The Scale pane embedded into the status bar provides the current position of the mouse cursor within an opened window.
In the illustration above, the Scale pane shows the scale for the active window is 1:10,000. That means that 1 cm on the screen will be approximately 100 meters in real dimension.
Right-click onto a blank portion of the status bar to turn optional panes on or off.
The Scale pane in the status bar by default is on.
Right-click onto the Scale pane to change the scale. We can change the scale to 1:1000.
A scale of 1:1000 means that 1 cm on the screen represents a distance of 10 meters in real life.
Choosing Custom when right-clicking on the Scale pane allows us to set whatever scale we want. For example, we can set the scale to 1:5000.
A scale of 1:5000 means that 1 cm on the screen represents a distance of 50 meters in real life.
The scale format will automatically switch from 1:xxx to xxx:1 when a 1:xxx format would require an xxx value less than one. The number of decimal digits shown is automatically adjusted for readability.
For example, suppose we use the Custom choice to set a scale of 1:0.15.
The scale bar will show that as a scale of 6.667:1, which means that approximately 7 cm on the screen represent 1 cm in real life. The display is zoomed far, far into the display, so far into the image that a single dark pixel in the image is far larger than the map window. It is not likely we will encounter that format in GIS work.
A more typical high resolution scale is seen above, a 1:100 view of parking spaces and automobiles at the entrance to Google headquarters in California. 1 cm on the screen measures 1 meter in real life.
Approximate Scale - Scale is approximate given variations in dots per inch and screen resolutions. If the coordinate system used is Latitude / Longitude, the scale will be approximated using the latitude of the center of the data set's rectangle.
Status Bar - Position