Monday, January 3, 2011

Customizing Windows Gadgets

Windows Gadgets are new feature included with Windows Vista and Windows 7.  Gadgets are really Window's version of Yahoo Widgets.  Gadgets are little tools you can add to your desktop.  The more popular gadgets used include the weather, calender and clock.  

Windows displays gadgets in an invisible sidebar on the right side of the desktop.  However, this sidebar can moved to the left side of the desktop if you prefer.  You can also configure Windows to start the sidebar (and gadgets) every time windows starts.

If you don't see any gadgets on your desktop, it's most likely because the sidebar is closed.  The easiest way to re-enable it is to click the START button and type "sidebar" in the search field and hit enter. Then click the WINDOWS SIDEBAR link in the results. 

To Configure the Sidebar to Start Every Time Windows Starts, follow the steps below:
  1. Click the START button and then CONTROL PANEL
  2. Double-left click the WINDOWS SIDEBAR PROPERTIES icon
  3. Make sure there is a checkmark in the box next to "Start Sidebar when Windows Starts"
  4. Click OK
Once the sidebar is opened, you can right-click on it and select ADD GADGETS to place them in the sidebar. Double left-click a gadget to add it.  You can also try searching for more gadgets using the search field.

If you add the weather gadget, you'll have to configure it to display the weather for your current location.  If you rest your mouse on the right side of the icon, you'll see a little wrench (click it). Type your location (city, state) in the search field and then click the magnifying glass before clicking OK.

You can easily close gadgets you no longer want by hitting the X to the right of the gadget's icon ... or you can right click on the gadget itself and select CLOSE GADGET.

Moving Gadgets

By default, gadgets are placed in line with each other on the sidebar (which is usually displayed on the right side of the desktop).  But if you prefer, you can detach any gadget and move it wherever you want it on the dektop.  All you do is right-click on the gadget and select "Detach From Sidebar".  Then hold the left mouse button down the gadget to drag it wherever you want it.

For more information on Windows Gadgets, click here.

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