As of Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.2 installing Widgets has been a breeze thanks to the Widgets widget.  It's also very easy to use in Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.x.  The Widget widget was briefy described in the Configure and Customize Dashboard guide.
The Widget installation behavior will depend on two factors:
  • Your preferred web browser
  • Configuration of the web browser
Safari is the default web browser for Mac OS X.  Many Mac users also use the Firefox and Camino web browsers.  This guide will focus on Safari.

Safari Configuration
Safari's default out-of-the-box configuration allows Mac OS X to open "safe" files immediately after they are downloaded.  This feature can be disabled to provide a more secure and safe web browsing experience.

If the "Open safe files after downloading" option is enabled in Safari's preferences, and you perform the steps to download a Widget using the Widgets widget, Safari will begin to download the Widget after you confirm that you want to perform the download.  Safari downloads the Widget (usually as .zip archive), decompresses it, opens it, and displays a  window similar to the following.  To continue with the installation press Install, otherwise click Cancel.  The Widget Installer then displays a message asking if you want to install the Widget.

widget_install_security_01.pngClick Install to complete the installation.  The Widget will then be added to Dashboard but in a temporary state as evidenced by the white box surrounding it and the appearance of two buttons:

widget_install_test_01.png
Test the Widget
While the Widget is in this state, you will be able to tes it's functionality and determine if you want to keep it.  Click "Keep" to save it to Dashboard and "Delete" to prevent the installation.

Note

If the "Open safe files after downloading" preference has been disabled, in Safari or if you are using web browser other than Safari, or that the download is not a .zip archive it will have to be downloaded and subsequently installed manually.

Updates

  • April 30, 2009 - content revision, updated images
Created: 7:13 PM on Jan 3, 2007
By: switchtoamac