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Graphical User Interface Entry Field Widget With History

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015737D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Mar-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Document File: 3 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

When authoring applications with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) it is often necessary to prompt the user to type in information in an entry field. Sometimes, for the convenience of the user, the application will remember all the previous values ever entered by the user n this entry field, and present them to the user in a dropdown menu list. An example of this typical design answer is shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 While this is a great benefit to the user, the problem is that this history of values can grow to become very large over time. A typical answer to this problem is to limit the history to a maximum number, such as the last 10 entries. However, deciding on the correct number for this maximum can be difficult. This invention involves defining a new Widget that is explicitly for use in place of entry fields where the history is to be remembered. This widget itself automatically remembers all unique entries the user types in, and it uses a dropdown to display those entries to the user. However, it also has a special "pull-up" button beside the "drop-down" button, which the user can press to be taken to a dialog where they can work with the values currently stored in the history for this particular widget. 1

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Graphical User Interface Entry Field Widget With History

When authoring applications with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) it is often necessary to prompt the user to type in information in an entry field. Sometimes, for the convenience of the user, the application will remember all the previous values ever entered by the user n this entry field, and present them to the user in a dropdown menu list. An example of this typical design answer is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

While this is a great benefit to the user, the problem is that this history of values can grow to become very large over time. A typical answer to this problem is to limit the history to a maximum number, such as the last 10 entries. However, deciding on the correct number for this maximum can be difficult. This invention involves defining a new Widget that is explicitly for use in place of entry fields where the history is to be remembered. This widget itself automatically remembers all unique entries the user types in, and it uses a dropdown to display those entries to the user. However, it also has a special "pull-up" button beside the "drop-down" button, which the user can press to be taken to a dialog where they can work with the values currently stored in the history for this particular widget.

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Figure 2 shows the widget, with the history shown in its dropdown. Notice the up-arrow button to the right of the dropdown.

Figure 2

When the little up-arrow button is selected we get the dialog shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3

The arrow-up button takes the user to a dialog where he can clear all or some of the values in this widget's history, or re-order those values affecting their appearance in the dropdown history list. This leaves the user in control and lets the user explicitly when and what to purge from the history, and how to sort the values in the history.

The unique aspect of this invention is that the re-usable widge...