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On-Line Help in an Editor As an Additional Document

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000061734D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Borkin, SA: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In existing editors that have a help facility, using the facility puts the user in a different state with different commands and different menus from the regular editing mode. This necessitates the user learning new commands, menus, etc. It is also not possible to alternately access the document being edited and the help information in a convenient way. These problems can be solved by the present approach wherein a help file, accessed during an editing session, is treated just like any other document. For editors which can edit multiple documents simultaneously, and which access files of pre-stored text for help information, the present approach is to treat the help files as any other file read into the editor, rather than going into a special, separate, help facility.

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On-Line Help in an Editor As an Additional Document

In existing editors that have a help facility, using the facility puts the user in a different state with different commands and different menus from the regular editing mode. This necessitates the user learning new commands, menus, etc. It is also not possible to alternately access the document being edited and the help information in a convenient way. These problems can be solved by the present approach wherein a help file, accessed during an editing session, is treated just like any other document. For editors which can edit multiple documents simultaneously, and which access files of pre-stored text for help information, the present approach is to treat the help files as any other file read into the editor, rather than going into a special, separate, help facility. It would be the implementer's option as to whether all commands may be applied to the help document (such as those which change the text and file it) or just those applicable to browsing (such as UP, DOWN, etc.) and a few others. The important idea is that the help document will be presented to the user in a way with which he is already familiar, with the same screen layout, the same menus and the same meanings for applicable commands. (This does not preclude the possibility, in a multi- menu system, of presenting a browsing menu when the help mode is entered.) Since help is usually requested in the context of some operation the user is trying to...