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Visual marker overlay for improved readability of long documents

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000195700D
Publication Date: 2010-May-12
Document File: 7 page(s) / 517K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is an on-screen visual indicator to aid users when reading through a long document.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Visual marker overlay for improved readability of long documents

The visual indicator is referenced in this article as a "marker overlay" which, in addition to providing a visual anchor when scrolling through large amounts of text, also serves to provide helpful contextual information such as section or chapter information, paging information, or even tags and notes.

With the growth of the web, more users are turning to the web as their primary source of information. Whether it is reading a news article on CNN.com, a thesis on a university website, or simply user reviews on Amazon.com, content is shifting from the physical space to the virtual space. One disadvantage of this virtual space, however, is a very copious amount of content displayed on a page at a time. This requires the user to read text on a screen with continuous scrolling. Due to a variety of screen resolutions and changing window sizes, content is not chunked according to the user's screen real estate. Currently, it is up to the person who posted the content to divide an article into sizeable chunks. However, this does not work for everyone because some users with large monitors may see only a small amount of content with a large amount of whitespace.

The marker overlay may be enabled directly from an application such as a web browser, through a plug-in, or even on the level of the operating system. As a user is reading a document and scrolls down the screen, a marker overlay briefly appears below the last portion of the document that was on-screen to indicate where to continue reading. Any form of input for scrolling may be used such as a mouse wheel, touch screen, or arrow keys on a keyboard.

The following description is an example of how the position of the overlay marker can be calculated while handling periods of inactivity or rapid scrolling, however it is not the only implementation. The emphasis here is on an automatic overlay that indicates where a user has left off reading.

One manner of determining where the marker is shown after the user scrolls through a document is to first store the position of the last displayed portion of the document. As the user incrementally scrolls down the document, the amount of the document scrolled is factored in with the last displayed portion of the document. This enables the marker's position to be updated as the user scrolls around the document. This is ideal for shor...