Solved

Keeping certain windows "ON TOP"

Posted on 1998-08-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Does anyone know of a way of permanently having certain windows fixed on the screen so that when another normal size application is clicked on, the previous one does not hide behind it.

I know certain of Windows help screens are like this so that you can read the help notes and perform the task at the same time.
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Question by:mr_t25
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19 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:varun071898
ID: 1643843
It can't be done. The developer has to think that way and add
those attributes to his program through the developer tools.
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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643844
The thing is, I see a lot of magazines and articles, esp financial software, showing various packages opened including stockmarket chartings graphs, Excel, Netscape on one screen, with a each having a small %age of the screen.

How is this possible given that they are able to work on various programs at one glance?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:SPECIALIST
ID: 1643845
The only way to do what your are saying is to lets say you have word and excel, and you want to work in both.  You need to go to the restore button (the middle button in the right hand corner) and click from there you can resize the program.  make it about half the size of the screen. Do the same thing with excel.  make sure the two programs are not touching each other.  when you click one, the other will stay on top.  you may think that there is a better way, but this is the only way.  as pointed out earlier this is a consideration of the programmer.  some programs may give you the options of "always on top"  but very few do.

David
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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643846
hmmm ok thx.
I was hoping that I might be able to purchase some program that might do this for me.  I giess we  need Bill gates to implement this into Windows 2000.

The search still goes on.  If anyone can program this, I would be grateful to hear from them (although I understand that this has to be a feature within a program, rather than external to it).
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:MasseyM
ID: 1643847
There are shareware programs out there that will "glue" the item to the "foremost" part of the screen...

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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643848
Excellent, I feel more reassured now.
Can you give me the names and www address of where I can find them, and the points are all yours :)

Thx.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:MasseyM
ID: 1643849
I will have to look for it in a magazine... Give me about 1 day....
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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643850
Thx again, much appreciated :)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Stuart_Johnson
ID: 1643851
Hi there.

I dont know if this is what you want, but from what you said in your response to varuns' rejected answer you wanted a way of showing all your windows on the screen at once.  Correct?  So, you could have Word, Netscape, Excel all in their own portion of the screen - without having to manually select where they go.

If so, easy.  First, select that app you want to be your main app (it goes in the top left hand corner).  Then, right click on the task bar (any blank part of it) and select Tile Vertically or Horizontally - the choice is yours.

Apart from making applications stick to the top of the screen, what varun said was true.  The programmer has to tell the application to StayOnTop.  

I could have a look into it a bit deeper if you want.

Hope what I've said helps.


Stuart.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Stuart_Johnson
ID: 1643852
m_t25,

Give me your email address and I'll send you the program to do it.  I just wrote one which allows you to select which program you want bought to the front.

Regards,

Stuart.

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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Stuart_Johnson
ID: 1643853
Im just about to leave for the day, so I'll upload the file to my web page.  You can grab it from:

http://k9.shada.com/~stuartj/patches/btf.exe

If you want anything done to it, let me know.

NB.  Some programs flatly refuse to be nailed to the front - Outlook 98 was one of them.  However, Microsoft Access and Word worked perfectly - as did the DOS prompt!!  I presume most apps will accept the message.

Stuart.
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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643854
This is really fantastic!  Well done and thanks for writing this little program.  This Internet medium really is the best thing since sliced bread when people can help each other in such ways.

I’m rejecting your answer on this occasion because I want to increase the number of points for your good work, so please mark your name down again.    

Some suggestions I would have are;

1. Can you program an icon to be placed in the far right corner of the screen  (next to clock and volume) so that the program can be executed from anywhere?  I experienced some difficulty when having set more than 3 programs “to the front” to see a newly started applications, or starting your program.  Or should I just create a short cut and place on the taskbar?

2. A minimise button on your little software would be great too, so you don’t need to close it completely, but maybe again a shortcut would suffice?

3. A one button or one option to “Unsend to front” for all windows or cancel all.  Saves time doing them one by one.

4. To move a newly frozen window at front, can you program it so that it can be moved by holding down the left mouse button anywhere on that small screen, instead of the top task bar.  Again when there are several program open and at the front, it’s difficult to pull the top task bar.

I think you can really promote this little piece of kit.  Would you object if I e-mailed this to a few of my friends (for personal use)?

I’ll be in further contact via e-mail.  My e-mail address is mr_t25@hotmail.com  (note the underscore)

Thanks again.
Mr.T25

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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643855
oops, forgot to change the points.  here you go.
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
Stuart_Johnson earned 100 total points
ID: 1643856
Hi Mate,

I'll take a few of those suggestions on board and have a go at it.  Theres definately no problem with making it minimize to the system tray (next to the clock), but I wont do an unsend to front for all windows because there are alot which have specific settings.

I'll get back to you sometime today with an updated program.  Is it cool to send it to your hotmail account?

If anyone else is watching this and is interested in a copy as well, I'll just put it back on my web page.  But let me know first.

Cheers,

Stu.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Stuart_Johnson
ID: 1643857
Another version is available on my web page.

http://k9.shada.com/~stuartj/patches/btfsetup.exe

Includes:

Window Positioning and Minimize to System Tray.

Im working on a kill task option for it as well.

Regards,

Stuart.
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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643858
Thx, I'll reply again later this evening.
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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643859
Hi Stuart

I found that my system halted and then crashed (win98) when I tried to UNfront a few of the windows I had selected to send to front.  I cannot remember the exact details, but if it happens again I'll let you know.  I dont know if there is a general thing you can select to unsend ONLY the ones that have been sent to front?

Yup, sending to my e-mail box is no problem.  mr_t25@hotmail.com

Cheers.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Stuart_Johnson
ID: 1643860
Hi.  I probably could do it, but Im absolutely flat out with work at the moment.  It will crash your system if you try to send something to front which is not supposed to be at the front.  My suggestion on this is only send windows to the front which you know are OK to do so - such as your word processor, browser etc.  Dont do any of the system apps.

I'll work on another interface for it so you can "hide" certain applications.  This way you will only get a list of applications which you know you can move.

Was the window positioning OK?  I'm going to work on that a bit more, but its going to take time (Im sort of hooked on this program now).  But its all going to have to wait until I get time to do it.

Stuart.
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Author Comment

by:mr_t25
ID: 1643861
Hi Stuart

Sure no problem take your time, there is no rush.
I think the window positioning was ok, I cannot remember now.  I haven't used the program since it crashed, but will do next week when the need arises.  I'll wait to hear from you until then.

Regards.
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