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I'd like to display content from a custom meta box that appears for a particular custom post type in the sidebar, when a single post of that type is being displayed. I know how to normally display that content in the post content area, but I'm assuming that using that same code in a widget won't work, since the sidebar is outside of the loop (right?). Any suggestions?

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Well, you could access the $post variable with global $post and then access it's meta values with get_post_meta($post->ID) or something close to that. If you just want that to be accessed when you are viewing a single post, you can use

if(is_singular('my_custom_post_type'))
//do your stuff

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