How to Customize the Status Bar in Microsoft 365

Get more contextual information in docs, spreadsheets, and email

Programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook deploy a Status Bar that offers important contextual information. Modify it to meet your needs.

The Status Bar appears in all currently supported desktop versions of Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft 365 and Office 2021.

What Is the Status Bar?

This helpful toolbar is found in the lower-left corner of the user interface. In Word, for example, default information likely includes Page 2 of 10 for your latest business report or 206,017 Words for that epic fantasy novel you're drafting. 

Customize the Status Bar

To find your customization options, right-click the Status Bar. Look through the list of available information you can display in the Status Bar. When you find one you want to use, click it to activate it for your document. The options differ by application and by application version.

Customize status bar

Additional Tips

You must customize the Status Bar for each document. To change the Status Bar for all documents, make that modification in the Normal Template.

Here are some useful options:

  • Visual or design tools such as Vertical Page Position, which shows you precisely where the cursor is at any given moment.
  • Whether Track Changes is On or Off. You can see this status information under the Review tab, but if you switch between these often, the Status Bar is much easier.
  • Line Number helps in some large documents, or when collaborating with someone who wants to direct your attention to a specific place in the document.
  • Collaborative tools for those using later versions, or free versions of Word, which allow for synchronous or real-time editing among several authors. Even if you don't work on those types of documents, you can still use status information such as Number of Authors Editing and Document Updates Available to stay on track.
  • In Excel, customize the calculations that show in the Status Bar.
  • In PowerPoint or Outlook, most Status Bar options are active by default, so you may want to take something away if you find it too cluttered.
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