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Browse Prior Art Database

Variable Speed Scrolling Widget

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016130D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Sep-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a control for navigating quickly through large amounts of ordered data (for example, an alphabetical listing of names) in a small viewport on a computer display using a pointing device. The invention allows the user to control the speed and direction of scrolling, but unlike similar implementations that use linear controls, the scrolling speed increases exponentially, allowing the user to scroll at great speed. This type of scrolling is well-suited to ordered data; in searching through such data, the proximity to the item being searched for can be easily determined be scanning the initial characters of the list items, rather than having to read each individual entry in its entirety. The control is rectangular in shape and consists of a marked center point (1) and indicators at both ends (2) reflecting the direction in which scrolling will occur. It is located adjacent to the viewport (3). The user scrolls by interacting with any area of the control, either by holding down the main button of a mouse or similar pointing device or by touching the screen with a stylus or finger in a touch screen environment. Scrolling stops when main button is released or the user is no longer touching the screen. The scrolling speed is relative to the distance from the pointer to the center point of the control while the pointer is still inside of the control. As the pointer moves further from the center point, the scrolling speed increases exponentially; for example, at twice the distance from the center point the speed might be squared instead of doubled. Scrolling occurs in the same direction as the pointer's location relative to the center point; for example, if the pointer is below the center point, the direction of the scrolling action would be downward. No scrolling occurs if the user interacts with the control at the center point, because the distance between the center point and the pointer would be zero. If the pointer leaves the control before the user stops the scrolling, the scrolling continues at the same rate and in the same direction as it was when the pointer left the control. 1