Make tooltip sticky

Is it possible to make one, respectively multiple tooltips sticky (based on selection?) in visualizations like the scatterplot, so that you can easily see which dot corresponds to which structure?

We’ve had a number of requests and suggestions regarding tooltips, so perhaps it would make sense to discuss them in this topic. Currently, the platform supports one global tooltip (which plays nicely with popup menus and mouse hovers), but we are open to extending it if we can find and agree on an intuitive and convenient way for managing sticky tooltips. In any case, even if we do not end up introducing the desired functionality into the core, it should be possible for an application developer to achieve the desired behavior via the Tooltip management API, whatever it is.

Here are few questions to start a discussion:

  • How would users make a tooltip sticky on a scatter plot? Not sure if synchronizing it with the selection is a good idea since it’s too easy to select millions of rows, and this will quickly become confusing.
  • Should there be a standard way to make any tooltip sticky?
  • Should sticky tooltip(s) prevent other tooltips from appearing? Obviously this shouldn’t be the case with the scatter plot.

Hm, I wonder if that would not be a sort of feature useful to others as well and should not rather be in the core? What is your feeling?
I think you could define an upper limit, to let’s say show it for the first 20 selected items only.
There could be a visualization setting saying “make tooltip sticky on selection” -> true/false

I would like to share how sticky tooltips are implemented in NCBI viz system:

Sticky tooltips implement 4 functions:

  1. Stick (nail icon) - pins tooltip permanently to its place, tooltip can still be dragged while staying on top (topmost z-order). User can stick more than one tooltip. It is easy to cut and paste information from the tooltip while it is pinned.
    When unpinned the tooltip disappears (after a timeout).
  2. Find object (binocular) - when clicked tooltip briefly highlight its parent object without changing overall zoom level. If object is not on the screen system supposed to scroll to the object without changing the current zoom level, show it and highlight briefly to make a clear where it is. Other form of animation are possible.
  3. Zoom to object (magnifying glass) - when clicked function pick automatic zoom so object optimally fits on the screen. Optimally is a little open-ended definition, but for genomic viewers with a X-axis linear system of coordinates it is often means “fit to screen”.

Another function worth mentioning, but not directly related to pinning is two stage tooltips, where “chevron” button allows to expand/collapse tooltips to identify the desired level of detail (implemented as toggle between brief and detailed levels of detail).

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