I want to be able to create some mock-up sketches for a command line program so I can visually display some new changes to a command line program and what the command line UI would look like but I don't know how I could create them. This is so that I can visually plan/show what my changes would look like in a command line prompt box (the picture below is just a bare bones start of what I would want to be able to sketch in a program before moving onto other more complex sketches) before I start coding/implementing.

A basis of what the designing screen could look like which the software could add to so I can create the new mock-up

I would want to display what new commands I would add to a help section (so like a list of commands). Additionally I would want to display line by line some new features such as an user authentication prompt followed by a space to input a username/password.

I thought about trying to use command line itself to display these planned changes but I don't know how I would go about this (i.e. without coding anything yet). I also thought about using Photoshop but I want to see if that is recommended for this kind of thing or something else is better before I go and get it/learn how to use it.

I see a lot of things out there for sketching mock up website and app designs but nothing dedicated for command line so any recommendations or advice are welcome!

  • 3
    Not sureI understand... you want to mock up a command line app but you don't know how to use the command line? Photoshop is absolutely not a good tool for this. A text editor would be better.. or something like HTML.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 1:56
  • @Scott Just to clarify I want to avoid coding anything now (though I do know how to go about this), I just want to see if I could do some planning sketches so I could save/present BEFORE I start coding. Thus using any text editor at this stage is not ideal and not relevant to the holistic/visual planning approach I want to do to showcase m,y changes, instead of the technical kind of planning you are suggesting which would involve a text editor. I have added some extra clarification to the question to address your concerns. Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 2:36
  • 3
    Sorry, still not getting it. The command line is merely text... so at most I imagine all that's necessary is to move blocks of text up or down... so uh,,.... copy/pasting text is an issue? Maybe it's me, but is seems like you are waaaaaay overthinking things. If you want to be able to drag/drop blocks of text, some text editors allow that. Heck Balsamiq will move chunks of text around... If you're really wanting to use a visual editor rather than a text editor, it'll be tedious, but can be done.
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 3:48
  • @Scott yeah I just was more thinking along the lines of something that looks exactly like the command line box when dragging/dropping or sketching it. The text editor idea I still don't understand how I would go about doing it the way you are saying in a way unless I just do print commands for every line and then just screenshot the console output? However, I do appreciate your advice and I will probably just use draw.io or paint.net and just deal with my poor drawing skills lol Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 4:00
  • You can make a text editor look like a commandline no problem. (Also commandlines nolonger look like that)
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


Use a text editor, just change the font and color to the same value as the console you're emulating.

image of a CLI mockup in a text editor with black background and white text

A good editor can draw boxes and stuff, copy paste can make use of assets. If that's not enough use a ascii art tool. Obviously a text editor does not mean a word processor.

  • +1 Nice picture too which was lacking from some of the other discussions I was having. I ended up trying this and using draw.io for some sketches and they were both really good. Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 7:55

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