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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

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JavaScript Reference

Window.status Property


Window.status Property---specify a transient message


Navigator 2.0, Internet Explorer 3.0




status is a read/write string property that specifies a transient message to appear in the window's status line. The message generally appears only for a limited amount of time--until it is overwritten by another message, or until the user moves the mouse to some other area of the window, for example. When a message specified with status is erased, the status line returns to its default blank state, or to the default message specified by the defaultStatus property.

Although only top-level windows have a status line, the status property of frames may also be set. Doing so displays the specified message in the top-level window's status line. Transient messages set by frames will be visible regardless of which frame currently has focus or which frame the mouse is in. This differs from the behavior of the defaultStatus property.


status is used to display transient messages in the status line. To display semi-permanent messages, use the defaultStatus property.

In general, setting the status property is only useful from event handlers and in code fragments deferred with the Window.setTimeout() method. If you set status directly from a script, the message will not be visible to the user. It will not be displayed right away, and when it is displayed, it will likely be immediately overwritten by a browser message such as "Document: done".

If you want to set the status property in the onMouseOver() event handler of a hypertext link, you must return true from that event handler. This is because the default action when the mouse goes over a link is to display the URL of that link, thereby overwriting any status message set by the event handler. By returning true from the event handler, you cancel this default action and leave your own status message displayed (until the mouse moves off of the link).

See Also

"Window", "Window.defaultStatus"

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