Address bar

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An address bar. HTTPS and padlock in website address bar.jpg
An address bar.

In a web browser, the address bar (also location bar or URL bar) is a GUI widget that shows the current URL. The user can type a URL into the bar to navigate to a chosen website; in most modern browsers, non-URLs are automatically sent to a search engine. In a file browser, it serves the same purpose of navigation, but through the file-system hierarchy.

Contents

Many address bars offer features like autocomplete and a list of suggestions while the address is being typed in. This auto-completion feature bases its suggestions on the browser's history. Some browsers have keyboard shortcuts to auto-complete an address.

Features

In addition to the URL, some address bars feature icons showing features or information about the site. For websites using a favicon (a small icon that represents the website), a small icon may be present within the address bar, a generic icon appearing if the website does not specify one. [1] The address bar is also used to show the security status of a web page; various designs are used to distinguish between insecure HTTP and encrypted HTTPS, alongside use of an Extended Validation Certificate, which some websites use to verify their identity.

Most web browsers allow for the use of a search engine if the term typed in is not clearly a URL. [2] [3] This will usually also auto-complete, if the search engine offers this feature, to popular answers, some engines even suggesting answers to basic maths queries. Some browsers, such as Firefox, [4] Opera and Google Chrome, allow for website-specific searches to be set by the user. For example, by associating the shortcut "!w" with Wikipedia, "!w cake" can be entered into the address bar to navigate directly to the Wikipedia article for cake. This feature is standardised for users of the search engine DuckDuckGo as "bangs".

Web browsers often include a feature called Smart Bookmarks. In this feature, the user sets a command that allows for a function (such as searching, editing, or posting) of a website to be expedited. Then, a keyword or term associated with the command is typed into the address bar followed by entering the term afterwards or selecting the command from a list.

In some browsers, such as Opera and Safari, the address bar can double as a progress bar that indicates how much of the contents of the page has been loaded.

Address bar implementations

The following sections compare address bar widgets for a few well-known web browsers.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome's address bar when visiting the main page of English Wikipedia as seen from Chrome OS Chrome Address Bar 1.png
Google Chrome's address bar when visiting the main page of English Wikipedia as seen from Chrome OS
Google Chrome's address bar when visiting the secure Wikimedia main page as seen from Chrome OS Chrome Address Bar 2.png
Google Chrome's address bar when visiting the secure Wikimedia main page as seen from Chrome OS
Chrome's address bar when visiting a site that has an Extended Validation Certificate as seen from Windows 7 Chromebar ssl.png
Chrome's address bar when visiting a site that has an Extended Validation Certificate as seen from Windows 7

Firefox

Firefox's address bar when visiting example.com Firefox 62 address bar - Example domain.png
Firefox's address bar when visiting example.com
Firefox's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia Firefox 62 address bar - Wikipedia.png
Firefox's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia
Firefox's address bar when visiting the Wikimedia Foundation's credit card payment page, which uses an Extended Validation Certificate Firefox 62 address bar - Wikimedia Foundation.png
Firefox's address bar when visiting the Wikimedia Foundation's credit card payment page, which uses an Extended Validation Certificate

Opera

Opera's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia Opera 9 address bar when at Wikipedia.png
Opera's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia
Opera's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia secure Opera 9 address bar when at Wikipedia secure.png
Opera's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia secure

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 11's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia IE 11 insecure.png
Internet Explorer 11's address bar when visiting the English Wikipedia
Internet Explorer 11's address bar when visiting a secure site that does not have an Extended Validation Certificate IE 11 secure unverified.png
Internet Explorer 11's address bar when visiting a secure site that does not have an Extended Validation Certificate
Internet Explorer 11's address bar when visiting a secure site (PayPal) that has an Extended Validation Certificate IE11 secure verified.png
Internet Explorer 11's address bar when visiting a secure site (PayPal) that has an Extended Validation Certificate

Microsoft Edge

The address bar of Microsoft Edge when visiting the English Wikipedia through HTTPS MS Edge Verified addressbar.png
The address bar of Microsoft Edge when visiting the English Wikipedia through HTTPS

See also

Related Research Articles

Konqueror Web browser

Konqueror is a free and open-source web browser and file manager that provides web access and file-viewer functionality for file systems. It forms a core part of the KDE Software Compilation. Developed by volunteers, Konqueror can run on most Unix-like operating systems. The KDE community licenses and distributes Konqueror under GNU GPL-2.0-or-later.

Web browser Software for using the World Wide Web

A web browser is application software for accessing the World Wide Web. When a user requests a web page from a particular website, the web browser retrieves the necessary content from a web server and then displays the page on the user's device.

Bookmarklet

A bookmarklet is a bookmark stored in a web browser that contains JavaScript commands that add new features to the browser. Bookmarklets are JavaScripts stored as the URL of a bookmark in a web browser or as a hyperlink on a web page. Bookmarklets are usually small snipets of JavaScript executed when user clicks on them. Regardless of whether bookmarklet utilities are stored as bookmarks or hyperlinks, they add one-click functions to a browser or web page. When clicked, a bookmarklet performs one of a wide variety of operations, such as running a search query or extracting data from a table. For example, clicking on a bookmarklet after selecting text on a webpage could run an Internet search on the selected text and display a search engine results page.

