Windows 7 has all kinds of useful desktop gadgets to enhance your productivity, or just to have some fun. There are calendars, puzzles, currency converters, clocks, slideshows and more. If you’ve always wanted to try using gadgets, here’s how.
Start by right clicking on an empty area of your desktop and selecting Gadgets from the context menu.
This opens up a selection of default desktop gadgets for you to choose from. If you are not sure what each one does, click on it and then expand the Show details arrow in the bottom left hand corner.
Click and drag your chosen gadget to the desktop. Next to it, you will see 3 or 4 icons in the top right. If you don’t see them, move your mouse over the gadget. The top one is an X, and is used to delete your gadget. The square with an arrow in it toggles the size of your gadget. The wrench opens up any configurable options for this gadget. The 4 x 3 grid of dots is for moving your gadget to another area on the desktop. Click on the grid and drag it to where you want it, if you need to reposition your gadget.
Right clicking on your gadgets gives you some additional options. For instance, you can set your gadget to be Always on top. This means that you will see it all the time and it will not be hidden by program windows.
You can also adjust the opacity or transparency of your gadget. This can be useful if you select the Always on top option, because you can set the opacity so that you can still see what is behind it.
If you want to hide your gadgets completely, without removing them, right click on a clear area of the desktop and go to the view option. Uncheck the box that says Show desktop gadgets. To show them again, repeat this procedure and this time, check the same box.
Finally, if you are not that impressed with the default selection of gadgets, or you would like to see what else is available, click on Get more gadgets online. You will find this in the lower right corner of the main gadget window. This automatically opens your default browser and takes you to the Microsoft gallery where you can download and add more gadgets to your collection.