Browse Prior Art Database

Method for Providing Message Help in a Personal Computer Windowing System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000061786D
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

Berry, RE: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A method is described in which a user may access the Help information in an easier manner while maintaining the context in which the message was issued. Current systems typically implement various forms of help for messages. In non-windowing systems the Help text typically replaces the current display, overlaying the message and any information contributing to the context in which the message was issued. In windowing systems the message typically appears in an existing window or in a pop-up window and the Help text usually appears in a separate window potentially overlaying some portion of the message itself. In either case the user must consciously think of requesting Help and go through the steps to invoke Help and to terminate it.

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Method for Providing Message Help in a Personal Computer Windowing System

A method is described in which a user may access the Help information in an easier manner while maintaining the context in which the message was issued. Current systems typically implement various forms of help for messages. In non- windowing systems the Help text typically replaces the current display, overlaying the message and any information contributing to the context in which the message was issued. In windowing systems the message typically appears in an existing window or in a pop-up window and the Help text usually appears in a separate window potentially overlaying some portion of the message itself. In either case the user must consciously think of requesting Help and go through the steps to invoke Help and to terminate it. The proposed method allows the user to simply enlarge the message window, using the normal window sizing action (e.g., a mouse and pointer), to see an expanded explanation of the message (i.e., the Help text). The message can be viewed as being in two parts: a "short message" consisting of one line, and an "explanation" part consisting of multiple lines. When the message window is initially displayed it is just large enough to show the "short message". However, the user can easily see the "explanation" by enlarging the window or scrolling, both of which are familiar operations to users of windowing systems. Therefore, users can get additional information on me...