graphical user interface

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computing: software: graphical user interface

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A graphical user interface (or GUI) is a type of user interface which is displayed (and interacted with) graphically rather than using a command line interface (CLI).

A typical GUI consists of:

  • Multiple windows, each of which shows the current state of a task and allows the user to interact with a particular application in the context of the particular task displayed
  • A desktop, which gives the user access to the computer system in general and allows the user to navigate between tasks
  • A mouse cursor, which allows the user to:
    • click on controls, to activate them
    • select items to operate on
    • move the current insertion point, for text editing
    • draw, paint, or selectively apply effects, within an image editing program