Today’s post is going to feature Dashboard, the useful place to store widgets. Widgets are small applications designed to run in the background of your computer. It allows you to access a variety of different tools. You can have widgets which include currency converts, package delivery, and simple games. You don’t have any high end programs on you Dashboard, its designed to be a simple to use area for quick and easy access.
Using Dashboard is very simple (everything on the Mac is simple). Simply press F12 (or your set button) and the Dashboard will appear. This is a full screen overlay. Each little widget runs on its own and provides a different function for myself. You can customise the Dashboard to your liking, as you use your Mac you will use it for a variety of different purposes and get it just how you want.
To add a widget (for the default set). Click the plus button in the bottom left hand corner and drag it onto your screen. A cool water effect will lay the widget on your screen and allow you to access and run its features. You can move widgets around by clicking and dragging them. If you want to close a widget simply hold control and click the “x” button in the top left hand corner of each widget.
Adding widgets is easy as well. First find the widget you want, for example this tic-tac-toe one, if you are using Safari, when you download it the wdiget will automatically open and run on the dashboard for you. If you are using Firefox or another browser simply double click the .wdgt file. This will load the file onto you Dashboard.
When you are on the dashboard you will have the option to try out the widget before you “install” it. This simply allows you to make sure it works and you like it. When you hit keep it will load the file into your Dashboard widget repository. Your repository as mentioned is accessed by the button in the bottom left hand corner.
Widgets are stored in /Users/[Name]/Library/Widgets. These are the files that a run. If you want to prune your library because it is getting large, simply close the widget down and delete its file from this folder. There is an option in Dashboard to do this, but this method is actually a lot easier.
If you want to close Dashboard simply press F12 and it will return to your desktop. Dashboard will still keep running which allows quick access. If you want to stop it running, thats quite difficult. Open Activity Monitor, in Applications > Utilities. You will then have to quit each instance of DashboardClient. If you don’t want Dashboard to start in the first place, don’t open it. Dashboard only runs when it is first accessed.
Using Dashboard is as easy as pie, I really like it, since I can store a lot of useful bits an bobs. I like to use Stickies, since it allows me to store bits of information I will forget. I recommend you use it.