Browse Prior Art Database

Menu Items Representing Multiple Choice Selections

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118830D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 89K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gest, SB: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed is an enhancement to, or addition to, the currently available list of menu items that exist within today's graphical user interfaces. This enhancement, the choice menu item, would be used to display a multi-value state within a single menu item display area. First, a brief overview of the currently available menu items.

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

Menu Items Representing Multiple Choice Selections

      Disclosed is an enhancement to, or addition to, the currently
available list of menu items that exist within today's graphical user
interfaces.  This enhancement, the choice menu item, would be used
to display a multi-value state within a single menu item display
area.  First, a brief overview of the currently available menu items.

      Menu items within today's graphical user interfaces perform a
variety of functions, from invoking code or executing a command (for
a simple menu item), to displaying a dialog, to acting as an
integrated toggle button (for checkbox menu items), to groupings of
these integrated  toggle buttons (for radio button menu items).  For
more complicated menu  item choices, such as those involving a
variety of choices, the developer  (and subsequent user) is forced to
display (and use) a dialog from which  the choice can be made from a
variety of controls.  For operations such  as these, involving
choices of more than two possible states, (up to N  possible states),
it is not necessary for the user to have to interact  with a dialog
to supply the information required.  What is needed is a  way for the
user to select from multiple values for a given choice, have  that
choice displayed and available within the confines of the current
menu/menu item paradigm, and have that well integrated within that
paradigm, to avoid confusion on the part of the user.  This
disclosure proposes a possible solution to this problem.

      The choice menu item would display the current value of a
multi-value state, meaning up to N possible states, within the
confines of a single menu item area.  This menu item looks just like
any other menu item that invokes commands, except that it has a down
arrow (v) display to the left of the menu item text.  (Of course,
this could be any icon or other graphical attribute indicating that
an operation is available to the user by moving to the left of the
menu item text).  Displaying the arrow to the left of the menu item
text serves to distinguish it from the -> arrow used for hierarchical
menus, which  is normally displayed to the right of the menu item
text.  This also serves to align its function more with that of the
checkbox menu items,  whose checkbox/check is normally displayed to
the left of the menu item  text.  When the user moves the mouse
cursor over the down (v) arrow while the mouse button is pressed, the
list of choices for that choice  menu item appear, in much the same
fashion as a submenu does, off to the  left of the choice menu item.
Moving onto that choice submenu and releasing the mouse button over a
submenu item choice, will change the  v...