In this tutorial, we'll explore the meaning of the status bar in Excel, explain how to customize it for optimal productivity, and reveal the hidden powers to conquer data tasks like a pro.
Microsoft Excel offers a variety of powerful features that aid in data analysis, calculation, and presentation. Among these features, the status bar sits quietly at the bottom of the Excel window and provides vital information about the worksheet and selected cells.
What is the status bar in Excel?
Excel status baris a horizontal bar at the bottom of the worksheet window. It serves as an information center, displaying important details about the current status of your spreadsheet and providing quick access to various Excel functions. The status bar displays real-time statistics for selected cells or ranges, such as sum, average, and count. It also provides handy shortcuts to toggle specific options such as macro recording, page layout, and zooming.
Default options on Excel status bar
By default, the Excel status bar displays a range of useful information and functionality. Here are some common options you'll find on the status bar of each worksheet:
- Mobile mode
- Macro recording icon
- Accessibility check
- Worksheet views
- Page number
- Zoom options
On the leftmost side of the Excel status bar, thecell mode indicatorwaiting for your attention. This indicator serves as a useful visual signal, informing you of the current status of the active cell. It notifies you if you're done, editing content, confirming changes, or referencing other cells.
- Finished. When you first open a new worksheet or navigate to a new worksheet, the cell mode indicator usually appearsFinished. This means that the selected cell is ready to receive input or perform actions, so you can immediately start typing or edit the contents of the cell.
- Enter. Indicates that you are entering information in the cell. It is activated when you select a cell and start typing, or when you pressF2twice.
- Edit. When you double-click on a cell or on theF2key, the cell mode switches toEdit, indicating editing in the cell. In this mode, you can navigate within the cell, make changes, and use various keyboard shortcuts specific to editing.
- Punt. Indicates a formula cell selection mode. It appears when you start creating a formula and click on the cells you want to use as a reference. This mode means that the selected cell references other cells elsewhere in the workbook.
Macro recording icon
Next to the cell mode indicator on the left side of the status bar you will find theMacro shoticon. It allows you to automate repetitive tasks by recording a series of actions as a macro. Click this icon to start the recording process and then perform the desired actions within the spreadsheet. As the macro is being recorded, the icon changes to a transparent square, providing a visual indication of the active recording process. To stop recording, simply click on this icon and it will return to its original appearance.
For more information, seeHow to record a macro in Excel.
Located next to theMacro shoticon on the status bar is itAccessibility Checkerchoice. This feature allows you to evaluate the accessibility of your spreadsheet and ensure that it can be used effectively by anyone, including users with disabilities.
When you launch the Accessibility Checker, Excel examines various aspects, such as cell formatting, document structure, and worksheet readability. It highlights any issues that may affect individuals with visual impairments, cognitive disabilities, or other accessibility needs.
If there are any accessibility issues in your workbook, the status bar will be displayedAccessibility: Explore. If you click on this text, it will becomeAccessibilitypanel, which provides guidelines for improving the accessibility of your workbook for everyone.
Conversely, if no issues are found, the status bar will be displayedAccessibility: Good to go, indicating that your workbook meets accessibility standards.
Overall, the Accessibility Checker option provides valuable insights and recommendations to make your spreadsheet more inclusive and easy to use.
On the right side of the status bar in Excel, you will see the threeWorkbook viewsoptions. These options allow you to switch between different display modes to optimize your workspace and focus on specific aspects of your workbook.
Normal view- the default workbook view. It offers a standard layout with gridlines, headers and footers.
Page layout view- provides a more visual representation of your worksheets. It simulates what the printed pages will look like, including margins, page breaks, and backgrounds. This view is especially useful for designing and customizing the layout of your workbook for printing or sharing as a PDF.
Page break example- displays your worksheets with visible page breaks, so you can see exactly how the content will be split between pages when printed. You can adjust page breaks and make any necessary changes to ensure optimal page layout.
Tip.These options are also accessible on theDisplaytab of the Excel ribbon.
When you work with a worksheet that is divided into multiple printed pages (Page Layout view), thePage numberoption shows you the total number of pages in the sheet and the current page number.
As the rightmost option on the status bar in Excel, you have theZoom options, which allows you to change the zoom level of your workbook view.
Zoom slider- is a useful tool to adjust the magnification of your workbook. It appears as a scroll bar with a marker that you can drag left or right to decrease or increase the zoom level. As you move the slider, the percentage value displayed next to it changes, indicating the current zoom level. By default, the slider is set to 100%. Moving it to the left will zoom out so you can see more rows and columns. Moving it to the right zooms in and gives you a better view of the worksheet.
Zoom in and zoom out icons- on either side of the zoom slider are theZoom inInZoom outicons, represented by a plus sign (+) and a minus sign (-), respectively. Clicking these icons changes the zoom level by 10%, which is a quick and convenient way to adjust the zoom level of your workbook without using the slider.
