Short for graphical user interface, a GUI is an interface that uses icons or other visual indicators to interact with electronic devices, rather than only text via a command line. For example, all versions of Microsoft Windows is a GUI, whereas MS-DOS is a command line. The GUI was first developed at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay, Douglas Engelbart, and a group of other researchers in 1981. Later, Apple introduced the Lisa computer with a GUI on January 19, 1983.
- GUI overview
- How do you pronounce GUI?
- How does a GUI work?
- What are the benefits of GUI?
- What are examples of a GUI operating system?
- Are all operating systems GUI?
- What are examples of a GUI interface?
- How does the user interact with a GUI?
- Related GUI pages.
- Computer operating systems information.
Below is a picture of the Windows 7 desktop and an example of a GUI.
Tip: If you need an example of a command line for comparison see our command line page.
How do you pronounce GUI?
GUI is pronounced as either saying each letter (G-U-I) or 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, the keyboard can also be used to navigate using 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, GUI operating systems have become the dominant operating system used by today's end-users.
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 (e.g., Word, Excel, and Outlook).
- Internet browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox).
How does the user interact with a GUI?
Does a GUI require a mouse?
No. Nearly all GUI interfaces, including Microsoft Windows, have options for navigating the interface with a keyboard only.
- How to navigate Windows using a keyboard.
- How to move the mouse cursor with the keyboard in Windows.
- How to use the Windows Speech Recognition feature.