Application Interfaces - Widget Manager

Description: Enable/disable widgets of your choice to avoid clutter in your Widgets Bar on the Dashboard.
The widget will list all the widgets that are accesible to you, and allow you to enable or disable them with a single click.

Features (besides what I've just mentioned):
- Checks to see if the selected widget is running before disabling it in order to avoid problems.
- Does not conflict with the Widget Manager preference pane. Change something in either the preference pane or the widget and the other will reflect the change
- A Spotlight-style search field to filter long lists of widgets
- Collapsible widget (finally)
- Collapsible lists
- Launch widget with a double-click
- View widget version numbers
- A Reveal in Finder function
- A Move to Trash function
- A Reload Dock function

This widget is pretty well ready for prime time, but there may be some rough edges here and there.
Try it out, and if you have any problems/suggestions, email me at

WidgetManager is not to be confused with the preference pane Widget Manager, but it is compatible with the preference pane (i.e. disabling somthing in WidgetManager and the preference pane will reflect the change and vice versa).

Please note: This widget makes use of shell commands (nothing sinister, but it does rename the widget files, and can move them to the Trash [but it can't delete them on its own]). However, the author of this widget is not responsible in the unfortunate event of loss of data or other damage to your software, incurred as a result of using this widget.
Author: drdoe
Version: 1.11
New in v1.11: This version is a bug fix, and is recommended for all users.
Uploaded on: July 8th 2005 at 4:04 AM
Rating: (4.49 stars)   [Show Detailed Ratings]
Downloads: 10011 (all versions), 4785 (this version)
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Umm, very good but I have too many widgets - are you going to incorporate a scroll bar?

Posted by: MacCrazy on May 22, 05 (8:37 PM) for version 0.1b (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Verry nice but is there a possibility that the window with "Widget diabled......." can go away??
And here the same problem as with MacCrazy.

Posted by: Hobbes on May 22, 05 (8:50 PM) for version 0.1b (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Yes, I am going to incorporate a scrollbar (I wrote it in the description above smiley )
I have the same problem as you guys - too many widgets. This version was mostly to test if worked at all.
And yes, I plan to add a "Don't show this message again" checkbox for the "Widget disabled/enabled" window (it's annoys me too).

I might even add a iTunes/Spotlight-style searchbox, so you can filter the lists, and find the one widget you need.

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 22, 05 (9:43 PM) for version 0.1b (previous version)  

^ That sounds great... it's a great widget, but without a scrollbar it's unusable.

Posted by: avnit on May 22, 05 (9:59 PM) for version 0.1b (previous version)  

Oddly enough, I was just planning to make a widget just like this. You beat me too it though. Congrats. =)

Posted by: gnome (Administrator) on May 22, 05 (10:13 PM) for version 0.1b (previous version)  

Great idea same comments as above, plus mine seems to show previous versions of widgets I have moved from the library manually. IE some times I have two of an item shown.

But this will be a top widget.

Posted by: philk on May 22, 05 (10:22 PM) for version 0.1b (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Great widget drdoe! One small bug: Clicking in the scroll bar's empty area scrolls the content, but doesn't update the scroll "thumb" properly. It would be nice if it refreshed its contents once in a while, to avoid having to manually reload it if you play around in the Library. Still a must-have for anyone who tries out a lot of widgets.

Posted by: sean on May 25, 05 (1:27 AM) for version 0.2b (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Thanks, sean!
I am indeed working on an update routine, so you won't have to reload manually.
And as for the scroll bar issue: Odd, but true... I'll look into it. I am already working on implementing the updated Apple routines, so you can scroll with a scroll wheel and such.

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 25, 05 (1:46 AM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

Just out of interest - what kind of stuff is moved around? If it's just Widgets then that's ok!

Posted by: MacCrazy on May 25, 05 (2:16 AM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

Is it possible to make it bigger by jourself?? With a resize corner thing.
Because now it is to smal 0smiley
Oh ja the search onley serch in the widgets tath are activated is it possible to make it to search in al of them??

Posted by: Hobbes on May 25, 05 (10:53 AM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

I don't know if it's possible, but this could be precisely the widget to check if the latest versions of all widgets are loaded...
If not, a little clickable explanationmark could update it...


Posted by: Doxxic on May 25, 05 (5:53 PM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

MacCrazy: Actually it doesn't move anything at all, it just renames the widget files (and nothing else). I wrote move because you use to the move command ('mv') to rename a file form the command line.
So no need to worry smiley

Hobbes: Yes, I'm going to incorporate resizing in the next version. This version was mostly about adding the scroll bar it so desperately needed. I tried to make it resizable, but it didn't work quite right, so I didn't include it.
And what you said about the search field is strange. On my computer, it finds both active and inactive widgets, and works just fine. And it's hard to fix a bug you don't encounter.

