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Get Leopard's Web Clip feature now

Don't wait until October to get your Web clippings as widgets.

At Apple's WWDC a few weeks ago, the crowd was oohing and aahing when Steve Jobs showed off one of Leopard's new features called Web Clip. Web Clip is a feature built into the Leopard version of Apple's Safari browser that lets you take a section of any Web site and turn it into a widget for OS X's Dashboard. WWDC 2007 wasn't the first time Apple had shown off Web Clip. In fact, the feature had been demonstrated at last year's WWDC conference in August, although not during the high-profile keynote.

For Mac users who don't feel like waiting until October to get their hands on Leopard, an enterprising developer has created a widget called Dash Clipping that has nearly identical functionality to Web Clip and runs in Tiger. Users just plug in a URL and the Web page will open up right inside the widget. It's essentially a miniature browser that can be cropped and maneuvered to fit the desired content. Users can also set how often they want the widget to refresh.

Dash Clipping isn't quite as easy to use as Leopard's implementation, as users can't just toggle a Web Clip right from the browser (a feature that's only available in Leopard's version of Safari) or highlight various sections of the page with a neat light-box effect. Also, like Web Clip, it's also only useful with sites that present their content within certain boundaries, such as online crosswords, comic strips, and news sites with fairly standardized layouts like Yahoo and AOL's start pages.

I haven't been able to track down a similar widget for any of the Windows widget engines like Yahoo Widgets or Vista's sidebar. If you find one, please feel free to post it in the TalkBack.

To make your own custom widget out of any part of a Web site, check out Dash Clippings. CNET Networks / Scott Adams