Toolbar

A toolbar is a set of icons or buttons that are part of a software program's interface or an open window. When it is part of a program's interface, the toolbar typically sits directly under the menu bar. For example, Adobe Photoshop includes a toolbar that allows you to adjust settings for each selected tool. If the paintbrush is selected, the toolbar will provide options to change the brush size, opacity, and flow. Microsoft Word has a toolbar with icons that allow you to open, save, and print documents, as well as change the font, text size, and style of the text. Like many programs, the Word toolbar can be customized by adding or deleting options. It can even be moved to different parts of the screen.

The toolbar can also reside within an open window. For example, Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, include a toolbar in each open window. These toolbars have items such as Back and Forward buttons, a Home button, and an address field. Some browsers allow you to customize the items in toolbar by right-clicking within the toolbar and choosing "Customize..." or selecting "Customize Toolbar" from the browser preferences. Open windows on the desktop may have toolbars as well. For example, in Mac OS X, each window has Back and Forward buttons, View Options, a Get Info button, and a New Folder button. You can customize the Mac OS X window toolbars as well.

Toolbars serve as an always-available, easy-to-use interface for performing common functions. So if you haven't made use of your programs' toolbar options or customization features in the past, now is a good time to start!

Updated 2006

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