Definition

Multiple Document Interface (MDI)

Part of the Software applications glossary:

MDI (Multiple Document Interface) is a Microsoft Windows programming interface for creating an application that enables users to work with multiple documents at the same time. Each document is in a separate space with its own controls for scrolling. The user can see and work with different documents such as a spreadsheet, a text document, or a drawing space by simply moving the cursor from one space to another.

An MDI application is something like the Windows desktop interface since both include multiple viewing spaces. However, the MDI viewing spaces are confined to the application's window or client area . Within the client area, each document is displayed within a separate child window . MDI applications can be used for a variety of purposes - for example, working on one document while referring to another document, viewing different presentations of the same information, viewing multiple Web sites at the same time, and any task that requires multiple reference points and work areas at the same time.

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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