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Disappearing Web Travel Bar Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014195D
Original Publication Date: 2001-May-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a method for designing a web page which includes a travel bar or similar adornments without devoting excessive page area. The travel bar displays in a minimized form one character width until the mouse pointer is moved to it. While the mouse is over the travel bar, the bar expands to its full functional size. If the mouse leaves the travel bar, the bar shrinks back to its minimized form. A travel bar is one of the most popular adornments of current web pages. Typically it takes up the left 1/5 to 1/4 of the web page, extending from top to bottom. The bar contains links to other pages at the same web site or related sites, and is intended as a convenient means for the visitor to find other pages at the web site. Travel bars are implemented by splitting the web page as a table. The travel bar is one column of the table, the rest of the page is the other column of the table. Occasionally a page will sport travel bars on both the left and right sides, in which case a three-column table is used with the main page being the center column. Travel bars are popular because they offer useful convenience, but the convenience comes at a price: the loss of a substantial fraction of the page area. To keep the main portion of the page unified and avoid formatting confusion, the travel bar extends the entire length of the page, often leaving useless blank space displayed when the user scrolls down on any but the shortest web page. It is the purpose of this disclosure to describe alternative methods for displaying the same travel information, in the same screen position, but avoiding taking up much space except when actually being used. Two methods are disclosed. The first method pops up a second browser window which contains the travel bar information. The second method uses varying-sized frames to display the page. 1