Difference between GUI and CUI

Computer EngineeringComputer NetworkMCA

Graphical User Interface, GUI

A graphical user interface, GUI, is the most common type of user interface available today. It is a very user friendly because it makes use of pictures, graphics, and icons - hence why it is called 'graphical'.

It is also known as a WIMP interface because it makes use of −

  • Windows − A rectangular area on the screen where the commonly used applications run.

  • Icons − A picture or symbol which is used to represent a software application or hardware device.

  • Menus − A list of options from which the user can choose what they require.

  • Pointers − A symbol such as an arrow which moves around the screen as user moves the mouse. It helps user to select objects.

Character User Interface, CUI

A Character User Interface, CUI, is a way to interact with computer programs by issuing them commands as one or more lines of text. An user enters a command which a computer program can understand and then computer program processes the result and return the response. Classic examples of CUI are MS DOS, windows command prompts, Linux/Unix shells etc.


Following are the important differences between GUI and CUI.

Sr.No. Key GUI CUI
1 Interaction User interacts with computer using Graphics like images, icons. User interacts with computer using commands like text.
2 Navigation Navigation is easy. Navigation is difficult.
3 Peripherals used Keyboard, mouse or any other pointing device. Only keyboard.
4 Precision GUI has low precision. CUI has high precision.
5 Speed GUI is of low speed. CUI is of high speed.
6 Usage Usage is easy. Usage is difficult, requires expertise.
7 Memory requirement High memory requirement. Low memory requirement.
8 Flexibility Highly flexibile user interface. Little flexibile user interface.
9 Customize GUI is highly customizable. CUI appearance is not easily changable.
Updated on 19-Aug-2022 12:08:21