Get Sinosplice Tooltips from the WordPress Plugin Directory

The Sinosplice Tooltips WordPress Plugin is now downloadable from the public WordPress Plugin Directory. I’m not sure why it doesn’t yet show up in searches (either on through WordPress site, or through the WP admin plugin section), but you can still download and install it. I’d like to thank Andy Warmack, the developer, for his time and dedication to making this plugin happen and helping me to provide it for free.

And now a little bit of clarification on what the plugin does, for those that are interested.

What the plugin does:

– Adds the CSS and javascript to create attractive tooltips for Chinese like this: 中文
– Adds a quicktag to the HTML mode of the WordPress post editor, allowing you to add tooltip content as easily as you add a link
– Provides settings so that you can control the color and content (to a limited degree) of the tooltip
– Adds tooltip data into your post HTML in a standards-compliant way that degrades gracefully if the necessary javascript or CSS is not supported

What the plugin doesn’t do:

– Automate the addition of pinyin to Chinese words (it’s all manual at this point, for full control)
– Draw on any kind of dictionary data
– Convert numerical pinyin (pin1yin1) to tone mark pinyin (pīnyīn); I recommend my friend Mark’s Pinyin Input Firefox Extension for that, which works fine with the WordPress HTML editor

Download away! If you install the plugin and decide to keep using it, please leave me a comment so that I can see how it looks on other sites. Thanks!


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Awesome! thanks! Hopefully i’ll get time to try it out tonight.

  2. Cool, I’m going to have to add these to my site. Nice job with it, John.

  3. Very nice. I’d been thinking about copying your tool tips for while and this just made it waaay easier!

  4. Cool stuff John. I’ve had development of a similar plugin on my todo list for ages and never seemed to have gotten to it. Sure to be hugely useful to the English-language China blogsphere.

  5. I uploaded the zip file via my wordpress control panel. The “pinyin” button appears in my Edit Post page, and it all works except for one thing. It underlines the hanzi, shows the little question mark and displays the pinyin on mouseover, but it only displays the pinyin text as a regular tool tip (screenshot), not as the bigger, coloured tooltip shown above. Any idea what I did wrong?

    Also in the Edit Plugin page it lists the php file as active but all the other files are inactive. Don’t know if that’s how it’s supposed to be or not. Thanks!

    • hey joel, the dotted underline and question mark are easy to change.

      in the edit plugin page on WP dashboard the tool tips plugin to edit

      2.choose “sinosplice-tooltips/style/SinospliceTooltips.css”

      3.if you want no border remove line 2 OR if you want a solid line change “dotted” to solid

      4.on line 3 change cursor from “help” to either “text” or “pointer” (i like pointer better)

      always be careful with editing plugins as they have a habit of breaking if you are not careful.

      Just changing the css bit a little should be ok though!



  6. Joel, what tooltip span tag class are you using in your settings? Can you post an URL of an example page that shows the behavior that you are describing? –Andy

  7. Here’s what it’s doing:

    I haven’t messed with the settings, so it’s still on the sinosplicetooltip span tag class.

  8. Pretty cool! Do you think it could be automated with a dictionary in the future, to work like most chinese popup browser plugins?

  9. Joel, thanks for the link. We should have a fix in the next few days.

    Charlie, I believe it is possible, but it really would be a project in itself. I’m already researching online dictionary lookups, so we’ll see, but it’s not in the immediate plans right now.

  10. FYI, version 1.0.2 is now available. It’s not an urgent release, but it does fix some bugs and gives a more consistent look regardless of the WP theme. So if you have had issues with version 1.0, please see if this one works better.

    You can tweet me at @TechniOrchid if you have any questions or comments.


  11. Hi John, thanks for this it is great.

    Might want to make the size of the box flexible to encompass long words or sentences and possibly a little more padding at the top as the text appears a touch (but only a touch!) near the top border.

    As a long time lover of the languagepods especially Chinesepod. I am really curious as to how they do it overthere. I mean I am guessing they don’t manually put in each word and corresponding translation each time (or do they?)

    What do they use to do it? And is it available to buy/download for use in wordpress?

    Thanks…. keep up the great work and lessons… I’ve used them since you started making them when it was just ken and jenny!!

    • having thought about the automatic dictionary thing for a while i would guess that although it would save a lot of time, you don’t use it at chinesepod/languagepods. As we all know if you translate a word on its own you don’t always come up with the right translation for the situation you are describing.

      Am I correct?

      I have found a tool tip that seems to use google api and translates any word automatically

      do you think its a good thing to use an automated dictionary John?

  12. scrap the flexible size bit of my above post… I’ve played around with it and it does expand (vertically) with longer sentences….. excellent!

  13. I love this plugin! And I’m using/abusing it everywhere on our blog now. Blogged it here:

    Don’t know why it didn’t leave a trackback.

  14. @sven:

    For what it’s worth, we did find that the tooltip sometimes shows no padding at the top when using certain WP themes. We have already addressed this in a new version that fixes that problem…

    and introduces a cool new feature! Stay tuned… 🙂

    As always, you can tweet me (Andy) at @TechniOrchid if you have any questions or comments. Feature requests are welcome too!

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