A GUI (graphical user interface) is a system of interactive visual components for computer software. A GUI displays objects that convey information, and represent actions that can be taken by the user. The objects change color, size, or visibility when the user interacts with them.
Below is a picture of the Windows 7 desktop and an example of a GUI.
If you need an example of a command line for comparison, see our command line page.
How do you pronounce GUI?
GUI is pronounced by saying each letter (G-U-I). It sometimes is also pronounced as "gooey."
How does a GUI work?
A GUI uses windows, icons, and menus to carry out commands, such as opening, deleting, and moving files. Although a GUI operating system is primarily navigated using a mouse, a keyboard can also be used via keyboard shortcuts or the arrow keys.
What are the benefits of GUI?
Unlike a command-line operating system or CUI, like Unix or MS-DOS, GUI operating systems are much easier to learn and use because commands do not need to be memorized. Additionally, users do not need to know any programming languages. Because of their ease of use and more modern appearance, GUI operating systems have come to dominate today's market.
What are examples of a GUI operating system?
- Microsoft Windows
- Apple System 7 and macOS
- Chrome OS
- Linux variants like Ubuntu using a GUI interface.
Are all operating systems GUI?
What are examples of a GUI interface?
- Any Microsoft program, including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
- Internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.
How does the user interact with a GUI?
A pointing device, such as the mouse, is used to interact with nearly all aspects of the GUI. More modern (and mobile) devices also utilize a touch screen. However, as stated in previous sections, it is also possible to navigate a GUI using a keyboard.
Does a GUI require a mouse?
No. Nearly all GUI interfaces, including Microsoft Windows, have options for navigating the interface with a keyboard only.