Inform 7 Home Page / Documentation

§12.2. The Status Line

The status line is the reverse-coloured bar along the top of the window during play, which conventionally, but not necessarily, shows the current location, the score (or sometimes the time of day) and the number of turns so far. It has been highly traditional since the early 1980s (Infocom's customer newsletter was for many years called "The Status Line"): it has become the visual identifier of IF. It plays the same role for IF that a header with chapter name and page number plays in a printed book.

The status line is ordinarily printed from two named pieces of text, the "left hand status line" and the "right hand status line". These can be changed during play, so for instance,

When play begins:
    now the right hand status line is "Time: [time of day]".

The examples below offer miscellaneous alternatives, and are fairly self-descriptive.

* See Viewpoint for a way to make the status line list the player's current identity

arrow-up.png Start of Chapter 12: Typography, Layout, and Multimedia Effects
arrow-left.png Back to §12.1. Typography
arrow-right.png Onward to §12.3. Footnotes

*ExamplePolitics as Usual
Have the status line indicate the current region of the map.

*ExampleWays Out
A status line that lists the available exits from the current location.

Emptying the status line during the first screen of the game.

*ExampleCapital City
To arrange that the location information normally given on the left-hand side of the status line appears in block capitals.

*ExampleStatus line with centered text, the hard way
A status line which has only the name of the location, centered.

**ExampleGuided Tour
A status line that lists the available exits from the current location, changing the names of these exits depending on whether the room has been visited or not.

Replacing the two-part status line with one that centers only the room name at the top of the screen.