Browser Basics:
Status Bar

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
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The Status Bar displays messages and icons that tell you what the browser is doing. The four sections of the Status Bar are described below. You will use the Status Bar information in later exercises.

Status Bar with parts labeled

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Web

Before you start...

Project 1: Browser Basics    ConnectingTo subtopics
    IE Interface Arrow - Subtopic open
    icon-footprintAddress & Links
        Status bar
    NavigatingTo subtopics
    PrintingTo subtopics
    SavingTo subtopics
    SearchingTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: HTML BasicsTo subtopics


Message Area

The primary use of the message area is to tell you what is happening as a web page loads. There are several stages in the process and sometimes it seems to take forever!

Also, when the mouse pointer hovers over a link, the message area will show what address is attached to that link.

Some web authors use JavaScript to put their own message in the Status Bar. This can be helpful, but it is often quite annoying since you can no longer see the link addresses.

When you see: the browser is:
Statusbar - finding site Looking for a site. You see this if the site is slow to respond, it does not exist, or you are not connected to the Internet after all. In this example the URL is mis-spelled, so the site does not exist.
Statusbar - contacting site Contacting the site that it found. (Yeah! it exists!!)
Status Bar - Found site Waiting for the site to send the data to the browser.
Status Bar - Opening Receiving data from the site. The progress bar will now show the percent completed.
Status bar - Downloading Downloading parts of the page. Counts images and objects that have not yet been received
Status Bar - Done Finished loading.

TipThe message area is often too short to completely show many of the messages completely. Use a large resolution and run the browser maximized to get the best view of the messages.

IE5 In IE5 the Status Bar is much smarter about how to use the space. The message area includes the progress bar space until the progress bar is needed.

Progress Bar

The dark blue area expands as the page loads. This gives you a visual indication that something is actually happening!

Status Bar with Progress bar

The progress bar is only a rough indicator of how much of a page the browser has received. Sometimes it grows longer while nothing is actually downloaded. It is acting like a timer. Eventually, you'll see an error message, if nothing is really happening.

Status Icons

Status Bar icons Various status icons keep you informed of special circumstances.

The icon in the left status bar box shows a network drive with the small red x shows. This means that you are working offline. That is, your browser is not talking to the Internet. That is usually because you are not connected, but you could choose to work offline with  File  |  Work offline . This square is blank when you are connected.

The padlock in the right status bar box shows that a secure transaction is going on. This means that the web site has taken special precautions so that you can safely send them information like your credit card number or other personal information. Of course you would not normally see both of these icons at the same time!

Other special icons appear more rarely. Each version of IE seems to add new status icons.

Icon: IE5 Privacy: The status bar shows  an eye with the international sign for NO in the middle status bar box when your privacy controls block something from an Internet site. If you double-click the icon, a dialog appears that tells you what was blocked.

IE5 There are only 2 boxes for status icons in IE5, instead of 3.

Icon: IE5IE6 returns to using 3 status icon boxes. Whatever!

Security Zone

Security Zone = Internet The security zone refers to how trustworthy you feel a site is. You can adjust settings at  View  |  Internet Options...  |  Security  to help ensure that the browser does not load pages that you think may be dangerous to your computer or your data.

There are 4 different zones and 4 levels of security to choose from for each zone. The icons in IE4 , IE5 IE5, and IE6 are sometimes different. 

Icon- Internet Zone   The Internet Zone with Medium level security is the default for all web pages. The browser will warn you before loading a page with certain kinds of code in it.

Icon- Intranet zone   The Intranet Zone is for pages inside your own network. You would certainly trust these more than pages written by strangers!

Icon- Trusted site  The Trusted Zone is for sites you always trust. IE won't warn you about actions that might be dangerous.

Icon- Restricted site  The Restricted Zone is for sites that you think might damage your computer or your data. (Why are you there at all???)