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Text Command Entry and Edit on a Display

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000049069D
Original Publication Date: 1982-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Lawrence, SGC: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Word processing at a display terminal allows text to be entered and edited by the operator. This text is often stored within the terminal for further editing. In addition, it is usual for the operator to enter text formatting commands. These are used to control the 'shape' of the text when displayed or printed. The internal representation of the text commands may be markedly different from the form keyed by the operator. In some representations the commands are stored as a sequence of binary numbers. Clearly it is an advantage to obey the commands as they are entered. The operator can immediately see the effect of the command on the shape of the text presented on the screen.

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Text Command Entry and Edit on a Display

Word processing at a display terminal allows text to be entered and edited by the operator. This text is often stored within the terminal for further editing. In addition, it is usual for the operator to enter text formatting commands. These are used to control the 'shape' of the text when displayed or printed. The internal representation of the text commands may be markedly different from the form keyed by the operator. In some representations the commands are stored as a sequence of binary numbers. Clearly it is an advantage to obey the commands as they are entered. The operator can immediately see the effect of the command on the shape of the text presented on the screen.

The efficiency of the word processor is increased if commands can be created with a single key depression. This technique is essential if direct formatting is employed in which a direct formatter interprets the text store contents and generates corresponding character codes in the refresh buffer. The process converts a linear string of text into a two dimensional representation in the refresh buffer. The refresh buffer is written from top left to bottom right. Text commands, if present, may be encountered whilst interpreting the text store commands. These are usually encoded in binary representation. If the command is incomplete or wrong, then unpredictable results may occur that will confuse the operator. This is avoided if the single key command approach is adopted, because a complete command will be inserted st the desired position in the text store simultaneous with its appearance on the screen in the displayed syntax. Thus the text store content integrity is maintained for formatting and onward transmission to the host node.

In addition it is usual to provide means for editing the newly created command. This poses a difficulty for the direct formatter in that Incomplete or invalid commands will be misinterpreted and the additional logic to check every possibility would be costly.

Finally, the internal command representation is language independent. If the operator is presented with commands in a national language syntax, then the display would need means to translate this to its internal form. This would have to be capable of dealing with all supported language groups.

The proposal describes an economical method of implementing command entry and edit using the direct formatting process. It provides a solution to the question of maintaining the integrity of the text store contents during the creation and editing of text commands. The proposal includes the following:

1. The creation of commands from a single keystroke. The

commands are complete in both their displayed and internal

representation. This is called the pro-forma command

technique.

2. A simple method for 'reversing' the state of modal

Turning them 'off' if 'on'. and vice versa.

3. The use of language independent symbols in place of

national language mnemo...