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    How to keep a window in the foreground

    Who I am
    Judit Llordes
    @juditllordes

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    Keep a window on Windows foreground

    Be vuoi scoprire like keeping a window in the foreground and you use a PC equipped with the Windows operating system, there are various solutions that you can consider, all free and extremely simple to use.

    WindowTop


    The first solution I recommend you try is WindowTop, a free program that allows you to keep your desktop windows always on top, make them transparent and easily make them smaller. It is compatible with all versions of Windows, including Windows 10, and can also be used in a portable version, so without facing tedious installation procedures. A paid Pro version is also available ($ 7,50), which, however, includes only a few extra functions relating to transparency, saving preferences and can be used for commercial purposes: all things that you, at this moment, should not to interest.


    To proceed with the download of the free version of WindowTop, therefore connected to the official website of the program and click on the button Download located in the center of the page. Once the download is complete, api l 'zip archive which contains WindowTop, extract the contents to a folder of your choice and run the executable WindowTop.exe located in the folder Portable (no need to install).

    In the window that opens, press the button Close to close the message inviting you to purchase the Pro version of WindowTop (check the box Do not show this window again if you no longer want to see the same warning when you start the program) and take action!


    Choose, therefore, the window you want to keep in the foreground, click on gray button with white arrow that appears on it and selects the icon Set top from the menu that opens. Mission accomplished! From now on, the window you selected will stay on top of your PC desktop. Alternatively, you can "pin" a window to the desktop and make it stay on top by activating it and pressing the key combination Alt + Z on your PC keyboard.


    If you have second thoughts, you can put a window back in the background by pressing the combination Alt + Z on the PC keyboard or by clicking a second time on the button Set top del menu in WindowTop.

    If you want to customize the key combination necessary to put a window in the foreground (and remove it from the foreground), right-click on the WindowTop icon in the notification area, next to the Windows clock, and select the item  HotKeys (Click to change) > Enable/Disable "Set Top" mode for the active window [ALT + Z] give the menu check if you press.

    In the window that appears on the screen, set the key combination you prefer the most (putting the check mark next to the options related to the keys Ctrl, Other, Shift e Win) and click on your button OK to save the changes, which will take effect immediately.

    DeskPins

    Another solution you can turn to is DeskPins: a free and open source program that allows you to always have a program in the foreground, whatever happens on your computer desk. Unfortunately in my tests it didn't work perfectly on Windows 10, where not all programs are able to "block" on the desk, but I suggest you try it anyway… after all, it costs nothing!


    To download DeskPins on your computer, then connected to the program's website and click on the first link located under the item Downloads to download the program to your PC. Once the download is complete, double-click on it to open the file you just downloaded ( DeskPins-xx-setup.exe) and, in the window that opens, first click on Yes and then Next,  install e Close to finish the setup. If you don't want DeskPins to start automatically every time you log in to Windows, remove the check mark from the item Start DeskPins with Windows.


    Now, start DeskPins through its icon in the Windows Start menu. To have a program always on top, all you have to do is click on the icon first DeskPins present next to the Windows clock (it is the one in the shape of a pushpin) and then on the window you want to always be visible.

    You can put the active window in the foreground, even by pressing the keys at the same time CTRL ed F12 of your PC keyboard, and enable the program without clicking on its icon, by pressing the keys at the same time CTRL ed F11 of your PC keyboard.

    To set DeskPins so that it brings certain windows to the foreground automatically, right-click on its icon in the notification area and select the item Options from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, select the tab Autopin, metti il ​​segno di spunta accanto alla voce Enable and click on the button Add to choose the window that should be automatically brought to the foreground.

    Then click on the button containing a crosshair icon located next to the item Title and click first on the window you want to always be in the foreground and then on the button OK twice in a row to complete the operation.


    You can also change the color of the pushpin of DeskPins, selecting the scheda Pins e clicking on your button Change.

    Feature Always on top of programs

    Some programs, such as VLC e Windows Media Player, include "standard" a feature that allows you to keep their windows always on top. Now I'll explain how to exploit it.


    It was used VLC, all you have to do is select the item Video from the menu at the top and put the check mark next to the option Always in the foreground.

    It was used Windows Media Playerinstead, you have to select the item options from the menu Organize which is at the top, after which you have to select the tab Media player from the window that opens, you need to put the check mark next to the option Always running on top e devi pigiare sul pulsating OK per salvare i Cambiomenti.

    In other programs you can find the option to keep the application always on top on the menu Show, in that Window or in the menu of preferences (Eg. Tools> Preferences o Tools> Options).

