Customize the Status Bar in Microsoft Office

Get more contextual information in docs, spreadsheets, and email

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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.

What Is the Status Bar?

This helpful toolbar is found at the bottom left 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. 

Customizing Your Status Bar

Customize 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 would like to use, click it to activate it for your document. The options differ by application and by application version.

Additional Tips

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

Here are some options we have found useful:

  • Visual or design tools such as Vertical Page Position, which lets you know precisely where your cursor is at any given moment.
  • Whether Track Changes is On or Off. Yes, you can see this status information under the Review tab, but if you switch between these often, the Status Bar is just that much easier.
  • Line Number helps in some large documents, or when collaborating with someone else 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 allows for synchronous or real-time editing among several authors. Even if you aren't working on those types of documents, you can still use status information such as Number of Authors Editing and Document Updates Available to help you 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.