I am attempting to place tooltips over acronyms to show the long-form. My command \ac works for acronyms with plain text descriptions. The problem I run into is that if the acronyms contain other acronyms, eg. \gls{other} in the long-form, that part does not get expanded.


Another concern that I ran into is that if the description has some sort of formatting, eg. \bfseries, the tooltip contains unwanted text, I believe from the character expansion (?) of \bfseries. This makes me want to ask the question: is there a way to expand some command and keep only the plain text characters? Perhaps expand a command, and delete all cat codes except for 11 and 12? I may take a dive into explicit syntax or LuaTeX to see what this would look like.

MWE below:


\newcommand{\SomeWords}{Hello World}

\newacronym{abc}{ABC}{Acronym just BeCause}
\newacronym{sabc}{SABC}{Special \gls{abc}. \SomeWords}


    \ac{abc}  % tooltip is "Acronym just BeCause. Hello World"
    \ac{sabc} % tooltip is "Special abc. Hello World", I want "Special Acronym just BeCause. Hello World"
              % does not expand (?) the \gls{abc} to its long form? I am surprised that \SomeWords gets expanded however.

1 Answer 1


A solution that I've come up with that although doesn't quite satisfy my desire to understand the issue, can present a workaround for others. I also noticed that if the long-form of the acronym contains any formatting commands, eg. \bfseries, a lot of additional unwanted characters are produced. My simple idea is to create "exception" commands, so if I have any acronyms that contain other acronyms or formatting commands in their long-form, is to create a command called [key]ToolTipText and spell it out in plain text.


In the case of sabc, simply define \sabcToolTipText in plain text how you'd like it to appear. Not idea, but a workaround for the exceptions.

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