What is Dashboard?

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Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) ushered in a new feature called Dashboard, a cool application that hosts and runs Widgets, small lightweight applications that can be summoned with a click of the mouse or a keystroke  (hotkey).
By default, Dashboard is configured with the following four widgets in Mac OS X Leopard and Mac OS X Tiger:
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Clock
  • Weather
Apple provides you several widgets right out of the box.  For example, you can enable ones to check stock prices, flight information, sport scores, and more.  You can download additional widgets directly from Apple or third parties application vendors/suppliers.  In fact many software vendors who create software for the Mac also include widgets that can be installed and enabled on your Mac.

It doesn't stop there, you can even create your own Widgets.  In Mac OS X Leopard, the functionality of Dashboard has been extended to allow you to create widgets directly from any web page.

Launch Dashboard
A default installation of Mac OS X will include the Dashboard icon. on the Dock  You activate Dashboard by clicking the icon or hitting the F12 (default hotkey) key on the keyboard.  An animation occurs where Dashboard launches on top of anything visible on the desktop, the screen dims the screen as widgets appear.


Close Dashboard
You can close Dashboard by either clicking the appropriate hotkey (often depends on the Mac model and revision), by clicking on a shaded portion of Dashboard,  or by clicking on the Dashboard icon in the Dock.  Dashboard will close by disappearing to once again show you a bright Desktop as it exists underneath Dashboard.


  • April 29, 2009 - content revision and image update
Created: 5:18 PM on Jan 3, 2007
By: switchtoamac