Meaning of Toolbar

Bar is a concept that can refer to a piece that is longer than thick; at the counter of a store; to the fans of a sports team or an athlete; the group of friends who meet regularly; to the raw metal roll; to a graphic sign used in writing; or to the iron lever used to move heavy things.

A tool, on the other hand, is an instrument that allows you to do different jobs. It is an object designed to facilitate the accomplishment of a mechanical task that requires the use of force. By extension, a tool is any procedure that improves the ability to perform certain tasks.

The notion of toolbar refers to a component of the graphical interface of a computer program. This bar appears on the screen of a computer (computer) as a row, a column or a block that presents buttons or icons; When the user presses one of these buttons, some function of the application is activated.

For example: “I can’t find the toolbar for this program”, “I like the new Word toolbar”, “Sometimes I move the toolbar without realizing it and then I don’t know where to look for it”.

The toolbar, also known as the toolbar by its English language name, first appeared in 1973 and was a Xerox creation. Over time this concept evolved to facilitate the use of the software. Currently, most programs allow you to customize the toolbar so that it only displays those buttons that the user chooses.

One of the main differences between a current toolbar and one from the early 90’s, for example, lies in the dynamism; Today, it is common for a bar to contain, in addition to its own buttons, one or more bars, all easily accessible through an icon, or to be hidden if the cursor is not over its area, to avoid waste of screen real estate (despite the resolution and size of today’s average monitor being very generous).

The toolbar used to be a robust, static block, which gave direct access to a large number of functions in a program; A common problem of the past was the potential excess of bars on the screen, for those users who wanted to have all the possible options at hand. When programs began to allow manual arrangement of the bars, as well as the decision to include only the desired buttons, the path to a more comfortable, less claustrophobic experience began.

The term flap is widely used in the field of computing, and has a direct connection with the toolbar, since it is a concept that has allowed the same rectangle of pixels to be provided to a potentially infinite number of bars, thanks to simulate that they are arranged in a pile. With a small label that indicates the subject under which the tools are grouped, it is possible to take advantage of the same space to contain all the options of a program, maintaining control over the appearance of the interface and avoiding chaos.

Although the first thing you see about a toolbar is its appearance and the layout of the buttons, thanks to the massification of touch screens as the preferred means of interaction with electronic devices, its behavior in the face of user actions has been become the most important element. What happens when it is pressed, knowing if it is dragged, how many points can be activated at the same time and what is its response time are some of the fundamental issues when analyzing a toolbar of a smartphone or a tablet.