Scalar 2 User Guide: Working with Widgets

A widget is an interactive element that can be embedded in your Scalar project. Scalar has 6 kinds of widgets that you can add to any page: Timeline, Map, Carousel, Card, Summary, and Visualization. Note: Visualizations are discussed in the tutorial on Relationships.

Timelines and Maps

Create timelines and maps to display elements of your project in chronological order. The Scalar timeline widget can display any elements in your book (pages or media items) as long as they include metadata in the “temporal” or “date” field; Maps can plot elements of the book if the “spatial” field has been populated with geographic coordinates. Remember that you should always take a moment to populate metadata when you import media items and construct pages so that all of your content will be available to you when you want to create a widget.

Widgets can be tied to pieces of text or added as inline elements to a specific location on the page – just like media items and notes. Select text or place your cursor with the text editor and select one of the two widget (puzzle piece) icons. From the pop up menu, select Timeline from the list of widgets. Then select items that you wish to include in the widget from the checkbox list. Remember that you can change your view from pages to media to other kinds of content from the drop down menu in the top left corner, or search by keywords. 

You will see the option “Include Children” in the right hand column of the data source pop up. Checking this box will include any content that is tagged to that object or linked to it via paths. [For more about paths and tags, see Scalar Relationships and Structure]

Screenshot of the content selection tool in
The content selector tool allows you to choose elements from your project to appear in widgets. The same content selector tool is utilized across all widgets.

Lastly, choose your formatting options before saving your widget options. To add or subtract items or to make changes to your formatting, click the gray area of the widget on the back end and click the gear icon to open the editing pane. 

Screenshot of widget display in the Scalar page editor
How widgets appear in the page editor. Click the gear icon to edit widget contents or formatting.


screenshot of the carousel widget
Carousel Widget

The Carousel widget displays a responsive flip-through gallery of media from your Scalar book.

To add a Carousel widget, click on either the linked or inline widget button in the page editor and then choose “Carousel” from the widget options. Next, use the content selector to choose a media object or selection of media objects to be displayed in the Carousel. You can choose individual media objects orand tags and include the media objects they contain or tag, respectively, by ticking the box under “Include Children” for that item. In the next step, drag and drop your selected items into the order in which you’d like them to appear in the Carousel’s flip-through gallery. Lastly, choose your formatting options and click done. Remember to click save at the bottom of the page editor to save your changes. 

Screenshot of carousel ordering tools.
Carousel widget selection tools


The Card widget displays thumbnails, titles, and descriptions for one or more items in your Scalar book. Choose the inline or linked widget button and choose items from the content selector and make your formatting choices. 

A few notes about Scalar cards: 

  • Cards will display a thumbnail image if one has been selected for that page or media item
  • You can choose to have text wrap around your card(s) and control the size and alignment in the  
  • You can add multiple cards at one time, but they will only stack vertically on top of one another. You cannot have cards display horizontally. 


The summary widget is similar to the card widget, but has a more horizontal orientation. It also provides a more elegant display for multiple objects. The summary widget gives a cascading display of objects that are linked by a path. Like cards, summaries will display thumbnail images if they have been added to the page. 

A screenshot of the scalar summary widget
Scalar summary widget

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