WiFi Signal is a menu bar app that lets you monitor your Wi-Fi network’s status and signal quality. When you click the WiFi Signal‘s menu bar icon, a popup window appears, showing basic information about the Wi-Fi network, such as name (SSID), channel, transmit rate, signal strength, noise, and signal-to-noise ratio. However, you can also choose to show this information in the menu bar using a display pattern and see how it updates, especially as you move around or connect to different Wi-Fi networks.

A display pattern is a string that contains one or more identifiers that represent a specific metric or property of the network connection. WiFi Signal automatically replaces identifiers with the corresponding metric or property value. You can also include any text around these identifiers to provide contextual information or as separators between values.

To specify a display pattern:

  1. Click on the WiFi Signal‘s menu bar extra.
  2. Click on the gear icon and choose Preferences > Status.
  3. Enter the desired display pattern.

For example:

Display Pattern Result
%N | Ch %[email protected]%W MHz My Network Name | Ch [email protected] MHz
%N (%A) – Ch %C, %T Mbps My Network Name (Office) – Ch 6, 233 Mbps
%B – %V | 802.11%E 00:11:22:33:44:55 – Apple | 802.11ac

If you consider the signal strength indicator (the bars) unnecessary or redundant, you can choose to hide it when using a display pattern. To hide the signal strength indicator, go to Preferences > Status and check the option “Hide signal strength indicator when using a display pattern.”

You can also use two lines to display the status information. When you use two lines, WiFi Signal automatically adjusts the font size so that the two lines can fit in the menu bar nicely.

For a multi-line display, enter the display pattern for the first line in “Display Pattern Line 1” and the display pattern for the second line in “Display Pattern Line 2.” If using a single line for the status information, enter the display pattern in either “Display Pattern Line 1” or “Display Pattern Line 2.”

Supported metrics and properties

The following is the list of supported metrics or properties that you can use when customizing the status display:

Metric or Property Identifier
Network name (SSID) %N
BSSID %B
Frequency band (GHz) %F
Network mode %E
Channel %C
Channel width (MHz) %W
MCS index %X
Signal strength (dBm) %S
Signal strength (%) %P
Noise (dBm) %U
Noise (%) %Q
SNR (dB) %R
Current data rate (Mbps) %T
Number of spatial streams %L
Annotations %A
Access point’s vendor name %V
Access point’s device name %D
Wi-Fi adapter’s IP address %I

Highlight or limit specific information

You can also use modifiers in the display pattern to make individual sections of the text bold or truncate the metric or property value. You can use this feature to highlight specific information or to reduce and limit the amount of information that WiFi Signal displays in the menu bar.

  • To make an individual section of the text bold, surround the text with **.
  • To truncate the value of a metric or property, use [start:stop] after the metric or property identifier, where start is the zero-based begin index of the text and stop is the end index. If you don’t provide a start or stop index, WiFi Signal assumes zero or the text’s length, respectively.

For example:

Display Pattern Result
**%N** | Ch %[email protected]%W MHz My Network Name | Ch [email protected] MHz
%B[9:] – %V | 802.11%E 33:44:55 – Apple | 802.11ac

Conclusion

You can fully customize the status information WiFi Signal shows in the menu bar using display patterns. Using a display pattern, you can choose what information you want to display, how you want it showed, and in what order. You can also include text to provide contextual information or to separate values, or split the information into two lines and hide WiFi Signal’s signal strength indicator (bars) to maximize the amount of information you want to display while saving precious space in your menu bar.

What’s your favorite display pattern? Please share it in the comments below.