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Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets

From: Windows 7 Essential Training

Video: Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets

Windows 7 installs with a number of desktop gadgets you have at your disposal. So if there is information you like to have on your screen at all times, you can use a gadget to display that information. Let's explore them now. The easiest way to get a gadget on your desktop is to right-click the desktop. So we'll do that, and you'll notice from the pop-up menu we've got Gadgets down near the bottom. So click that to display the default gadgets that are installed with Windows 7. Let's say you always like to have the current time available to you, no matter what you're working on.

Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets

Windows 7 installs with a number of desktop gadgets you have at your disposal. So if there is information you like to have on your screen at all times, you can use a gadget to display that information. Let's explore them now. The easiest way to get a gadget on your desktop is to right-click the desktop. So we'll do that, and you'll notice from the pop-up menu we've got Gadgets down near the bottom. So click that to display the default gadgets that are installed with Windows 7. Let's say you always like to have the current time available to you, no matter what you're working on.

There is one called Clock and we can drag that over to the desktop and release and we now have a gadget sitting there. If you like to have access to a Calendar, let's double-click the Calendar gadget to pop it onto the desktop. Notice some other cool ones here, like the Weather for example. If you always need to know what the current and forecasted weather is, there is a Weather gadget. Currency conversion at your fingertips, if you use this gadget. The CPU Meter I like, because it always shows you your computer's performance, the CPU and your memory.

Let's say you load up an application that bogs down your system. You'll know exactly which application is doing it when you watch the meters change. You've also got some fun ones, like a Picture Puzzle, and a Slide Show that's going to go through your different photos. You've got RSS Feeds as well available to you, Feed Headlines. So if you want to have headline news at your fingertips. If any of these, you need more information on, let's see the CPU Meter. We'll click once to select it, and then down below, click Show Details. This allows you to read a little bit of information down below.

So you can see the current computer CPU, and system memory in action. If we click the Feed Headlines, we see that we can track the latest news, sports and entertainment headlines. Now let's just leave this open for a moment and explore the two gadgets we've added already to our desktop. When you hover over them, you're going to see some buttons appear. One to close it up, if you no longer need it, another one to create a larger sized version of the gadget. Now in this case with the Calendar, we are going to see the current date and if we click the little Larger Size icon, we get to see the actual month at a glance, and we've got arrows to move back and forth through the Calendar.

So I like that feature. I am going to leave it maximized. Same thing goes for your Clock. You'll notice you've got a Close button. Down below we've got options for our clock. Let's click that. Now, you can see we get to choose our Time Zone. You can name your clock. I am going to call this one, Ottawa, and you can see we choose different clock faces as well. I like that one there, 2 of 8. Current Time Zone is selected by clicking the dropdown. For me, I am going to look for Eastern time in the US and Canada.

You can see how it changes the time there on my screen. Do I need that second hand ticking? Maybe I do. I am going to click that check box and click OK and there is my updated gadget on my desktop. Now, you may have also noticed when you hover over these gadgets, there is the third button. That allows you to just move it around on your desktop. So if you want to change its location, just go to that third button to drag the gadget, if you want it down there. I am going to move this one to the top- right corner, it kind of snaps into place, and that looks good just like that. Now, you can also go to these gadgets and right-click.

There are some additional options. For example, while you're running any other application if you want that clock to be on top, maybe you're waiting for an important appointment, choose Always on top, and it will always appear on top of anything else that's running. See when we move this window it goes in behind the clock but on top of the Calendar. One other option is the Opacity. That's kind of important. You can adjust the Opacity. Set at 100% by default means you can't see through it at all, nut if you want to be able to see through, you have some other options to choose from.

I am going to go to 40%. It's kind of faded there, until I hover over it, then I see it in full opacity but it's still going to show up Always on top. You can see it just allows me to see through the clock when I am not hovering over it what's going on. So it's another cool option. You can also access additional gadgets from the Gadgets window, down in the bottom right-hand corner, Get more gadgets online. This is going to launch your default Browser and take you to the Microsoft site where you can choose from Additional Desktop gadgets.

You can see this tab is selected in the Desktop Gadgets section. Here is one that will show me the date and time together, so I don't need two gadgets. Outlook Tasks, if you're using Microsoft Outlook, you'll always have your tasks at your fingertips. Same thing goes for upcoming appointments. That might be a good idea. There is a Blogger Buddy, and you can get access to Radio, all kinds of cool things from the Microsoft site. Let me just close this up, and we'll close up our Gadgets window, and now we are ready to continue working with gadgets on our Desktop.

