Browse Prior Art Database

Persistent Help Window for Information And Selection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121241D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 78K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Li, SG: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for providing the user with additional flexibility when calling up help window information for one or more fields in a program's application window. The user can simultaneously view help information and/or choose from help selection lists while working on the application.

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

Persistent Help Window for Information And Selection

      Disclosed is a method for providing the user with
additional flexibility when calling up help window information for
one or more fields in a program's application window.  The user can
simultaneously view help information and/or choose from help
selection lists while working on the application.

      Convention allows the user to hit a "help" key, such as F1, to
bring up help information specific to the field in which the cursor
is currently located.  The user can then browse this information and
hit an "okay" type of button to return to the entry field.  A
variation of this is the Help List that allows the user to choose a
selection from a scrollable list and have the selected item appear in
the entry field from which the Help window was called.  However, both
cases only provide temporary help; the screen goes away after the
user finishes browsing the information or chooses an item.

      A persistent Help window that can provide help information
and/or a scrollable selection list will give the user greater
flexibility and control in entering input.  The persistent Help
window can either be invoked by double-clicking on the entry field
name or on the column header for matrix (spreadsheet-like) entry
fields.  It can also be invoked by the more traditional method of
hitting a "help" key.

      The Help window would look similar to a temporary Help window.
It can be resized and moved to different portions of the screen.
These properties allow the user to shape the Help window to fit the
working screen space.  It can also be minimized or maximized, like a
regular window, although such actions would decrease the usefulness
of the persistent Help window; they are meant to coexist with other
program windows.  And, of course, persistent Help windows can be
closed.  Trying to open another Help window of the same kind that is
already open will bring that window to the top of the screen; it does
not make sense to have more than one of the same Help window on th...