The CM Tooltip Glossary Pro+ plugin is an ideal solution for anyone who writes or publishes content in a topic that has lots of subject-specific terms, acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon. Instead of providing an explanation each time an acronym or technical term is used, this plugin makes it very easy to create your own glossary of terms on a WordPress site.
Once you start adding terms to your glossary, anytime one of those terms is featured in a post or page it is turned into a link to the relevant glossary entry, where a full explanation or definition can be found. The plugin also has the ability to add a tooltip description to any terms from the glossary. This glossary plugin for WordPress comes packed with features and options for customising how it works, giving you plenty of control over how it is deployed to your site.
If you want to make your content more readable, easier to understand, and less off-putting to new readers, then CM Tooltip Glossary Pro+ is something that will be of interest.
Features and Usage
The CM Tooltip Glossary Pro+ plugin has a lot of options and settings. When first visiting the plugin dashboard you would be forgiven for feeling a slight tinge of overwhelm. As well as the seven main plugin pages, the settings page has a further 11 tabs or sub-pages to investigate.
However, the settings are all well documented and it’s easy to understand what each of the options do. The fact that the settings are grouped together using the tabbed interface means you can work through them at your own pace and only deal with the options you need to. For example, if you aren’t concerned about modifying the styling of the tooltips, then you can ignore that tab until a later date.
Adding Glossary Items
When starting out with this WordPress glossary plugin, the first step is to add an entry to the glossary. Glossary entries are handled using custom post types. This means they can be created using a slightly customised version of the familiar WordPress post editor, which also contains some additional metaboxes.
As well as the word or term you are adding to the glossary, you can enter its description, an abbreviation, and multiple synonyms and variations.
Every item that is added to the glossary will be displayed on the glossary index page which is auto-created by the plugin. Any abbreviations you assign to a glossary entry, such as WP for the WordPress entry for example will also be added to the glossary index too.
Browsing the glossary is very easy thanks to the way the entries are organised and sorted by their initial letter, as well as having the option to view all entries on one page. There is also the option to search the glossary too.
Clicking on a glossary item or its abbreviation takes the user to the full details for that entry, which includes the description.
While the appearance will depend on the WordPress theme in use, the glossary page design is clean and well presented. An optional feature of this plugin is the ability to display a list of related articles for each glossary entry. Related articles are the posts and pages that contain the current glossary item being viewed. It’s a useful feature for encouraging users to further investigate the other articles on your site.
Links and Tooltips
Once a word or term has been added to the glossary, every instance of that word or term in a post or page can be turned into a link to the corresponding glossary entry. However, it is possible to change the settings to only add the link to the first instance of the word in a post or page. A further option is to use the shortcode to disable the tooltips for specific instances of a term, or for entire paragraphs:
The plugin also gives the option of displaying a mouse-cursor hover-activated tooltip which contains the definition from the glossary. By default glossary items featured in posts or pages are turned into links, but by enabling the tooltip setting, you can elect to show a tooltip when a user hovers over the term as well. This is a great way provide an explanation of a term to a user without them having to visit the glossary entry.
From the tooltips settings page it is possible to limit the number of characters shown in a tooltip. If this option is enabled then a link is inserted into the tooltip to allow the user to view the full definition. It is also possible to instruct the plugin to not show the tooltip for text inside a list of certain tags including as headings and links. Tooltips can also contain links to a page of your choosing.
When it comes to styling the tooltips there is a settings page for editing their appearance. It is possible to change the font, colours, positioning, and padding of the tooltip box. The tooltips can also be styled by editing the tooltip.css and tooltip.js in the plugin folder. This allows you to modify the appearance of these popup boxes to better suit the design of your site.
As just mentioned, when creating a post or page on your site, depending on the global settings of the CM Tooltip Glossary plugin, terms from the glossary will be turned into links and have a tooltip. However, it is possible to override these settings from the post editor screen, thanks to a metabox that the plugin provides. The local post-level options consist of:
- Don’t show the Tooltips on this post/page
- Don’t show links to glossary terms on this post/page
- Don’t search for glossary items on this post/page
- Don’t show related terms for this post/page
The fourth option here refers to the feature of the plugin which displays a list of all the terms from the glossary that are contained in the post. By checking this box, the list of terms will not be listed at the end of the post.
As mentioned earlier, this plugin really is feature packed. As the Pro+ version is the full version of this plugin, it has the most features of all. Here is a rundown of some of the most impressive and useful features of the plugin:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus Integration: by enabling this integration, each glossary entry will also contain the definition from this online dictionary and thesaurus alongside your own definition. This definition can also be displayed in the tooltip. By integrating this service you can save yourself time by removing the need to write your own definitions, as well as potentially providing a better description to your readers.
