The status bar in Windows’ Notepad displays the current line number and column number of the cursor location. However, if you find that the  Status Bar option on the View menu is grayed out, it may be because you have Word Wrap enabled.

If you’ve enabled word wrap, which keeps your columns restricted to the Notepad window, you cannot also enable the status bar. That is because word wrap screws up line breaks, making the line number and column number on the status bar not accurate all the time.

However, if you want to enable the status bar anyway, despite its possible inaccuracy, we’ll show you an easy trick to make the status bar option available even when word wrap is on.

Standard warning: This procedure involves making changes to the Registry Editor, which is a powerful tool. Using the Registry Editor incorrectly can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you follow the instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

RELATED: Learning to Use the Registry Editor Like a Pro

Open the Registry Editor by clicking on Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor, or click on regedit under Best match.

Give regedit permission to make changes to your PC.

NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings.

In the tree structure on the left, navigate to the following key:


The Notepad key stores all the settings for Notepad. In Notepad’s initial state, the only values for that key are window position values. Notice that there are no values for the word wrap and status bar settings. Leave the Registry Editor open.

Open Notepad and turn on “Word Wrap” in the Format menu. This adds the word wrap ( fWrap ) and status bar ( StatusBar ) values to the Notepad key in the registry.

Notice that the status bar goes away and the “Status Bar” option in the View menu is grayed out. Close Notepad to save these settings into the Notepad registry key.

Now, the fWrap and StatusBar keys have been added to the Notepad key. Currently, the StatusBar value has zero as it’s value data, indicating it’s disabled. Double-click on the StatusBar value.

On the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box, enter  1  in the “Value data” edit box and click “OK”.

Close the Registry Editor by selecting “Exit” from the File menu.

Now, word wrap and the status bar are enabled at the same time. However, If you turn off word wrap and then turn it back on, the status bar will be disabled again. You must set the StatusBar value to  1  again to be able to have both enabled.

If you want to put word wrap and the status bar back to their normal settings, reset Notepad. Simply changing the value of the StatusBar value back to zero only seems to confuse Notepad and the values and what’s set in Notepad won’t necessarily match.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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