Browse Prior Art Database

Providing Different Help Information When a Menu Choice is Not Available

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107163D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fleming, SS: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

This invention helps inform the user that a menu choice is not available and indicates why the choice is not available.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 55% of the total text.

Providing Different Help Information When a Menu Choice is Not Available

       This invention helps inform the user that a menu choice
is not available and indicates why the choice is not available.

      Current systems provide help information for menu choices.
Typically, this help information may be presented in two ways.  One
presentation provides access to a help window for the cursored choice
when a help function key is pressed.  Another presentation provides
an "instruction line" area of a window which provides concise help
information for a cursored choice.  The instruction line is updated
if the cursor moves to a different choice.

      In current systems, the help information is static and does not
reflect the run-time context or state of the application, other than
the cursor location.  Thus, the help information does not directly
help users who may be having a problem which is caused by a run-time
state of the application. For example, many menu choices require the
application be in a state where an object is selected before the
choice is available.  However, the help information for a choice
which is not available will not directly indicate that the choice is
not available and why.

      In this invention, the display of help information varies
according to whether a menu choice is available or not.  If a menu
choice is available, the normal help information is provided.
However, if a menu choice is not available, the help information...