Browse Prior Art Database

Dynamic Information Help Pushbutton

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000107610D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 90K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fleming, SS: AUTHOR

Abstract

This invention provides an improved, more consistent technique for accessing help and displaying dynamic information in all windows.

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

Dynamic Information Help Pushbutton

       This invention provides an improved, more consistent
technique for accessing help and displaying dynamic information in
all windows.

      Current systems provide for a dynamic information line or area
(DIL).  This area contains information about what will happen when
the user selects the choice on which the cursor is positioned.

      Current systems also provide for access to contextual help
windows.  However, for primary windows, contextual help can only be
accessed via the keyboard.  This is because access to the help
pull-down will change the cursor position which is used in contextual
help.  The user must memorize what key is used to access help.

      In current systems, pop-up windows provide access to contextual
help via the "Help" pushbutton.  However, pop-up windows do not
provide a dynamic information line and its associated function.
Contextual help is also available via the keyboard in pop-up windows.
Again, the user must memorize what key is used to access help.

      In current systems, novices access help very infrequently.
Reasons for this include:
      1.  Complexity of the help pull-down.  The help pull-down
requires the user to make a decision regarding what help choice to
access.
      2.  Lack of mouse access to contextual help for pull-down
choices.
      3.  Memorization required for keyboard access to help.
      4.  Similarity in pop-up windows between the help pushbutton
and pushbuttons which remove the pop-up.
      5.  Forgetting about the help pull-down when looking at other
pull-downs.

      In this invention, a pushbutton is placed at the bottom of the
client area spanning the width of the window.  In primary windows,
this pushbutton replaces the DIL, occupying the same area as the DIL.
In pop-up windows, this pushbutton is added to the bottom of the
window.  We call this pushbutton the Dynamic Information Help (DIH)
pushbutton.  In the normal state, the DIH pushbutton is labelled with
"For Help, mouse click here or press the F1 key".  When the cursor
moves to a choice for which dynamic information is available, the DIH
label changes to: "xxx.  For help....