In the general scheme of things, this is a relatively trivial issue, but it’s sometimes the little things that get under my skin. Winner of this year’s prize for most annoying new feature just has to be the new tooltips. They are really not good for my mental health. If I have tooltips turned on, I find it hard to use AutoCAD 2009 for more than a few minutes without wanting to smash my fist through the screen.
I would like to leave tooltips on just a little bit so they will let me get used to AutoCAD’s modified button appearance and location. All I want is a little one-word tooltip if I hover over a button, but I can’t have that. There is some control over tooltips to be had in the Options dialogue box:
Oh, sorry, you can’t see the options I’m trying to describe because there is a stupid great big tooltip in the way. What I’m trying to show is that if you turn off all but one of the toggles, you can at least avoid the embarrassing spectacle of AutoCAD covering up most of the screen with information about how to draw a line when you hover over the Line button. But you can’t persuade AutoCAD to just show you what the commands are, you have to have several lines of information, one of which is exactly the same for every single tooltip.
That’s not too bad I suppose, but try using a dialogue box. Nasty huge tooltips keep throwing themselves at you in a mad rush to obscure what you’re trying to see. You can move your cursor right out of the way to stop the tooltips from appearing, and then move it back again when you want to actually pick something, but what a waste of time, mental energy and wrist effort.
OK, so you’ve had enough of them? Want them all banished? Fine, back into Options, turn that last toggle off, pick OK (assuming it’s not obscured by a tooltip so you can see it) and you’re done. Or are you? Back into Options, pick the Files tab and do a bit of hovering.
Aaaagh! The stupid tooltip isn’t even accurate. It doesn’t describe what you’re hovering over, it describes the files category that’s selected, which could be off the screen. If nothing is selected, it describes the first category rather than what you’re hovering over. Duh.
OK, Autodesk people, own up. Who thought this was a good idea? Really, what on earth were you thinking?