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What Is a Status Bar?

The website address is shown in the address bar near the top of browser window.
Download progress is showed in a status bar.
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  • Written By: Rachel Burkot
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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A computer’s status bar is the bar found at the bottom of the browser window. When the Internet is in use, the main function of this bar is to show the computer’s progress in loading the website, so it can be referred to as the HTML status bar. When a person clicks on a link, the URL address is loaded into the location bar, the box at the top of the browser window where the website’s address is shown. Status bars show the connection speed between the computer and the server where the web page is stored. They also show how much of the page has been loaded, and once the page is completely loaded, the bar goes blank again.

The net status bar is also helpful because it shows the URL address of the hypertext link when the user places his or her cursor over the link. When a person is browsing a website, as long as the cursor is idle, the status bar usually says Done or something similar. When the cursor is run over a link, the bar will display the website that the user will be taken to if he or she clicks the link.

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Javascripts also use a text status bar to display information such as a status bar message. Also, websites that contain quizzes often show the answers in this bar. This bar is always a horizontal line, and it takes up minimal space on a computer screen. It is almost always found at the bottom of the screen, but some computers display it at the top.

Besides revealing information and download progress, status bars can also tell valuable information about the state of a program or the data contents of a window. Every program will make the bar look different; for example, Internet Explorer status bars will reveal information about the Internet settings and the user’s progress with it, while a Windows status bar will show number of files contained and disk space. Status bars can be divided into sections that display various information, although the primary job of this bar is to show the current state of the opened application. Some bars have additional options such as settings that can be selected to secure information or hide status bar.

Text status bars are the most common type in a console-based application that involves a text mode configuration. With such an application, the bar is displayed in an 80 by 25 text mode, which simply refers to screen display of text, not images. The top 24 rows are left free for the application’s data. Status bars are useful for confining all necessary information about a program to one area that computer users are familiar with.

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