Is there a way to show hover text of internal links in exported HTML in org-mode? Sometime I would like to have a quick peek of the reference details of a org-ref citation link when reading the exported HTMLs of my notes.

  • Give the link text text-property help-echo with the text you want to show in a tooltip.
    – Drew
    Oct 29, 2020 at 1:33
  • @Drew That works in org-mode buffer, but not in the exported HTML. Oct 29, 2020 at 4:53
  • Sorry; I didn't read the question well. Thx.
    – Drew
    Oct 29, 2020 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


The best way is to define your own cite export function like this and then set it on the cite link.

(defun my-html-cite-export (keys desc format)
    (lambda (key)
      (format "<a class='org-ref-reference' href=\"#%s\" title=\"%s\">%s</a>"
          (org-ref-format-entry key)
    (org-ref-split-and-strip-string keys) ","))

(org-link-set-parameters "cite" :export #'my-html-cite-export)

This has some limitations, it only applies on cite links, and not the many other types of cite links, and it only supports html export. There isn't another way to do this at this time though.

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