What Is the Status Bar in MS Word?

When you open a Word document, Microsoft provides several details about the current page. A bar at the bottom of the screen carries these details, and this bar is the Status Bar.

We will show you in simple, easy step-by-step instructions how to:

  • Use the default information available in the status bar
  • Customize the status bar to your needs.

Let us begin.

Method #1: Use the Default Information in the Status Bar

This is information that will show in any MS Word document by default, except if the status bar has been customized, as we will show you how to do in Method #2.

Step #1: Open any Word document

Open a Word document.

Navigate to any page.

Step #2: Page status

Starting from the left, the first item shows the page status.

It shows the current page in the total number of pages in the format Page x of y. Here, x is the current page number, and y is the total number of pages.

Click on Page x of y.

A Navigation pane opens on the left, showing thumbnails of pages.

Click on the page you want to go to.

Click on the X mark on the top right of the Navigation pane to exit.

Step #3: Number of words

The second item from the left shows the number of words in the document.

Click on this number.

A window will open, showing the document’s statistics.

Click on the Close button to exit.

Step #4: Proofing errors

The third item from the left shows up if Word has found proofing errors in the document.

Click on the Proofing Errors icon.

A Proofing dialog box opens on the right side.

Word shows the spelling errors it has found.

It also suggests corrections for those errors.

Click on the X mark on the top right of the Proofing dialog box to exit.

Step #5: Language

The fourth item from the left shows the language currently in use.

Click on the Language item.

A Language dialog box will open.

You can change to another language for the document or selected text.

Click on the OK button to exit the language dialog box.

Step #6: Focus

The fifth item from the left is a Focus icon.

Click on the Focus icon.

The ribbon at the top disappears.

The status bar at the bottom disappears.

The background outside the document becomes black.

This allows you to concentrate on your document as you work on it.

Press the ESC button on the keyboard to exit the Focus state.

Step #7: Document mode

The sixth item from the left is a bunch of three icons.

They control the view of the document.

Default is the Print Layout, represented by the second icon in the group.

On its left is the Read Mode icon.

On its right is the Web Layout icon.

Click on the Read Mode icon.

A thin menu replaces the top ribbon.

The status bar changes to show screen numbers in place of page numbers.

The screen scrolls from left to right, or vice versa.

Click on the Web Layout icon to change the view.

The status bar changes to exclude the page numbers.

Click on the Print Layout icon to return to default.

Step #8: Text Size

The last item on the status bar is the text size adjustment slider.

Click and hold the slider.

Drag it towards the mark.

The text size reduces.

Drag the slider towards the + mark.

The text size increases.

You can change the text size from 10% to 500%.

The current text size shows up on the right.

Method #2: Customize Your Status Bar

Step #1: Open the customize menu

Right-click anywhere on the status bar.

A Customize Status Bar menu will open.

Only items with a tick mark currently appears on the status bar.

Step #2: Customize the status bar

Click the tick-box to select the items you want to see in the status bar.

Click to deselect the items you want to remove.

The status bar immediately reflects your choice.

Click anywhere outside the Customize Status Bar menu to close it.


We have shown you the meaning of the default information available in the status bar. 

We have also shown you how to customize the information shown in the status bar according to your needs. Having this information at your fingertips is convenient and easy to use. The page and search functionality especially, (Step #2), is handy for lengthy manuscripts.

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