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Understanding Dashboard widgets

From: Mac OS X Lion Essential Training

Video: Understanding Dashboard widgets

Like earlier versions of the Mac OS, Lion ships with small single-purpose applications called widgets. These widgets run in the OS's Dashboard environment. There are multiple ways to get to the dashboard. You can swipe on your trackpad with three fingers to the left. You can also press the F4 key on many keyboards. If you want, you can go to the Applications folder and then double-click on Dashboard.

Understanding Dashboard widgets

Like earlier versions of the Mac OS, Lion ships with small single-purpose applications called widgets. These widgets run in the OS's Dashboard environment. There are multiple ways to get to the dashboard. You can swipe on your trackpad with three fingers to the left. You can also press the F4 key on many keyboards. If you want, you can go to the Applications folder and then double-click on Dashboard.

And you can also configure a Hot Corner in System Preferences to expose Dashboard. Now by default you are going to see four widgets. It's Calculator, Clock, the Calendar and the Weather widgets. Those widgets that can be configured will have a little I in the corner. For example, here in the Weather widget, and I can configure a new location. I am going to type in a zip code, see what happens, and press Return, and it's Arcata, California.

Click Done, right up there in Humboldt County. That is the weather as we speak. Now flip that back around. I can also include a Lows forecast, click Done, and you see here we have the Highs and Lows along here. Of course you can also enter just the name of the location. It should pop up. Now our thing's in London. You can add widgets and to do that you just click the plus button at the bottom of the window and here is a variety of widgets.

So for example let's say I want to bring up Dictionary. I will just click on it, up comes the Dictionary widget, and I will look for the definition of numbles, and here it is. Once again, it's still the entrails of an animal, especially a deer. If I wanted to get rid of one of these widgets, all I have to do is click on the little X in its corner, and it's gone. I want to click this X to make those Xs go away.

If you are in Dashboard, you can also expose the X by simply holding down the Option key and then hovering over the widget you'd like to delete. So I can delete this one if I cared to. Let go of the Option key and the X disappears. If you click Manage Widgets, you can choose which widgets you'd like to appear as available. So I have disabled the ESPN widget. I look down here and note it's now gone. I could turn it back on again, so it hasn't disappeared all together. I am just removing it from the list of widgets at the bottom of the window.

Finally, if you click on More widgets, you are taken to Apple's website, where they have a collection of third-party widgets. Now note, some of these haven't been updated in quite some time, because Apple isn't putting a lot of effort into widgets any longer, but still there are some interesting widgets here and they do work with Lion. F4 to go back to Widgets, and if you want to leave Dashboard, you can just swipe the other way to your right and they disappear, or press F4, or you can press Escape, or you can click the right- pointing arrow at the bottom of the screen.

And that's Dashboard and widgets under Lion.

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This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Lion Essential Training

72 video lessons · 31182 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
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  1. 1m 26s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 4m 42s
    1. Installing Lion
      4m 42s
  3. 44m 44s
    1. Touring the Finder
      10m 19s
    2. Launching and working with apps
      4m 22s
    3. Sorting and starting apps with Launchpad
      3m 13s
    4. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      4m 35s
    5. Using trackpad gestures
      8m 22s
    6. Using mouse gestures
      2m 22s
    7. Understanding file saving in Lion
      4m 35s
    8. Using Text to Speech
      3m 9s
    9. Installing software
      3m 47s
  4. 26m 51s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      7m 31s
    2. Staying current with Software Update
      4m 13s
    3. Configuring Mail, Address Book, and iCal
      5m 2s
    4. Setting up printers
      3m 39s
    5. Backing up with Time Machine
      6m 26s
  5. 10m 49s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      5m 16s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 33s
  6. 39m 6s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 14s
    2. Optimizing Mission Control preferences
      3m 42s
    3. Configuring basic Audio and Video preferences
      4m 34s
    4. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      7m 45s
    5. Configuring Bluetooth input devices
      2m 36s
    6. Modifying Date & Time Preferences
      2m 38s
    7. Getting on the internet
      3m 56s
    8. Using an alternate startup disk
      2m 41s
  7. 3m 22s
    1. Understanding Dashboard widgets
      3m 22s
  8. 23m 20s
    1. Navigating the interface
      6m 30s
    2. Filtering junk mail and sorting messages with rules
      4m 22s
    3. Scheduling appointments with iCal
      6m 38s
    4. Organizing contacts with Address Book
      5m 50s
  9. 37m 5s
    1. Basic word processing in TextEdit
      7m 56s
    2. Using Dictionary
      2m 51s
    3. Preview: Working with images
      6m 20s
    4. Preview: Working with PDFs
      6m 13s
    5. Installing and managing fonts
      5m 37s
    6. Creating quick notes using Stickies
      3m 24s
    7. Using Calculator
      4m 44s
  10. 34m 27s
    1. Navigating the web
      4m 49s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      7m 15s
    3. Adding and reading RSS feeds
      2m 38s
    4. Using Reading List
      3m 7s
    5. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 15s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      3m 13s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      2m 33s
    8. Working with Safari's preferences
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring privacy settings
      5m 4s
  11. 13m 45s
    1. Playing media
      9m 3s
    2. Recording
      4m 42s
  12. 18m 26s
    1. Video chatting in FaceTime
      5m 26s
    2. Text and video messaging in iChat
      9m 6s
    3. Shooting videos and pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 54s
  13. 12m 46s
    1. Automating complex tasks
      12m 46s
  14. 13m 55s
    1. Monitoring system performance
      3m 20s
    2. Setting up a Windows installation in Boot Camp
      3m 49s
    3. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      6m 46s
  15. 15m 55s
    1. Understanding sharing
      4m 59s
    2. Sharing files on a network
      3m 23s
    3. Screen sharing with a remote computer
      4m 7s
    4. Sending files with AirDrop
      3m 26s
  16. 38m 47s
    1. Modifying Language & Text settings
      6m 38s
    2. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 24s
    3. Configuring access for for the disabled
      7m 23s
    4. Using Energy Saver
      4m 42s
    5. Adding and changing users
      6m 19s
    6. Configuring Parental Controls
      7m 21s
  17. 18m 33s
    1. Preventive measures: Creating a Lion boot drive
      7m 40s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      3m 6s
    3. Troubleshooting techniques
      7m 47s
  18. 6m 11s
    1. Techniques for using the Mac efficiently
      5m 22s
    2. Next steps
      49s

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