How to Install Afloat on El Capitan and Keep That Window on Top

Afloat on El Capitan
Keep it on top…
/ May 23, 2016

There’s this application called Afloat with which you can “pin” an application window to always stay on top of other windows. This arrangement can be a huge productivity boost for people who need to multi-task, or who want to keep another window in sight for reference.

The process simple: First install SIMBL, then place Afloat bundle in a specific location.

SIMBL according to wikipedia:

SIMBL (short for SIMple Bundle Loader, and pronounced like symbol or cymbal), is an application enhancement (InputManager bundle) loader for Mac OS X developed by Mike Solomon. It helps third-party developers modify and add functionality to applications developed with the Cocoa environment without access to the source code. SIMBL loads code via the InputManager system, which was developed to support foreign input methods.

Part A: Install SIMBL

Step 1 of 3. Disable SIP 

We will re-enable SIP after SIMBL is installed. To learn more about SIP and to understand the risks of disabling it, go to its wiki page and this post on Ars Technica.

To disable SIP:

a) Restart your computer in “Recovery Mode.” To do this, restart your Mac and hold down the Command and R keys at startup after you hear the startup chime.

b) Once in “Recovery Mode,” launch terminal by clicking on Utilities in the top menu bar.

c) To disable SIP type:

csrutil disable;

d) Now, reboot the computer by typing:

reboot;

Step 2 of 3. Install SIMBL

a) Go to culater and download SIMBL-0.9.9.zip. It says the app is for Snow Leopard and Leopard, but it works fine on El Capitan.

b) Unzip the file, which will create “SIMBL-0.9.9” folder.

c) Then go to “Terminal” and go into “SIMBL-0.9.9”

D) Once inside “SIMBL-0.9.9” in terminal, type in the following commands to install SIMBL.

Important: Don’t double-click on .pkg file — instead type the following commands to install SIMBL.

sudo installer -verbose -pkg SIMBL-0.9.9.pkg -target /

sudo rm -rf /System/Library/ScriptingAdditions/SIMBL.osax

sudo mv /Library/ScriptingAdditions/SIMBL.osax /System/Library/ScriptingAdditions/

sudo cp -p /System/Library/ScriptingAdditions/SIMBL.osax/Contents/Resources/SIMBL Agent.app/Contents/Resources/net.culater.SIMBL.Agent.plist /System/Library/LaunchAgents/

sudo sed -e "s/Library/System/Library/" -i "" /System/Library/LaunchAgents/net.culater.SIMBL.Agent.plist

SIMBL is now installed.

Step 3 of 3. Re-enable SIP

a) Follow the process in Step 1 above, but instead of

csrutil disable; 

type

csrutil enable;

b) Then type

reboot;

This will restart your computer with SIP re-enabled.

Part B: Install Afloat

a) Head over to https://github.com/vjt/afloat/releases/tag/v2.4.1 and download “Afloat-2.4.110.9x86-64.bundle.zip”.

b) Unzip the downloaded file to get “Afloat.bundle” file.

c) Move Afloat.bundle file to /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins

That is it.

Now, to see Afloat in an application, restart that application. No need to restart the computer — just restart any application that you want to Afloat-ify. After you restart an application, Afloat options will begin to appear under the “Window” menu in the top menu bar of the application. Of course, if you restart your computer, afloat will be active on all applications.

Here is a screenshot of Afloat in the window menu of TextEdit:

Afloat on El Capitan
Afloat in TextEdit

Here is a screenshot of Afloat options in window menu of Opera browser:

Afloat on El Capitan - Opera
Afloat in Opera

 

PS: Now that you have SIMBL installed, you can pimp your mac by installing various third party plugins like safaristand, cDock, and several others.

Hope this method worked for you. Leave a comment if the steps didn’t work for you.