Computers are made to multitask. As a result, we all have to juggle with multiple open windows to jump back and forth between various tasks. Sometimes, however, you just want to keep one window in your view regardless of what else happens on your screen. Surprisingly, Windows does not offer a native feature for this task. In this article I will introduce five tools that fill this niche.
OnTopReplica uses the DWM Desktop Composition found in Windows Vista and Windows 7 to clone a window and run it in a small thumbnail that always stays on top. This is perfect for keeping only the video frame of a video player on top. OnTopReplica requires .NET Framework 2.0 and a Windows Aero theme.
When you launch OnTopReplica, you will see an empty grey window on your screen. Right-click the frame and select the window you want to clone.
Next, right-click the frame again, pick select region to define the region of the screen you want to clone. Finally, enjoy the result!
Note that the original window cannot be minimized and if you choose to replicate a browser window, you cannot switch the tabs. Also see this article for a more thorough review of the tool: Two Ways To Sneak A Peek At Videos While You’re Working
4t Tray Minimizer adds several additional buttons to the title bar of your windows. One of them, the pin icon, will fix the respective window on top of everything else, until clicked again. A very simple and easy solution.
Besides keeping our windows on top, 4t Tray Minimizer allows you to manage open windows in many different ways. Besides the new title bar buttons, the options are also available via the top level system menu. 4t Tray Minimizer was previously mentioned in this article: 3 Best Strategies & Tools For Open Window Management In Windows 7
This tool adds additional menu options to all top level system menus without compromising the standard options. Apart from making a window stay Always On Top, you can also minimize it to the tray or change its transparency. It offers some of the same options as 4t Tray Minimizer, but it does not add the extra buttons to the title bar.
See a full review of PowerMenu here: Keep Windows on Top & Minimize To Tray with PowerMenu
DeskPins lives in your system tray. When clicked, your cursor turns into a pin and whichever window you click next, will be pinned to the top of your screen. Clicking the red pin in the title bar of the respective window, will unpin it. Very neat one task app that doesn’t add any extra clutter to your windows or menus.
DeskPins was also reviewed in this article: How To Pin Any Application Window To The Top
Like the previously mentioned tools, AquaSnap offers a host of features. One of them is shaking a window to at once make it stay on top and change its opacity. The shake detection sensitivity, speed, and duration can be customized.
See this article for a full review of AquaSnap: How To Enhance Your Windows Experience With AquaSnap (Not Only in Windows 7!)
For even more useful tools to manage your windows, have a look at these articles:
- 3 Simple Programs That Can Help You Manage Multiple Windows
- 3 Programs That Help You Snap Windows Like a Win 7 User
- 3 Useful Programs That Help Manage Multiple Monitors
Do you still need to manage several applications on one screen or have you dedicated a second or third screen to parking your videos or other must watch items on?
Image credits: Tatiana Popova