Browse Prior Art Database

Cursor-Tracking Highlighter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118197D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 163K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Becker, CH: AUTHOR [+7]

Abstract

Manipulating large spreadsheets can be tedious, especially on large monitors (17" to 20" or larger). One can easily loose track of what column and row that one wants to enter or change data.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 34% of the total text.

Cursor-Tracking Highlighter

      Manipulating large spreadsheets can be tedious, especially on
large monitors (17" to 20" or larger).  One can easily loose track of
what column and row that one wants to enter or change data.

      In a preferred embodiment, this problem is solved within the
spreadsheet program using a translucent pair of crosshairs extending
from the cursor.  This way, the user would readily know what row and
column the cursor was at.  Knowing where the cursor is, would assist
the user in changing, editing, or deleting the correct data and/or
formulas.

      These crosshairs may be thin strands of a pastel color.  These
crosshairs would also be nearly transparent, so that the user could
see through the crosshairs, to the underlying data.  In other words,
these crosshairs would be shading on the spreadsheet, so that the
user would know what row and column he or she was working on.  This
highlighting may be activated and deactivated by application software
to draw the user's eyes to important or relevant rows and/or columns.

      The implementation of this idea would be simple.  When the
cursor was at spreadsheet cell (i,j), two pastel lines would be
drawn.  A horizontal line would be drawn through row i and a vertical
line would be drawn through column j.  These pastel lines would
disappear when the cursor was activating spreadsheet functions via
the toolbar or pull-down menus, as the lines would serve no purpose
there.

      The user could alter the color and intensity via a pull-down
menu.  Light yellow crosshairs would be preferred, just like a yellow
highlighter or felt-tip.  In fact, this disclosure is essentially a
highlighter or felt-tip which follows the cursor.  That way, the
working row and column is highlighted so that the user knows where
data or equations are being manipulated in the spreadsheet.

      Another user defined parameter would be whether the crosshairs
should blink.  Users with monochrome screens, such as laptops, may
find that a lightly dashed line would work fine.  Perhaps, as an
added aid in  location, a control sequence CNTRL F (for "flash")
could cause the crosshairs to blink in such a way that location
capability could be further enhanced.  Additionally, the crosshairs
could blink when the cursor is moved but disappear when the cursor
remains stationary. The  user could check the position of the cursor
by tapping the mouse or wiggling it slightly.

      Yet, another user defined parameter could involve the
crosshairs being cylindrical magnifying lenses, lenses which would
enlarge the operative row and column for ease of manipulation.  These
same cylindrical lenses could be "bifocals," in that each spreadsheet
row would appear double, one row showing the numerical content and
the other "parallel" row showing the formula used to calculate that
numerical content.  The same could be done for columns.

      Another user choice would be wheth...