scroll bar


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scroll bar

[′skrōl ‚bär]
(computer science)
A horizontal or vertical bar that contains a box that is clicked and dragged up, down, left, or right in order to scroll the screen.

scroll bar

(graphics)
A widget found in graphical user interfaces and used to show and control ("scroll") which portion of a document is currently visible in a window. A window may have a horizontal or, most often, vertical scroll bar or both.

A vertical scroll bar is a narrow strip drawn up the side of the window containing a "bubble" whose position in the scroll bar represents the position of the visible part within the whole document. By dragging the bubble with the mouse the user can scroll the view over the entire document. Arrow buttons are usually provided at the end(s) of the scroll bar to allow the window to be scrolled by a small amount, e.g. one line of text, in either direction by clicking them with the mouse. Some programs provide a second pair of buttons for scrolling a page at a time or some other unit. Clicking on the scroll bar outside the bubble will either, depending on the particular WIMP, move the bubble to that point or move it some amount (typically a screenful) in that direction.

Different WIMP systems define different standards for whether scroll bars appear on the left or right, top or bottom of the window, and for their behaviour.

To reduce mouse movement, the up and down scroll buttons should either be next to each other at one end of the scroll bar (as in NEXTSTEP) or should reverse their effect when clicked with the right-hand mouse button (as in the X Window System and RISC OS). The fraction of the scroll bar filled by the bubble should indicate the fraction of the document visible in the window.

scroll bar

A vertical bar on the right side of a window or a horizontal bar at the bottom of a window that is used to move the window contents up and down or left and right. The bar contains a "thumb", which looks like an elevator in a shaft. When dragged with the mouse, the window contents move correspondingly. When the bar is clicked above or below the thumb, the contents are moved a page at a time. The arrows are clicked to move one line at a time.

Becoming Somewhat Obsolete
Since the advent of scroll mice, which use a wheel for vertical and horizontal scrolling, the scroll bar is being used less and less on desktop applications. In addition, tablet and smartphone content is scrolled by fingers, and a scroll bar was never a natural part of the interface. See scroll mouse.


Scroll Bars
Clicking in the bar or dragging the thumb moves the contents within the window. The Mac example (right) shows an optional variation that places both scroll arrows in the same vicinity to lessen mouse movement when switching directions.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now select the scroll bar (see screenshot, page 76) from the Forms toolbar and draw the scroll bar in the worksheet near Base Quarter Sales.
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Imagine feeling the cursor drop into a groove when it reaches a scroll bar, or the edge of a window, feeling it snap when it attaches to a drawing point (like those incredibly small "handles" which are a few pixels wide, which you have to grab to resize objects), feeling a click when you select a menu item, being able to feel the size of your files, getting frictional resistance as you drag and drop, open, close, etc.