What Is a Command Driven Interface?

A command driven interface is an interface in which users must type in commands to carry out actions. The commands can be words, short phrases abbreviations or characters.

Early personal computers often used command driven interfaces. Systems such as MS-DOS, which is the Microsoft Disc Operating System, used commands instead of the graphical user interfaces, which let users point and click on icon with a mouse. Command driven interfaces eventually fell out of favor, as beginners often find them tricky to use. Users must remember each specific command on the interface, which can be challenging.

Although they are not commonly used as operating systems, many programmers and other computer professionals prefer to use command driven interfaces. They are often much faster than graphical user interfaces and use much less processing power. Professionals or experienced users can cut out menus and perform functions immediately. The system is easier to access as is executing complex actions.

Users can still access a command line interface on their graphic user interface operating systems. Windows operating systems include an application called "Command Prompt," which allows users to access a command driven interface on Windows. Mac users can use Terminal to access the system's command line function and perform advanced tasks. The Terminal is found in the "Utilities" folder under "Applications."