Usually designed as a long rectangular area on one or two sides of the viewing area, containing a bar (or thumb) that can be dragged along a trough (or track) to move the body of the document as well as two arrows on either end for precise adjustments. The "thumb" has different names in different environments: on the Macintosh it is called a "thumb" on the Java platform it is called "thumb" or "knob"; Microsoft's .NET documentation refers to it as "scroll box" or "scroll thumb"; in other environments it is called "elevator", "quint", "puck", "wiper" or "grip". Additional functions may be found, such as zooming in/out or various application-specific tools. The thumb can also sometimes be adjusted by dragging its ends. In this case it would adjust both the position and the zooming of the document, where the size of the thumb represents the degree of zooming applied. A thumb that completely fills the trough indicates that the entire document is being viewed, at which point the scrollbar may temporarily become hidden.
Scrollbars can be seen as a computer representation of a thumb, with which you thumb through pages of documents.
A scrollbar should be distinguished from a slider which is another widget that works in a similar fashion, the difference being that the slider is used to change values, and does not change the display or move the area that is shown.
Another system for manipulating them is to look at which mouse button was pressed. For instance, a left-click might cause it to scroll down, while a right click would scroll up, and the middle button could be used to place the thumb precisely. This form requires less fine motor skills, although it requires a multi-button mouse, and possibly a greater degree of GUI literacy.
An example of customization is the Find feature in Google Chrome. Chrome places marks in the trough of the vertical scroll bar to indicate the places where it found the term the user is searching for.
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