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Using Text Cursor to Improve Mode Feedback

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000121565D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-03
Document File: 1 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Griffin, DL: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Graphical user interface (gui) WYSIWYG text editors provide keyboard, menu and graphical (command bar) techniques to establish character modes: fonts, point sizes, etc. All of these techniques show what the current setting is. Unfortunately, they are often inconvenient to review, e.g., they are hidden in a menu or on a dialog. The only way a user has to know what mode is set is to type a character. A better way is needed, especially when a user is using a number of fonts, point sizes, etc.

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Using Text Cursor to Improve Mode Feedback

      Graphical user interface (gui) WYSIWYG text editors
provide keyboard, menu and graphical (command bar) techniques to
establish character modes: fonts, point sizes, etc.  All of these
techniques show what the current setting is. Unfortunately, they are
often inconvenient to review, e.g., they are hidden in a menu or on a
dialog.  The only way a user has to know what mode is set is to
type a character.  A better way is needed, especially when a user is
using a number of fonts, point sizes, etc.

      Today, gui software often shows the mode by modifying the mouse
pointer.  This technique can be applied here to solve this problem.

      The text cursor, not the mouse pointer, in text editors
represents the insertion point.  The text cursor's behavior can be
changed so that it is more useful.  For example, in WYSIWYG text
editors like Word for Windows the text cursor changes sizes to
reflect the largest point size used on a line.  This provides no
useful feedback at all if the line contains mixed point sizes.

      The cursor should reflect the character mode that will be
typed.  For example, the height of the cursor can reflect the point
size.  A thicker cursor can represent bold face, a lighter cursor
italics, an underlined cursor underscoring, etc.  Also, the sheer of
the cursor (angle from normal) can represent the sheer of the text.

      There are a number of character properties that can b...