A portable intelligent communications device is provided which includes a cellular telephone and a computer-controlled touch screen display. The touch screen display is a high-resolution graphics display which acts as a graphical user interface. Since the touch screen display is smaller in size than a standard laptop computer's display, the information boxes and menu selections are re-sized so as to fit on the smaller screen, however, each of the choices is made large enough in surface area so that a human finger can tactilely operate the touch screen display without the need of a more precise pointing device. Instead of using pull-down menus or drop down lists, the graphical user interface provides a selection list based upon virtual control buttons and virtual “image buttons” in which each image button is labeled to describe the option that can be selected by pressing that button. In situations where touching a control button opens a second level of the menu, this second level of menu choices (or “image buttons”) is either docked adjacent to the display's work area, or is launched as a floating window on top of the work area. The user also may reconfigure the control buttons which are provided as a tabbed panel for easy actuation on the touch screen display. Rather than providing a fixed pull-down menu set of choices, the display shows a series of file folders having tabs that are displayed at different horizontal locations on the screen. The user can drag and drop the tabs (i.e., the control buttons) so that these controls can be re-ordered. In addition, the user may wish to change the entire grouping and move a control button from an old control panel to a completely new panel. When this occurs, the new panel is automatically created. Furthermore, the user can drag a control button from one control panel area of the screen and drop the control button into the “tab area” of the control panel at a location where no tab previously existed. When that occurs, a new tab is automatically created having the same name as the original control button.