Run Dashboard Widgets on the Mac OS Desktop.

This is a quick hack by Samuel Madden to run Mac OS Dashboard Widgets on your desktop, rather than having to separately enter the dashboard to view/manipulate them.

Though there is an undocumented hack that allows you to run Widgets on the desktop, they always float above all other windows (including PowerPoint presentations!), which is pretty annoying. WidgetRunner allows you to specify whether each widget should float on top, act like a normal window, or be pinned to the destkop.

You're looking at it! Download and extract the program, and place it in your Applications folder.
Create a new widget by selecting "New Widget..." from the File menu.
Widgets are typically located in:

  • /Library/Widgets/ 

(In the open dialog, click on the name of your hard drive, then Library, then Widgets)

  • /Users/username/Library/Widgets 

(where username is your username)
To configure the level at which a widget floats, or close a widget after you have opened it, right (or Ctrl) click on it and select one of the options.

Open widgets are automatically saved at exit and re-opened at launch. You may have multiple instances (with different settings) of the same widget open.

You can cause WidgetRunner to open at startup by right (or Ctrl) clicking on its icon in the dock and selecting "Options>Open at Login".

WidgetRunner is tested under Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) on an Intel Mac. We believe it should run under Mac OS 10.5, Mac OS 10.7, or Mac OS 10.8 as well.
WidgetRunner works with most of the Apple-supplied Widgets, including Weather, Google, Calculator, iTunes, etc.

WidgetRunner is not compatible with all Widgets. In particular, it doesn't work properly with some widgets that define custom Javascript classes (such as FlightTracker), and sometimes has issues with not setting widget window frames properly (e.g., the Address Book widget).

⬇ Download

Source Code
Source code for WidgetRunner is available as GoogleCode project. Follow instructions on this page to perform an anonymous svn checkout.

Copyright Information
WidgetRunner is Copyright 2010 Samuel Madden. WidgetRunner is free for use, and is licensed under the MIT Open Source License.

Credits and Contact Info
WidgetRunner was developed by Samuel Madden. Please email him at madden@csail.mit.edu with questions or comments.