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It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Addon Overview – Bartender 3

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As I’ve posted before, corresponding with the release of The Burning Crusade, I switched from Bongos to Bartender 3 for action bar modification.  If you are looking for an action bar mod, and your needs are basic, or you’re just getting started playing around with bar modding, then I highly recommend Bartender 3 (BT3).  In this post, I’ll give you an overview of how I setup the mod for my use and my thoughts on the mod itself.

Bartender Basics
So before we get started, let’s cover some Bartender basics.  Bartender offers all the basics you are probably looking for in a bar mod, including:

  • Full style control ( Alpha / Scale / Padding )
  • Split up Bars into Rows
  • Set the number of buttons per bar ( only 1 – 12 supported, for short bars )
  • Dynamic Page Swapping for Stances ( on all Bars, by default enabled on Bar1 )
  • Dynamic Page Swapping on Modifier Down ( Shift / Ctrl / Alt )
  • Custom Styles included: Zoomed Buttons, Dreamlayout
  • Integrated Cooldown Count and RedRange
  • Self Casting using a modifier key, or Right Click on the button

Important Note 1: That third feature is important and may be an important consideration for you in deciding whether to use BT3 or not.  While you can configure the number of buttons per bar from 1 – 12, you are limited to 10 action bars overall.  Other mod give you virtually unlimited functionality on bars, BT3 does not.  So if you need that level of functionality, you can stop reading.  Personally, this hasn’t been a limitation for me and I believe is a contributing factor to BT3’s stability and lack of stance switching issues that I saw in other mods.

Important Note 2: Button key binding is controlled via the standard Key Bindings menu from the game interface.  If you scroll down past the standard key bindings menu you will eventually find a BT3 keybindings menu.  Find the bar you want to keybind, and assign keybindings just like you did for the standard action bars.  Important: once you assign keybindings for a particular action bar, you have by default assigned keybindings for any other bar you will be switching to when switching forms.  So, if you assign keybindings for Bar 2 and define a switch to Bar 3 when you go to Bear form, then there is no need to define keybindings for Bar 3.  They will be the same as Bar 2. 

Important Note 3: While BT3 can be used by any class, this overview is written from the perspective of a Druid.  For us Druids, one of the main benefits is the ability to automatically switch action bars based on our various forms.  I cannot speak with authority on what button paging options are available for other classes.  However, my alt character is a Hunter and I can say that there are no button paging options for aspects.

So, just to get us started, here’s what my UI looks like:

Main UIYou can see my default action bar setup in the lower right-hand corner (click the image for a full size view).  I have the Blizzard main menu at the bottom in case I need to get at my character, talents, etc. in a hurry or in while I’m in chat.  Over on the right side of the screen, I have a vertical bar where I put my low- to medium-use buttons.  Things like hearthstone, professions, food and drink, etc.  Then underneath my form switch bar, I have one bar that is my catch-all bar.  It’s my temporary holding area for actionable quest items I need to get at quick, and some other miscellaneous items.  I don’t use a lot of macros currently, so between this bar and the vertical bar on the right, I’m pretty much set with just these two above and beyond my main action bars.

So, to see where we’re headed, here’s what my bars look like when I switch forms.  Here’s my buttons in Bear form:
Bear Form Buttons

Here’s Cat form:
Cat Form Buttons

And here’s Cat Form – Prowl:
Cat Form Prowl Buttons

Planning your layout
“Hear me now, believe me later”– a little planning up front will help make your whole setup process go smoother; and it’s not that hard.  Fire up World of Warcraft and get out a piece of paper.  Now for each form you have (Caster, Bear, Cat, Tree of Life, Moonkin – dang we get to have a lot of fun), write down the buttons you currently have defined.  Total the number of buttons you have for each form.  Now here’s your first decision point.  Given the bars you have to work with (10 total) and the number of buttons you have defined by form, work out a scheme for laying out your buttons.

