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Ceefax Viewer - a widget for Mac OS X Dashboard

by Matt Sephton


Ceefax (phonetic for "See Facts") is the BBC's teletext information service. Teletext is an information retrieval service provided by television broadcast companies. Teletext pages can be viewed on television sets with suitable decoders. They offer a range of text-based information, usually including national, international and sporting news, weather and TV schedules. Subtitle (or closed caption) information is also transmitted in the teletext signal.

See Wikipedia for a longer definition.


This widget will let you view Ceefax at any time using Dashboard. You do not need a TV but you will need Mac OS 10.4.3 or better and an internet connection.


Click on the page numbers to navigate around the service. Access keys: H = Home, R = Refresh, J = Jump to a page, Up/Down = move sub-pages, Left/Right = move pages, Backspace = previous page, #1-0 = set bookmarks, F1-F10 = use bookmarks, I = Info.


zip file (20KB zip) 10 Nov 2008 (1.4)
zip file (20KB zip) 06 Apr 2010 (1.4large)

How to install

Installation is usually automatic. Otherwise...

  1. Unzip archive
  2. Copy Ceefax Viewer.wdgt to ~/Library/Widgets/
  3. Activate Dashboard
  4. Click plus symbol in lower left of dashboard screen
  5. Locate Ceefax Viewer
  6. Click to launch



Version history

06 Apr: Added a large display version of Ceefax Viewer. (1.4large)
10 Nov: Rebuilt in part using Dashcode, so it's optimised for OS X 10.5 Leopard. Fixes the issue when the widget only showed the top left corner of the page. (1.4)
28 Feb: A version of Ceefax Viewer has been release for Chumby. Read more about it here.
30 Nov: Updated due to a change in the feed. (1.3)
21 Nov: This adds a loading screen and a simple error screen if the feed happens to be down. Also adds a few cosmetic improvements with jump to page, version checking, the button on the reverse and other bits. (1.2)
21 Jun: Fixed prefs problem that affected "Done" button for new users, added sanity check for non existant pages, reworded instructions, improved check for update and manual page number history. (1.1)
19 Jun: Added bookmarks, refresh on show, weekly version checking and back to previous page. (1.0)
30 May: All feature requests added! (0.9)
29 May: Rewritten main bulk of code, feedback still appreciated (0.2)
23 May: Publicised on various websites
22 May: Initial, private release (0.1)


Jan 24: If you are, or know of, the owner of the feed please get in touch with me.
21 Dec: Apple UK user's favourite widget
14 Dec: Thinking about doing a Google personalised homepage module of Ceefax Viewer.
01 Nov: Published RSS news note about the feed going up and down.
20 Jul: Published RSS news note about "blank" pages. This seems to be a problem at the BBC end of things, affecting the feed and therefore the widget.
31 May: Featured in MacUser!
22 May: For the latest news please subscribe to the RSS feed.


Version Tracker
Mac Update
Dashboard Widgets

Thanks to for providing the feed and the BBC for supporting Ceefax for such a long time.