Doxxic: Short answer: No, sorry.
Although I agree that it could be really cool, it's not something I can add without A LOT coding, and in the end, the widget would just become too bloated. It's further complicated by the fact that you can get widgets from so many sites, so there's no single site where this widget would be able to check versions on everything in one go. So in the end it probably wouldn't work quite right, and do nothing but take up space and processor power.

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 25, 05 (6:30 PM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

Looks great! How about getting widget "sets" incorporated. Maybe the user could create groups of widgets and turn them all on and off with a single click. That way, you could keep several screens of widgets handy.

Posted by: AutumnFire on May 26, 05 (12:43 AM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

AutumnFire: I've thought about that, but I'm not sure it'll be used much, plus it'll be hard to do right. I might incorporate it in a later version though...

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 26, 05 (1:32 AM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

btw the design is beautiful!

Posted by: Doxxic on May 26, 05 (7:53 PM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

Doxxic: Then I hope you don't mind that the next version will be white smiley

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 27, 05 (7:18 AM) for version 0.2b (previous version)  

This new version doesn't work at all for me. The alert is that outputString.split on line 47 of getWidgets.js does not allow calls. What's the problem? Has anyone else experienced this?

Posted by: avnit on May 29, 05 (7:56 AM) for version 1.0b (previous version)  

There really ought to be a confirmation dialog when deleting a widget.

Posted by: pm (Administrator) on May 29, 05 (7:57 AM) for version 1.0b (previous version)  

avnit: that's very odd... split() is a built-in JavaScript function, and something I can really debug I'm afraid...
The old versions used exactly the same function in exactly the same context...
I'm afraid I don't know what to do about it, sorry...

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 29, 05 (8:11 AM) for version 1.0b (previous version)  

Wow. I downloaded the last version earlier today, then deleted it. This was because it did not work at all. When my RSS feed showed a update to it, I thought I should give it a try. I am very glad I did. It not only deactivates and reactivates downloaded widgets, but can delete them in addition. Another thing that was added that I thought was great was the ability to resize the window. I think this is very handy, and should be added to almost every widget. The last improvement (besides the new color) was the option to search within your widgets. This comes in handy if you have a lot of them. The only thing I thing could be improved on would be the size. Several widgets I have let me collapse them into a small, space saving bar. This would help a lot just because a widget manager is not the kind of thing you would use all the time, and would need quick reference to or anything... So I think adding this would help on its way to perfection!

Posted by: timbook on May 29, 05 (8:28 AM) for version 1.0b (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

powermac99: Widgets aren't deleted immediately. They are moved to the Trash in the Finder, where you can find them until you empty the Trash. This is documented in the readme, as well as in the description above.

But yeah, I probably should add a yes/no thing...

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 29, 05 (10:05 AM) for version 1.0b (previous version)  

great!! But for wath does the spotlicht looking icon next to the X (move to trash) mean to?? Because I can't get to it. When I tray to go on it (with the mouse) it dissepears.

Posted by: Hobbes on May 29, 05 (2:54 PM) for version 1.01b (previous version)  

timbook: Thanks for the kind words! And I'm actually planning to make the widget collapsible for the very same reason. But I couldn't get it just right, so that'll be in the next version (if you look in the code, you'll see there is function for animating the window resizing).

Hobbes: That little spotlight/looking glass button, is a "show in Finder" button, like the ones in Safari's downloads window. It highlights the widget chosen widgets file in the Finder in case you wan to do change something there.
It's weird that it doesn't work though... I guess I have some debugging to do, but I don't know where to start since the same code you guys are running seems to work fine for me... But I'll do my best to optimize everything, as soon as I have time to spare

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 29, 05 (5:04 PM) for version 1.01b (previous version)  

Hobbes: I think I've found the problem with the Show in Finder button. If the widget is big enough to show all you widgets, it'll hide the scroll bar, but the scroll bar still receives the mouse events, so when you go to click to the Show in Finder button, you mouse onto the hidden scroll bar and not the button. That's why it disappears when you want to click it.
This will of course be fixed in the next version if all goes well.

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 30, 05 (1:57 AM) for version 1.01b (previous version)  

Noop its not that when I try to klik it yust go away.
the same thing happens when I go with my mouse of the widget.

Posted by: Hobbes on May 30, 05 (7:42 PM) for version 1.01b (previous version)  

Hobbes: Not sure I understood that. You're saying that no matter if the scroll bar is visible or not, the Show in Finder buttons still disappears?

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 30, 05 (9:25 PM) for version 1.01b (previous version)  

Very very nice widget!

Except for some minor glitches, what you have is nearly perfect. Just one request- you should be able to launch a widget in Dashboard by clicking it in the list. That way it would make an excellent replacement for the (pretty bad IMO) default widget bar.

