Browse Prior Art Database

Context Menu Augmented With Menu Bar and Toolbar

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012858D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 132K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A novel user interface design is proposed to preserve the user's current working context while making the actions available in the menu bar or toolbar readily accessible. It is designed to improve UI efficiency and user's productivity.

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Context Menu Augmented With Menu Bar and Toolbar

Context menu (invoked using the right-mouse-button) is often used in software programs as a quick way for users to get to the most frequently used actions for a chosen object / context. However, not all applicable actions are made available in the context menu due to space and other design contraints. To access those actions, instead of using the context menu, users must use the menu bar or toolbar at the top of the window frame, causing delay in invoking the actions and potential change of focus / working context switch.

    The main idea for this invention is to augment the context menu with two additional items. One item is for controlling the display of the application's main menu bar in-place, thus eliminating the user's need to move the mouse to the top of the application window frame to access the actions available in the menu bar. The second item is for controlling the display of the main toolbar in-place. Since the menu bar and toolbar would be shown where the context menu is, we will be able to preserve the user's current working context while making additional actions available.

    The following sequence of screen captures illustrates how this invention works for the menu bar case.

    When the user pops up the context menu (via RMB), we see that there's an additional item labelled "[MenuBar]".

    When the mouse is rolled over the "[MenuBar]" item in the context menu, the application's main menu bar is displayed in-pl...