In computer interface design, a toolbar is a graphical control element on which on-screen buttons, icons, menus, or other input or output elements are placed. An earlier term used was “ribbon”. Toolbars are seen in many types of applications such as office suites, graphics editors and web browsers.

Toolbars are usually distinguished from palettes by their integration into the edges of the screen or larger windows, which results in wasted space if too many underpopulated bars are stacked atop each other (especially horizontal bars on a landscape oriented display) or interface inefficiency if overloaded bars are placed on small windows.

Microsot Outlook toolbar.
A toolbar from Microsoft Outlook