Stickies (software)

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Stickies icon.png
Stickies 8.0 from OS X Lion
Developer(s) Apple Computer
Stable release 10.0 / October 22, 2013; 2 years ago (2013-10-22)
Operating system System 7, Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9, OS X
Type Post-it note-like notetaking software

Stickies is an application for Apple Macintosh computers that puts Post-it note-like windows on the screen, for the user to write short reminders, notes and other clippings. Contents are automatically stored, and restored when the application is restarted. There is also an unrelated freeware program with the same name and functionality for computers running under Microsoft Windows.

The first version of Stickies was written by Apple employee Jens Alfke and included in System 7.5 in 1994. Alfke originally developed it in his free time as Antler Notes and intended to release it as shareware doing business as Antler Software; Apple planned to acquire it from him, but realized that they already legally owned it under the terms of his employment.[1] During the transition to OS X, it was rewritten in Cocoa, and is still included in OS X, now with features such as transparent notes, styled text and the ability to embed pictures in notes.

A feature-reduced version of Stickies is included with Dashboard as a widget since OS X v10.4. An updated version of Stickies (Core Data Stickies) was included in the Xcode developer examples in OS X Tiger.

Similar applications (described as "desktop notes") are available for most operating systems. A Windows version is also called Stickies; it was written by Zhorn Software, has similar features to the Macintosh version, supports clickable URLs, and acknowledges that Jens Alfke used the name "Stickies" long before.[2] Zhorn Stickies, as of February 2015 at version 8.0b, was favourably reviewed.[3]


  • Float above all windows: Press Command-Option-F with a sticky note selected and it will float above any other windows that are visible
  • Translucent: Press Command-Option-T with a sticky note selected and it will become translucent
  • Embed other media: Add other media besides text, such as QuickTime movies, PDFs, images, just by dragging them into the sticky note.
  • Backup data: Stickies keeps all information in a self-contained database. The database can be backed up by copying the file StickiesDatabase which is located in a user's Library directory (i.e. ~/Library/StickiesDatabase)
  • Search data: Press Command-F to search for words or phrases within a sticky note
  • Create a note from selection: In a Cocoa-based application (such as the Safari web browser), select some text and press Command-Shift-Y or use the Services menu to create a new sticky note with the text selection.


  1. ^ Jens Alfke (April 13, 1997). "They Made Me An Offer I Couldn't Refuse". Thought Palace. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ Zhorn Software: Stickies FAQ
  3. ^ Zukerman, Erez (5 June 2011). "Zhorn Software's Free Stickies: Still Awesome After All These Years". PC World.