Types and Features of Toolbar

In a graphical user interface (GUI) on a computer monitor, a toolbar is a GUI widget where the onscreen buttons, icons, menus, and other input or output elements are placed. The toolbars are available in almost all software, including office suites, graphics editors, and web browsers. The toolbar is a horizontal row or a vertical column of clickable image buttons that constantly reminds the user of an easy way to select specific desktop or application functions.

The toolbars can be divided into the following three types:

  • Web browser toolbar add-ons

  • Bookmarks toolbar

  • Website toolbar

Web browser toolbar add-ons

Toolbars implemented as web browser plug-ins are now considered as a popular advertising platform for not only major brands but also for smaller spyware and malware vendors.

Browser toolbars offer functionality, such as additional search fields, form-fill, link backs to popular sites, malware detection, etc., which proves beneficial for the users. The primary purpose of the web browser toolbar is to collect anonymous marketing statistics or reinforce a brand.

As plug-ins to the web browser application, the toolbars may degrade the performance or create compatibility problems. The popular third-party web browser toolbars include Advanced Searchbar™, Alexa® Toolbar, AOL Toolbar, Bing™ Bar, Google™ Toolbar, Wikipedia® Toolbar, and Yahoo! ® Toolbar.

Bookmarks toolbar

A bookmarks toolbar or favorites toolbar is now present in many web browsers, like Mozilla® Firefox®, Safari®, Google Chrome™, etc. They present a user's most necessary bookmarks on the web. Bookmark folders are represented on a bookmarks toolbar as drop-down lists which display the titles and favorite icons of the bookmarked websites.
Website toolbar

A website toolbar is a feature which is present on many modern websites, like Facebook®, MySpace™, CNET®, etc. It aims to perform quickly many common site functions like sharing articles on a social network, searching through the home website, or presenting features that will enhance the community-aspects of a website, such as its live chat features. Custom-made website toolbars and many open-source plugins are also easily available now.
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