The Screen Options allow you to choose which modules are displayed or not displayed, and how many columns are used to display those modules. Clicking on the Screen Options tab shows two sections,
Click the Screen Options tab again to close the Screen Options.
Each module can be expanded or contracted by clicking on the module title bar. Some modules, such as Incoming Links, can be changed by hovering the mouse cursor over the module title bar, and then when the Configure link is seen, click on that to begin editing the module (see below for specifics on each module).
Modules can be moved up or down, or column to column, by hovering the mouse cursor over the module title bar, when the mouse cursor changes to 4-arrows, hold the left-mouse button down, drag the module to where you want to place it, then release the mouse button (this is called drag-and-drop). Modules can be displayed in up to four (4) columns as set under Screen Options.
Plugin or theme developers can make new Dashboard Widgets available through plugin (or functions.php) code very easily. For more information see the Dashboard Widgets API.
The following dashboard widgets are included by default with WordPress and should be available on all installs.
The Right Now module provides an At a Glance summary of various blog statistics, including the number of Posts, Pages, Categories, Tags, Comments, Approved Comments, Pending Comments, and Spam Comments. In front of each type of content, a statistic (number) is displayed in the form of a link. Click on that statistic and that directs you to the specific area to manage that content.
In addition, the current theme is described along with the number of Widgets in use. A Button to Change Themes is offered.
At the bottom of the Right Now module, a statement tells you what WordPress Version you are using.
A list of the most Recent Comments on your blog is detailed in this module. Each comments that is listed has a link to the related post title and clicking that link allows you to edit the post. Hovering the mouse over each comment activates a menu of choices to Approve (or Unappove)the comment, Edit the comment, Reply to the comment author, Spam--mark the commas spam, or Delete the comment.
This dashboard widget queries Google Blog Search so that when another blog links to your site it will show up here. If there are no Incoming links the message, "It has found no incoming links… yet. It’s okay — there is no rush." will display.
In the top right corner of the box, a Configure link allows you edit the RSS feed information that provides the Incoming Links, and a RSS link to the actual feed.
The Plugins module displays the Most Popular, Newest, and Most Recently Updated Plugins, as seen at WordPress Extend Plugins site].
Click on the Plugin Title to visit that Plugin's page at the WordPress Extend Plugins Site. Click on the Install link to start the process on installing that plugin.
The QuickPress module allows you to quickly and easily write a new post (or draft). Enter a post title, upload/insert media, enter the post content, add tags, and click the Publish button or click the Save Draft button. It's that easy!!!
Note: Categories will be added to the QuickPress in an upcoming release.
This module allows easy access to your recent Draft posts. Clicking on the title of the draft post takes you to the Edit Post Screen where the post can be editted.
This Dashboard module lists "the latest news from the official WordPress blog." Here you can find out what the WordPress developers have been up to recently and keep up with the latest WordPress related news. In addition to software developments such as version announcements and security notices, news about the WordPress community in general is periodically posted.
And in this box, there are titles of posts and links to other blogs devoted to the WordPress community.