Add New iOS Style Widgets To Mountain Lion Dashboard [OS X Tips]

Add New iOS Style Widgets To Mountain Lion Dashboard [OS X Tips]

Widgets aren’t new to OS X Mountain Lion, but the way they are presented surely is. If you’re new to the OS X Dashboard, you’re in luck, because adding Widgets is a lot easier than it used to be, and there are a whole lot more of them to choose from.

Notice the screenshot above? That’s what the new Add More Widgets screen looks like. Here’s how to add to the list, until you have more than you can even handle on your Mac, and you need to use that handy-dandy Search field at the top just to find the one you want.

First of all, invoke the Dashboard from the Dock, if you haven’t already deleted it from there. You can bring it up from a Keyboard shortcut as well – mine’s set to F6, but you can set yours to any F-Key you’d like in the System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts preference pane. You can also just open your Applications folder and double click on the Dashboard app, but where’s the fun in that?

Once invoked, you may see a pretty sparse setup, with a clock widget, a calculator, and/or a weather widget. Meh. Let’s click on the Plus sign in the lower left to add more Widgets to the Dashboard space. You’ll see something closer to the screenshot above. Click on any widget in your current list, and it will splash onto the Dashboard screen with a neat watery-ripple effect.

Now, you might add all the widgets in your inventory and just crave more. I know I do. Just click on the More Widgets button in the screen that you see above (the one you get to via the Plus button at the main Dashboard screen), and you’ll go right to a huge list of widgets on Apple’s website, just begging to be downloaded and tried out. Click on a Category, then the widget you want to check out, and then on the Download button. Some of these haven’t been updated in a while, and you may get an error, so keep trying! Once downloaded, you’ll see the .wdgt file in your Downloads folder. Double click on it to launch, and then click on the Install button in the resulting dialog box. It will install in your Dashboard’s dashboard, and you can click it again to bring it to the main Widgets page. Now you’re cookin’!

Are you using OS X Mountain Lion? Got a tip you want to share with us? (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)or leave a comment below.

  • SupaMac

    Is there any way to make widgets appear ontop of the main screen you are using (like it did until [I think] the release of Lion) instead of shooting to the left?

    I vastly preferred this. It’d be great if there were a tweak or an option to make this happen again.

  • SupaMac

    Also, within the “+” section to add more widgets, if you hold down the “Option” key, the widgets go into “jiggle” mode like on iOS

    You can also drag and drop them onto one another to create folders just like in iOS, as well

  • Benavente Patricio

    “Is there any way to make widgets appear ontop of the main screen you are using (like it did until [I think] the release of Lion) instead of shooting to the left?
    I vastly preferred this. It’d be great if there were a tweak or an option to make this happen again.”

    Go to the System Preferences, on the Mission Control panel you have to UN-check the option:
    “Show Dashboard as a Space”

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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