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Dhilip kumar
Dhilip kumar

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The Scroll Indicator

Scroll Indicator is basically a line which fills up based on how much the user has scrolled in the page.They are usually positioned at the Top of the page.


Checkout the output here

Let's get to Coding:

 <div class="line" id="scrollIndicator"></div>
   // ... some code
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All we did in the above snippet was adding a small scrollIndicator <div>.

Before we jump into how we can implement scroll indicator it is necessary to understand few window properties related to scrolling.

.line {
      background: #038eff;
      height: 5px;
      border-radius: 3px;
      width: 0%;
      position: fixed;
      top: 0;
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Above shows the CSS required for plotting the line. It should initially be at width 0. Then increase it based on the percentage of scroll.

Window's Scroll related Properties:

  • window.innerHeight - Height of the viewable portion of the browser.(Eg: 640)
  • document.body.scrollHeight - Height of the entire webPage.
  • window.scrollY - how many pixels the user has scrolled down so far. It is 0 on page load and it increases as the user scrolls down.
const scrollIndicatorElt = document.getElementById('scrollIndicator');
const maxScrollableHeight = document.body.scrollHeight - window.innerHeight;
window.addEventListener('scroll', moveScrollIndicator);
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  • Get the scrollIndicator node by its id.The Scroll line appears in this element.
  • Find maxScrollableHeight which specifies the number of pixels the user can scroll.To identify this we find the difference between document.body.scrollHeight and window.innerHeight
  • Attach an Event listener to scroll.
function moveScrollIndicator() {
  const percentage = ((window.scrollY) / maxScrollableHeight) * 100; = percentage + '%';
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  • moveScrollIndicator function gets executed when scroll event is fired.
  • percentage is the width of the scrollIndicator element.
  • percentage is calculated as the ratio of Pixels scrolled(window.scrollY) by the user to total Scrollable Pixels (maxScrollableHeight)

Check the output here. Repo Link

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Top comments (10)

larsklopstra profile image
Lars Klopstra ⚡

Why not transform: scaleX();?

dhilipkmr profile image
Dhilip kumar

Yes, that should also work. Also that avoids adding (*100) to the percentage calculation.

I just went with the simplest approach.In transform people might have to look into transform properties as well.

larsklopstra profile image
Lars Klopstra ⚡

Haha, I'm all about that micro performance 😛

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dhilipkmr profile image
Dhilip kumar

I wasn't aware that it has an impact on performance.

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xavortm profile image
Alex Dimitrov

Transform properties require GPU calculations which are faster. Some more reading here - The good thing here is that the div is detached from the box model of the page, so at least it will not do global recalc ^

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dhilipkmr profile image
Dhilip kumar

Hmmm, thats an interesting read! :)

thebouv profile image
Anthony Bouvier

So, I'm going to ask:


What is the UX benefit of this?

Notice that even in your GIF, the right hand scroll bar also shows you relative distance to end of the document.

Now two things are moving as I scroll down the page; your bar and the browser's bar.

If this was requested by a product owner or suggested by my dev team, I'd ask: why?

damengrandom profile image

Hi author, I got one question, which is how to remember the current scroll position, so when refresh page, the bar progress still display, instead of display nothing?

klashe profile image
Tolase Kelvin Adegbite

Anyone knows how to use this to track a post in Ruby on Rails?

jelanithompson profile image
Jelani Thompson

Thanks dude this article was super helpful 👍🏾