We like lots of widgets, but not all of them, and that's sort of the point: there's a desktop widget for every need and every taste available for free, customized exactly the way you like it, thanks to XWidget. This free app comes with a bunch of ready-made widgets that can check the weather, stock prices, headlines, and messages; display compact slideshows; play video; add and subtract; and anything you can do with a widget. But the really cool thing is the XWidget Designer, a sophisticated tool for creating and customizing widgets. It lets you change the size, color, finish, action, and properties of your widgets. The optional Dashboard and a variety of pop-up Config dialogs make it easy to deploy your widgets, too. Extras include a screenshot tool.
XWidget's features are dispersed in its widgets, in the Dashboard, and in the XWidget Designer, not to mention separate configuration screens and options panels for most widgets and features, too. The Dashboard is a prominent feature in its default mode, though you can customize it, like most of XWidget's features. It displays available widgets in a scrolling panel along the bottom of the screen. Three widgets open with the program: a stylishly mod analog clock face, a compact photo gallery, and an even smaller weather widget. We right-clicked the Weather widget and quickly changed our location to access local weather data. The same menu accesses all kinds of options; for instance, clicking Edit opened the widget in the XWidget Designer, while the Configure option opened a compact properties sheet for quickly setting and locking position and other basic choices.
XWidget has received some significant upgrades since we last tried it, and it's a smooth performer with little in the way of issues, though we did have some trouble displaying the Dashboard from the program's main menu, and many of the supplied widgets still bear names like EkerTime and EkerWeahter (yes, "weahter") but that's hardly more than a quibble. XWidget more than makes up for it with its advanced customization capabilities. The XWidget Designer is this program's hidden attraction: Don't like something? Change it!