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Enhancing a Text Editor with Synonym Selection for Shortening Texts and Speeches

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000176628D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Nov-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Nov-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 88K

Publishing Venue



It is sometimes desired to shorten a piece of text - either by making it use up less characters, less space, or by making its reading take up less time. Making a piece of text take less characters, or less space, are similar cases. Possible scenarios are: In some cases of submitting text through online forms (e.g., rebuttals for conferences), there is a limit of the number of allowed characters. Authors are faced with the need to fit their text into the allowed space, while wishing to maintain its content. (shortening text to use up less characters) Newspaper writers have a space limit and may wish to fit more words into the given space. Note that mewspapers typically use variable length fonts which can make two words of the same length in characters take a different amount of space. In both these cases the authors may try to replace some of the words with synonyms that are shorter, so that the meaning stays the same, while the text takes up less space. Shortening text to take less time to read: Text-to-speech systems, such as reading to the blind, driving navigation systems, or phone navigation directions may wish to pick the words that takes less time to pronounce, so as to shorten the time it takes to read the whole text. Speech authors or news editors may wish to fit in more items (ideas in a speech, news articles in a broadcast), and may do that by picking more words that are shorter to pronounce. In both these cases the authors may try to replace some of the words with synonyms that are shorter to pronounce. There are existing solutions for assisting authors in locating synonyms (e.g., Shift-F7, or right-click->synonyms in MS Word ), but these require a manual selection of each and every word to see if it has synonyms and what they are. T

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Enhancing a Text Editor with Synonym Selection for Shortening Texts and Speeches

The invention proposes to enhance editors with the option to highlight words that have (shorter) synonyms, and allowing the user to easily go over the list of synonyms (e.g., by mouse hovering over a highlighted word) to pick a replacing synonym. The list is to be sorted by the "weight" of synonyms (number of characters in the case of shortening the number of characters in a text; number of pixels in the case of shortening the amount of space occupied by a text; milliseconds to read by a preselected reader in the case of pronunciation), where the synonyms that weigh less appear higher on the list.

A further proposal - a system for automatically replacing words with shortest synonyms, allowing the user to then easily see the modifications and approve them, while displaying the total weight of the text to allow the user to see if the if the target weight is achieved.

An example for the case of number of characters (examples for the amount of space, and for the pronunciation cases are very similar) :

The authors wish to "compact" the following sentence: "R4's - major hesitation is that [the paper] reduces network data to a single dimension, a relative rank- . Score computation of email is actually not solely based on volume: as mentioned in the paper we also took into account the number of correspondents."

They place it in the editor and turn on the synonym shortening option:

As can be seen, the editor counts the characters to assist the users.

Once activating the synonym option, the editor adds a highlight to all words that have shorter synonyms:

The users may now go over the words one by one to find a shorter synonym - saving the time of looking for synonyms for the words that don't have shorters ones.

Or the users may ask to automatically replace all these words with their shortest synonym:
The users click the "automatic shortening" button, and the display changes:

It seems that automati...