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Mixed Mode Cursor for a Text Entry Area

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013799D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 5 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A cursor used in a text entry area, such as within a document editor or web browser, may have an insert mode and a replace mode. A person editing text toggles between the two modes of operation. The cursor mode can be changed by depressing an "Insert" key on a keyboard. The person sets the cursor mode based on whether the person wishes to insert or replace text at the cursor location of the text area.

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Mixed Mode Cursor for a Text Entry Area

A cursor used in a text entry area, such as within a document editor or web browser, may have an insert mode and a replace mode. A person editing text toggles between the two modes of operation. The cursor mode can be changed by depressing an "Insert" key on a keyboard. The person sets the cursor mode based on whether the person wishes to insert or replace text at the cursor location of the text area.

Conditions can exist where a cursor's mode can be predetermined based on the cursor context within the text area. The cursor mode can therefore be set by software, for the person, based upon the cursor context. This may alleviate some or all of the cursor mode changes that a person normally does.

In changing the phrase "This is my house" to "This is their house", the following steps can occur while using a cursor with insert and replace modes:

A person places the cursor at the "m".

The person sets the cursor to replace mode.

The person types in the "t" and "h" characters to replace the "m" and "y"

characters respectively. The person sets the cursor to insert mode.

The person types the "e", "i", and "r" characters.


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Alternatively, the following steps can occur while using a cursor with an insert mode:

A person would remove the word "my".

The person sets the position of the cursor between the two spaces.

The person types the word "their".


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An additional mode, hereby called a 'mixed mode' is added to the cursor. Each change request of the cursor mode changes the cursor mode from its current mode to the next mode in a ring of insert, replace, and mixed modes. The mixed mode cursor has two states: insert and replace. The state of the mixed mode cursor is determined by the underlying software.

The mixed mode is distinguishable from the insert, and replace modes through the display of different cursor images, different from the insert mode cursor image and the replace mode cursor image. The mixed mode cursor can have different cursor images, or the same cursor image for its insert and replace states. The mixed mode can also be made distinguishable from the insert and replace modes on a status line within a document editor, where the status line displays a language translated version of the words 'Insert', 'Replace', and 'Mixed'. The default cursor images are:

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Cursor Mode Cursor Image Insert

Replace

Mixed, Insert state

Mixed, Replace state

The default rules for a cursor's mixed mode can be made different for different applications. An example of a default set of rules is as follows:

When the mixed mode cursor is positioned at a lower case, or numeric character,

the mixed mode is set to its replace state. When the mixed mode cursor is positioned at an upper case, or

non-alphanumeric character, the mixed mode is set to its insert state. When the mixed mode cursor is positioned by a mouse, or cursor keys, its initial

state is set to replace state. The mixed mode cursor...