Application software might be described as end user software.
Application software can be divided into three categories. One category, general-purpose applications, includes word processing programs, spreadsheet, presentation graphics, and database management system. Another category, specialized applications, includes thousands of other programs that tend to be more narrowly focused and used in specific disciplines and occupations. The third category, mobile apps, is add-on features or programs typically designed for smartphones and tablets.
USER INTERFACE OF APPLICATION SOFTWARE
A user interface is the portion of the application that allows you to control and to interact with the program. Depending on the application, you can use a mouse, a pointer, a keyboard, and/or your voice to communicate with the application. Most general purpose applications use a mouse and a graphical user interfaces (GUI) that displays graphical elements called icons to represent familiar objects. The mouse controls a pointer on the screen that is used to select items such as icons. Another feature is the is the use of Windows to display information. A window is simply a rectangular area that can contain a document, program, or message. (Do not confuse the term window with the various versions of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, which are programs.) More than one window can be opened and displayed on the computer at one time.
Traditionally, most software programs use a system of menus, toolbars, and dialog boxes.
Menus present commands that are typically displayed in a menu bar at the top of the screen.
Toolbars typically appear below the menu bar and include small graphic elements called buttons that provide shortcuts for quick access to commonly used commands.
Dialog boxes provide additional information and request user input. Many applications, and Microsoft applications in particular, use an interface known as the Ribbon GUI to make it easier to find and use all the features of an application; this GUI uses a system of ribbons, tabs, and galleries.
Ribbons replace menus and toolbars by organising commonly used commands into a set of tabs. Theses tabs display command buttons that are the most relevant to the tasks being performed by the user.
Tabs are used to divide the ribbon into major activity areas. Each tab is then organized into groups that contain related items. Some tabs, called contextual tabs, appear only when they are needed and anticipate that next operation to be performed by the user.
Galleries simplify the process of making a selection from a list of alternatives. This is accomplished by graphically displaying the effect of alternatives before being selected.