Visibility: Visibility: On-Top and Auto-Hide

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The User Interface > Visibility: On-Top and Auto-Hide

ClipMate Classic, Explorer, and the auxiliary floating editor can all be displayed in 3 modes - "always on-top", "auto-hide", or "normal".  These can be toggled with the View menu, the "system menu" in the upper-left corner of the window, or if you're using "skins", there will be a 4th button on the titlebar, for the purpose of setting the visibility.

These modes all dictate how the window will react when ClipMate loses focus. i.e. when you switch focus to another application.  Sometimes you want ClipMate to remain on top of other windows. Sometimes you want it to go away completely. Or you may want it to behave like any other program, and sit on the desktop, obscured by any other foreground window that overlaps or obscures it.

Note that each window will retain its own setting. Be careful with Explorer, because due to its size, you can sometimes obscure message boxes and dialogs.

Transparency: The Transparency setting, which is available from the System Menu and the View menu, lets other windows show through the  ClipMate window, when ClipMate is set to "always on top".  It uses a technique known as "alpha blending" and is only available on later versions of Windows, including 2000 and XP, provided that your drivers support it.


Take a look at the first button in each of these screenshots from the "longhorn" skin:

Normal behaves like any other window. When you switch focus, it can be obscured by other foreground windows.

Icon: Centered Dot

Causes ClipMate to stay on top of other windows, making it easy to access and see, even if you are working in an application that uses the same desktop space.

Some users will prefer to combine the On-Top behavior with "transparency", which causes the window to turn translucent, when it loses focus, allowing you to see through the ClipMate window.  See the Visibility menu for the transparency setting.  Note: Transparency is not available on older versions of windows, or with slower video hardware, or when disabled at the system level.

Icon: High Arc

Causes ClipMate to hide itself when it loses focus.  The ClipBar defaults to this behavior when it calls up Classic, to serve as a "drop-down list".  As soon as focus switches away from Classic, it hides itself, just like a regular drop-down list would.  Classic actually tracks two sets of position and visibility settings, so that it can behave differently when called from the ClipBar.  So you may have it set to auto-hide when used from the ClipBar, and On-Top when used in "regular Classic" mode.

Icon: Low Arc