Gadgets were a really cool aspect in Windows 7 as they added functionality and style to the desktop. Microsoft decided to retire the gadget functionality citing security issues as the main purpose for the decision. Windows 8 and newer users can get gadgets back through third-party applications.
Some of the most commonly used gadgets were clock widgets. Digital Clock 4 is a freeware tool that displays a highly customizable clock widget on your screen.
Run the program and the widget appears on the screen. Don't be fooled by the simplistic look of the clock, there are a lot of options to change its appearance.
Digital Clock 4 also has an icon in the system tray area. Right-click on the clock or the tray icon to access the program's menu. The position menu contains options to place the widget at the top, middle or bottom of the screen, you can select if it should be on the left, right or middle too. If that sounds tedious, just click and drag the clock anywhere on the screen.
Open Digital Clock 4's settings to begin customizing it. The interface has four tabs, and there are ton of options to choose from. The first item in the Appearance tab lets you toggle the "stay on top" option. The transparency for mouse disables the mouse from clicking on the widget, so you can click on the object in the background (if you were using another program).
The : separator on the clock flashes by default, if you find it distracting, disable the setting. The sliders labeled opacity and zoom let you make the clock transparent and resizing the widget respectively.
Digital Clock 4 has many skins to choose from using the drop-down menu. If you want something simpler, click on Use Font, select a font style you like.
While the skin styles are nice, they can be customized even further. Click on the Custom Image option under Texture Type. This opens a folder of various texture images that the program ships with.
Select an image and watch the magic, the clock will use the texture.
You can enable texture per element and stretch or tile, to beautify the clock further.
Not a fan of skins and textures? Click on None to disable them. The colorize option lets you use a custom color for Digital Clock 4. Optionally enable a background color, and set the colorization level.
Switch to the Misc tab for more options. Use the options available here to set the clock to start with Windows, pick an alignment, adjust the space between the digits, etc.
Digital Clock displays the system's time by default. But let's say you want to use a different style like h:mm, hh:mm, etc, select it from the drop down menu under the Time Format section. If you'd like to use the clock to view a different time zone, select it from the bottom right-corner. Want the clock to act as a shortcut for your favorite webpage? You can do that too.
Digital Clock 4 has many plugins that can enhance the functionality of the program.
You can use it to set an alarm (requires sound file), chimes which ring off every quarter-hour or on an hourly basis and has built-in sounds to choose from including a clock tower bell.
Just tick the box next to the plugin you want to use. The gear button next to each add-on has a few settings that you can modify. Add a countdown timer, displayed the date, IP address, or a quick note below the clock with the help of plugins. The Task Scheduler plugin allows you to set custom reminders.
The Experimental Settings tab has some advanced settings that you can toggle.
Digital Clock 4 is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. The Windows program comes in an portable version. The source code of Digital Clock Next (upcoming version) is available on GitHub.
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