Tuesday, August 4, 2009


All About Sidebar And Gadgets In Windows Vista - Windows 7

The Windows Sidebar offers a place to organize and manage the information you need on a daily basis right from your desktop. We're not talking folders, files, or programs here; we're talking about features such as the current weather, news headlines, up-to-the-minute stock quotes, a calendar, sticky notepads, and the time (down to the second). 
Windows Vista / Windows 7 offers this information in the form of a gadget, a mini-program that is continuously updated when you have an always-on Internet connection. 

Windows Sidebar is a pane on the side of the Microsoft Windows Vista desktop where you can keep your gadgets organized and always available. Windows Sidebar makes great use of the space on widescreen monitors and also works smoothly on standard displays.
Figure above shows an example of a Sidebar configuration.

Gadgets are easy-to-use mini programs that give you information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools. Windows Sidebar helps you to organize your gadgets.
As you use your computer to access information, perform tasks, and interact with software, you may at times feel like you're facing information overload. You have to open a web browser just to check the weather, open an application to view your calendar, and open a calculator program just to add up a few numbers. Now, with Windows Sidebar and its associated mini-applications called gadgets, the specific information you need is at your fingertips.
Turn On the Sidebar
To turn on the Sidebar, follow these steps:

Click Start, and in the Start Search box type sidebar.
Under Programs, click Windows Sidebar.
Alternately, to turn on the Windows Sidebar, click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Sidebar.
Configure Sidebar Properties
If you like the Sidebar, you need to tell Windows Vista so it can open the Sidebar each time you log on. You also want to state where you want the Sidebar to show on the desktopthe left side or the right and on top of all windows or behind them.
To configure the Sidebar properties, follow these steps:
  • Click Start, and type sidebar in the Start Search box.
  • Under Programs, click Windows Sidebar Properties.
  • To have the Sidebar start when Windows starts, select Start Sidebar When Windows Starts.
  • To configure how the Sidebar sits on the desktop, select or clear Sidebar Is Always On Top Of Other Windows.
  • To change where the Sidebar appears, select Right or Left. (Right is the default.)
  • Click OK.
Gadgets are mini applications with a variety of possible uses. They can connect to web services to deliver business data, weather information, news updates, traffic maps, Internet radio streams, and even slide shows of online photo albums. Gadgets can also integrate with other programs to provide streamlined interaction.
Add, Remove, and Configure Gadgets
You'll probably want to tell a Sidebar weather gadget what city you live in so you can get weather for your area. The same is true of the time, sports teams you follow, and more. And, you'll find that some gadgets really grab you while others just take up valuable desktop space. With that in mind, you need to know how to add, remove, and configure gadgets.
With the Sidebar on the desktop, follow these steps to remove a gadget:
  • To remove a gadget, rest the pointer on the gadget.
  • Click the Close button (the X) at the upper right of the gadget.
  • Click Close Gadget.
With the Sidebar on the desktop, follow these steps to add a gadget:
Move your pointer to the top of the Sidebar, look for Gadgets, and click the plus sign next to it.
Figure: Windows Vista comes with several built-in gadgets you can add, as shown here, or you can go online to get more from third parties.

Double-click any gadget to add it; Figure above shows available gadgets. (You will be able to see only four or five gadgets on the Sidebar at one time because of the limitations of the monitor and screen resolution. If you select more than four or five, you can either drag some of the gadgets off the Sidebar and onto the desktop or delete some gadgets you've previously chosen.)

Click the Close button in the upper-right corner of the gadget window to close it.
With the Sidebar on the desktop, follow these steps to configure a gadget:
Rest the pointer on the gadget to configure.
Click the wrench icon on the gadget's right side.
Make changes to the gadget by using the gadget's options. (For a weather gadget, type your city name to configure the gadget for your local weather.)  

The only problem you might run across with gadgets is if you choose too many that require online access and you have a slow connection to the Internet. If you have 20 gadgets running and notice that surfing the Internet is a little slower than it used to be, that's why, so you should consider removing some of them.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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