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It would be nice if it was a button you could press on the top right that 'tacked' the currently selected window in front of all other windows permanently (until the button is pressed again).

Does something like this exist?

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Not built into the OS, but you should take a look at Afloat from Infinite Labs.

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+1 Afloat is one of my must-have Mac application – nanda Sep 11 '10 at 17:53
I like its animation when setting a window to stay on top, however, it doesn't support almost any of the applications I use daily. – Jonathan Mayhak Sep 11 '10 at 22:58
Afloat is getting negative reviews on MacUpdate with Mountain Lion and Mavericks. SnappyApp on the MacAppStore is a great free alternative. – amergin Jan 28 '14 at 15:40

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