Browse Prior Art Database

Graphical Interlocking Indication for Adjoining Windows and Associated Methods

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123006D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 4 page(s) / 241K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Lection, DB: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Windows which are used in conjunction with another window (e.g., tool palettes, tool bars, appbars, etc.), which will henceforth be referred to as enhancing windows, typically either float or dock to an edge of their primary window or the desktop. This invention describes a graphical and analogous way to show that an enhancing window is docked to an edge of a primary window by using an interlocking metaphor at the joint of the two windows, which is an improvement to the current state of the art in which docking is indicated by simply just locating the windows adjacent to one another. This invention applies to two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional user interfaces, and also includes methods to flip the enhancing windows out of the primary window as well as snap them from a floating to a docked state.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 54% of the total text.

Graphical Interlocking Indication for Adjoining Windows and Associated
Methods

      Windows which are used in conjunction with another window
(e.g., tool palettes, tool bars, appbars, etc.), which will
henceforth be referred to as enhancing windows, typically either
float or dock to an edge of their primary window or the desktop.
This invention describes a graphical and analogous way to show that
an enhancing window  is docked to an edge of a primary window by
using an interlocking metaphor at the joint of the two windows, which
is an improvement to the  current state of the art in which docking
is indicated by simply just locating the windows adjacent to one
another.  This invention applies to two-dimensional as well as
three-dimensional user interfaces, and also includes methods to flip
the enhancing windows out of the primary  window as well as snap them
from a floating to a docked state.

      Although there are numerous analogous ways to show that an
enhancing window is currently docked to another window such as by
using a pin, screw, or nail metaphor; the preferred embodiment of
this invention is to use the metaphor of interlocking puzzle pieces
which give an affordance for the enhancing window of being able to be
easily picked up and moved since puzzle pieces are easy to unlock to
move around.  For instance, being able to easily move an enhancing
window is key if it is a tool palette and it is overlying something
inside of the primary window's workspac...