Browse Prior Art Database

Automated Mouse Pointer Movement Function

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104442D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 130K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Barrett, GV: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Today's workstation software presents the user with an environment where many windows and/or icons (objects) are displayed to the user on a desktop. In order to open and gain access to any of these objects, the user usually moves a mouse pointer over an object and then clicks one of the mouse buttons. This is accomplished by physically moving the mouse on a hard surface. Movement of the pointer from one object to another is often slow. This is especially true when the two objects are a considerable distance apart. Often times when attempting to move the pointer quickly from one object to another, the user overruns the target object and must backtrack to it. Also, due to physical space restrictions for moving the mouse hardware, it is often inconvenient for the user to move the mouse.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Automated Mouse Pointer Movement Function

      Today's workstation software presents the user with an
environment where many windows and/or icons (objects) are displayed
to the user on a desktop.  In order to open and gain access to any of
these objects, the user usually moves a mouse pointer over an object
and then clicks one of the mouse buttons.  This is accomplished by
physically moving the mouse on a hard surface.  Movement of the
pointer from one object to another is often slow.  This is especially
true when the two objects are a considerable distance apart.  Often
times when attempting to move the pointer quickly from one object to
another, the user overruns the target object and must backtrack to
it.  Also, due to physical space restrictions for moving the mouse
hardware, it is often inconvenient for the user to move the mouse.  A
method of moving the pointer which allows minimal user interraction
while offering maximum navigation is desirable.

      This invention describes a software method of moving the mouse
pointer from one desktop object to another, in a round-robin fashion,
without physically moving the mouse on the desk surface.

      Movement is invoked by the user in one of several configurable
ways; keyboard invoked, mouse button pattern invoked, voice control
invoked, etc.

      When the user invokes the mouse movement in one of the above
described ways, the mouse pointer "jumps" from its current location
to the next desktop object, positioning itself directly above the
object.  If the object touched by the pointer is an icon, its
pulldown menu is displayed.  The user now has the choice to select
one of the pulldown menu items or to initiate another mouse movement
operation.  If the object touched by the pointer is a window, that
window then becomes the active window and receives the focus.  In
this case, the user now has the choice of performing operations
within the windowed application, or initiating another mouse movement
operation.

      Other user configurable embodiments of this invention are:

1.  The position of the pointer over the desktop objects.

    a.  The pointer can be positioned over the same location it was
        in the last time it was on this object.  In order to do this,
        the pointer location on the object must be stored when this
        invention is invoked (in order to initiate a movement to
        another object).

    b.  The pointer can be positioned over top left, top right,
        bottom left or bottom right corner of the object.  To perform
        this, configuration flags stored with this invention are
        checked.

2.  Whether or not to open/restore icon objects touched by the mouse.
    This is accomplished by checking the configuration flags.

3.  Whether or not to display the desktop pulldown menu associated
...