All About the Status Bar in Excel and How to Use It

The status bar can be a helpful tool in Excel

Business working at computer in glass office
baona / Getty Images

The status bar, which runs horizontally along the bottom of the Excel screen, can be customized to display a number of options, most of which give the user information about the current worksheet, spreadsheet data, and on/off status of individual keys on the user's keyboard, such as Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Num Lock.

These instructions apply to Excel for Office 365, Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010.

Default Options

Status bar defaults include the page number of the selected worksheet page and the number of pages in the worksheet when you are working in Page Layout or Print Preview. Other details shown by default include:

  • Conducting mathematical and statistical calculations
  • Changing the magnification of the worksheet
  • Changing the worksheet view
  • Cell mode
Contextual menu in Excel status bar

Right-click the status bar to open the status bar context menu. The menu lists available options — those with a checkmark beside them are currently active. Click an option in the menu to toggle it on or off.

Calculation Options

The default calculation options include finding the average, count, and sum for selected cells of data in the current worksheet; these options are linked to the Excel functions by the same name.

Average function in Excel Status Bar

If you select two or more cells containing number data in a worksheet the status bar displays:

  • The average value of the data in the cells
  • The number of cells selected (count)
  • The total value of the data in the cells (sum)

Although not active by default, options for finding the Maximum and Minimum values in a selected range of cells are also available using the status bar.

Zoom and Zoom Slider

One of the most-used options of the status bar is the zoom slider in the bottom right corner, which allows users to alter the magnification level of a worksheet. Next to it is zoom, which shows the current level of magnification.

Zoom bar in Excel Status Bar

If you choose to display the zoom option but not the zoom slider, you can change the magnification level by clicking on zoom to open the dialog box, which contains options for adjusting magnification.

Worksheet View

Also active by default is the view shortcuts option. Shortcuts are next to the zoom slider, and the three default views are the normal view, page layout view, and page break preview.

Page View options in Excel status bar

Cell Mode

Another well-used option and one also activated by default is Cell Mode, which displays the current status of the active cell in the worksheet. The cell mode is on the left side of the status bar and displays as a single word denoting the current mode of the selected cell.

Cell Status indicator in Excel status bar

These modes include:

  • Ready: Indicates that the worksheet is ready to accept user input, such as data input, formulas, and formatting.
  • Edit: Indicates, as the name states, that Excel is in editing mode. You can activate editing mode by double-clicking on a cell with the mouse pointer or by pressing the F2 key on the keyboard.

If you're unable to activate edit mode by double-clicking or pressing F2, you need to enable edit mode by going to File > Options > Advanced. Under Editing options, select Allow editing directly in cells.

  • Enter: Occurs when a user is entering data into a cell; this state is activated automatically by typing data into a cell or by pressing the F2 key on the keyboard twice in succession.
  • Point: This occurs when a formula is being entered using a cell reference by mouse pointing or the arrow keys on the keyboard.