Watch Mac Video Tutorials, Tips and Tricks of all Mac OS X Productivity, Consumer and Professional Software right in your Mac OS X Dashboard.
Change the Dashboard shelf’s background image:
When you press the ‘+‘ symbol in the bottom left corner while Dashboard is active,
the Dashboard shelf slides up into view containing all your widgets.
The background image used for the shelf can be found here:
You can replace this image with any PNG image you like and it’ll be tiled,
or you can use a single, full width image.
The shelf is 118 pixels high and as wide as your monitor (1024 pixels in my case),
so you can use those dimensions to construct your own shelf background.
Speed up Dashboard by clearing out its cache:
Quickly free memory used by Dashboard widgets:
Run a widget without installing it:
Normally when you download a widget and double-click it, you are presented with a dialog to install the widget.
You can either cancel, and exit the installer, or click install, and the widget is moved to you widgets folder (Library/widgets).
However, in some situations you don’t want to move the widget.
For instance if you are trying out a widget and don’t know if you want to keep it, or you are developing a widget and are just testing it out.
To stop the widget being installed:
Hold down Command and Option while double-clicking it.
Instead of an install button, you are presented with Run, which, funnily enough, allows you to run the widget without installing it.
Clicking this opens the widget up in dashboard, but it isn’t moved to the widgets folder, instead running it from wherever you downloaded it to.
As a result the widget won’t be in your dashboard bar, so it is a nifty trick if you want to save scrolling through loads of widgets (especially if you are a dashboard addict, like TheDashboard).
This also means that once you have closed the widget, its gone for good, and you can’t open it up from within the dashboard.
Of course its still sitting in your downloads folder, so a quick Command-Option-Double-Click will have it open and running again.
Resize Web Clip Widgets:
If you use Safari’s new Web Clip feature to make a Dashboard widget out of a small Web item, you may be dismayed to find that Safari enforces a minimum size of about 128 by 128 pixels; you can’t make the Web Clip selection smaller than that.
After creating the widget, click on the i on the widget’s face and then click on Edit.
You’ll be able to resize and reframe the widget as you wish.
Launch Dashboard with the Mouse:
If you have a multibutton mouse and want to avoid using the keyboard just to invoke Dashboard, assign a mouse button to it instead. Let’s say you have an Apple Mighty Mouse.
Go to the Key-board & Mouse preference pane and click on the Mouse tab.
Then choose Dashboard from the pop-up menu corresponding to one of the buttons.
If you use a third-party mouse with its own software, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for configuring its extra buttons.
Show Widgets on the Desktop:
If you want to have a widget available from the desktop, not just Dashboard, turn on Dashboard’s developer mode.
In Terminal, enter:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES
press return and type:
That done, press F12 to fire up Dashboard.
Click on any widget and begin dragging it.
Without releasing the mouse button, press F12 again.
If you’d like to disable Dashboard, for either RAM usage or other reasons, here’s how to do it.
It requires a trip to the Terminal, in Applications > Utilities, but it’s not too hard to do.
Open Terminal, and then type this command, followed by the Return key:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
This tells the system that you no longer wish to have Dashboard available.
However, the Dashboard task is actually “owned” by the Dock, so to make your changes take effect, you need to restart the Dock.
The easiest way to do that is to type this command into the Terminal (and press Return when done):
After the Dock restarts, hit F12 and you’ll see…nothing at all.
If you run Activity Monitor, you also won’t find any Dashboard widgets in the list of tasks, even if you had several open when you ran the above command.
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO
Once again, you’ll have to use this command:
…to make the changes take effect.
Once you do, though, you’ll find that Dashboard is back as usual—and any widgets you had opened on the Dashboard will still be open.
Dasbhoard Keyboard Shortcuts:
Here are some useful keyboard shortcuts to remember: !
Command-R – Refresh Widget
Command-= – Show/Hide Widget Tray
Command ←/→ – Scroll Widget Tray Left/Right
Hold option and hover over a widget to dispaly it’s close [X] button.
Must press control to get contextual menu, mouse right-clicking does not work.
Mac OS X Dashboard widgets are a great way to perform quick tasks that pertain to everything from calculators to calendars to finding new movies. Still, the convenience of using Dashboard widgets has its price: Dashboard widgets are RAM and power hungry, and the more widgets you have loaded, the more RAM and power the Dashboard consumes. In this lesson, we will learn how to remove under- and unused Dashboard widgets in Mac OS X 10.4/10.5/10.6 !