Status Bar Icons

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 4, 2017)

The status bar is the area at the bottom of your Word window that allows you to see the status of your document or the Word program. (Pretty tricky that they named it a "status bar," huh?) Some items on the status bar are very intuitive; others may need a bit of explaining. In this tip we look at the icons on the status bar and what they signify.

The most common icon that appears on the Word status bar is a small open book. This book appears when automatic spell checking or grammar checking is turned on. The icon can have three different appearances:

  • Open book with pencil. This signifies that Word is busy checking the spelling or grammar used in your document. For instance, start typing something—anything. As you type, the pencil is visible; shortly after you stop, the pencil disappears and is replaced with a different version of the icon.
  • Open book with red X. This indicates that the checking has finished and that potential spelling or grammar errors were discovered. Each potential spelling error is underlined on the screen with a red squiggly line, while grammar errors are noted with a green squiggly line.
  • Open book with check mark. This shows that Word has found no errors in your document. The easiest way to see this icon is to create a blank document and type a single word (make sure you spell it correctly). The icon should show the check mark.

It is interesting to note that if you have a red X on your book icon, you can locate the next error in your document (along with suggested corrections) by double-clicking on the book icon.

The only other notable icon on the status bar is the one that looks like a printer printing. It is visible if you have turned on background printing and have instructed Word to print a document. As your document is printed to the background spooler, the number on the icon indicates the page being printed. If you double-click on this icon, you have the opportunity to cancel the print job.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (374) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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