A menu bar is a thin, horizontal bar containing the labels of drop-down menus in an operating system's GUI. It provides the user with a standard place in a window to find the majority of a program's essential functions, such as opening and closing files, editing text, and quitting the program. Although menu bars are usually present in most GUIs, they may differ depending on the operating system you're using.
Microsoft Windows menu bars
In Microsoft Windows, the menu bar is beneath the title bar. The menu bar in Windows may be accessed via keyboard shortcuts. Pressing the Alt key and the menu-specific hotkey (which appears as an underlined letter in the menu) will activate that menu choice. Below is a diagram of a Windows file menu with a description of each part of the menu.
Tip: With Windows 8 and Windows 10 and full-screen programs the menu bar may be hidden to improve the appearance of the program. To show the menu bar move your mouse or finger to the top of the screen.
Apple OSX menu bars
The menu bar on a Mac is a thin bar found anchored to the top of the screen. Unlike Microsoft Windows menu bars, which appear in each window, menu bars in OSX always appear at the top of the screen. When you switch to another application, the menu bar changes accordingly.
The following is a diagram of a simple Mac menu bar and the functions of each menu item:
- By clicking the Apple logo in the left corner of the menu bar, you'll gain access to the Apple menu.
- Adjust the Finder properties. To open Finder, click the Finder icon on the dock.
- The middle File, Edit, View, Go, Window, Help all interact with the Apple OS or program you're currently running if one is open.
- Next, the status menus display quick information about things like the sound, Wi-Fi, battery, time, etc.
- Finally, use Spotlight to find any files on your computer.