Option to "Pin on top/front" detached windows

When working with some nodes, such as String Manipulation, it is often useful to be able to view the output from the previous node while configuring the new node.

e.g. take this simple example:

I have a table of “things” and I want to do some String Manipulation for each “thing”

As soon as I go to configure, the new node, I lose sight of the data from the previous node:
image

I can of course in the more recent releases of 5.x, “detach” the output table

but, as soon as I go to configure the node, that table is sent to back. I can of course use a key (e.g. Alt-Tab in Windows) to bring the detached table to the front, but that only gives a temporary “peek” because as soon as I start typing in the configuration, it goes to the back again.

I can move the detached window to a different monitor if I am lucky enough to have a second monitor, or I could resize my KNIME AP so it takes up less space and then place the detached window elsewhere on the screen, but that takes effort each time, and I don’t want to have to keep resizing KNIME, or leave it using only a fraction of the screen.

It would be nicer if on a detached data window, the option to “keep on top” were made available.

Current alternatives to this: On Windows, I have installed the free “PowerToys” and one of the options on that is to “pin” a window to front. I would imagine similar tools are available in Linux and Apple.

I open a detached window and then hit the Windows-Ctrl-T key-combination, which pins the window.

Here is a gif of KNIME + PowerToys in action. It makes quite a difference to efficiency and usability when you are trying to remember what your data looks like :slight_smile:

2024-06-0414-28-18-ezgif.com-video-to-gif-converter

Hi @takbb,

Thank you for bringing this up. I’ve submitted a feature request ticket for it. For internal reference, the ticket number is NXT-2670.

Best,
Keerthan

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That’s great @k10shetty1 ,

I hope such a feature becomes available.

It would be even better if the new config dialogs weren’t modal, so that “detached” windows also remained active while configuring…

Currently with KNIME, some dialogs are modal and some aren’t, but I fear that as config windows migrate to the new web ui format, the number of “modal” config dialogs is on the increase.

For example currently if I open a detached window (and place it on my second monitor, or pin to top using “PowerToys”) , and then open config for String Manipulation or Cell Splitter (both still classic UI dialogs), I can interact and copy/paste from the detached window which is great.

But if I open String Replacer, or other modern UI config windows, the config window is “modal” and renders the detached window unavailable for such interactions, which is definitely a retrograde step.

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This is one of those issues that requires constant workarounds. Copy / paste and data exploration while configuring nodes or working with interactive views is absolutely crucial for efficiency and exploration. I use macros and dual monitors, but I will look into PowerToys as well now. It would be nice to be to work on a laptop screen again without taking such a massive step backwards in speed of work…

I would love for KNIME to not lock us into config windows and / or allow us to keep windows on top with simple keyboard shortcuts.

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@iCFO, I’m adding a link to your feedback post from Apr 2023, as there is overlap between these topics.

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