As you know, the essence of using a computer is running programs, which often produce documents. In OS X, however, there’s a third category: a set of weird, hybrid entities that Apple calls widgets. They appear, all at once, on a virtual desktop (Figure 5-15).
Truth is, the Dashboard’s days are numbered. For one thing, this feature comes turned off in El Capitan. For another, the information modules of your Today panel (Today Tab) are also called widgets—and they feel a lot newer and more immediate than the Dashboard’s.
But if you’re still interested, here’s how the Dashboard works.
Figure 5-15. The Dashboard is a fleet of miniprograms that convey or convert all kinds of useful information, on a Spaces screen all their own. You get rid of the Dashboard either by pressing the same key again (F4 or whatever), by swiping three fingers to the right on your trackpad, or by clicking anywhere except on a widget.
Open System Preferences→Mission Control. From the Dashboard pop-up menu, choose either “As Space” (the Dashboard will appear on its own desktop) or “As Overlay.” That option makes the Dashboard widgets float on top of whatever you’re doing.
Once you’ve brought the Dashboard back from the dead, here’s how you open it:
If you’ve set up the Dashboard as a space, well, it’s one of your virtual desktops. Swipe to the left with three ...