Mac OSX Lion screen

The graphical user interface in Mac OS X Lion

In computing, a graphical user interface (GUI, sometimes pronounced gooey) is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices with images rather than text commands. GUIs can be used in computers, hand-held devices such as MP3 players, portable media players or gaming devices, household appliances and office equipment . A GUI represents the information and actions available to a user through graphical icons and visual indicators such as secondary notation, as opposed to text-based interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation. The actions are usually performed through direct manipulation of the graphical elements.

The term GUI is historically restricted to the scope of two-dimensional display screens with display resolutions able to describe generic information, in the tradition of the computer science research at the PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). The term GUI earlier might have been applicable to other high-resolution types of interfaces that are non-generic, such as video games, or not restricted to flat screens, like volumetric displays.

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