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program interface that takes advantage of the computers graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use Well-designed graphical user interfaces can free the user from learning complex command languages On the other hand many users find that they work more effectively with a command-driven interface especially if they already know the command language Graphical user interfaces such as Microsoft Windows and the one used by the Apple Macintosh feature the following basic components pointer A symbol that appears on the display screen and that you move to select objects and commands Usually the pointer appears as a small angled arrow Text -processing applications however use an I-beam pointer that is shaped like a capital I pointing device A device such as a mouse or trackball that enables you to select objects on the display screen icons Small pictures that represent commands files or windows By moving the pointer to the icon and pressing a mouse button you can execute a command or convert the icon into a window You can also move the icons around the display screen as if they were real objects on your desk desktop The area on the display screen where icons are grouped is often referred to as the desktop because the icons are intended to represent real objects on a real desktop windows You can divide the screen into different areas In each window you can run a different program or display a different file You can move windows around the display screen and change their shape and size at will menus Most graphical user interfaces let you execute commands by selecting a choice from a menu The first graphical user interface was designed by Xerox Corporations Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s but it was not until the 1980s and the emergence of the Apple Macintosh that
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