A graphical user interface contains six important features, including a pointer, pointing device, icons, desktop, windows and menus. A GUI denotes a collection of computer programs that utilize a computer's graphics capabilities to make programs easier to use. Graphical interfaces obviate the need for users to learn programming languages and command codes through a keyboard.
A pointer refers to a symbol on a display screen that a user moves to select commands, programs and objects. A typical pointer is a slanted arrow. In word processing programs, the pointer turns into an I-beam shape. A pointing device is the computer hardware that moves the pointer. On larger desktop computers, this pointing device is called a mouse, whereas laptop and tablet computers have mousepads or touchscreens. A pointing device moves in synchronicity with the pointer program.
Icons denote small pictures that represent computer programs, files and commands. Moving a pointer over an icon and selecting the icon activates the program. The desktop is the display area of the screen that allows users to view various programs. Desktop icons can be moved, organized and labeled to fit the customer's needs.
Windows divides a computer screen into different areas. Each window displays a different computer program, or the same program performing different functions. Menus allow users to select various programs to run.