If you’re not currently using an action bar mod and are pretty happy with your current layout, then you can forge ahead.  When you install BT3, it draws upon your current button bar layout for to setup it’s initial configuration.

Myself, I wanted to change things a bit.  I had seen a UI screenshot before where someone had three rows of Regrowth, Rejuv, and Healing Touch stacked together representing three different levels of each spell.  I liked that layout and decided to implement it with BT3.  So I knew at least in main Caster form, I was going to need 3 bars.

You’ll also notice in my UI that I only have 9 buttons per action bar.  This was a decision on my part to try to scale down the amount of space my buttons took up on the screen.  After adding up the number of buttons I needed in my animal forms, I found I needed two button bars per form.  Once I threw in another bar for Prowl (even though I only needed two buttons), I found I was out of bars (2 miscellaneous bars, 3 in caster form, 2 in bear form, 2 in cat form and 1 for cat in prowl form).

I was okay with this, as I’m not button crazy and don’t need a lot of extra buttons.  If you do, then either extend the length of your bars (up to 12 buttons) and/or combine more buttons on one bar.  I easily could have freed up 2 or 3 more bars. 

Install and configure BT3
Once you’ve got your action bar setup mapped out, you’re ready to install and configure Bartender 3.  The install is just like any other mod.  BT3 can be found on all the major download sites.  I happen to like

Once you have the mod installed, it’s time to log into WoW and set it up.  If you have multiple characters you may want to allocate BT3 just for the character you are going to setup.  Your action bars are going to be all over the place until you configure them, so this way you won’t have to configure every single character you have all at once. 

So now you’re ready to configure your action bars.  Log in to the character whose bars you want to setup.  Most likely, you’ll see a mess.  Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it looks.  In fact, you should notice that your buttons are all pretty much in place, they just aren’t formatted very well.  So let’s start by configuring your main (caster) bars.

Mini-Map icon optionsTo configure your bars, you need to unlock them.  To see your options, just hover the pointer over the icon.  To unlock your bars, simplyShift+leftclick it the icon.

Once your bars are unlocked you can move them around and configure them.  You might need to move some bars around to uncover bars underneath them.  You’ll know which bar is which because there will be yellow “Bar x” text over each bar.

To access the action bar configuration menu, right-click any of your action bars to see the bar configuration menu. 

Action Bar Options MenuThis is the action bar configuration menu.  From here you can size your bars, set transparency, padding, etc. etc.  Start here and get your main caster bars setup the way you want them.  BT3 doesn’t have any automatic bar snapping or aligning, so you’re on your own to get your bars lined up the way you want.

The “Enabled” check mark controls whether the bar in question is active or not.  The “Hide” option controls whether the bar is displayed by default.  Your main caster bars should be set to Enabled and not hidden.  All the bars for your alternate forms will be hidden so they only display when you switch forms.

You can use the Buttons option on the bottom of the menu to control how many action buttons are on this bar.  You’ll also notice there is no vertical option.  If you want a vertical bar (or a square group of action buttons), use the Rows option to increase the number of rows.  A vertical bar of 12 buttons would have a Button setting of 12 and a Rows setting of 12.

I won’t go into the other options.  You can play around with them yourself. 

Okay, now that your main bars are all setup, let’s setup your automatic bar switching by form.  Let’s start with Bear form.  Your bars need to still be in unlocked mode.

Pick the action bar you want to turn into your first Bear form action bar.  Right click on it to get the configuration menu.  From here you simply press Button Paging / Stances / Bear Form.  A little slider window will pop up.  Move the slider so it indicates the number of the bar you want to switch to when you enter Bear form.  That’s it!  Pretty easy, huh?

From here, go on to setup your other Bear form bars (if you have more than one), and bar switching for all your other forms.

