Technical Writing – Components of Windows User Interface in Software Documentation, STATUS BAR

All technical writers must use consistent terminology to refer to the components of software interface. The windows of Microsoft’s Windows operating system is one such important interface. Let’s have a look at the various parts of this very popular user interface.

The STATUS BAR of a window is the long rectangle (and usually BLUE) frame at the BOTTOM of a window. It displays various information regarding the document open in the window in focus.

On the left corner, the Status Bar displays things like the page number of a document (if you have a MS Word document open), or the number of “objects” displayed in a window. This might be followed to the right by other related document information like, for a MS Word document, the line and column number where your cursor rests, etc. It’s good to keep an eye on this information bar while you work.

The right corner of the Status Bar would have a series of dots arranged in a triangular shape. By clicking and dragging these dots you can resize he window any way you like.

On the right frame of the window, you’ll see the VERTICAL SCROLL BAR (if configured to display it). The rectangle piece that shuttles up and down inside the Scroll Bar is called the SCROLL BOX. There are two SCROLL ARROWS at the top and bottom of the Scroll Bar to move the Scroll Box up and down.

In addition to these components, the Windows IE BROWSER window has another major GUI feature: the ADDRESS BAR.

Write the URL (“Uniform Resource Locator” or just the “address” in Plain English) in the ADDRESS FIELD of the file you want to locate and press the ENTER key to find it. If the URL is an Internet address, your window will transform into a browser window and take you to that web page. If the URL, on the other hand, is the name of a local drive (like the frequently used C: drive), then the window will display all the files and folders at that local address.