At anytime, if you don't want them there, just hover over, click the Close button and you'll close them up. Now, you know how to get them back, right-click, go to Gadgets. They are still there, and the options you select, for example, when I move the clock over, are lost. So if you want to keep the gadget there and keep your options, don't close it up. As soon as you close it up, you are back to the default gadget, and that's how you can keep information at your fingertips using Desktop Gadgets in Windows 7.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Windows 7 Essential Training
Windows 7 Essential Training

73 video lessons · 45772 viewers

David Rivers
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 16m 28s
    1. Welcome
      1m 54s
    2. Windows basics for first-time users
      13m 47s
    3. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 29m 18s
    1. Assessing your hardware and Windows 7 versions
      6m 57s
    2. Upgrading from other Windows versions
      2m 56s
    3. Transferring old files with Windows Easy Transfer
      7m 2s
    4. Dealing with device drivers
      6m 42s
    5. Running a Windows XP program in Windows 7
      5m 41s
  3. 33m 12s
    1. Getting familiar with the desktop
      8m 55s
    2. Handling tasks with the improved task bar
      8m 50s
    3. Accessing your favorites quickly with jump lists
      3m 59s
    4. Finding files and programs with Windows Search
      2m 18s
    5. Using the Action Center
      3m 48s
    6. Keeping information at your fingertips with desktop gadgets
      5m 22s
  4. 34m 24s
    1. Navigating folders and their contents
      6m 59s
    2. Staying organized with your own folders
      4m 44s
    3. Choosing how your folders and user interface behave
      7m 30s
    4. Sharing and protecting folders and files
      5m 27s
    5. Simplifying organization with libraries
      3m 48s
    6. Backing up by burning to CD or DVD
      5m 56s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Windows Media Center
      7m 22s
    2. Playing media files with Windows Media Player
      3m 59s
    3. Organizing and sharing photos in Windows Explorer
      7m 22s
    4. Taking screenshots with the Snipping tool
      6m 1s
  6. 24m 35s
    1. Taking notes with sticky notes, Notepad, and WordPad
      11m 33s
    2. Creating graphics with Paint
      4m 58s
    3. Performing simple and advanced calculations with the calculator
      5m 20s
    4. Playing Windows games
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 5s
    1. Getting under your computer's hood with the Control Panel
      5m 28s
    2. Controlling system settings
      6m 38s
    3. Controlling sound device volume settings
      6m 38s
    4. Uninstalling programs that are no longer used
      2m 42s
    5. Setting default programs
      5m 10s
    6. Exploring accessibility options
      6m 29s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Connecting hardware with Device Stage
      2m 56s
    2. Create a home network using HomeGroup
      4m 49s
    3. Controlling what is shared on a network
      3m 26s
    4. Troubleshooting a network and HomeGroup
      3m 58s
    5. Reconnecting quickly with jump lists
      2m 18s
    6. Boosting your computer's memory with ReadyBoost
      3m 34s
  9. 31m 53s
    1. Keeping your PC secure with Windows Update
      3m 44s
    2. Battling spyware with Windows Defender
      7m 41s
    3. Controlling access with user accounts
      4m 32s
    4. Streamlining passwords in Credential Manager
      4m 38s
    5. Using parental controls to block unwanted content
      4m 49s
    6. Securing drives with BitLocker Drive Encryption
      6m 29s
  10. 15m 11s
    1. Printing files directly from Windows
      2m 48s
    2. Troubleshooting printer problems
      5m 15s
    3. Printing power tips
      3m 56s
    4. Printing to and viewing the XPS file format
      3m 12s
  11. 25m 4s
    1. Finding issues in the Troubleshooting control panel
      3m 53s
    2. Sharing issues with the Problem Steps Recorder
      3m 56s
    3. Backing up folders and drives
      6m 36s
    4. Restoring files and drives
      4m 39s
    5. Handling an entire system crash
      6m 0s
  12. 28m 23s
    1. Exploring changes to the UI
      4m 46s
    2. Access sites quickly using Favorites and History
      5m 17s
    3. Connecting to RSS feeds and web slices
      6m 1s
    4. Displaying similar sites with Suggested Sites
      2m 16s
    5. Browsing without navigating using accelerators
      6m 36s
    6. Keeping your browsing private using InPrivate Browsing and filtering
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 14m
    1. Setting up your Windows Live profile
      4m 37s
    2. Downloading Windows Live Essentials
      2m 23s
    3. Tracking dates and events with the Windows Live calendar
      7m 22s
    4. Free email with Windows Live Mail
      6m 14s
    5. Texting live with Windows Live Messenger
      7m 13s
    6. Organizing and sharing photos in Photo Gallery
      9m 46s
    7. Synchronizing photos on two computers with Live Sync
      4m 0s
    8. Controlling content and communications with Family Safety
      6m 26s
    9. Keeping a blog with Windows Live Writer
      6m 50s
    10. Accessing free online storage with SkyDrive
      4m 44s
    11. Creating a movie with Windows Live Movie Maker
      14m 46s
  14. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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