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Fluid lets you embed webpages as your desktop or in menu bar

TJ Luoma, @tjluoma

I refer to my calendar a lot during the day, but I don't always have my calendar program running. Most of the time I just want to glance at something to confirm the time/date of an upcoming event, or just double check a date: "What is the last Sunday in May? Oh right, the 30th."

It occurred to me today that I could make life a little easier if I could have my calendar embedded in my Desktop. Those of you who remember Microsoft Windows' "Active Desktop" feature may shudder in fear at the idea because, at least in my experience, Active Desktop was a complete and utter disaster. It never worked well, if you could get it to work at all.

There are extremely geeky ways of doing this but had a simple solution I didn't even know was possible: Now I've used for a long time, but I never knew what the "Embedded SSB" or "MenuExtra SSB" actually did. Turns out that either of them are a potential solution, not just for calendars, but for any web page.

[Editor's Note: Fluid just recently went open source, and though the blog hasn't been updated yet, we're told the SSB creator is now open source as well.]

For Google Calendar, I created a Fluid instance which I called "gCal". If I select "Embedded SSB" (as show in the picture) my Google Calendar is suddenly my desktop. I can manipulate it as expected, and quickly refer to it using F11 to make all of the other windows disappear.

At first the "MenuExtra SSB" didn't seem like a viable option for something like Google Calendar, but if you resize the window, it turns out to be quite feasible. I might even prefer it instead of the desktop/embedded option.

Note: If you have more than one monitor, Fluid apps will only embed in the primary monitor. However you can temporarily change the primary monitor (System Preferences » Displays » Arrangement and move the menu bar to the other monitor) and then setup the embed.

Fluid was already one of my favorite utilities, and finding this feature made it even better. Do you have a favorite way to use Fluid? Let us know in the comments.

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