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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.