"Pushpin" / Pin to foreground functionality in OSX?

in macOS edited January 2014
I've seen some flavors of Unix that have a "Pushpin" button on every window. When this button is pushed in the window remains in the foreground even when the focus is switched to another application. This is very useful when you want to copy information from one app to another or want to leave one window open to use as a monitor while you work on something else. Is there some type of similar function in OSX?


  • Reply 1 of 5
    This can be done programmatically by some apps to force the window to a certain layer position. VLC, for example, has a "float on top" option. Similarly, some apps have a "stay on bottom" option that will keep a window under everything, including desktop icons but above the background image.

    However, there is not system-wide option or toggle to do this arbitrarily.

    Although there is potential in such a widget, I can well understand Apple's decision to leave it out. The vast majority of users would probably never use it and a good number of people would probably be confused by the functionality. Plus, they'd have to make decisions about what happens if there are more than one "on top" window. After a while, you could be right back to the exact same layering system we already have.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    On top of that (no pun intended), I've been watching a movie for a while now through VLC while set to float on top and be scaled down to half size. No matter where I put it, it eventually becomes more of a hinderance and manages to be in the way of something more important. I keep having to move it or my other windows around to do my work.

    The extensive window management like this that the floating entails would be another good reason for Apple not to enable this system-wide.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    I don't think a pin would be useful at all. It works for very small programs like music players, and those can include the functionality in their controls if they like. When you watch video, that's going to take most of the screen estate anyway.

    I do watch video and "work" at the same time, but often I think to myself, is this really worth watching at all if I'm focusing so little on it I can surf the web at the same time? And if it's good enough I concentrate on it, what am I going to accomplish by attempting to do other things?
  • Reply 4 of 5
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    I like the idea, esp. for small windows like the iTunes minimized window. I absolutely would like to have it floating on top for quick access (yeah, I know, the Dock and all, but nevertheless).
  • Reply 5 of 5
    baumanbauman Posts: 1,248member
    I'm very content with Drag and Drop Exposé... That does the job beautifully, without any windows ever getting in the way.

    Of course, if you do want floating remotes and such, there is always Konfabulator.
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