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Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Dashboard

As you know, the essence of using Mac OS X is running programs, which of ten produce documents. In Leopard, however, there's a third category: a set of weird, hybrid entities that Apple calls widgets. They appear, all at once, floating in front of your other windows, when you press the F12 key. Welcome to the Dashboard (Figure 5-23).

Note

On the thin aluminum Apple keyboard, the Dashboard has a different keystroke: F4. In fact, you can see a tiny Dashboard logo painted right on the key. (The F12 keystroke can still work—but see the box on More Ways to Exposé.)

Either way, you can change this keyboard assignment, as described below. Also, on laptops where F12 is the Eject key, you have to hold down the Fn key (lower-left corner).

When you summon the Dashboard, you get a fleet of floating miniprograms that convey or convert all kinds of useful information. They appear and disappear all at once, on a tinted translucent sheet that floats in front of all your other windows. You get rid of Dashboard either by pressing the same key again (F12 or whatever) or by clicking anywhere on the screen except on a widget.

Figure 5-23. When you summon the Dashboard, you get a fleet of floating miniprograms that convey or convert all kinds of useful information. They appear and disappear all at once, on a tinted translucent sheet that floats in front of all your other windows. You get rid of Dashboard either by pressing the same key again (F12 or whatever) or by clicking anywhere on the screen except on a widget.

What are these weird, hybrid entities, anyway? They're not really programs, because they don't create documents or have Dock icons (although Dashboard itself has a Dock icon). They're certainly not documents, because you can't name or save them. What they most resemble, ...

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