Browse Prior Art Database

Method of Navigating & Controling Background Program Windows

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000127364D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Aug-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Aug-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In a typical windowing environment, when multiple program windows are open, it is not currently possible to see the contents of, or to control (i.e. minimize, maximize or shut down) a "window" object that is out of view without either bringing that program window into view or otherwise leaving the current window. This article seeks to uncover other methods of viewing and/or controlling "background windows" without leaving the current screen.

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Method of Navigating & Controling Background Program Windows

When multiple program windows are open, it is not currently possible to know the contents/context of, or to control (i.e. minimize, maximize or shut down) a program window that is out of view without either bringing that program window into view (which will take the current program window out of view), or moving the mouse over the other program window in the operating system's title bar. This problem exists on all operating systems that allow users to open multiple programs in separate "windows"

The current method of navigating background program windows involves dragging the pointing device over the program window's icon in the system title bar and waiting a moment for a caption which displays the window title, or alternatively by using the Alt-Tab key combination, which brings another program window into focus. We know of no method of minimizing, maximizing or closing a background program window without first bringing it into focus. It is possible to shut down background program windows by right-clicking on the window title and choosing "close". In any existing solution, the mouse has to be moved from the current program window to another.

Main Idea

Our invention disclosure provides a solution to this problem which will involve only the keyboard and middle mouse button, and which will not alter the user's existing view. Our idea is to utilize the middle mouse button provided on IBM ThinkPad and possibly other systems to activate four functions:
1. Background Window Select
2. Background Window Minimize
3. Background Window Maximize
4. Background Window Shutdown

For ergonomic reasons, we propose to use the "F" key for Func...