With this integration, it is also possible to use the dictionary shortcode to insert the definition for a particular word directly into a post or page.
Google Translate Integration: this integration allows you to choose a target language to translate all glossary entries into. You will need a Google Translate API key for enabling this feature.
Search and Replace Tool: if you need to change a glossary entry then the find and replace tool found under the Glossary Replacement tab makes light work of making the necessary changes, saving you editing each entry individually.
Embed Audio Files: embedding and playing audio files into glossary term pages and tooltips is a great way of providing information on pronunciation.
Widgets: the plugin also includes a sidebar widget that allows you to display a list of random entries from your glossary, including links to the definition page or tooltip descriptions.
Import/Export: the ability to import a list of terms and their definitions via a CSV file can save you countless hours and enable you to setup your glossary in no time at all.
The CM Tooltip Glossary site contains a full list of features for the plugin.
Sites using CM Tooltip Glossary Pro
Hopefully you should now see ways in which this glossary plugin can enhance your site. To give you some additional ideas on how it can be used, here are some sites making use of CM Tooltip Glossary:
Support and Documentation
While the plugin is relatively easy to get started with, there is plenty of documentation on hand to help you get the most out of advanced features of the plugin and add a powerful glossary to your WordPress site. On the developer’s website, there is a selection of demonstration videos to help you get started, as well as an FAQ and detailed user guides.
If you need to contact support, pro customers can open a ticket via the support form. The helpdesk ‘usually answer questions within 24 hours during business hours’ and ‘will answer all your questions regarding the plugin and fix any bugs that are related directly to CM Plugin’.
As well as the standard support service available to pro customers, additional support can be purchased on a per job basis. Using this option can involve the support staff logging into your site to solve problems if required. This additional level of support includes not just issues caused solely by the plugin, but also conflicts with other plugins and issues with your chosen theme. You can also pay to have a feature added to the plugin to increase its functionality using the custom development service.
There are three options for using the CM Tooltip Glossary plugin on your site:
- Pro: $29
- Pro+ (version reviewed): $39
You can compare the features of the different options on the CM Tooltip plugin pricing plans page.
Access to the ‘basic support’ service is available for customers of the pro versions, who can expect a response in 24 hours during business hours. An additional ‘priority support’ service is also available and is priced on a per job basis. The jobs that can be purchased include adjusting your site theme, or adding a new feature to the plugin.
Users of the free version can post questions on the corresponding WordPress.org plugin repository support page.
Final Conclusion and Recommendations
Despite the wealth of options and settings, the CM Tooltip Glossary plugin is very easy to get started with. The use of custom post types for glossary entries makes providing the definitions for terms very easy for anyone familiar with the WordPress post editor. If you find yourself spending time explaining the terms used in your content then this plugin can really help you save time and avoid disrupting the flow of your content.
The plugin dashboard doesn’t use the native WordPress UI but it does look pretty similar. This makes it easy enough to navigate and find the settings you need, while also avoiding the plugin feeling like something tacked onto the WordPress dashboard. The multiple tabs might not be ideal, but the clear divisions of the settings for the different features make them easy to locate and access, without getting bogged down in long lists of settings.
The priority support not included in the standard license, and the custom development options might not be necessary for all users, but it’s good to know that this level of assistance is available, albeit at an additional cost. If you are interested in this plugin but find that it is lacking a specific feature you require then it is definitely worth contacting the team to discuss it being added to the core functionality via the priority support service.
The CM Tooltip Glossary plugin is very well executed and will genuinely provide a valuable service to your site visitors. The ease with which it can be enabled means it’s something that should hopefully be embraced by more WordPress-powered websites in the future. As glossary entries can be added as and when they are included in site content, it means that you don’t have to spend hours building your glossary and can gradually add to it over time. The optional dictionary integration makes it even easier to populate the glossary.
If you find yourself explaining the same terms, acronyms, and abbreviations when writing, this plugin is an effective and affordable way to save time while making your content more accessible to your readers.
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You can see a CSS-customised implementation of this plugin here:
You will need to delve into a post page to see the examples, as by the site’s design, the tooltips do not appear on the home page.
And BTW, the theme on this site is Lucid, from Elegant Themes, the WP themes company which is the topic of another review in this newsletter. I am now using their Divi theme as well, and can attest to its oozing quality and aesthetics, as you said in your review