Now, if you didn’t do it before, go into the game menu’s Keybindings menu and scroll down until you find the Bartender 3 action bar section.  From there, setup your keybindings as desired for your action bars.  Remember, and this is important, only setup keybindings for your main display bars.  You do not need to setup keybindings for any bar you switch to based on a form change.  The new bar will have the keybindings of the original bar by default.

You may need or want to play with the individual action buttons on your bars.  For me, the easiest way to do this was to wait until I have all my bars setup and form switching defined.  Now just go form by form and move your buttons around.  By default BT3 locks individual buttons so you can’t accidentally remove them.  To move a button off it’s current slot, just press Shift and then click and move the button.  This option can be turned off via the mini-map option.  Just click to set the Button Lock option to Off.  Personally, I leave this option on as I’m prone to those accidental deletions.

Bars setup and unlockedSo, once you’re all setup, you may have something that looks like this.  You can see my main caster bars, and miscellaneous bars are green since they are the only ones not hidden.  My alternate animal form bars are red as they are hidden.  I have them all spread out so I can see them all at a glance in configuration mode and get at them separately.

What I like about Bartender 3
* It works!  No keybinding issues, no form switching issues – it just works.
* Good flexibility and configuration options for laying out your action bars and buttons.
* Integration with FuBar.  I use FuBar and I’m always annoyed that everything seems integrated with Titan but not FuBar. 
* Some nice basic perks included – red out of range indication, cooldown count, self-casting modification, and the ability to turn off tooltips.

What bugs me about Bartender 3
* It’s strength is how basic it is, but some aids to help bar setup would be appreciated – like sticky bars and auto centering like I had in Bongos.
* The system to save different configuration profiles for multiple characters isn’t real easy to understand.  I’m trying to get a handle on it and will post a follow-up once I have it figured out.

So there’s my long promised overview of Bartender 3.  It’s a “must have” addon for me and I’m sure it will be for you too.  I really did try to keep this overview to a reasonable length, but I wanted to make sure to give you benefit of my experience in setting it up.  Please give me comments if I forgot anything and I will add to the post.

In case you missed the link above, you can download BT3 here.


February 4, 2007 - Posted by | Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, World of Warcraft


  1. Excellent work! I myself will probably look into bartender now (and repeatedly come back to this site for reference!) for my hunter :). I wonder how this might help while playing a paladin class, since there’s tons of offensive/defensive/healing spells to do!

    Great job and thanks for an awesome review!

    Comment by Excaliber | February 6, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the comment Excaliber!

    Remember you can still add bars and do keybindings with the default UI, so make sure there is an underlying reason to use the tool. For me, other than the form switching, it was freeing up screen real estate.

    If you try it out, be sure to let us know how it works for you.

    Comment by Amanna | February 6, 2007 | Reply

  3. […] 3 with multiple characters I just ran into a Bartender 3 issue that I didn’t cover in my previous post that you need to be aware of if you plan on setting it up on one account for multiple […]

    Pingback by Bartender 3 with multiple characters « Adventures in Azeroth | February 6, 2007 | Reply

  4. […] I’ve found customizing the bars can make them a little easier to use.  I use Bartender 3 – check out my overview for setup and download […]

    Pingback by Druid Tips & Tricks - Summary « Adventures in Azeroth | March 20, 2007 | Reply

  5. hi, i installed bt3 and i accidently clicked ‘hide icon’
    i can’t open the options menu.

    is there a shortcut or hotkey to reset the icon? or do i have to install bt3 all over?



    Comment by psyheart | March 25, 2007 | Reply

  6. Psyheart – you shouldn’t have to reinstall it.

    How are you using it? On FuBar/Atlas, or attached to the mini-map? If on FuBar, you should be able to right-click your bar and find it under the add-ons to re-enable.

    You can also try the /bt3 command for command line options.

    Send me more details on how you’re using it if this doesn’t help.