Posted by: zweben on May 31, 05 (12:25 AM) for version 1.01b (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

zweben: I'm working on it smiley

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on May 31, 05 (3:30 AM) for version 1.01b (previous version)  

My English is not that good. So I made a movie.
go to this page an you will see wath I mean.

I cant klik it

The site is a bit slow so try to download it with [alt] klik (enter in the url-balk)


Posted by: Hobbes on Jun 02, 05 (11:02 AM) for version 1.01b (previous version)  

This is probably the best widget, I've seen. Too bad I voted before I saw this one. A few suggestions for your next version (I don't think anyone has mentioned these) :

-Widgets that start lowercase (such as eBay, iChatWidget) are at the end of the list. Any way to make it case insensitive?
-It would be sooooo great if the you could check for updates of the widgets you have. Like, search and see if any of your widgets are the certain version.

Posted by: andrethegiant on Jun 04, 05 (6:35 AM) for version 1.01b (previous version)   View Detailed Rating


The ONLY problem I have is that it does not display any Widgets under "Computer"



Posted by: Radruler on Jun 05, 05 (11:21 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Someone else pointed out the incorrect sorting that was going on in the lists, so that's fixed here in version 1.1.
And as for checking for updates: You're not the first to suggest this, so you're not the first one I have to say "no" to.
Including version checking would require a lot of code, and make widget manager very very sluggish. JavaScript and the Dashboard aren't really built for those types of heavy-lifting.
Also, there are sooo many sites that would need to be checked, and of which might alter their HTML at any time making it impossible for widget manager to get it right. And it would have to be right all the time. It's bad if it misses an update, because then people will just go back to checking versions themselves and nothing would have been gained. It's also bad if it displays a false positive, since people won't trust the update function after that.
So the version checking is - if anything - on indefinite standby.

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on Jun 05, 05 (11:26 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

Radruler: Weird. You're the second person (or maybe the same person) to report this problem.
I didn't come across it when I tested the widget, and everything is working fine for me (I tried downloading the widget from here and using it on a brand-new user account on my powerbook - no problems

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on Jun 05, 05 (11:29 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

This is a widget that I certainly keep in my dock!, very well done! It looks goodsmiley

Posted by: Rik on Jun 05, 05 (12:43 PM) for version 1.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Version 1.1 doesn't seem to work at all.

Posted by: sprindle on Jun 05, 05 (4:46 PM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

sprindle: Yes, it does smiley
I'd like to help you but since you didn't really say what was wrong, there's not much I can do.
If nothing really happens when you open it, I suggest you check that Widget Manager is in either /Library/Widgets/ or ~/Library/Widgets/
If it's not in one of those places, then, no, nothing really works

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on Jun 05, 05 (5:12 PM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

Love it.

Posted by: flashmanburgess on Jun 05, 05 (10:17 PM) for version 1.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

It doesn't display system widgets, but its awsome! My only recomendation is making the search and reload button stay showing when the widget is minimized! Also try using a program I made called Wcode to edit it so I can have some feedback from a real widget develper (just back it up first just in case). smiley

Posted by: Bryan on Jun 05, 05 (11:12 PM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

Awesome update. The ability to launch widgets makes this a perfect replacement for the stupid bottom-of-the-screen widget launcher. I love it. Best widget ever.

Posted by: zweben on Jun 05, 05 (11:21 PM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

This is very cool. I've wondered why Apple didn't include some way to manage widgets in dashboard from the beginning. This may very well be the solution!

Only a few suggestions:
I'd like there to be a "Made by Apple" Group to differentiate those widgets from 3rd party ones.
I'd like for the widget to also somehow display the version numbers of each individual widget so I can check if I'm up to date or not.

If you're ever able to incorperate those into this widget it will be absolutely perfect!

Keep up the good work, I'd like to delete the widget manager pref panesmiley

Posted by: ThyWasabiBoy on Jun 06, 05 (12:32 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

This isn't finding any widgets for me. I have it located in the /Library/Widgets directory and it finds no system widgets.

I don't know about user widgets since I don't have any there, there's no use for me to put them in the user only directory.

Posted by: paularms on Jun 06, 05 (4:54 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

ThyWasabiBoy: I've been trying to come up with a good way for widget manager to find out which widgets are from Apple, but I didn't have a really good solution, so I left it out.
And it actually should already be displaying each widget's version. Just move your mouse over the name of a specific widget and it should say something like "vX.Y (double-click to open)" in the bottom of the widget

paularms: It a very weird problem, and you're not the only one who's experiencing it.I'm trying hard to figure it out, but since I don't have the same problem on my mac, it's kinda hard to know what's going on.
Weird thing is that I didn't change anything about the way that widget manager retrieves its lists, so if the previous version worked v1.1 should too...
Right now I just don't know what's going on...

