Open Dashboard at login with AppleScript

open Dashboard with AppleScript

I’m a big fan of Apple’s Dashboard. But, the one thing that bothers me, is how slow it is to launch the first time you activate it, especially if you have multiple widgets that connect to the internet. I started to think of a way to minimize this delay in my workflow.

I work from home, and I have a fairly predictable routine in the morning. I get up, start my computer, and go downstairs for a smoke and what-not. So, the solution I came up with is to have Dashboard activated for the first time automatically, at login, while I’m away from my computer. I used AppleScript to accomplish this.

I’m no AppleScript expert, but this was pretty easy to do because AppleScript is often just like simple English. First, I wrote this script in Apple’s Script Editor application (located in your Applications folder):

tell application "Dashboard"
end tell

Then, just save this script as an Application, or Applet as they are sometimes called. Now all you have to do is add the Applet to you login items. The next time you start your computer, Dashboard will be activated automatically.

Now, here’s where I could use a little help from a real AppleScripter. My original intention was to have the script activate Dashboard, wait 30 seconds and then deactivate it. As it is now, Dashboard is still active when I return from my smoke. Can anyone out there help with this?

UPDATE (8.11.05): odl reader, Luis, was kind enough to turn me on to DashboardStarter, written by Stefan Schüßler. This great little app does exactly what I was trying to do with AppleScript. Way to go Stefan. Thanks for the heads up Luis.

UPDATE (08.17.05): I posted the same question at, and someone replied with this code that works great:

tell application "System Events"
key code 105
delay 1
key code 105
end tell

This is for F13; replace 105 with one of the following depending on your set-up.

F1 122
F2 120
F3 99
F4 118
F5 96
F6 97
F7 98
F8 100
F9 101
F10 109
F11 103
F12 111
F13 105
F14 107
F15 113

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