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If you've never heard of Wikipedia, you really ought to get out on the Web more often. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia written by just about anyone who wants to write for it. You can learn more by visiting the English version; other versions are also available online.

The Wikipedia widget enables you to look up entries in Wikipedia. But what sets this widget apart from other search widgets is that it displays its results within the widget rather than in a web browser window. In fact, if you click an internal link (such as the "Wickenburg, Arizona" link in Figure 11), the widget displays that information, too. Only external links (such as Maria's WebLog in this example) launch your browser to display the link.

Figure 11

Figure 11 The Wikipedia widget.

If your search word or phrase doesn't come up with exact matches, a list of possible results appears. Clicking one of those links displays the information in the widget.

The widget offers three configuration options: Set the language for the version of Wikipedia you want to access, set the maximum life of the cache (in minutes), or clear out the cache.

The Wikipedia widget is by Sean Billig.

Maria Langer is a freelance writer who has been using a Mac since 1989, when desk accessories were the little programs you could access at any time. She is the author of the bestselling book Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger: Visual QuickStart Guide (Peachpit Press 2005, ISBN 0321305264). Visit her on the web at

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