Menu bar

A thin, rectangular window containing dropdown menus, a menu bar is used in many computer programs. Its primary function is to house application or window-specific menus that provide an assortment of functions to the user. These functions include interactions like opening files, editing text, bringing up software-related help menus. Although menu bars are usually present in most graphical user interfaces, they may differ depending on the operating system you're using. The following sections detail these differences for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS users.

Windows users
Apple Mac users

Windows users

In Microsoft Windows, the menu bar may alternatively be referred to as file menu and is located beneath the title bar. The main difference between Windows and Mac OS is that the Apple version has only one menu bar anchored to the top of the screen, whereas Microsoft has can have them on multiple windows. The menu bar in Windows may be accessed via keyboard shortcuts involving the Alt key and some letter (usually the first) in the menu item. Below is a graphical representation of a Windows file menu with a description of each part of the menu.

Menu bar

Related pages

Apple Mac users

The menu bar on an Apple computer is a thin bar found anchored to the top of the screen. Because there is only one, most of Apple's menu bar only controls the currently active program. This is also the main difference between a menu bar on a computer running Mac OS and Windows. The following is an image of the condensed version of the Mac menu bar and the functions of each menu item.

Apple Mac OS Menu bar

  1. By clicking the Apple logo in the left corner of the menu bar, you'll gain access to the Apple menu.
  2. Adjust the Finder properties. To open Finder, click the Finder icon on the dock.
  3. The middle File, Edit, View, Go, Window, Help all interact with the Apple OS or program you're currently running if one is open.
  4. Next, the status menus display quick information about things like the sound, Wi-Fi, battery, time, etc.
  5. Finally, use Spotlight to find any files on your computer.

Also see: Apple dictionary, Menu, Operating system terms, Title bar