1. I noticed when I look at widget list (f11) some are turned on and others off. How do I access this list outside of the game and/or keep some on or off permanently?
LuaUI/Config/CA_order.lua - set the number after the widget to 0, same effect as disabling the widget in game.
2. How do I get rid of UI windows I don't like? For example, I find that the latest (test) version UI blocks a lot of my view.
Disable the corresponding widget. If you don't know which it is, post a screen shot and we can tell you what widget it is (but most widgets have descriptive names).
3. Are there persistent formations in CA? Unit squares, double lines, circles, anything like that? If so, how do I toggle them?
No. You can only use custom formations and use ctrl + move command to move in formation at same speed.
For me, the latest stable version runs decently, but with recent test versions I get unplayable lag even in 1v1 with bots. Anyone else having similar issues? Is this a typical problem for a test version and can I expect the next stable to run just as smoothly as the current one, or will I probably also have problems?
It's unlikely that the problem goes away with no one fixing it. But at the moment I' not aware of specific lag problems with test version.
If so, what can I do?
Provide info how to reproduce this lag. More specific in what situations? Post script.txt/infolog/replays when this happens.