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The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Transparent windows!

A great tip submitted by Nick Brian: transparent windows. An amazing free application that can change the transparency level of any windows (in Cocoa apps) in a simple key combination! The productivity gain is remarkable as you can really quickly see what is happening in the windows under! The app is called Afloat and is a free download here on MacUpdate. Once the app is installed in System preferences, enabled and the app restarted, you can easily change the transparency of a window by clicking "Ctrl-Command-Page down" to increase transparency or "Ctrl-Command-Page up" to decrease. Thanks for the great tip Nick!

23 Comments:

Blogger Jason said...

You can also set Terminal to have a tranparent window. Useful when your trying to copy some Unix code from an e-mail or web page.

Open Terminal, go to window settings, then chose color and adjust the transparency to suit.

March 13, 2007 at 6:17 AM  
Blogger Westminster Fellowship said...

Nice!!! Thank you!

March 13, 2007 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Westminster Fellowship said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 13, 2007 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Westminster Fellowship said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 13, 2007 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger RobertC said...

Quite, but if you just want to see what's behind a window, then WindowShade from unsanity is MUCH quicker. It also allows you to roll up a window without moving it or sticking it into the dock. Only the title bar remains. This was actually a feature of OS 9.

March 13, 2007 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Zags said...

Awesome!!! Thanks!!!

March 13, 2007 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Kasim said...

I love this site. But am really concerned that you have posted an app where almost all user reviews are about this app causing system crashes. The authors own website confirms that the app is still experimental and the latest version should not be installed on your usual work pc. I would love to try this, but am too concerned...

March 14, 2007 at 6:34 AM  
Blogger MacGeek said...

I posted the link to the latest version because everyone I spoke with had no issues and it is classified as five stars on MacUpdate. If you want the supposedly more stable version, you can try Beta 3 on the developper's site.

MacGeek

March 14, 2007 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Loonymatt said...

I will also testify to the awesomness of Windowshade X. Totally worth the money, I was devastated that OS X didn't have the most basic feature that OS 9 did. Windowshade is the best, just double-click whatever button you set (like the command button) twice, and the window will be minimized, or double click the top bar and it will just show the top bar--and more! Trust me, you'll love this program!

March 14, 2007 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Dominic said...

Do you think this transparency with terminal will work once we get tabbed terminal in Leopard?

March 15, 2007 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger MacGeek said...

There are already transparency settings built in Terminal. Apple will certainly continue with the same feature in Leopard. I didn't try Afloat with Terminal but if you say it works, Afoat will most likely be updated once Leopard is released to maintain compatibility.

MacGeek

March 15, 2007 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Won said...

macgeek, how do i uninstall Afloat????????

March 18, 2007 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger MacGeek said...

According to the ReadMe file: To remove Afloat, open the System Preferences application and click on "Show All" to show the list of preference panes. Then, hold down the Control ("Ctrl") key and click on Afloat's icon in the Other section. A menu will appear. Choose "Remove 'Afloat' Preference Pane" from it to remove Afloat. Logging out and back in is advised after you remove Afloat.

Let me know if that works or not,

MacGeek

March 18, 2007 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger Won said...

yeah thanks! but I wonder if it completely erased it off my computer without leaving unwanted files, etc. what do you think?

March 20, 2007 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Kenzie said...

Please help me, i installed "afloat" and i read the instruction manual but i just cant seem to figure out how to make my screen transparent, please help!

April 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Kenzie said...

Please help me, i installed "afloat" and i read the instruction manual but i just cant seem to figure out how to make my screen transparent, please help!

April 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Kenzie said...

Please help me, i installed "afloat" and i read the instruction manual but i just cant seem to figure out how to make my screen transparent, please help!

April 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Kenzie said...

Please help me, i installed "afloat" and i read the instruction manual but i just cant seem to figure out how to make my screen transparent, please help!

April 23, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I can't get it to install in System Preferences. It goes to my library>application support>SIMBL>Plugins and then it is a useless bundle that I can't open.

September 18, 2010 at 3:52 AM  
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November 12, 2010 at 9:50 PM  
Blogger nzjoel said...

Thanks for sharing about Afloat! It does exactly what I needed! :)

July 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM  
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