Hey you! Before you keep reading, a quick warning: I am NOT the developer of Afloat. This is a totally UNOFFICIAL resource. If it doesn’t work for you, there’s really not much I can do about it. The code is open source though, so if you’re a Mac developer, that might be your best option.
There’s also a forked version on Github that might work for you, although it’s only for 64-bit apps. On recent Macs without legacy software, that might be okay. Check it out; it might work for you.
Like any computer user, I spend a lot of time working with applications. And like many computer users, I also spend a lot of time bouncing between different windows and trying to keep everything straight.
Unlike many computer users, I’ve generally got things under control, thanks to the app Afloat for Mac, which is this week’s featured app on Wrapp Up.
Afloat for Mac isn’t focused on your windows’ sizes (unlike Divvy and Moom, which we’ll cover in a future episode). Where other apps focus on the X and Y, Afloat focuses on the Z axis, controlling a window’s placement above or below other windows. It lets you pin apps to the “top” of the stack, at the bottom, and also lets you set window transparency (my favourite feature).
Afloat for Mavericks
Hey OS X Mavericks users: Afloat for Mac seems to work as intended in Mac OS X Mavericks. I did a clean install of OS X 10.9 Mavericks onto my new MacBook Air, then installed SIMBL 0.9.9 and Afloat 2.4 (linked below). Everything went smoothly and I use it regularly without problems. Here’s a screenshot to prove it.
That said, there are reports in the comments that it doesn’t work. My guess is that this has something to do with upgrade baggage, or conflicting applications. Or maybe I just got lucky!
How to install Afloat for Mavericks
If you get through both install processes successfully, you’ll be good to go! Note: Afloat does not work in every app, but it never has. Apps with their own UI, like Photoshop, Spotify, etc. will not work because they bypass the hooks that Afloat needs to function.
Master your windows with Afloat for Mac — Audio player
Master your windows with Afloat for Mac — Transcription
Hello, hello, hello. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, whatever time it is. Welcome to the Wrapp Up. I’m glad you’re here, and I am Chris Van Patten, your host.
Today, we’re going to look at a very simple and straightforward and really useful app for the Mac. Sorry, Windows users or Linux users, this won’t work for you. There are probably alternatives. Hit Google and see what you can find.
The app that we’re covering today is called Afloat. Afloat for Mac, and you can find that just by Google searching Afloat for Mac. Afloat for Mac is basically an extender for existing apps. What I mean by that is that it adds new capabilities and new features to just about every app in OS10.
What it does, the features that it adds are transparency and overlays and just general windows management stuff. Basically, you install this and it hooks into your system, there. It allows you to customize the display of windows. For instance, you can make a window transparent. This is great for me. If I’m working in Terminal and Chrome at the same time, I can have a Terminal overlaid and have a transparent look to the Terminal, or vice versa. If I want to have my Chrome up in the front while I do things in the background in Terminal, I can do that as well. This works for just about any app.
You can also, as the name suggests, float windows at different levels. Basically, you can have a window that is on the top all the time, so it’s permanently stuck in place above other windows, or you can have it float to the bottom. You can attach an app to basically the desktop, so no matter what you do, that app is going to stay in the background and out of the way.
You can also do what are called overlay windows. Overlay windows are stuck on top of everything else, so sort of like floating an app to the top except that anytime you click on it, it doesn’t actually work in that app. It works in whatever’s beneath it.
So this is really cool, again. For me, I can set the transparency of the window, make the window an overlay, so in Chrome, for instance, transparent in that I stick it to the top. Then, by setting it to an overlay, I can have a terminal in the background that I can still see and type and click around in without affecting Chrome.
It’s really cool. It’s got a lot of neat features. You can make windows opaque when you hover your mouse over them. You can easily use your scroll wheel on your mouse to set the transparency of a window. I’ve used this for a lot of years and it’s just a super way to be more productive and be able to see more, especially when you have a smaller laptop, like an 11- or 13-inch Macbook Pro, and you don’t have a lot of screen real estate. That’s a great way to make more space.
All right, so as always, this has been the Wrapp Up. Just a quick one this week. We’ll have more window management tools for the Mac in the future, and for now, enjoy Afloat.