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Slider and Button Controls for Graphical User Interface Disclosure Number: IPCOM000011832D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Mar-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Mar-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 78K

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This invention provides novel widgets for quickly accessing and changing properties of an object in a graphical user interface for a computer. We provide a visual metaphor that can be learned quickly and used intuitively, allowing a user to quickly change a property of a window or alter a parameter of a running software program, without key presses, by using minimal cursor movement, very few mouse clicks, and dragging a slider a short distance.

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Slider and Button Controls for Graphical User Interface

  Our first novel widget is a slider control (preferably triangular in shape) that overlays an edge (typically, a horizontal or vertical edge) of a window or toolbar. Fig. 1 shows the slider on a taskbar:

Fig. 1. A hover prompt (e.g., "Volume Control" in Fig. 1) appears when the cursor dwells on the slider for a time exceeding some constant. The slider may be configured to move a predetermined distance left or right when dragged, corresponding to values of an adjustable parameter, for example audio volume. Operating our slider control (as, e.g., a volume control) requires only two steps:

1. Move the cursor to the volume control slider (a hover prompt "Volume Control" appears)
2. Drag the slider to a new position. The volume changes.

compared with 5 for a conventional control. Our slider can be configured for other operations, as shown in Fig. 2:

Fig. 2.

Near a clock on a taskbar, our slider can be configured to set the time or the alarm. In Fig. 2, a hover prompt "Set Alarm [current time]" appears, where "[current time]" is a time of day such as "7:32 AM". Drag the slider a predetermined distance left or right to change the time shown; click the slider or the time to select.

The slider can be combined with a novel button, also overlaying an edge of an object, as shown in Fig. 3, configured to perform one or multiple operations. A hover prompt appears after a dwell time denoting the current function for the butt...