Make Your Own Dashboard Widget in 3 Easy Steps

Make Your Own Dashboard Widget in 3 Easy Steps

That dashboard button is the route to an awesome desktop resource: custom widgets.

One feature of OS X and Safari we are surprised gets little love is Web Clipping. When you just can't find a widget or need to have quick access to information, web clipping can save the day. If you are unfamiliar, Safari provides a neat little button that allows you to clip parts of web pages and use them on your dashboard.

We use this feature to keep track of financial commodity prices throughout the day. Yes, we know that might sound odd, but there are no readily available commercial widgets available currently that can show all of the commodities we need. We also have the ability to keep track of a large amount of information on our Dashboard that would otherwise not be timely or require the usage of a Bloomberg terminal. Hence our love of the Dashboard clipping feature.

Here's how to make your own Dashboard widget in 3 easy steps:

1. Choose the site you want to clip. In our case, it is the CME Group for oil and natural gas futures contract prices.

2. Clip the part of the website you want We choose to pull the full spread of commodities. This allows us to not only view real time prices, but to also click on the hyperlink embedded in our new widget.

3. Customize your widget to look however you need it to. We stuck with stock glass theme, but there are others available. Additionally, working with your new widget does mean it take a short time to load new information; it is not bad, but there is a delay from when you open the dashboard.

Enjoy your new free, no coding required, widget!

Feel free to chime in with any additional suggestions/tips you've got for a customized dashboard widget below!

(Top image: flickr member licensed under Creative Commons)

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