Is possible create stand alone appz with trasparent background?

Oct 15, 2010 at 11:33am

Is possible create stand alone appz with trasparent background?

Hello, i are really newbie with max, im trying to build some stand alone little aplication, basically i want my aplication no have the clasical menu window, and no window.
I want make my appz have a nice background with rounded corners.
Is possible do this with max when create stand alone appz?
Please if possible cna explain how step by step?

Also i see one ugly trouble in stand alone appz, every tie i open my appz creaed with max, the runtime window open lol!
Is possible make that windows always stay closed?

Really apreciate any help.

Best regards.

Oct 15, 2010 at 6:51pm

There’s no way to make an app have a transparent background currently. Nor have rounded corners as far as I know. But to get rid of the ‘runtime’ window as you call it, put a [standalone] object in your standalone. Then open the inspector for the [standalone] object and uncheck “Status window visible at startup”. This should make it so your app opens without the Max window.

*Never fear, Noob4Life was never here!*

Oct 15, 2010 at 7:36pm

Round corners, transparent background? Yes :)

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

I cannot remember how to remove the bottom window bar using [thispatcher ], but I’m pretty sure It’s possible……..I think I’ve done it before, but those patches are on a hard drive I left in my parents house :P

Also, there is a js version of the windowdrag subpatch that’s easier to use, and there is also [tap.windowdrag], but that’s part of their retail package.

Oct 15, 2010 at 8:59pm

To remove the toolbar, you can uncheck Show Toolbar on Open in the patcher inspector.

Oct 15, 2010 at 10:44pm

Wah, that’s so cool – Thank you!

Oct 16, 2010 at 10:49am

Ah, thanks EJ!

Oct 16, 2010 at 10:54am

Just a heads-up to anyone trying this stuff out. It’s a very good idea to limit the pixel range that you can drag the window around by to your screen size. With my example patch, it’s possible to drag the “drag-area” of the window off-screen irretrievably, which would be annoying to deal with if you were making an actual app.

This might only apply if you’re on Mac, as it’s the top menubar that causes the problem.

Oct 16, 2010 at 6:58pm

Please dont laugh !! jiji
But where paste that code?
Im starting with max, no idea how use that code.
Pleaseca explain step by step : )

That code turn all backrond transparent? correct?
My appz can have any kind of shape form?

My idea is load a transparent png like background, in that way my appz have the form of png have : )

Thankyou !

Oct 16, 2010 at 7:22pm

no worries, the answer to using the pasted code is here:

(love this transparent background stuff! i had no idea…)
*Never fear, Noob4Life was never here!*

Oct 16, 2010 at 8:13pm

Thk Nobforlive
JUJUJU !! i love this patch things jijij !!

Oct 16, 2010 at 8:29pm

TIM, this is exactly what i try to do,

Ayway one more request, if possible, how make aplication stay always on top?

Bets regards !

Oct 16, 2010 at 8:44pm

That’s a neat trick to know. Thanks Tim

Oct 17, 2010 at 10:54am

I’m not aware of a way to create a window that will stay on top of all other applications. I’m guessing you’re thinking of something like the Novation Automap window? It might be possible though, EJ could let us know definitively.

You can use the “window float” message to [thispatcher] to make that window stay on top of all other max/msp windows, but it doesn’t affect the cross-application window layering.

Also if anyone has a link to the windowdrag js code that would be great!


Oct 17, 2010 at 11:11am

Hi Tim
Basically no is possible max apx window stay o top over all the other windows?
: (

yes, i wnt my aPPz stay on top over all. : (

Oct 17, 2010 at 11:15am

I don’t know of a way, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible! Max can do a lot of things :)

We’ll have to wait and see if someone more experienced can tell us.

Oct 17, 2010 at 8:31pm

Maybe like that?

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

(poll 0 to deactivate alway in front)

Oct 17, 2010 at 9:05pm

Cant make this work, have this error:

hi: 0 is not a valid device number

This patch not work. : (

Oct 17, 2010 at 9:33pm

Check the hi object helpfile and set hi to your mouse input as done there. on my system 0 get’s me the mouse therefore I shortend it a bit…

Oct 17, 2010 at 9:37pm

interesting that if your background is exactly 0. alpha, you can click through to other windows or apps, but with any alpha at all, it catches the click. pretty cool.

I don’t think you can have any “real” rounded corners in any window, that’s part of the OS, after all. but you can fake it pretty well with transparency.

Love that mousestate! Can easily be modified to drag too, without using the title bar. Then you can remove the frame and still have it moveable.

Oct 17, 2010 at 10:40pm

to float a window above all apps without [hi] or polling:

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –
Oct 17, 2010 at 10:54pm


It’s all possible, unsurprisingly :)


Incidentally, it really seems like the [thispatcher] help and reference files could use a solid update! Neither seem to mention the “topmost $1″ message, and the reference file says “use of thispatcher to create new objects is not supported in Max 5.” That seems to be wrong, because I can create new objects with it in Max 5 ;)

Oct 18, 2010 at 3:11am

Absolutly wonderfull !!

Oct 18, 2010 at 9:48am

Just wondering how people closed the first seethru app – I ended up adding and using the wclose message . .
Also is the topmost message documented? I didn’t see it in thispatcher help or reference – Or Tims comment above

Oct 18, 2010 at 10:09am

I continue stuck in rmeove the max windows in stand alone appz.
Can somebody put some example please?

One morequestion related to windows manage.
How call to full scren?

Best regards !

Oct 20, 2010 at 2:42pm

Tim Lloyd or anybody, can tellme why this not work?

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –
Oct 20, 2010 at 4:25pm

I fixed adding delay to fullscreen and topmost

Oct 20, 2010 at 4:39pm

Now found a new problem, after create stand alone with this, i run the stand alone, adn transparent not work, loadbang not fire “window flags notitle, window exec”

Some idea?

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –
Oct 21, 2010 at 6:16am

Hey guys,

Great thread. Sorry if I missed this, is it possible to have patcher background transparency with the titlebar (rounded corners aside)?


Oct 21, 2010 at 8:50am

Nope, only no titled windows can be transparent.

Oct 21, 2010 at 8:58am

Any intention of adding this capability in future versions? Just curious.

Dec 20, 2010 at 2:33pm

Wow, this thread is one of those treasures that add value to the product by casually showing some cool undocumented feature.

It also shows that the documentation is behind on the actual product.

Dec 21, 2010 at 12:54pm

EMV: are you sure about the relevance of the possibility of transparent
windows for an app which is not even written yet?

Dec 26, 2010 at 5:23pm

@Roman: Yes. Simply the knowledge that there is the possibility of creating transparent windows gave me multiple ideas for new patches that would depend on that functionality (overlays that display parameter info on top of other programs for example).

New possibilities inspire me.


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