    Comment by Amanna | March 25, 2007 | Reply

  7. its attached to my minimap.
    i tried the command /bar but dident see anything about hide/unhide icon. or something like that
    these is the lit of my addons

    all the blizzard standard things…

    all these addons are working…

    Comment by psyheart | March 26, 2007 | Reply

  8. psyheart – I’m at work now and can’t check this out, but typically in these situations you add the mod back to Atlas, then check to attach to mini-map. I use Fubar, but it should be similar to Atlas. Right-click on your Atlas bar, and select the option to add an add-on module, select Bartender3. Once the add-on is back on your Atlas bar, then you should see an option to attach to mini-map.

    Comment by Amanna | March 26, 2007 | Reply

  9. hey how do i install it i got it on i opened it and its says bartender3… bartender3 how do i get it into the game and also it doesnt have a shortcut and it doesnt have it in my programs hel pplz

    Comment by Magiick | May 5, 2007 | Reply

  10. i can’t say thank you enough for the short but very helpful guide. i just made a druid and was having trouble with the stance shifting. I read your guide and had it setup in less than 10 minutes. Thanks for taking the time to write this up so the rest of us could save time and frustration!

    Comment by Deacon | May 12, 2007 | Reply

  11. Your site is perfect!

    Comment by Bobi | May 13, 2007 | Reply

  12. the only mod that I have loaded is BT3 and I still can not see the icon to start to fix the mods. HELP!!!!!!

    Comment by marshunda | June 5, 2007 | Reply

  13. I downloaded BarTender 3 … love it…used it to customize my layout and save screen space, but buttons 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 on my main toolbar don’t work 1/2 the time. I checked my Bindings, reloaded the UI, Wiped the bar and re added all of the buttons.

    It’s really frustrating at this point. Please help!

    Comment by Datera Moonshadow | June 20, 2007 | Reply

  14. Hmm, that’s odd Datera. I’ve not had the problem.

    You’ve checked your Bartender keybindings, have you checked all the other keybindings to make sure nothing is in conflict?

    Comment by Amanna | June 20, 2007 | Reply

  15. I can confirm a problem with buttons after the last patch. This happens if you use bars linked to special events.

    For example cat form (druid). When you go to stealth bartender switches your main bar. This was extremely useful. I put only 4 buttons on it (all other buttons wouldn’t work). Now if you attack someone in stealth that bar will switch to normal, but only buttons located “over” stealth bar will work.

    Stealth bar: 1-2-3-x-x-x-7-x
    Normal bar: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

    After attacking in stealth only 1, 2, 3 and 7 buttons become active. You see icons for other buttons, but they don’t work at all. Bad thing is you can fix it only when combat ends by shapeshifting.

    Comment by ehnaton | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  16. I’ll have to test that one out. I haven’t noticed it, but havne’t played much post-patch.

    Comment by Amanna | June 21, 2007 | Reply

  17. Obvious, but temp. solution: fill all slots on all bars with something (copy same spell – doesn’t matter). Works fine (but looks strange 🙂 ) after that.

    Comment by ehnaton | June 22, 2007 | Reply

  18. I did verify the same issue on my setup tonight. Downloaded the newest version at and problem went away (although some of my buttons seemed to disappear).

    Comment by Amanna | June 28, 2007 | Reply

  19. Amanna,
    First let me say bravo on the website. I have found it immensely helpful and I think you’ve done a great job with it. Now to my problem. I downloaded bar3 and followed your guide. I got everything set up just the way I like, but when I change form the hidden bars don’t change with me. Nope no bars. I tripled checked everything and I have the proper bars assigned to the proper forms, via the slide bar, but nothing. The bars are either on when I unselect hide or off when I select hide. I downloaded B3 that was updated at the beginning of June. Just giving you as much info as I think will help.
    Thanks again and if you’ve got any ideas I’d love to hear them.


