This “hack” has been around for quite some time now, but I thought I would talk about it again because I had the need to put a widget on my desktop for quicker access.
Essentially this little trick saves you from having to go into Dashboard. The widget will sit right on your desktop.
First open up Terminal (found in Applications—> Utilities).
Then type in:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES
Now you will want to log out of your account and log back. This will restart Dashboard.
Once you’ve logged back in hit F12 to bring up dashboard. Grab ahold of one of your widgets and while still holding the click, hit the F12 button again to make Dashboard go away. The widget will stay and will now show up outside of Dashboard. You can move the widget anywhere around your desktop. The widget will stay above all windows, so this trick works best with smaller widgets.
To remove the widget from your desktop, click on it and hit F12 to bring up dashboard, then let go of the click and the widget will be back in Dashboard. To completely un-do it, you can type this into your Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode NO
Log out and log back in and it will be back to normal!
Update: Ed just informed me there’s an easier way to do this without having to use the Terminal.
Read his how-to in this older edition of Kibbles and Bytes. The name of the article is ‘Make Widgets into Standalone Applications’.