There must’ve been a time when you’d have been absorbed in watching some interesting movie on your computer, at the same time aware that you have other important tasks to perform as well. It may have made you wish to have a way where you can do both at the same time. Or perhaps you may have a slow download or long installation going on, that you may want to keep a tab on, but the constant back and forth movement between windows is just not worth the effort. What do you do? One solution might be to use the thumbnail preview feature that Windows 7 provides, but in all honestly, the thumbnails are, as the name implies, thumbnails, and hence, too small to be of any real use. Another might be to go looking for an alternative solution that would help you get out of the fix. Well, we have the solution.
For such scenarios, OnTopReplica comes to the rescue. The basic function of this software is to clone any window of your choice, and display it on top of all other windows as a resizable thumbnail, effectively enabling you to watch two windows at the same time.
In the screenshot above, I have the AddictiveTips website in focus, while the movie I was watching on VLC continues to play in the small thumbnail, sized enough to remain watchable.
When installed, a pane will show up on your desktop (and a tray icon as well). Right-click the icon to configure your replicated thumbnail. You can choose which window to clone or a particular region from it, set the opacity and size of the thumbnail, choose language and control various other features.
From select window you can simply choose the window you want replicated and that’s it, if you don’t want to tamper with other settings. However, one thing to bear in mind is not to minimize the window being replicated, because that will stop the replica from being refreshed.
While the author lists every feature in detail on his website, one thing worth mentioning is the region selection in the replica. Basically this feature allows you to focus a particular region of a replica window instead of the entire window itself. It can come in handy if you want to watch a certain progress bar, for example, of an overlying window.
OnTopReplica works only with Windows Vista and 7, with Aero enabled and requires a minimum of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 to work. Testing was done on Windows 7 x86 system.