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System and procedure for providing context sensitive information for cells in a table

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000031506D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Sep-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Sep-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 79K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

System and procedure for providing context sensitive information for cells in a table

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System and procedure for providing context sensitive information for cells in a table

System and procedure for providing context sensitive information for cells in a table

Description

In the typical graphical user interface (GUI) display a table is used to display information in the form of rows and columns. The table has typically a header row that displays the heading of the column. There are a number of issues when the number of rows and columns is more than that can be displayed in one screen.

These are the known problems

1. When the rows are not displayed in one screen, the user is forced to navigate using buttons for the next page/s or previous page/s
2. If the number of rows or columns is more than the screen can handle, the user is forced to scroll down and this causes the header row to become invisible and therefore it becomes difficult to understand the cell contents.
3. It is not possible to have table-cell context sensitive information (textual or graphic) based on the mouse movement over the cell.

Solutions exist for the above problem numbers 1 & 2 that let you freeze the header columns that explain the title of the cell content. This is inconvenient because the user has to keep switching their FOCUS between the header and the actual cell. To the best of our knowledge no solution exists for the above problem number 3.

Advantages

The core idea is to provide "table-cell" content - sensitive messages (textual or graphic) based on the position of the mouse. The advantages of the invention are described below.

1. There is no need to force the user to navigate the rows using the "next" and "previous" pages. This can be achieved by the user just scrolling up and down the table.
2. The scrolling enables the user to quickly navigate to any record "first" or "last".
3. When records need to be re-arranged the whole set of records are there instead of "page-full"
4. Cell-content based information and help can be provided that can be very descriptive and not limited to headings.
5. It causes less strain to the eye as it does not have to move from the header to the actual cell. This is particularly useful...