A frame that allows you to have an image or even PDF displayed semi-transparently in front of everything. It enables you to copy, trace, or compare designs, images, and documents with ease since you can lock the frame and make it undisturbed by mouse gestures.

It’s a transparent overlay of an image or document on your screen that you can click through - like a transparent sticker on your screen.

Overlay is especially useful for artists, designers, and students as it allows you to make your art or design from or reference photos and screenshots.

features v2.00
- transparent overlay window is fully dragged moveable and resizable
- simply drag & drop to change your overlay photo / PDF document
- transparency can be set anywhere from 0% - 100%
- easy lock / unlock control from both the interface and menus.

v2.00 -> v2.30
options added according to user's feature request
- autosave size, position and picture fitting of the overlay window for easy resuming last work

v2.30 -> v3.25
- fully re-coded Sandbox ARC version for macOS Sierra 10.12
- updated to macOS Sierra 10.12 and still compatible with OS10.8 and above
- option added, besides of fix size and stretch display, overlay picture can be easily rotated and resized
- new picture scaling added: Fit Overlay and Zoom to actual picture size (100% pixel to pixel displaying)
- picture scaling with touchpad gesture and mouse wheel
- two modes of picture adjustment added: freely hand move and customized center rotation
- overlay picture's color and effects can be edited by image editor which can be simply reached by double-clicking
- topmost displaying while the overlay is in lock mode
- alert for under full-screen mode added
- app quitting confirmation added in case of accidental exit
- the main interface adjusted
- main, dock menu changed
- menu item added "Reset All Alert and Tip"
- the color of the icon changed
- change the ​color of all popup alerts into white
- startup tip updated
- more by dragonBTV updated

v3.25 -> v3.30
- button size and style modified
- "see through" function added according to user's feature request
- fix version displaying bug on support email subject
- tip window and tip contents modified
- icon color changed

v3.30 -> v3.32
- status bar menu added
- startup tip modified
- menu re-arranged for simplification
- more by dragonBTV simplified
- app size dramatically reduced
- performance improvements for macOS 10.13 High Sierra

v3.32 -> v3.40
- options add according to feature requests: select overlay image from the Open menu
- options add according to feature requests: overlay image can be simply switched from the Open Recent menu
- Tips for​ v3.40 added to explain Open / Open Recent options

v3.40 -> v3.42
- bug fixed for macOS Mojave, red lock ring and green unlock ring can be correctly displayed
- status menu bar icon auto switched for the dark mode of macOS Mojave
- performance improvements for macOS 10.14 Mojave

v3.42 -> v3.45
- bug fixed for macOS Mojave, all alerts dialog box color under dark mode
- bug fixed: About Overlay font color under the dark mode of macOS Mojave,
- bug fixed: More Apps by dragonBTV link works under macOS Mojave 10.14​

v3.45 -> v3.46
- bug fixed: More Apps by dragonBTV link works again under macOS Mojave 10.14
- bug fixed under macOS Mojave: close interface accidentally
- hide dock icon option added to the Preferences menu

v3.46 -> v3.52
a newer version for macOS Mojave 10.14.5
- bug fixed: overlay image can be freely moved via scrollbar
- new option added: the overlay window can be fixed to one of your Desktops only
- the background color of tip windows modified

v3.52 -> v3.53
an emergency bug fix version for early macOS version 10.11
bug fixed: transparency control not working on macOS 10.11

What’s New

Version v3.53

v3.52 -> v3.53
an emergency bug fix version for early macOS version 10.11
bug fixed: transparency control not working on macOS 10.11

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

jbmfc ,

Works well

This is a useful app. The transparency works. Being able to lock it in place while allowing clicks and drags “through” its window helps reduce the number of clicks needed in my development cycle. The author has resonded to my feature requests, letting me know their prioritization.

Quincy.cs ,

Thank you!

Worth my purchase. Please add "Paste" as another functionality of opening an image. I frequently have an image in my clipboard that I'd like to open in this app.

Gas Creature ,

A super app at a super price

This programmer really knows his/her chops. The program has ALL the features that you need from an image overlay tool. To the reviewer who labeled this a "Mostly pointless app", all I can say is, I'm sorry you misunderstood what you were buying; no, this is not a drawing nor annotating program.

To help out other shoppers, let me explain how you use this program. Let's say you want to sketch your dog in a sketching program. You use your smartphone to take a picture of your dog and transfer the image file to your computer. Then your run this program. It has an empty window. From your file mananger (Finder), drag the picture file into the empty window using the mouse. Now, the dog is displayed. You then rotate and resize the image to your need to match the drawing tool (another program) that you're using. Then you move this picture program window over the drawing tool window, and click the "Lock Overlay" button. Finally, you start drawing your dog in your drawing program. Your picture floats ABOVE your drawing in a semi-transparent way. When you draw, you now have a way to make sure the drawing matches the photo. YAY!

I do have two wishes:
(1) It would be super-duper if you can run multiple instances of this program. In other words, several windows with several overlay images at the same time. For what I do, CAD, I actually need this feature.

(2) It would be extremely helpful to be able to save the settings for a particular image. At the very least, if I can save the zoom and rotation so that when that particular image is loaded again, it looks like before, that would save a lot of time.

Also, the Jiulong Zhao Web Site and Overlay Support are blocked in my browser because these try to compose an email when loaded. That is a security risk. The web pages there need to be changed: don't try to compose an email in html/javascript.


Jiulong Zhao
2 MB

OS X 10.9 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating
Rated 4+
Copyright © 2013 - 2019 dragonBTV All rights reserved.


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