Chapter 2: Optimizing Windows Vista’s Interface
When you exit the sidebar, the sidebar and all open gadgets are closed regardless of
whether any of the gadgets are docked to the sidebar or are floating on the desktop. To
restart the sidebar and open your gadgets, click Start
➝ All Programs ➝ Accessories ➝
Managing Your Computer’s Gadgets
You can work with gadgets in a variety of ways. You can detach gadgets from the
sidebar and move them around the desktop by right-clicking a gadget and selecting
Detach from Sidebar. Once you’ve detached a gadget, you can click and drag to
move it to different locations on the desktop. To put the gadget back on the sidebar,
right-click the gadget and select Attach to Sidebar.
You can display a detached gadget on top of all other windows by right-clicking the
gadget and selecting Always on Top. Once you’ve moved the gadget to the top, right-
clicking the gadget and selecting Always on Top a second time clears the setting and
makes the gadget work like any other window—it can be brought to the front when
in use or put to the back when not in use.
Every gadget has an opacity setting that controls whether you can see through it.
Since the default opacity setting is 100 percent, you can’t see through gadgets by
default. If you want to be able to see through a gadget, right-click it, point to Opac-
ity, and then select the desired opacity. The lower the opacity setting is, the more
translucent the gadget will appear to be and the better you’ll be able to see what’s
behind it. The higher the opacity setting is, the less translucent the gadget will
appear to be and the less you’ll be able to see what’s behind it.
You can add gadgets to Windows Sidebar by following these steps:
1. Click the Add Gadgets button at the top of the sidebar. This opens the Gadget
Gallery dialog box.
2. In the Gadget Gallery dialog box, double-click each gadget you want to add to
3. To find additional gadgets, click the “Get more gadgets online” link.
Figure 2-24. Exiting the sidebar