If you are looking for the symbols that flash over a dwarf icon, see status icons.
Pressing Dwarf Fortress Mode brings up the status screen.during
This screen contains a large amount of useful information about your fortress and its residents.
 Title Bar
The very top row of the screen shows the settlement name and class, followed by the year and season.
 Menu Bar
Along the top of the status screen, are various choices for sub-menus. Each can be highlighted withand (or and ), and then selected with . The menu bar consists of the following options:
- Animals - The Animal Status screen allows you to manipulate animals belonging to your dwarves.
- Kitchen - The Kitchen Status screen allows you to set cooking (including cheesemaking) and brewing permissions for any ingredients currently in your fortress.
- Stone - The Stone Status screen allows you alter permissions on various types of stones that may be reserved for specific uses by default.
- Stocks - The Stocks Status screen allows you examine the number of various items that your fortress and its residents possess.
- Health - The Health screen gives you an overview of the current health statuses of your dwarves. This will only show up on the status screen when you have a Chief medical dwarf assigned. This is part of the Healthcare system.
- Justice - The Justice Status screen becomes available once you qualify for a Sheriff (even if you don't have one). It allows you to examine any offending dwarves as well as their crime and sentence.
 Main Status Screen
This is the screen that appears by default when you press.
It lists a bunch of useful information, and grows more useful as your dwarves gain skills.
- The upper left hand corner lists the amount of wealth created by your fortress. This figure is slightly misleading; it is the total value of goods that currently exists in your fortress that you have created, and that you have not exported. Presumably, this is one of the ways that the game calculates how advanced your fortress is, for determining how likely you are to receive immigration, get besieged, or get better trade goods from caravans. Note that this figure will only show if you have a broker with appraisal.
- Below that, the status screen lists trade information. This also requires a broker with the appraisal skill.
- Imports represent the total value of foreign made goods in your fortress. Therefore this includes the value of things such as the clothes brought in by immigrants, the equipment dropped by dead goblin invaders, and so forth. However, foreign made goods that have been decorated, processed or consumed (such as food) do not count towards this total. Goods that are stolen (by rhesus macaques, for example) seem to count towards this total despite the fact that they are no longer on the map.
- Exports represent the total value of goods made by your fortress that you have traded to other civilizations.
- A hypothetical example:
- You buy (rope reed cloth) worth 50. This increases imports by 50. You then make this into a rope reed bag worth 100. This reduces imports by 50 (since it is no longer considered by the game to be foreign made). Fortress wealth increases by 100. You then export this bag. Fortress wealth decreases by 100, and exports increase by 100.
- Below that, you will see a list of your food stores. These all come with question marks, until you have a bookkeeper with the record keeper skill. Depending on how skilled he is, and how accurate you want the counts, you will get better numbers. Note that the Bookkeeper will need an office to take inventory, and it will take some time for him to count. Also note that the 'Other' class includes immediately edible items (eg. prepared meals, cheese), potentially edible items (eg. flour, syrup), and inedible items (eg. dye), and is therefore an unreliable indicator of a fortress' food stores.
- The rest of the screen is taken up by your population display, indicating the number of dwarves in your fortress, and their occupations. Only the dwarves' most skilled occupation counts for this screen. It allows you to see at a glance who you have available, which gets increasingly useful the larger your population grows.
- An important note is that the right hand side, displaying military Dwarves, only includes dwarves that are currently active in the military. When deactivated, these Dwarves are displayed in the left column, under their civilian job.
 Animal Status Screen
This screen shows a list of all animals that are owned by the fortress or its residents, but does not include any wild animals in the region, nor animals belonging to invaders or caravans.
The animals are listed down the left hand column of the screen. Some useful information about this list:
- The word "stray" indicates that the animal is not any Dwarf's pet. In the case of war or hunting animals, it means the animal has not been assigned to a dwarf.
- Named animals are often a result of being named before joining your fortress, and usually means they are owned by an immigrant. Named animals may also have made a kill.
The right hand column (owner) lists the current status of each individual animal in your fortress. This status can take one of several forms:
- Available - This animal is available for adoption as a pet.
