Method and Apparatus for Specifying Multiple Data Values Within a Single Display Field
Original Publication Date: 2002-Sep-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Disclosed is a method for using a single user interface control for the specification of multiple values. Although several different data values may be represented within the control, only one value may be displayed at a time. The data displayed in the field is associated with an activated label, such as a tab, that is connected to the field. Other values may be displayed by activating a different label connected to the field, with the associated data for that label appearing in place of the previously displayed data. As an example of how this disclosure might be applied, consider an address book application. The user may have several different telephone numbers for an individual, with each telephone number specified in a separate entry field in the interface. However, the control proposed in this disclosure would use the same display field in the interface to provide a single point of access to multiple telephone numbers (Figure 1). To view other telephone numbers, the user would click (or tap, on a handheld device) a different tab to display (Figure 2). Often, some address book entries may have only one telephone number, with empty data fields for the remainder. To give the user feedback whether a tab has a telephone number associated with it, a visual cue could be added to the tab, such as placing the label in bold text or coloring the tab. Figure 1. Tabbed entry field for telephone numbers "Office" number displayed. Figure 2. Tabbed entry field for telephone numbers "Cell" number displayed.