How to Add Flair to Your macOS Desktop

This guide will explain how to setup and use a cool little (and totally free) app named “Photostickies” that lets you add floating pictures, slideshows and even webcam streams to your macOS desktop!

Please note: Even though this guide was originally published back in 2007, it is still totally relevant in 2020, and the software works in all versions of macOS up to and including “Big Sur”. The screenshots are from an early version of OS X, but the steps and functionality are still the same.

  1. To get started, download PhotoStickes (scroll down the page and look for the PhotoStickies link). Open the .dmg file and drag PhotoStickies to your Applications folder. Keep the .dmg window open – or copy the Quick Start guide to your desktop. You’ll want to give it a read if you like PhotoStickes and want to review some of the advanced settings – of which there are many. Launch PhotoStickes from your applications folder now.
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  3. When you open it, the Inspector window will appear. Ignore it for now..
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  5. .. and instead, select File -> Open Directory…
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  7. Navigate to a folder of pictures. For this example I’m using a folder that contains a number of small (about 100px x 100px) images.
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  9. One of the images from the folder you selected will be displayed in the upper left corner of your desktop.
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  11. Right-click (ctrl-click for single-mouse folks) the image, and select Start
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  13. And a slide-show will begin – displaying each of the images in your folder.
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  15. Again, right-click the image and this time select Interval. Select the time interval you want the slide-show to run at.
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  17. Again again, right-click the image and select Level. From here you can control how your image slide-show maintains focus on your desktop. Select Top if you want the image to always have focus, Back if you want it in front of the desktop but behind its icons, or Normal if you don’t want it to have focus – which is the default.
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  19. The screenshot below shows a picture set to Normal – which also puts the image behind your Dock.
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  21. To save a slide-show, click Favorites and then Add. It will save as the image folder name.
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  23. Another one of PhotoStickies neat features is the ability to display a webcam feed on your desktop. Plus, they include a huge list of existing cams from around the world to try out. Select New Cams from the PhotoStickies menu, and choose one of the webcam feeds.
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  25. That feed will then display in its own window.
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  27. Hover your mouse above the window, and more details about the feed will be displayed. If you notice in the screenshot below, the Amsterdam feed hasn’t actually been updated since Jan of 2006. So you probably won’t want to watch it…
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  29. OK remember that Quick Start guide I mentioned all the way back in step #1? You’ll want to give it a read now. There are a lot of advanced features and settings, and that guide does a great job of covering them all. Have fun!

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