    Comment by Alissandra | July 3, 2007 | Reply

  20. I think its the best action bar mod that I’ve used.
    10x to the creator!

    Comment by pileto | August 5, 2007 | Reply

  21. I also recommend cyCircled to accompany Bartender 3. Makes the icon shapes customizable and much better looking in my humble opinion.

    Comment by Rhoin | August 17, 2007 | Reply

  22. For a single character, I have found Bartender3 to be a very useful addon. If, however, you plan on using it for multiple characters, I found it extremely difficult to keep the configurations individualized. I have been unable to resolve the latter issue. An additional issue I encounterd was that I clicked the icon and set to hide, but am now unable to get it to return to make change or modifications to my bar setups. The last glitch is the most distressing one due to the fact that I am now unable to utilize the character for play. I was, however, very impressed with this addon prior to my attempt to use on multiple characters and my icon hiding.

    Comment by Miravella | September 7, 2007 | Reply

  23. I downloaded Bartender 3 and can not get the action bars 1-10 to work. I have enabled them but when I click on them nothing happens. What did I do wrong?

    Comment by awear39 | October 15, 2007 | Reply

  24. Awear39 – what can’t you get to work? Give us a walkthrough of what you’ve done and what isn’t working and I can probably give you better suggestions. I just spent last night playing around with Bartender so the setup stuff is fresh in my mind.

    Comment by Amanna | October 15, 2007 | Reply

  25. Great info Amanna. This setup guide saved me a ton of frustration. One question: why has my latency/fps frame disappeared? The only other mod I use is MoveIt, but I doubt MoveIt is the culprit, because the latency/fps frame was missing before I installed the mod.

    Comment by Bannorr | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  26. Amanna,

    Great mini-guide! It helped immensely. However I am running to a slight problem. It turns out that some of my bars do not allow for paging.

    There are a few that do so I can obviously reset all my buttons but would rather avoid it.

    Any advice from you or anyone would be greatly appreciated.

    Comment by Seed | November 15, 2007 | Reply

  27. Hmmm. I never ran into that. First thing I’d recommend is to make sure you’re upgraded to the current version.

    Next, I seem to remember you can enable/disable stance paging by bar. Right-click on the bars that aren’t paging and make sure they’re enabled for it.

    Other than that, I’m not thinking of anything off the top of my head. Either give us some more info, or tell us how you fixed it (hehe).

    Comment by Amanna | November 15, 2007 | Reply

  28. yeh hey guys, installed b3 great mod i love it, everything works fine for me, however i dont use fubar or titanpanel and its hidden my latency bar…. anyone know?

    Comment by blitz | December 16, 2007 | Reply

  29. Did you maybe lay a bar on top of it?

    Comment by Amanna | December 17, 2007 | Reply

  30. Nah nothings covering, i downloaded dilatency bar from curse an now i can tell when im lagging :P, if anyony else has same problem try dilatency

    Comment by blitz | December 18, 2007 | Reply

  31. Hey, im havin problems replacing the Default Bartender Keybinds with My Own Ancient Set. I’ve been playing with them for about 2yrs now & learning new ones instead of the ones that have grown into my fingertips is more than just saying it.. Furthermore i have about every single button on the keypad bound to my own set & it’d take me days if not weeks to do a total makeover & convert it all to bartender Binds. How Do make Bartender Drop its Default ones for my original keybinds without some serious hassle and a Total Keybind Makeover ( like with a click of a button for instance )

    Comment by Hornagaur | December 24, 2007 | Reply

  32. Hornagaur – check out Bartender overview on any of the popular download sites. I don’t believe there is a “magic makeover” button, but you could always leave a question for the mod author.

    Comment by Amanna | December 26, 2007 | Reply

  33. I love Bartender3 but recently bar 1 will suddenly duplicate another bar, eg bar 3, and the only way to get bar 1 to appear as it should be is to logout and back in again.

    I am not changing stances. It is not duplicating the same bar every time, although it is most commonly Bar 2.

    Any ideas?