Avant Browser is a freeware web browser from a Chinese programmer named Anderson Che, which unites the Trident layout engine built into Windows with an interface intended to be more feature-rich, flexible and ergonomic than Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE). It runs on Windows 2000 and above, including Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 are supported.

Favicon Icon associated with a particular web site

A favicon, also known as a shortcut icon, website icon, tab icon, URL icon, or bookmark icon, is a file containing one or more small icons, associated with a particular website or web page. A web designer can create such an icon and upload it to a website by several means, and graphical web browsers will then make use of it. Browsers that provide favicon support typically display a page's favicon in the browser's address bar and next to the page's name in a list of bookmarks. Browsers that support a tabbed document interface typically show a page's favicon next to the page's title on the tab, and site-specific browsers use the favicon as a desktop icon.

Google Toolbar is a web browser toolbar for Internet Explorer, developed by Google. It was first released in 2000 for Internet Explorer 5. Google Toolbar was also supported on Firefox from September 2005 to June 2011.

Mozilla Firefox has features that allow it to be distinguished from other web browsers, such as Chrome and Internet Explorer.

OpenSearch is a collection of technologies that allow the publishing of search results in a format suitable for syndication and aggregation. Introduced in 2005, it is a way for websites and search engines to publish search results in a standard and accessible format.

Smart bookmarks are an extended kind of Internet bookmark used in web browsers. By accepting an argument, they directly give access to functions of web sites, as opposed to filling web forms at the respective web site for accessing these functions. Smart bookmarks can be used for web searches, or access to data on web sites with uniformly structured web addresses.

Direct navigation describes the method individuals use to navigate the World Wide Web in order to arrive at specific websites. Direct navigation is a 10-year-old term which is generally understood to include type-in traffic.

Bookmark (digital)

In the context of the World Wide Web, a bookmark is a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) that is stored for later retrieval in any of various storage formats. All modern web browsers include bookmark features. Bookmarks are called favorites or Internet shortcuts in Internet Explorer, and by virtue of that browser's large market share, these terms have been synonymous with bookmark since the first browser war. Bookmarks are normally accessed through a menu in the user's web browser, and folders are commonly used for organization. In addition to bookmarking methods within most browsers, many external applications offer bookmark management.

IE7Pro is an add-on for Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8 that aims to enhance the feature set provided by the browser. IE7Pro adds features such as tab enhancement, an ad blocker and flash blocker, mouse gestures, inline search, privacy enhancements, online bookmark service, Greasemonkey-like user script support, and plug-in support. IE7Pro is available in several languages – this is made possible by user translations.

Site-specific browser

A site-specific browser (SSB) is a software application that is dedicated to accessing pages from a single source (site) on a computer network such as the Internet or a private intranet. SSBs typically simplify the more complex functions of a web browser by excluding the menus, toolbars and browser chrome associated with functions that are external to the workings of a single site. These applications are typically started by a desktop icon which is usually a favicon.

Google Chrome Web browser developed by Google

Google Chrome is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008 for Microsoft Windows, built with free software components from Apple WebKit and Mozilla Firefox. It was later ported to Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android, where it is the default browser. The browser is also the main component of Chrome OS, where it serves as the platform for web applications.

DuckDuckGo Internet search engine

DuckDuckGo is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers' privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo does not show search results from content farms. It uses various API of other websites to show quick results to queries and for traditional links it uses the help of its partners and its own crawler.

xombrero

xombrero is a discontinued open-source web browser developed with a goal to be a lightweight and secure replacement for full featured browsers like Firefox. The browser has found a niche among minimalist browsers for heavy keyboard users by balancing minimalism with usability.

QtWeb Web browser

QtWeb is a discontinued free and open-source web browser developed by LogicWare & LSoft Technologies. QtWeb used the WebKit browser engine that was embedded in the Qt framework.

Firefox for iOS free and open-source iOS web browser by Mozilla

Firefox for iOS is a free and open-source web browser from Mozilla, for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch mobile devices. It is the first Firefox-branded browser not to use the Gecko layout engine as is used in Firefox for desktop and mobile. Apple's policies require all iOS apps that browse the web to use the built-in WebKit rendering framework and WebKit JavaScript, so using Gecko is not possible. Firefox for iOS supports Firefox Sync and is able to sync Firefox's browsing history, bookmarks, and recent tabs.

Blisk (browser) Chromium -based web browser

Blisk is a freemium Chromium-based web browser that aims to improve productivity and code quality by providing a wide array of tools for Web development and testing for different type of devices: desktop, tablet and mobile.

Cliqz Web browser developed by Cliqz GmbH

Cliqz was a privacy-oriented web browser and search engine developed by Cliqz GmbH and majority-owned by Hubert Burda Media. It was available as a desktop and mobile web browser as well as an extension for Firefox itself.

References

  1. Apple, Jennifer. "Favicon - How To Create A Favicon.ico". Futura Studios. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
  2. "Search the web from Address Bar". Firefox Help. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  3. "Use the address bar (omnibox)". Chrome Help. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  4. Hoffman, Rae (10 February 2008). "Creating Firefox Search Bookmarks". Sugarrae™. Retrieved 5 January 2014.