Monitoring protein-protein interactions in living cells is key to unraveling their roles in numerous cellular processes and various diseases. Previously described split-GFP based sensors suffer from poor folding and/or self-assembly background fluorescence. Here, we have engineered a micro-tagging system to monitor protein-protein interactions in vivo and in vitro. The assay is based on tripartite association between two twenty amino-acids long GFP tags, GFP10 and GFP11, fused to interacting protein partners, and the complementary GFP1-9 detector. When proteins interact, GFP10 and GFP11 self-associate with GFP1-9 to reconstitute a functional GFP. Using coiled-coils and FRB/FKBP12 model systems we characterize the sensor in vitro and in Escherichia coli. We extend the studies to mammalian cells and examine the FK-506 inhibition of the rapamycin-induced association of FRB/FKBP12. The small size of these tags and their minimal effect on fusion protein behavior and solubility should enable new experiments for monitoring protein-protein association by fluorescence.