Query raised in WebmasterWorld HTML Forum:
<a href="contact.html" onmouseover="window.status='Contact'; return true;" onmouseout="window.status=''; return true">Test Link</a>
Will show "Contact" in the status bar instead of the URL, and it will clear the text when you move out of the link.
Further enhancements... You could assign these events when the page is loaded, so you don't have to add it to every link manually - you could also extract the filename and capitalise the first letter for example, so you don't have to set it for each link ('contact.html' becomes 'Contact' etc.)
This should work OK in IE. It will work OK in Firefox if the user has not disabled this feature (it is disabled by default though I think). In Opera, you can't seem to change the text in the onmouseover event - it always displays the URL - although it works OK in the onmouseout event. So, in short, you cannot rely on it.
Just some more links... the
onmouseout events are added on page load.