Zoom percentage- displays the current zoom level of your workbook. This value represents the relative size of the content compared to its actual size. You can also directly enter a specific percentage value by clicking theZoom percentagevalue and type the desired percentage.
These zoom options provide flexibility in adjusting the display size of your workbook to accommodate different screen sizes, readability preferences, or the need to view more or less content at once.
Customize status bar in Excel
Excel offers flexibility in customizing the status bar to meet your specific needs. Right-click the status bar to see the full list of available options, then choose which features you want to see.
These are the default status bar settings in Excel:
Some additional customization options are available below.
As part of the status bar customization, Excel provides theSheet numberoption that allows you to display the order of the active sheet in the workbook.
To enable this option, right-click the status bar and selectSheet numberfrom the customization menu. Once enabled, the status bar will display the page number on the left, in addition to the other information already displayed.
OfStatistics workbookoption in the custom status bar provides a summary of key information about the workbook, helping you understand its structure and content.
To access this feature, right-click on the status bar and selectStatistics workbookfrom the menu. A separate window appears with various details about the current sheet and the whole workbook, such as the number of sheets, cells with data, tables, and formulas.
Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock
When enabled, the status bar indicators provide a visual reminder of the current state of the Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock keys on your keyboard, helping you avoid typos and ensure accurate data entry.
Remark.Excel's status bar only displays the Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock status, but does not control them. For more information, seeHow to Disable Scroll Lock in Excel.
supertypeis a typing mode in which new characters overwrite existing text as you type, rather than pushing the existing text forward. This can be useful when you need to replace the existing content without manually deleting it.
To enable or disable overwrite mode in Excel, simply press theInsertkey on your keyboard. When this mode is enabled, the indicator is displayed in the status barsupertype, and any new text you type replaces the characters to the right of the insertion point. When overwrite mode is off, the indicator disappears and new text is inserted at the cursor position without replacing the existing values.
Status bar statistics for selected cells
When you select individual cells or a range of cells in a worksheet, the status bar displays various statistics for the data within the selection, providing a convenient way to understand your data at a glance.
By default, the status bar shows the following statistics for the selected cells:
- Graaf- the number ofnon-empty cellsincluded in the selection. It is an equivalent of theCOUNTA function.
- As- if the selected cells contain numerical values, the status bar will display the sum of those values, providing a quick way to calculate the total without theExcel SUM-formule.
- Average- when working with numerical data, the average (average) value of the selected cells is displayed, giving you an idea of the central tendency of the data. It is an analog of theMEDIUM function.
In addition to the standard statistic/math options, a custom status bar can provide a wider range of calculations for the selected range:
- Numeric count- displays the number of numerical values within the selected range, equivalent to using aCOUNT formula.
- Minimum- find the lowest value in the selected subset, just like theMIN function.
- Maximum- get the highest values within the selected range, similar to using theMAX function.
By activating these additional status bar options, you can perform basic data analysis without the need for special functions.
Please note that in case the selection contains onlytext values, the status bar only shows the number of non-blank cells selected. If mean and sum are not displayed for numerical values, you can find possible causes and solutions in this article:Why Excel does not display an average/sum in the status bar.
How to copy sum from excel status bar
Follow these steps to copy the sum, average, count, or other statistics from the Excel status bar:
- Copy the status bar value to the clipboard. To do this, simply click on the desired value in the status bar.
- Paste the copied value. Navigate to the target location in your spreadsheet or other application and use the keyboard shortcutCtrl+Vto paste the copied value. In Excel, you can also right-click the cell and choosePlacingfrom the context menu.
For example, to copy the sum from the status bar to a selected cell:
Similarly, you can copy and paste any other status bar value as needed. This is a quick way to extract and use the status bar statistics in different parts of your spreadsheet or other applications.
Beyond the status bar basics
The status bar in Excel provides more than just basic information and calculations. It contains a few hidden gems that are not immediately noticeable, but can be very useful when performing specific tasks. Let's explore some of this status bar's little-known secrets.
Number of cells changed by Flash Fill
One of the outstanding features of Excel isFlash fill, which intelligently recognizes patterns and automatically fills adjacent cells accordingly. The status bar informs you of the applied Flash Fill operation, ensuring that the desired data transformation has been accurately applied.
Number of filtered rows
When youapply a filterto a table or data range in Excel, the status bar displays the number of visible rows. This handy feature allows you to track which records meet the applied filter criteria, helping you understand the filtered subset of data.
Collaborating in Excel often goes hand in handadd commentsto specific cells to provide additional context or instructions. The status bar takes it a step further by displaying the name of the person who commented on a particular cell. This helps identify the contributors, making it easier to follow up or ask for clarification when needed.
As you can see, these hidden functions of the status bar go beyond the usual functions and add convenience and efficiency to your Excel experience.
In short, the status bar in Excel is a versatile and powerful tool. Providing real-time calculations, essential statistics and customization options to suit your preferences and work style, it proves to be an indispensable companion on your Excel journey. So the next time you open your workbooks, pay attention to the status bar and unlock its full potential to excel in your data management endeavors.
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