Post and Page Excerpt Widgets let you display excerpts from posts or pages in the sidebar. For some reason, page excerpts were taken out of WordPress somewhere along the way, so the widget requires the Page Excerpt plugin to handle those. If The Excerpt Reloaded is installed, the widget will use that function; otherwise it’ll do a normal excerpt.
Unlike any other widget I’ve seen, this one allows you to link the widget title. These widgets do support the usual WP ‘more’ links, but in some situations it makes more sense to link the heading than to append a link. Here, you can do either, neither, or both.
This plugin grew out of some of the custom work I did for Justine’s site. We both wanted the sidebar to contain more information than just links in some cases — upcoming events, for example — but there was no good way to do that without a lot of custom code. Then I found Milan Petrovic’s Multi Instance Widget demo and realized that I could merge my work with his and come up with something that would be useful beyond this project.