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A dialog box is a user interface element, a type of window that is used to enable communication and interaction between a user and a software program. The dialog box appears when the program either needs to give the user information in an urgent manner that involves interruption, such as when an error occurs, or if the program requires immediate input or decision from the user, such as when the program closes and needs to know if the changes made have to be saved or not.
The simplest form of dialog box is an alert, which simply displays a message and only requires an acknowledgment from the user that the message has been read.
The dialog box is usually invoked by a program to enable reciprocal communication with the user or if a user invokes a function for which input is required. Dialog boxes usually take onscreen priority and will be displayed over the current display window. Dialog boxes also appear in response to the selection of a menu option. For example, if the user wants to change the properties of an image in image editing software, a dialog box often appears that will allow the user to select what's required to achieve the desired effect on the image.
There are two types of dialog boxes: