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Microsoft Windows
Computer Programming
Microsoft Word
Windows XP

What is menu bar?


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Wiki User
February 04, 2013 10:45AM

A menu bar is a graphical user interface (GUI) component which contains all the commands that may be executed according to the current context of an application.

The menu bar typically appears at the top of the application window and will display the primary commands such as File, Edit, Tools and Help. Clicking one of these will reveal related commands within a drop-down sub-menu. For instance, clicking File will reveal the commands that may be executed upon files, such as New, Open, Save, Print and Close. Some commands may reveal more specific commands within another sub-menu.

Commands that are outwith the current context of the application are typically disabled. For instance, if there are no files currently open, then the Save, Print and Close commands will be disabled. As the context of the application shifts, the menu bar will adjust accordingly, enabling and disabling commands as befits the current context. In some cases, commands may be hidden completely rather than simply disabled, only becoming visible when they are within context. For instance, when you open a specific type of document, commands that are specific to that type of document will be made visible. And if you switch between multiple document types, the menu bar will adjust accordingly.

In modern GUIs, the menu bar is often hidden in favour of more graphical components such as tool bars and ribbon bars.