatted in any manner you desire, and it can contain any explanatory text you desire. All you need to do is make sure that the text box is given a unique name, such as "MyShape". (You assign a name to the text box by selecting it and then changing the name in Name box in the upper-left corner of the worksheet area.)

With the command button and text box in place, right-click on the command button and choose to display the code window for the command button. Then, add the following code to the code window:

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
    'Call your regular macro here
    Hide_Shape
End Sub
Private Sub CommandButton1_MouseMove( _
    ByVal Button As Integer, ByVal Shift As Integer, _
    ByVal X As Single, ByVal Y As Single)
    Display_and_Hide_Shape
End Sub

It is the Click event handler that you will need to modify to call your normal macro code. The MouseMove code is executed when the mouse is moved over the command button. In this case, the code displays the text box you created.

Next, insert the following macros into a standard macro module. These two macros show and hide the text box shape that you created. Note that the first macro uses the OnTime method to automatically hide the shape two seconds after it is first displayed.

Sub Display_and_Hide_Shape()
    ActiveSheet.Shapes("MyShape").Visible = True
'   adjust time
    Application.OnTime Now + TimeValue("00:00:02"), "Hide_Shape"
End Sub
Sub Hide_Shape()
    ActiveSheet.Shapes("MyShape").Visible = False
End Sub

With all the macros in place, just move the mouse pointer over the command button image. The text box should disappear two seconds later, only to reappear when you again move the mouse over the image.

Another approach is to embed the picture in a chart object, name the picture using whatever text you want to appear in the ScreenTip, and then assign the macro to the chart object. This may sound a bit confusing, but it is relatively easy to do by following these general steps:

  1. Create a blank chart object. You can do this by simply selecting a blank cell, choosing to insert a chart, and immediately clicking the Finish button. The chart won't contain anything, which is why it is a "blank chart object."
  2. Next add the picture to the chart object. Just copy the picture to the Clipboard and then select the blank chart object (you created it in step 1) and paste the contents of the Clipboard.
  3. Adjust the size of both the chart object and the picture within the chart object so that they represent your needs.
  4. Select the picture within the chart object, and then give the picture a name by changing whatever is in the Name box at the upper-left corner of the worksheet area. This name should be the text you want to appear as your ScreenTip.
  5. Now assign your macro to the chart object (not the picture within the chart object) by right-clicking the chart object and choosing Assign Macro.

That's it. Now, when you move the mouse pointer over the image, the name of the image appears as a ScreenTip, and if you click then the macro assigned to the chart object is executed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3294) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: ScreenTip for an Image.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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