I am having a weird problem with Eclipse documentation tooltips. When I startup Eclipse the tooltip works as expected:

enter image description here

But after I press the down button the tooltip turns black:

enter image description here

and stays like that for the rest of the session.

I am using Eclipse Galileo and Ubuntu 11.04 with the classic desktop.

EDIT: I am only experiencing this problem in PHP Development Tools. The tooltips work in Java and Python projects.

7 Answers 7


The answer from Arkaduysz's works if you correct the second line. the gksu would try to change root's settings I think.:


sudo apt-get install gnome-color-chooser 

run it:


Go to "Specific" tab, check and setup background/foreground colors in tooltip box. Apply & Close.

To fix the color issue in the eclipse package explorer (white font on light grey back), choose "global" tab, and check standard > inputfield > selected and set it to black.

  • 1
    this also worked for me to fix gnome applications running in KDE (gimp, UFRaw, etc). For some reason the setting "Apply colors to non-Qt applications" in the Colors menu wasn't having any effect for me.
    – craq
    May 21, 2016 at 8:16
  • This is the easiest way to fix this without manually hacking into gtk css files. Thanks! Oct 21, 2016 at 22:19
  • That seemed to have ceased to work with Eclipse Oxygen. (I have the color chooser installed and black-on-yellow for tooltips, but Eclipse shows still black background for tooltips.) Sep 30, 2018 at 15:33

To fix this annoying behaviour in KDE, the fix is similar:

  • run System Settings
  • Click on Application Appearance in Common Appearance and Behaviour
  • Click on Colours icon and then on Colours tab
  • Find Tooltip Background and choose a bright color, for instance pale yellow or white
  • Find Tooltip Text below and choose a darker color, like blue or black
  • Click Apply

The fix will be available immediately, no need to restart Eclipse.

Note: On Eclipse mars the change was not immediate. I had to restart eclipse.

  • 2
    Thank you! One note is that you do need to restart Eclipse (just the editors actually, but if you have a lot of them open...) with Eclipse Juno and Kubuntu 12.10 for all tooltips to change.
    – mikołak
    Mar 3, 2013 at 8:35
  • I finally had to resort to this - changing tooltip bg to white, and text to black, ten restart Eclipse Mars. Other apps (chromium browser) worked well with only this change: bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=295486 (don't apply scheme to apps from outside KDE - in Kubuntu). Aug 1, 2016 at 8:37


sudo apt-get install gnome-color-chooser 

run it:


Go to "Specific" tab, check and setup background/foreground colors in tooltip box. Apply & Close.


I managed to solve this problem by switching to the Radiance theme and then setting the tool-tip color in Appearance/Customize.../Colors:

enter image description here

When I tried the same thing with the Ambiance theme I started getting weird color errors all over my desktop.

  • Neither of Ambience nor Radience work for me, even after changing colors in gnome-color-chooser. However, the Adwaita theme works out of the box, without using gnome-color-chooser at all.
    – ntc2
    Jul 9, 2014 at 21:47

The answer listed here finally worked for me after trying several other solutions, none of which worked (Eclipse Mars 4.5.2, Ubuntu 14.04.3). I did have to edit one additional file though (gtk-main.css).

If you run the "Ambiance" theme (default theme, dark), open these files and change all "bg" tooltip colors to #ffffff (white) and all "fg" tooltip colors to #000000 (black):


So e.g. run:

sudo gedit /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-3.0/settings.ini /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-3.0/gtk.css /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-3.0/gtk-main.css /usr/share/themes/Ambiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc

If you run the "Radiance" theme (the light theme), you need to edit these files:


So e.g. run:

sudo gedit /usr/share/themes/Radiance/gtk-3.0/settings.ini /usr/share/themes/Radiance/gtk-3.0/gtk.css /usr/share/themes/Radiance/gtk-3.0/gtk-main.css /usr/share/themes/Radiance/gtk-2.0/gtkrc

I found a way to fix Eclipse tooltip color without falling back to GTK2 and without affecting any other application.

The fix is captured in a script and it can be accessed here.


The script makes a copy of the Ambiance theme, modifies the tooltip color and then writes a launcher for eclipse with this new Theme.


I managed to solve this in Oxygen by going to windows->preferences->general->appearance->Colors and Fonts then in the window provided find Javadoc background (overrides default) - changing the color to anything that is not black.

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