In a graphical user interface, on a computer monitor, a toolbar is a GUI widget 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.
Some applications, e.g. graphics editors, allow their toolbars to be detached and moved between windows and other toolbars. Shown inside is Inkscape with undocked toolbars.
^The 1996 Oxford Dictionary of Computing describes the term "ribbon" in user interface design as "...a horizontal row of control icons that can often be redefined to suit the user's requirements."- what is currently more commonly referred to as "toolbar". Illingworth, V. (ed.) (1996). Oxford dictionary of computing. 4ed.