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Method to Provide Interactive Help on a Display

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038519D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-31
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Horn, GR: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A method is described to permit the user to view Help that is specific to the context the program is in, while allowing the user to continue to interact with the current function in the program. Contextual Help provides the user with Help on a specific function based on the current program context as follows: Menu Panel -- Help on the currently highlighted option Parametric Panel -- Help on the currently highlighted field Type/Edit -- Help on the current function/mode The "task area" is defined to be the part of the display that the application uses to interact with the user. A Help Panel is always displayed in either the upper half or lower half of the task area, depending on the current state.

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Method to Provide Interactive Help on a Display

A method is described to permit the user to view Help that is specific to the context the program is in, while allowing the user to continue to interact with the current function in the program. Contextual Help provides the user with Help on a specific function based on the current program context as follows: Menu Panel -- Help on the currently highlighted option Parametric Panel -- Help on the currently highlighted field

Type/Edit -- Help on the current function/mode The "task area" is defined to be the part of the display that the application uses to interact with the user. A Help Panel is always displayed in either the upper half or lower half of the task area, depending on the current state. If a text cursor is displayed, as in text typing or in a parametric field, the Help Panel is displayed on the opposite portion of the task area from the text cursor. Menus are always displayed in the top half of the task area, so the Help Panel for a menu option is always displayed in the bottom half of the task area. Insuring that the Help Panel does not interfere with the current cursor position is important because it guarantees the user can continue to type in the document or field while the Help Panel is displayed. When Help is displayed, the following keys are dedicated to the Help Task: - Cursor Up -- scrolls the Help text down one line

- Cursor Down -- scrolls the Help text up one line

- Page Up -- scrolls the Help t...