    Keep a window in the foreground on Mac

    I use a Mac? I'm sorry to tell you, but for macOS there are no applications like WindowTop or DeskPins, which allow you to keep a desktop window always in the foreground. Or rather, they are available, but to use them you need to "tinker" a bit and act on some advanced system settings, which could discourage you from using them. Now I will explain everything to you in more detail, so that you can make your own decision about it.

    Afloat

    The best application to keep windows on top on Mac is Afloat which, to be used, requires the installation of mySIMBL (a free component without which it cannot work) and, more importantly, the temporary deactivation of the SIP (System Integrity Protection).

    Il SIP, if you had never heard of it, is a protection system included in macOS 10.11 El Capitan and later that limits the operations that can be performed by root users, so that they cannot act too deeply on the system, risking damaging it. Well, if the SIP is not temporarily disabled, it is not possible to install mySIMBL and consequently Afloat.

    The first step you need to take to have the windows in the foreground on the Mac, therefore, is to restart the computer and access the Recovery mode of macOS. To enter macOS Recovery mode, press and hold the key combination cmd + r while the Mac is restarting, until the apple logo appears with the progress bar at the bottom.

    Once the Recovery menu appears, select the item Utility located in the top bar and select the item terminal from the latter. In Terminal, type the following commands (followed by pressing the key sending on the keyboard) to disable SIP and restart the Mac.

    • csrutil disable
    • reboot

    Upon new login to macOS, you can proceed with installing mySIMBL e Afloat. Therefore, connect to the Github page that hosts mySIMBL and click on the link Download the latest release (under the title Download, in the middle of the page) to download the program to your computer.

    Then connected to the Github page that hosts Afloat and download the program on your Mac by clicking on the button first Clone or download (top right) and then on the item Download ZIP present in the box that opens.

    Now, open the zip package di mySIMBL, drag the program icon to the folder Applications macOS and launch it. In the window that opens, click first apri and then install. Then type the password of your user account on macOS (the one you use to access the system) and wait a few moments for the installation of all the components of mySIMBL (i.e. the SIMBL software) to be completed.

    Next, extract the Afloat zip package, open the folder bundle and copy the file Afloat.bundle in the main window of mySIMBL. Within a few seconds, you should see the Afloat icon appear with a green light in front of it.

    If not, try restarting mySIMBL and, if necessary, to authorize the installation of SIMBL again.

    Now you can bring any window to the foreground by simply clicking on the menu Window (in the top bar) and selecting the option Keep afloat from the latter.

    Once the installation of mySIMBL e Afloat, you can re-enable macOS SIP (it's a very important security feature, don't leave it disabled!). Then restart the Mac in Recovery mode, call up the terminal from the menu Utility and give the following commands.

    • enable csrutil
    • reboot

    When the Mac restarts, the SIP will be active again and Afloat should continue to function correctly.

    Helium

    Do you want to keep only the browser window in the foreground? In this case, you can turn to Helium: a free application available on the Mac App Store that allows you to have a browser window always in the foreground and to customize it freely by adjusting its size and degree of transparency. It does not require deactivation of the SIP and is very simple to use. It even works with streaming videos!

    To use Helium, after downloading the program from the Mac App Store and starting it, go to the menu Location > Open Web URL which is at the top, type the address of the page you want to display in the foreground window and give sending.

    Subsequently, you can move and resize the window in the foreground using the mouse and you can adjust its transparency level from the menu Appearance > Translucency.

    Bookmark for Safari Picture-in-Picture

    It was used Safari as a browser to browse the Internet, you can create a special bookmark which, if clicked after starting the playback of a streaming video, allows you to view the latter in a window in the foreground using the function Picture-in-Picture of macOS (introduced in macOS 10.12 Sierra).

    To create the special bookmark, bookmark any page in Safari, then right click on the newly created bookmark, choose the option Change address from the menu that appears and replace the URL of the page with this code.

    javascript: document.querySelector (% 22video% 22) .webkitSetPresentationMode (% 22picture-in-picture% 22);

    When the operation is complete, right click on the bookmark again, choose the item Rhinomine from the menu that appears and rename it to PiP, or something like that. Easier than that ?!

    Feature Always on top of applications

    In conclusion, I would like to point out that even on macOS, as well as on Windows, many programs allow you to keep your windows in the foreground without resorting to external solutions.

    For example, VLC you can always keep on top by selecting the option Always in the foreground from the menu Video (above), while other applications include the same option in the menu of preferences or in other menus. To easily find the option, I recommend you go to the menu Help o ? above and search for terms first floor in the search bar that appears.

    How to keep a window in the foreground

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