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Dropbox Droplet Widget

defaultdropboxdroplet1I’ve recently been working on learning how to develop Mac OS X Dashboard widgets, and I thought a good little project would be to make a droplet to allow Dropbox (a very cool service and application) users to share files easily using their Public folder and its respective public URL. It used a lot of javascript and CSS, both things I was fairly unfamiliar with, but make a lot of sense (in a web context) and actually convey fairly easily to the widgets. Please download the widget and let me know what you think. It is compatible with every version of OS X that Dropbox is. If you have any questions, clicking the “?” mark on the back of the widget will bring up helpful instructions.

Edit: I’ve updated the link to point to version 1.0.1 which fixes an issue where copying to the Public directory didn’t always happen.

Mountain Lion Update: This widget is no longer working in Mountain Lion. The first problem is that it isn’t signed, so Gatekeeper restricts users from installing this widget from Mountain Lion OS X forward. The only way that I can sign this widget is with a $99/year Mac Developer account. I do not have a paid Mac Developer account, and I’m afraid I have no personal incentive other than to sign this widget that I wrote ~4 years ago and have distributed thousands of free copies.

When I wrote this widget years ago, Apple’s Widget Dashboard was a more first-class part of the operating system. Now, it is slowly dying off, I created this widget with the help of a Dashcode developer application. That application is no longer available, a further sign that Apple sees a very short future for Dashboard. For those reasons, it is unlikely I will be able to repair this widget to run in Mountain Lion and forward. I include a little technical detail in the next paragraph, and widgets are all “open source” so to speak (just right-click it and Show Package Contents), so if you would like to adapt this widget yourself, feel free, but please attribute my initial work, and also please email me to let me know. I will keep the widget available for download below. Thank you, and I appreciate your understanding.

To get slightly more technical, as I’ve investigated the problem after getting around the code-signing issue, I’ve seen this error pop-up (in the Console) at the point in the code where the widget reads what files were just dropped on it (the first step in using this widget usefully): “WindowServer[78]: _CGXSetWindowHasKeyAppearance: Operation on a window 0x5f3 requiring rights kCGSWindowRightOwner by caller Dashboard.” I think this may have to do with the sandboxing being added to Mountain Lion? I know Mac App Store apps need to request specific entitlements, and, since I can’t look up this error in the Mac Developer account reference area, I am at a loss to what it really means, and if it is a case of needing to request an entitlement, I wouldn’t know how to do that for a widget… If you have any feedback or ideas, please email me at the email address in the help section of the widget, or post a comment.


Download Dropbox Droplet Dashboard Widget

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42 Responses

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  1. frank says

    great app thanks. Simple and effective

  2. Carl Seal says

    Can you make an application that will automatically change straight quotes to “smart“ curly quotes – both single and double? I cannot find such a thing and don’t understand why Apple doesn’t incorporate into their OS.
    There use to be a great app called “SmartKeys“ which not only did this but corrected commonly misspelled words. I contacted the creator and he replied that he couldn’t make it work with OS X.

  3. wal says

    hi. I’m new in MAC. How I did to drag and drop a file in this widget?? I’ve already installed DropBox.

  4. wesley says

    Hi wal,
    You start dragging your file like usual and you’ll see the icon is attached to your cursor while you hold down the mouse button. While still holding the button down, press F12 to call up Dashboard (or whatever button you’ve set to call up dashboard). If you’ve set up the droplet correctly, when you hover over it, you should see a green + on your cursor and the down arrow on the widget will animate up and down to show it’s ready for you to drop the file. Lots of words to describe, but very quick and simple to actually do once you’ve got it.

  5. Jim says

    Cool, thanks Wes!

  6. claas says

    the widget field does not allow to put in my complete ID
    which is my email.

    but also the link is not right
    it has to be:

  7. wesley says

    Hi, claas. I think you misunderstand what the widget means by “user id” If you click the ? mark on the widget’s back, there is helpful documentation to figure it out.

