I'm not sure if it will help in your case but you could set a keyboard shortcut to achieve it. You'd need to modify the maxinterfaces.json file, search for the clue window section and include something like "shortcut" : "shift+C" at the end. You'll need to restart max for the changes to take effect but then the keycode will appear in the toolbar.
The clue window doesn't work in the runtime version as far as I am aware. You can include tooltips that work in a similar way by opening an object's inspector and typing something in for the "hint" attribute. This will be shown when a user holds the mouse pointer over that object.
You could quite easily roll your own. Try naming the target objects, then use [hover] to pick up when they are being moused over. Enter the data you want displayed along with the varnames into a [coll] and hook this up. You could fairly easily display this in a pop up window.
You could use [pattr] to bind to the hint attribute rather than adding something into the [coll] for each object, not that this speeds things up very much. If you desperately need this functionality you could always parse the data in the "digest" tag from the maxref XML files and then store and display it however you like.
Very cool, the "hint" attribute is great but limited to one line. BTW if you want to turn hints off, you can send the object (that you want the hint for) the message "hint 0". Otherwise, you can programatically send (hint "my hint for this object" ) and it'll be ready to go. Note the need for quotes to keep your hint line as a single symbol.
With several [coll] objects, each with a list of hints, you can very easily create multi-language hints too... and not need to access every object to change the hint, you just change the [coll] entries. The object in question grabs the hint from the right [coll], using a gate which the user selects from a dropdown: "English/Spanish/French/Portuguese", and the right index number for the object.
Although I'm not at all sure how to go about dealing with special characters like the "c cedilia" or other accents. Any details on this would be helpful, I'd like to make a [coll] for hints and translate the hints to at least Spanish.
"if you want to turn hints off, you can send the object (that you want the hint for) the message "hint 0""
this does turn hints off, but unfortunately as far as I can see, permanently.
It seems to delete the hint of the object that message is sent to. It deletes the hint rather than disabling it, so it cannot be reenabled later on. It would be great if this was changed in the next incremental so that the message (hint 0) _disables_ hints and (hint 1) reenables them.
But would it be possible to have the hint attribute of any object with the ability to be enabled/disabled (without being deleted), or even have its message able to be changed? This attribute could then be accessible by the pattr system (I imagine it would make the hint object pretty much redundant in some applications).