Windows 7 offers a number of mini-programs known as Gadgets that allow easy access to tools or information you use on a frequent basis. For example, you can have the day's breaking news displayed on your desktop while you work, without needing to close your window and open up a web browser, then navigating to a relevant news site.

Gadgets were also available in Windows Vista, however, they were only visible in the sidebar. Instead, in Windows 7, Microsoft has ensured they can be placed anywhere on the desktop.

Windows 7 comes with six Gadgets pre-installed; Calendar, Clock, Weather, Feed Headlines, Slide Show, and Picture Puzzle. However, you can download and install more form Microsoft's dedicated website.

Here's how to use Gadgets in Windows 7.

Step one
Right-click on the Windows 7 desktop and select Gadgets. This will display a list of those currently available on your PC. If the gadget you require is not available, Visit Microsoft's dedicated Desktop Gadgets website and press download on the program you require. Alternatively, select Get more gadgets online from the bottom of the window.

Step two
Right-click on the gadget you require and press Add to ensure the program is made available on your desktop. You can reposition the Gadget simply by dragging it to whichever area of your desktop you want.

Step three
You can make the Gadget bigger by clicking the resize icon which looks like an arrow in a box, located on the far right-hand side of the gadget itself. You can also adjust the settings, for example in the clock this includes time zone, while for the Feed Headlines gadget this includes the number of headlines display. To do this simply press the icon that looks like a spanner on the far right-hand side of the gadget.

Step four
To remove a Gadget from your desktop, simply right-click on the gadget and select Close gadget. Alternatively, press the X in the far right-hand corner of the gadget.