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OnTopReplica Turns Web Apps Into Windows Desktop Gadgets

When you’re working on a smaller screen you have to make the most out of what you got. Even on larger dual screen setups, sometimes I wish I had more screen real estate. This is where a little program called OnTopReplica comes in. OnTopReplica takes any open window and creates a customizable duplicate of it. The duplicate window hovers above all other windows, including ones you’re working in.

OnTopReplica

You can use this application for almost anything in Windows. Here’s a few examples:

  • Create a moveable YouTube player
  • Quickly access a web radio player
  • Display an excerpt from a news article
  • Constantly preview any application
  • Watch Skype, Facebook, or any messenger chat for friends coming online

Using OnTopReplica has a steep but short learning curve. To get started, download it from the developer at this link. Do note that it only works with the Windows Aero theme because it uses an Aero feature to clone window previews.

The program opens to a blank window with a message saying “Right-click here to start” well, that’s what you need to do. From the context menu that comes up, select the window you want to clone.
select window from right click menu

The window will be cloned into OnTopReplica. From here you can customize the window. The first thing I usually use is the “Select region” option. This lets you to narrow down which area is viewable in the window.

region selectselect region

Once you have the region selected, you can resize the OnTopReplica window. The zoom level will automatically scale as it is resized.

resize

In the example below, I used the app to put a small Pandora window above my browser. You can also adjust the transparency so that the area under the cloned window is still visible.

hover over

To make things even more seamless, you can disable the window border.

window border

Then, to make windows functional you have to enable Click Forwarding from the Advanced tab. Without this enabled, the cloned window isn’t clickable. But, once you enable it, you can interact with the windows just like if it were.

The Click-Through option makes the window transparent to mouse clicks, so the underlying window will receive the click instead. I couldn’t get Group Switch mode to work, it bugged out and crashed the client on the PC I tested it with.

enable click forwarding

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3 Responses to OnTopReplica Turns Web Apps Into Windows Desktop Gadgets

  1. Ron White April 22, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Did the wrong headline get on this story. I didn’t see anything about using Web apps in desktop Windows.

  2. Ron White April 23, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    I probably didn’t make that connection because I’m used to thinking of Pandora as a desktop app. Plus, I think of apps as being programs that run on tablets and smartphones. The review seemed to say that it words with a window of a program already running on your desktop. Will it work with IOS and Android apps?

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