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Browse Prior Art Database

Scrolling a Square When the Extent of the Data is Undetermined

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105667D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-20
Document File: 2 page(s) / 107K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Henshaw, SF: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A method to group the scroll arrows and add diagonal scrolling into a single control available in a small square is presented. This square can also provide page scrolling in any of the eight vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions. It also provides access to a pop up menu to adjust parameters and behaviors, and can be easily moved or reduced to suit a user's needs. It also affords scrolling when the dimensions of the data are not known when the data is presented.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Scrolling a Square When the Extent of the Data is Undetermined

      A method to group the scroll arrows and add diagonal scrolling
into a single control available in a small square is presented.  This
square can also provide page scrolling in any of the eight vertical,
horizontal and diagonal directions.  It also provides access to a pop
up menu to adjust parameters and behaviors, and can be easily moved
or reduced to suit a user's needs.  It also affords scrolling when
the dimensions of the data are not known when the data is presented.

      In a graphical user environment, windows present the contents
of an object to a user.  Given that the physical screen size is
limited, a mechanism is needed to allow a user to have windows that
are smaller than the size of the object they wish to see.
Traditionally, scroll bars have been used along the right and bottom
edges of a window to allow a user to navigate to parts of the object
that are not immediately visible through the window.  Scroll bars
rely, however, on the presentation of a scroll bar arm, which shows a
user how far they are through the data on that axis, and what
relative percentage of the data can be shown within that window at
any time.  For some data, however, the size or dimensions of the
object are not known in advance.  This can be either because the data
is constantly growing or shrinking in any one dimension (like in a
spreadsheet), or that only part of the data is read into the window
for performance or host traffic implications.  In this situation, the
scroll bar is rendered useless.  This invention proposes a solution
whereby a user is given all of the scroll bar's functionality and
more, while taking up a considerably smaller space.  Additionally,
this invention allows a user to gain feedback via the same mechanism,
while scrolling through any other means.

      When the size of the object shown through a window is not known
in advance, or can dynamically and continually change, showing the
traditional scroll bars is misleading, and takes up a large amount of
space for simple access to the scrolling arrows.  The proposed
invention introduces a new scrolling device through which a user can
scroll, with large or small increments, through a potentially unknown
size of object.  The device, called a scroll square, takes up the
minimal amount of screen real estate and provides access to
horizontal, vertical and diagonal scrolling.  A user can also move
the scroll square anywhere on the desktop, and can access a pop-up
for more detailed information and control over the scroll square.

      The scroll square has two visible presentations.  When it is
not being used frequently, it can shrink to a small box, initially
placed in the window's bottom right corner.  A user can move this
small box by dragging it to a different location or click on this
small box to show the larger scroll square.  The scroll square
initially shows incremental scrolling....