Tutorial :What do you call a looping progress bar?


Ok I'm just at a loss for what the correct terminology is for this. I'm looking for the correct name to call a progress bar that "loops". Instead of the standard progress bar that fills up from left to right to 100%, this looks exactly like the progress bar but a small portion of the fill color constantly loops, never filling the whole progress bar to 100%, basically making it an eternal progress bar similar to a Ajax loading image. Microsoft likes to use this progress bar in their dialogs now.

What do you call this thing so I can search for some controls, etc.? Does .Net have a control for this?



In Windows the progress bars are said to be in Marquee mode I think.

See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb760816%28VS.85%29.aspx


Indeterminate progress bar?

Java's JProgressBar specifically refers to "Indeterminate mode"


In GTK, its a normal progress bar, just set it to "Pulse" mode.


I've heard it called the following:


I've always known a busy indicator that doesn't indicate relative progress as a "spinner". It may be a bar in this case, but it's the same thing.


A google search for "loading gif" returns quite a few examples. Loading icon works too.



I had the same boggle a while back while I was designing the pop up image gallery on ebuyer.com. I think a "pre-loader" or "loading animation" is probably the most accurate description.

A progress bar gives actual visual feedback on the amount of time you can expect to wait, whereas you are just looking to give the user some feeback that their action has been acknowledged and the response is pending. I think windows describes the cursor as "wait". In Mac land we know it as the "beach ball".


I don't know what they're called, but they bug me. They're a misapplication of a tool designed to do one thing - indicate how close a long-running task is to completion - to a different problem - reassure the user that a long-running task of indeterminate length is actually still running.

One of the things that is most infuriating to the user (and by "the user," I mean "me") is something you see Microsoft doing every so often: a task is running, the progress bar is gradually filling, and then, when it gets to the end, it starts over again. And you realize that you've been lied to: the UI told you that the task was about to complete, but suddenly you can see that's not true, the program actually doesn't have any idea when the task's going to complete.


I've heard it called a Spinner


'Throbber' is also a term that's used widely.



This is using the progress bar in VB 2008. To reverse the animation just change a few properties of the progress bar: 'RightToLeft' to yes and 'RightToLeftLayout' to true. Then use a timer to flip the properties back each time.

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