WindowTop runs as a tray program. Let's see how it works. Hover the cursor near the top of the window and you'll see an arrow icon appear. Mouse over it and you'll see the WindowTop toolbar. This toolbar appears in all windows, regardless of if they are maximized or are in windowed mode. You can drag the toolbar to any location on the window's title bar.
It has four options that can change the appearance of the windows: set the window's opacity, stay on top, shrink the window or toggle dark mode.
Click on the first button to make the window transparent.
Mouse over the button to view a slider, drag the pointer left or right to decrease/increase the opacity level.
It has a toggle that's labeled "Enable click-through", which when checked disables the current window, and you'll be able to click and use the program that's in the background.
Note: Though WindowTop doesn't say this, it is advisable to enable "Set Top" before enabling click-through. When I tried click-through without sticking the window, the program disabled it and I couldn't find a way to restore it. I had to close WindowTop, enable Set Top first, and it worked fine.
This option makes the window stay on top of other windows. You could work in word processors while a video stream is running in the background or something. Click the Set Top button in WindowTop to toggle the option. The "Set on Top" is done on a per-window basis, i.e. if you have multiple instances of a program (Explorer, Notepad, Firefox, etc), and you stick one of its windows, only that window will be sticky. For e.g. I have three Notepad windows, and make one of them sticky, the other 2 windows aren't going to be on top of other programs.
WindowTop can miniaturize a window to a tiny little box. See that box on my desktop? That's Firefox shrunk down in size. Click on a shrunk window to restore it. You may click and drag a program to place it anywhere on the screen.
The fourth option in the WindowTop toolbar changes the background color of any program to black or dark mode (if available). It works with any program.
How does this work? Enable the option in a program's window and try to drag it. You'll see it stutter a bit, and also notice the original background hiding behind the dark background. So, what WindowTop does is, it places a filter as the foreground over the Window to give it a false dark appearance. It does work well though.
Prefer Keyboard Shortcuts? WindowTop supports the following shortcuts:
Alt + A - Toggle the opacity
Alt + Z - Enable/disable Set Top
Alt + Q - Shrink window
You can customize the shortcuts from the WindowTop tray menu, and also set shortcuts for the "Set Dark" and "Click through" options. The menu has some settings to disable Click through, Set Top, Shrink Mode for all windows.
The blacklist/whitelist programs option allows you to disable/enable WindowTop for various applications. Optionally, you can set shrunk windows to be minimized to the taskbar.
When you run the application for the first time, it displays a window about the Pro Version, which has some extra features. This is optional. You can try it for free for 30 days, or click on the close button to dismiss the window.
The source code of WindowTop is hosted at GitHub. The program is available in a portable version, it stores the settings in the folder that contains the executable.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.