Android Code Snippet show tooltip for view

The standard Android UI includes a way to show tooltips for controls by long-clicking them (press and hold). This creates a toast-like message near the control. So, for an Edit icon (the pencil), you can long-click and it will show a tooltip of "Edit".

This is not directly supported in B4A (there's no hintText property), so I wrote some code to do it. Not enough for a class (just 4 subs), so here it is:

To add a tooltip to a view, it's a single line of code in the view's LongClick event listener:
Sub cancelButton_LongClick
   showTooltip(Sender, "Cancel")
End Sub

And here's the code that does the (not very) heavy lifting.
'shows a toast message just above the view (or below if there's no room above)
Sub showTooltip(viewArg As View, text As String)
    Dim const verticalOffset As Int = 60dip
    Dim position(2) As Int
    position = getScreenPosition(viewArg)
    Dim toastTop As Int = position(1) - verticalOffset        'normally show hint above the view
    If toastTop < 0 Then                                              'no room at top, so move toast below the view
        toastTop = position(1) + verticalOffset
    End If
    showToastAt(position(0), toastTop, text, False)
End Sub

'Show standard toast at given x/y position relative to activity.
'Toast will always appear within the screen boundaries, even if x or y is off-screen.
Sub showToastAt(x As Int, y As Int, text As String, longDuration As Boolean)
    Dim duration As Int
    If longDuration = True Then
        duration = 1
        duration = 0
    End If
    Dim r As Reflector
    r.Target = r.GetActivity
    Dim toastJO As JavaObject
    Dim toastJO2 As JavaObject
    toastJO2 = toastJO.RunMethod("makeText", Array As Object(r.GetContext, text, duration))
    toastJO2.RunMethod("setGravity", Array As Object (Bit.Or(Gravity.TOP, Gravity.LEFT), x, y))
    toastJO2.RunMethod("show", Null)
End Sub

'Calculate the position of the view relative to the activity (not to the view's parent).
'Returns an integer array where index 0 is left, index 1 is top
Sub getScreenPosition(viewArg As View) As Int()
    Dim position(2), parentPosition(2) As Int
    If viewArg.parent Is ScrollView Then
        'the scrollview's panel has no layout, so ignore
        Dim sv As ScrollView = viewArg.Parent
        position(0) = sv.left
        position(1) = sv.Top - sv.ScrollPosition
        Return position
    else If viewArg.parent Is AHViewPager Then        'you can comment out this part if you don't use AHViewPager
        'the pager's container has no layout, so ignore
        Dim pager As AHViewPager = viewArg.Parent
        position(0) = pager.left
        position(1) = pager.Top
        Return position
    else if viewArg.parent = getCurrentActivity Then
        position(0) = viewArg.Left
        position(1) = viewArg.Top
        Return position
        parentPosition = getScreenPosition(viewArg.parent)
        position(0) = viewArg.Left + parentPosition(0)
        position(1) = + parentPosition(1)
        Return position
    End If
End Sub

Sub getCurrentActivity As Activity
    Dim r As Reflector
    r.Target = r.GetActivityBA
    Return r.GetField("vg")   
End Sub

- I recommend putting this into a code module so you can use it in all of your app's activities.
- Requires the Reflector and JavaObject libraries.
- The standard Android tooltip shows below the control, but fingers get in the way, so I changed it to appear above the control where possible.

Feel free to use and modify this code as you wish. Please post any fixes or improvements in this thread.

Thanks to those who helped me with this in the forums. Cheers!

Dave O

Well-Known Member
Licensed User
Longtime User
There is no such feature in Android.

Sorry, I didn't mean that there is a hintText property in Android that B4A is missing (poor wording on my part).

I meant that there is a common UI pattern in Android (tooltips), used in many popular apps (including Google's own apps), that is not easy to do in B4A if you're an intermediate coder like me. (I don't know how easy/hard it is to implement in Android Java either.)

I'd love to see standard UI patterns like this made easier to implement, especially in a RAD tool like B4A.