Posted by: drdoe (developer) on Jun 06, 05 (7:57 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

The previous versions haven't worked since this widget went from the black color to the white color.

Posted by: paularms on Jun 06, 05 (9:25 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)  

Oh, this is nice. I missed this widget while I was browsing for them, but I found it this time around!

I love the way it looks. In my opinion, most of the non-Apple widgets need a major face-lift, but yours is very tasteful. The only thing I would recommend to change is the refresh the dock icon; the rest of the interface is more or less minimal, but the widget icon with the arrow over it isn't (it actually took me a few minutes to realize that it was the widget icon). What about making it a black background with an orange arrow over it? At any rate, now it just doesn't seem to fit the theme of the rest of the widget.

If you're still accepting ideas for future versions, I have one. Like the Dictionary and Wikipedia widgets, perhaps you should show the search bar when it's collapsed. Then when one hits enter after typing in a keyword, it slides open showing you the widgets that match.

Overall, it's definitely a keeper.

Posted by: fait on Jun 07, 05 (8:38 PM) for version 1.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

The last version showed my Apple widgets. This one doesn't. They show up in my Widget manager preference pane (including the ones I disabled under the previous version of the widget still disabled) but not in the widget.
Using a 1.25Ghz Powerbook if that helps narrow it down - and it was working until this version.

Posted by: Applespider on Jun 08, 05 (1:17 AM) for version 1.1 (previous version)   View Detailed Rating

Wow, I am very glad you took my comment seriously. This widget is exceptional. I love how it will collapse, and I also like the new statistics it gives on the number of widgets you have. This is my favorite widget of all time... good work. One small suggestion, though (I always like to give positive and helpful suggestions). The searching (though it works great, and is very accurate) has one shortcoming. If you type in anything, then click the x to close the search, then the search terms disappear, but the results do not go back to there normal, view all state. The only way to do this is to type something, then use the delete key to delete the search term. I can't imagine this would be too hard to fix, but none the less, good luck!

Posted by: timbook on Jun 09, 05 (8:42 AM) for version 1.11 (current version)  

Awesome widget! It works wonderfully, and is perfect for my massive amounts of widgets, many of which I don't neccissarily need but don't want to get rid off.

Great job and keep up the good work!

Posted by: SiliconX on Jun 12, 05 (8:52 AM) for version 1.11 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Hey Drdoe

Apple's widgets quit displaying with version 1.1 just like several other people, but I figured I would wait for the update to fix it. However, version 1.11 does not display them either. Any suggestions?


Posted by: tomeh on Jun 22, 05 (2:35 PM) for version 1.11 (current version)   View Detailed Rating


i was wondering why everytime i try to disable a running widget a pop up comes up with a message stating

"WIDGET RUNNING -- xxxxx x.x widget is running on your dashboard. Close it before disabling it."

this is a bit annoying since i thought that this widget was something that would help me manage widgets easier than having to go to the "X" at the bottom left corner of the screen to close the widget.

it would make sense to me to only have to go to one place on the screen to open or close a widget. you can double-click the name of a widget to open a widget but you can't double-click the name of it to close?

anyhow if i missed something on how i should be able to do this thanks for letting me know.

other than that a pretty good widget that needs a little bit more work to be complete.

thanks for making it!

Posted by: ohdood on Jun 24, 05 (12:23 AM) for version 1.11 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Perhaps one of the most valuable widgets while there is no built-in widget managing. This one hits the spot.

My only annoyance, personally, is that clicking to send a widget to the trash, then clicking "Move" to confirm, I sometimes manage to click on the "Move" box right on top of the delete button for another widget in the list...triggering another confirmation box for something I don't want to delete. I don't know if it's just me or what, but that poses a risk of deleting widgets by mistake, not realizing the error.

Still, in my opinion this is a truly essential widget.


Posted by: BagOfHammers on Jul 05, 05 (9:02 PM) for version 1.11 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Since 1.1.1 this widget locks up and won't even refresh.. I wonder why.. Is there a "bad widget" in my widget folder ? or is it the files in my Widgets folder that are not widgets (e.g. zipped widgets...) or something else ? In former versions, the scrollbar would lock up.. Now it is totally broken.


Posted by: cerberus on Jul 18, 05 (5:07 PM) for version 1.11 (current version)  

Nice widget, good looking too. Please, please add groups or sets that are user definable.

Posted by: phillimike on Jul 21, 06 (8:23 PM) for version 1.11 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Is this still being developed? It works fine on Tiger, but I just updated to Leopard and there's now no scrollbar. I loved it on Tiger, but without a scrollbar even expanding it as tall as my screen doesn't show everything.

Posted by: blm on May 29, 09 (7:50 PM) for version 1.11 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

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