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Heads-up display (GUI): Wikis

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Like its equivalents in aircraft and video gaming, heads-up displays are elements of the graphical user interface in personal computing systems. They allow for the transmission of information concerning the current task in a running desktop application in a separate window that is designed so as to not distract from the current task. The origin of the name stems from the user being able to view information with their head "up" and looking forward, instead of angled down looking at lower instruments (as for aircraft or automobiles) or a keyboard. The term "Heads Up" is a corruption of the original correct designation of "Head-Up" display, implying the position of the user's gaze and not an exclamation to "look out!" for an incoming projectile.

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Mac OS X

In Mac OS X applications, heads-up displays (or HUDs) usually take the form of miniature, darkly-colored, transparent windows which are revealed outside the window of the currently-running application. Their purposes vary, from simply displaying information concerning a currently-running task, to displaying the tools for carrying out the task. HUDs often overlap with palettes, a similarly-functioning GUI element that usually fits the general interface of the main parent application (see Dashboard (interface)).

HUDs can also figure in larger settings, such as the display modes for the Exposé and Dashboard applications.

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Transparent floating HUDs

In recent years, Mac applications have started to utilize HUDs as displays for buttons and controls, such as in QuickTime, which shows the user a transparent, rounded, and rectangular control bar that floats within the bottom of a video but does not touch the very bottom of the application window; this is usually the main means of control of the video playback when in full-screen mode.

Applications which use the HUD element

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