    Comment by CharlieCat | January 26, 2008 | Reply

  34. Hmmm, no ideas right now – I’ve never seen that happen.

    Have you tried a simple UI reload instead of logging out? Type /reload ui. If it works a heck of a lot faster.

    Have you unlocked your bars to see if there are any other bars that might be configured and conflicting?

    Comment by Amanna | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  35. […] just ran into a Bartender 3 issue that I didn’t cover in my previous post that you need to be aware of if you plan on setting it up on one account for multiple […]

    Pingback by Bartender 3 with multiple characters | Adventures in Azeroth | January 28, 2008 | Reply

  36. What mod is that you are using that puts the xp bar at the top like that? Also what other ui mods are you using?

    Comment by Beelzebubb | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  37. Beelzebubb,

    That’s the normal Blizzard XP bar. Bartender breaks up all the bars so you can move them around (and resize) as you want.

    On your second question, I plan on writing an entire series on building your UI from the ground up once I’m on my new site, so look for it there.

    Soon, hopefully soon…

    Comment by Amanna | January 29, 2008 | Reply

  38. When I enable paging, it only switches the first bar, while ideally I’d have 2 bars switch over. I’ve enabled button paging on the 2nd bar like on the first, but its not doing its magic trick. Anyone have an idea where I went wrong?

    Comment by Akela | February 2, 2008 | Reply

  39. I selected to hide the fubar ui in the options menu at the top right of the creen and now I cant change any options since the button is no longer there. How can I get the options button to show up again???

    Comment by GramonsMaster | February 24, 2008 | Reply

  40. I just downloaded B3 and opened WoW but my old regular action bars are still there, so i have duplicated Bars 3, 4, 5, and 6. is there a way to turn them off? i tried re-downloading B3 and it’s still like that, and same with my other characters. Thanks!

    Comment by Shuu | March 9, 2008 | Reply

  41. hi i love b3 but i did a mistake and i hope someone can help me..
    i hide the icon and cant find it back please some one help me!

    Comment by ramiz | March 18, 2008 | Reply

  42. for anyone having problems accessing the Menu/Options


    /bt3 config

    Comment by solution | May 20, 2008 | Reply

  43. da shit

    Comment by bobfisher | June 11, 2008 | Reply

  44. ❤ bartender3

    However, my major peves are:
    no latency bar
    no report to GM bar/button

    + other hidden stuff with no option to show/hide depending on preference.

    Comment by Bravado | August 9, 2008 | Reply

  45. Why isnt there an XP bar?

    Comment by john | August 11, 2008 | Reply

  46. Can anyone tell me how to see your latency bar with bt3? I can’t find where I can turn it on.

    Comment by Neo | October 12, 2008 | Reply

  47. Must have: ,

    Comment by Josh | April 8, 2009 | Reply

  48. NIGGAZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FILTHY NIGGAZ

    Comment by NIGGA BOy | June 3, 2009 | Reply

  49. i accidentally hid the hide icon button… so now it disappeared from my mini map… anyone know how i can get it back on becuz now i cant open the options menu or anything. ty for the help

    Comment by jazzy | July 2, 2009 | Reply

  50. Вот думал сережки для девушки купить на день рождения, а теперь решил просто скачать этот аддон и загамить.

    Comment by Серьга | March 23, 2010 | Reply

  51. How can you change the red range indicating to disabled

    Comment by bob | April 1, 2010 | Reply

  52. Hi, i acsidentaly clicked on the “hide” buttonand its hiding it pretty well, becasue i cant find it ANYWHERE. I reinstalled it and everything i can not find the icon anywhere! SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!

    Comment by bob | May 28, 2010 | Reply

  53. Николай Басков нашел себе новую возлюбленную?! Подробности только у нас

    Comment by dailycc | December 14, 2010 | Reply

  54. glasses versace,

    Comment by Qecimwai | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  55. good info here glad i came

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