    I can save you the trouble since you provided the URL and tell you that your userID is 239525 (that number after /u/ in your URL)

  8. jazza says

    A quick +1 on claas’s comment:

    you don’t have https support from your widget!
    It only links to the http, which doesn’t work.

  9. wesley says

    True, the widget only creates “http” links and not “https” links (you can fix that wish a single “s” after pasting in the mean time).

    My question for you is your statement that http doesn’t work and your +1 of claas’ statement. This leads me to believe you are having the same problem that class was (which I answered immediately below). If you have read the help for the widget (clicking the ? on the back of the widget) and the URLs the widget is creating for you still do not work, please send me an email so we can actually troubleshoot what problem you seem to be having. (blog at this web site’s

  10. Michael says

    hi – it seems to work fine for now.

    a couple of suggestions: It would be very nice if the URL was immediately trimmed by a shortener service, like or other. in addition to that, it would be even better if that link where associated with the account so that it is logged there.

    Cheers, Michael

  11. wesley says

    The URL shortening option is a good suggestion.. I’ll look into that for a possible future version. Thanks.

  12. Carl Metz says

    I downloaded Dropbox and it’s in the Widget Bar. When I click on it, the icon appears with a “Dropbox not installed” message on it. There was no further directives after I downloaded it for installation. Help, please.

  13. Kate says

    No luck using this after download. It’s there in my dashboard but can’t set user id or drag any files to it?

  14. wesley says

    I’ve seen your two comments about having problems recently. I’m getting married this week and will be out of town for my honeymoon, so I’m afraid I don’t have time to look into your difficulties just now. If you both could please email dropboxdroplet at wesley reynolds dot com, I can look into what may be going wrong when my life gets a bit more back to normal. Thanks!

  15. Chris J says

    Sadly, I posted a link on the Dropbox Forums that was found in the wiki. and that link pointed to your webpage. Whats sad, is that the download link is inoperable.

    Can you fix that soon?


    Chris J

  16. wesley says

    Yes, it is fixed! Sorry about that! The file never moved, but the link changed after some slight reconfiguration of my blog.

  17. Norbert says

    Hey, I was pretty bored today so I made a demo of your widget (which I love by the way)

    Not that anyone will need a demo to figure out how this thing works :)

  18. Deavy says

    Hi Wesley,
    Thanks for the very useful widget!

    Regards, Deavy

  19. what says

    Great Widget!


  20. Brandon Tilley says

    I have a feature request/suggestion for future versions: allow dropped files to be placed into a subdirectory of the public folder. For instance, I use “/widget/” as I only use the droplet to quickly share files over IM, and this gives a central location where I know all the files are temporary (and can safely be deleted).

    (It’s more of a “suggestion” than a “request,” as I’ve already modified main.js to add ‘ + “/widget/”‘ at lines 291 and 326.)

  21. emtunc says

    This is a great add on, can’t believe I wasn’t using it before!

  22. Russell says

    I love (luv) this idea.

    But I’m getting incorrect links. Instead of my userID number I’m getting “336149”.

    Is that something I can edit, or am I cursed somehow?

  23. wesley says

    Hi Russel, I’m afraid I don’t understand your question.. all user ID links are 6-digit numbers.. if you put “336149” in your “user ID” text box on the back of the widget, does that work? If you click the small ” i ” on the front of the blue box widget and the ” ? ” on the back of it (once it flips over), there is a help page that will assist you in finding your userID.

  24. Russell says

    I’m not using the widget, I’m using the droplet.
    Didn’t realize they were different.


  25. Andrew says

    Great app! But we all have a huge need in URL shortening service support!
    Do you have any progress or ETA on that?

  26. Guillaume says

    I just found this page from DropBox forum. Congrats for your work, it looks really nice and useful.

    I wanted to edit the droplet, to integrate it into a script I have, and it seems the only version available is in binary format.

    Is there any chance that you share the sources, so everyone can improve your version?


