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Method and Apparatus for a Command Line Interface in a GUI Menu Structure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022350D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-10
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-10
Document File: 2 page(s) / 88K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Users who are very familiar with a software tool and take advantage of keyboard shortcuts may have their efficiency further enhanced: Disclosed herein is a method and apparatus that may be implemented within any software graphical user interface that allows these "power users" to issue parameterized commands within a menu structure by means of a command line-type interaction, bypassing the need for interaction with an intervening dialog.

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Method and Apparatus for a Command Line Interface in a GUI Menu Structure

This disclosure provides the mechanism by which a menu item can be augmented to provide an entry field in which the user can directly input parameters for the command associated with the menu item. In the preferred embodiment of this invention, to invoke a fastpath entry field for a menu item, the user activates a corresponding fast path button in the menu.

The following example illustrates the preferred embodiment in a usage scenario.

In a preferred embodiment of the disclosed invention, the "Find (on This Page)..." menu item includes a corresponding button to activate a fastpath entry field, as shown in Figure 1. Note that this button may be selected by either a mouse click, keyboard navigation, or by hot key combinations.

Figure 1. Preferred embodiment - not activated.

When the user selects the fastpath button, a set of controls appears, as in Figure 2: A fastpath entry field with cursor focus, a default button (far right with a check mark image) to issue the command, and a button (far left with a left-pointing arrow - in the place of the activation button) to dismiss or cancel the fastpath operation .

Figure 2. Preferred embodiment - activated.

The user types in the string to find in the file. Additional parameters are allowed (such as "match case"), but their omission indicates to the program to use the default values. In Figure 3, the user has typed "Homer". After typing, the user act...