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(1) In command-driven interfaces, an option is an addition to a command that changes or refines the command in a specified manner. As the term implies, options are just that -- they are not required.

In the DOS operating system, options are preceded by a slash (/). For example the DIR command supports the /P option, which causes the system to pause between screenfuls of data. Other operating systems and applications have different rules for specifying options.

Other words for option are switch and parameter.

(2) In graphical user interfaces, an option is a choice in a menu or dialog box.

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