- Work Animal - This animal has been trained as either a hunting or war animal, and has not been assigned an owner.
- Unavailable - This animal currently cannot be claimed as a pet.
- Uninterested - Cats, being superior to all other creatures, cannot be assigned as pets. Instead, they will adopt an owner at their whim.
- A Dwarf's Name - This animal belongs to the listed dwarf. Pets can provide happiness to their owners.
- Marked for Slaughter - This animal will be butchered when a butcher becomes available.
- - Toggles its availability. This can only be done on "available" or "unavailable" creatures.
- - Marks or unmarks an animal for slaughter. Note that you cannot mark animals for slaughter once they belong to a dwarf. Also, some animals may not be slaughterable.
 Kitchen Status Screen
This screen contains a list of all items currently within the fortress that can be used for either cooking or brewing. Cooking permission is also used/needed for cheesemaking from milk items. The items are listed down the left hand side of the screen. A bit right of center, is a column listing the number of each ingredient currently possessed.
The Permissions column to the right is subdivided into two additional columns, one for cooking and one for brewing. This is the most important part of this tab, as it shows you whether dwarves are currently allowed to use the given ingredient for the given task. Possible values are:
- Red - This item could be used for the task, but is currently disallowed.
- Blue - This item is able to be used for the task, and dwarves have permission to do so.
- ---- - This indicates that the given item cannot be used in this way. For example, Deer Meat cannot be brewed. (Any alcohol can be cooked.)
Note that when a new food is obtained, the default is "cook" and "brew". This includes recently butchered animals, foodstuffs gained from trading, first crops from seeds, and plants gathered from the wild. Items that have been designated as forbidden will not be listed on this menu.
- - Toggles permission to cook the highlighted item.
- - Toggles permission to brew the highlighted item.
 Stone Status Screen
This screen can be critically useful to you, depending on where you choose to found your Fortress. This is because, by default, economic stones can only be used for their given purpose(s) unless they are mentioned as the layer stone on the regions screen. Which means that if you happen to have access to only economic stones, your masons will be unable to use it for building buildings or furniture or the like. If you attempt to do so, your mason will cancel the job, with the message that he "requires non-economic rock".
By going into the stone status section, you can allow your dwarves to use economic stone for any purpose. Simply scroll through the list to the particular stone you have an abundance of, and pressto toggle its availability for menial tasks. This will change the stone's color from red to green.
This screen also provides a full list of each stone type's economic uses. By pressingor , you can move the highlighted selector over to this list. Pressing when highlighting a recipe, e.g. "Make pig iron bars" when looking at Iron, will let you see all the ingredients to the recipe.
 Stocks Status Screen
(Main article: Stocks)
The stocks screen shows you a list of all of the goods in your fortress. Its accuracy relies heavily upon the Bookkeeper.
The left side of the screen lists the categories of all the items in your fortress. To the right of this, are two columns, listing numbers. The number to the left is the number of items accessible to use, (in a stockpile or scattered on the floor) and beside that in red is the number of inaccessible items. (parts of buildings, remains of pets and citizens, marked forbidden, marked for melting or dumping, belonging to traders, etc.)
To the right of these numbers are the goods themselves. By pressingyou can toggle between the detailed mode, which shows each item individually, along with relevant name/quality data, or the list mode, which shows items in stacks.
 Health Status Screen
(Main article: Health screen)
The Health screen gives you an overview of the health statuses of your dwarves. It requires a Chief medical Dwarf before coming available to the user. It tells you what type of injuries your dwarves have, and what kind of medical treatment they require.
 Justice Status Screen
In the upper right of this screen is "Cages & Chains", which shows the total number of combined cages plus restraints designated for justice out of the total currently available. It's important to note that although it says "chains", it's counting both ropes and chains as well as cages - and ropes are not as desirable as chains when used as restraints for this purpose. If you have adequate chains and cages (at least 1 cage, rope or chain for every 10 dwarves) the number will be blue, or red if you don't have enough.
Along the left hand side is a list of known criminals. The right side lists all of the dwarf's crimes (including the victim of each crime), as well as any pending punishments (including the officer performing the punishment).