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Two toolbars in the Firefox browser under the menu bar

In a toolbar , also toolbar or (English) Toolbar called, is a horizontal or vertical bar with small, often fine buttons , as expanding elements of the menu of programs with a graphical user interface used.

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In many programs, toolbars provide quick access to certain, frequently used functions, since the most important functions, such as "Save", "Print" or "Copy", are quickly available with a simple click of the mouse on the thumbnail images ( icons ). A well-known icon, the task bar of Microsoft Windows is.

When toolbars were introduced, the question arose how best to explain the buttons to the user. Balloon Helps were first used for this purpose, but they were quickly replaced by tooltips .

In contrast to the mostly static menu bars, tool bars can often be configured by the user to increase their effectiveness and ease of use. In most cases, not only can symbols be inserted and removed, but often additional toolbars can also be created.

Browser toolbars

Toolbars in web browsers occupy a special position , such as B. the Google toolbar . This enables special functions of the most common browsers (such as zooming the current page, deleting cookies ) and links to the provider's websites to be called up quickly and directly. In the 2000s, all major search engines and other websites offered toolbars for direct use of their services - but in most cases such offers are also spyware , as they send information about the user's surfing behavior to the publisher.

A special type of toolbar is the so-called sidebar , which is usually wider due to its lateral arrangement and can therefore accommodate more functions.

A number of dubious providers programs and sells toolbars that nestle massively in the user's system in order to permanently B. Open pop-up windows or permanently change the homepage with the aim of aggressively promoting commercial websites. In this case we speak of browser hijackers and spyware . Uninstalling was often only possible with special software, meanwhile browsers offer the possibility of permanently deactivating such toolbars.

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