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Obtaining Help on the Keyboard

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000044024D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-05
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Stephens, LK: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a method for displaying assistance messages providing helpful information about any key in the current mode of operation by pressing the key itself. Previous methods provide assistance by displaying functional descriptions of the keys, but they usually require paging through irrelevant, intermediate information to get the information on a specific key. Some of the previous systems display a help menu which allows information to be selected efficiently, but the user must make an association between a text representation of the keyboard and the keys themselves. In one system, for example, instead of pressing an "F2" key to obtain information on the option provided by the "F2" key, the user must select the "SAVE" option from the help menu to obtain the desired "F2" information.

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Obtaining Help on the Keyboard

This article describes a method for displaying assistance messages providing helpful information about any key in the current mode of operation by pressing the key itself. Previous methods provide assistance by displaying functional descriptions of the keys, but they usually require paging through irrelevant, intermediate information to get the information on a specific key. Some of the previous systems display a help menu which allows information to be selected efficiently, but the user must make an association between a text representation of the keyboard and the keys themselves. In one system, for example, instead of pressing an "F2" key to obtain information on the option provided by the "F2" key, the user must select the "SAVE" option from the help menu to obtain the desired "F2" information. That is, the user must associate the "F2" key with the "SAVE" option and select the "SAVE" option from the help menu in some way. The method described here eliminates such levels of indirectness. A direct link to help information about each key provides a faster, more efficient method for obtaining help with respect to the keyboard. This method for obtaining help is invoked by pressing the "F1" key. The action is trapped by the Primary keyboard subroutine which passes control to the Help subroutine. The Help subroutine initially: 1. Stores a bit map of the screen in memory; 2. Displays a two-color, double-lined rectangle in the center of t...