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Contextual Spreadsheet Filter Demographics

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239466D
Publication Date: 2014-Nov-10
Document File: 3 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system that enables spreadsheet users to quickly identify the demographic context in which a filter is applied by assigning a color to the set of filtered columns or rows and detecting the filter action.

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Contextual Spreadsheet Filter Demographics

When using spreadsheets, filters progressively mask the data in which the filter is applied. This eliminates useful related, contextual data that is needed for the filtered elements. Once the data is filtered, the relationship between filtered elements and unfiltered elements is not immediately apparent. A user might want to sum the

number of rows, for example, and then compare the result against the entire set of rows. Once filtered, this request is only satisfied with manual work, which is not a

satisfactory solution. The problem is exacerbated as the data is shared with people other than the sheet's creator.

The novel solution enables spreadsheet users to quickly identify the demographic context in which the filter is applied by assigning a color to the set of filtered columns or rows and detecting the filter action. Then, the user can:

1. Determine the number of rows/columns in the filter 2. Change the color in a related user interface (UI) element (e.g., horizontal or vertical scroll bar)

3. Identify subsequent filter actions and then apply a subset of color changes
(i.e. steps 1 and 2 in this process) for a second filter action

The invention may substitute or combine with numbers in the UI.

Following are the components, process, and optional features for implementing the system in a preferred embodiment:

1. Create filter. Filters can be created at the sheet level or over a subsection of an entire sheet. The relative area involved in the filter is highlighted on the horizontal and vertical scroll bars.

Figure 1: Filter area is highlighted

2. Assign colors to rows and columns. Each column receives a unique color as a label, or column overlay.

A. The color of the rows and columns in the filter is applied transitively

(i.e. not stored with the document)

B. The colors may be applied in gradients (e.g., light blue, blue, dark blue, light green, green, dark green, etc.)

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Figure 2: Color is assigned (column with red highlight)


3. System detects activation of filtered segme...