  27. wesley says

    Thanks. I’m glad you think it’s useful.

    You are more than welcome to edit your copy of the widget if you want.. It (like all widgets) is written in javascript, so the source is there.. you just need to right click the Widget file and “Show Package Contents” and you’ll see all of the source files in there and its sub-folders…

    The auto-URL shortening suggestion I’ve seen is a great idea.. I just haven’t had the personal time to look into doing that more officially.. ideally I’ll be able to get to it at some point soon, but if you are able to modify my widget, I’d appreciate seeing what you’ve done and giving both of us credit for the collaboration of features.

  28. Joe says

    Cant believe I only just found this widget. Great stuff! Though I would love to see URL-shortening as an option. Keep up the good work.

  29. Alex says

    Mac OS Lion .
    Does not work.
    File in the folder “Public” is not added.

  30. wesley says

    @Alex, can you provide more information or contact me directly? I and everyone I know using Lion have continued to use this Widget and it has continued to work for us.

  31. AppInside says

    DropBox is a great tool. Thank you!

  32. Valentin says

    “Mac OS Lion .
    Does not work.
    File in the folder “Public” is not added.”

    Same problem for me. Clean 10.7.3 Lion install. Dropbox 1.2.52.

  33. wesley says


    Could you please contact me at Again, all the testing I have seen verify this works in Lion and I would like to try and see what problem you are having. Is your Dropbox folder in the default location or somewhere else on disk perhaps?

  34. thomas says

    the 1.0.1 version doesn’t add File in the folder “Public”

  35. alouk says

    I have tried everything to get this widget to work! When I drag a file to the widget nothing happens… no check mark… no link… no file in the public folder! Is this widget just out of date??? I see the last comment is from over a year ago…

  36. Tim says

    Hello Wesley, I’m trying to use the Droplet widget, however, my dropbox doesn’t have a public file. Is it still possible to set up?


    Tim Riding.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Un widget per inviare file sulla cartella pubblica di DropBox | SaggiaMente linked to this post on September 3, 2010

    […] Dropbox Droplet Widget si installa nella Dashboard con un semplice doppio clic e permette di inviare un file nella cartelle publica in un attimo. Per iniziare ad usarlo bisogna solo cliccare sulla piccola (i) ed inserire sul retro il nostro ID DropBox. […]

  2. > Un widget per inviare file sulla cartella pubblica di DropBox | Giornale Blog linked to this post on September 4, 2010

    […] Dropbox Droplet Widget si installa nella Dashboard con un semplice doppio clic e permette di inviare un file nella cartelle publica in un attimo. Per iniziare ad usarlo bisogna solo cliccare sulla piccola (i) ed inserire sul retro il nostro ID DropBox. […]

  3. What I use and why | Moneydick linked to this post on January 25, 2011

    […] select a file (or files): Mash ctrl+option+command+8. The URL is copied. boom.There’s a great widget for Dropbox. Click and hold a file, and drag it to the widget. Done.Filedropper: 5gb at a time. […]

  4. 12 Must Have Mac OS X Lion Dashboard Widgets linked to this post on April 3, 2012

    […] Download Dropbox Droplet For Mac […]

  5. Two months later, developers (mostly) positive about OS X’s GateKeeperQuick iPhone Apps | Quick iPhone Apps linked to this post on September 30, 2012

    […] Reynolds has given up development of his popular Dropbox Droplet widget, thanks in part to Mountain Lion and GateKeeper. […]

  6. 15 Best Mac OS X Lion Dashboard Widgets : Top Downloads | Mashing Lab linked to this post on February 21, 2013

    […] 1. Dropbox Droplet Widget : Install Dropbox droplet widget on your Mac OS X Lion if you haven’t done it yet as dropbox lets you upload and sync files with the desktop PC, mobile or tablet for online storage. With this free widget you can easily add files to public folders to share and access them anywhere in the world. Drag and Drop feature of this widget is really awesome. Download Latest version Here. […]

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