Graphical User Interface (GUI)


Graphical User Interfaces or "GUIs" have gradually replaced the command line user interfaces since Xerox introduced the Star interface in the early 80's. Apple copied this approach for their Lisa computer and later for the successful Macintosh computer. Microsoft then copied the approach for their MS-Windows product in the late 1980's.

GUIs are preferred today because of their intuitive look and feel. GUIs are made up of windows, icons, menus, and dialog boxes. Windows and dialog boxes can then contain a wide variety of controls including; popup menus, text fields, buttons, check boxes, radio buttons, and sliders.

The ArcMap main window is actually a very complicated user interface that integrates a large number of controls into one window.

Main window for ArcMap


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