Browse Prior Art Database

Improved Style of Window Borders for the User Interface of Windowing Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000038818D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Clowes, T: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a method whereby a user of a windowing system will be able to easily determine the position of an active window which, due to its virtual size and position, extends beyond the real screen. To enable a user to determine the extent of a window, most windowing systems surround the window with a border, the active window being distinguished from other windows by being set in a border with different characteristics. Where, however, part of the window extends beyond the actual screen and the only visible part of the border is a horizontal or vertical segment dissecting the screen (Fig. 1), it may be difficult to determine in which direction the window actually extends.

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Improved Style of Window Borders for the User Interface of Windowing Systems

This article describes a method whereby a user of a windowing system will be able to easily determine the position of an active window which, due to its virtual size and position, extends beyond the real screen. To enable a user to determine the extent of a window, most windowing systems surround the window with a border, the active window being distinguished from other windows by being set in a border with different characteristics. Where, however, part of the window extends beyond the actual screen and the only visible part of the border is a horizontal or vertical segment dissecting the screen (Fig. 1), it may be difficult to determine in which direction the window actually extends. To avoid this problem in relation to the active window, the border around the active window ought to have an appearance that shows a clear distinction between the inside and the outside edges (e.g., a solid and broken line; thick and thin lines; and/or color). Thus, as in Fig. 2, if the innermost part of the border is made up with broken lines and the outer part of the border consists of solid lines, the user can always determine in which direction the window extends. The border surrounding all other (inactive) windows will be of a similar composition to the outermost box on the active window, to prevent visual confusion when these windows are adjacent to the active window.

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