Browse Prior Art Database

Enhanced Shift Key Usability Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019549D
Publication Date: 2003-Sep-18
Document File: 1 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This invention provides improved operability when using the shift key with the top (numerical) row on a QWERTY "soft" keyboard.

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Enhanced Shift Key Usability

Navigating to a separate screen on software-generated keyboards accesses characters accessed by the shift key on a physical keyboard.

On software generated keyboards, pressing the shift key will cause the characters available for selection to come to the foreground. Bringing the shifted characters to the foreground involves either bolding the characters available in shift mode or switching the positions of the normal and shifted characters.

Figure 1 shows a sample keyboard with the current method of displaying the characters available in shift mode and normal mode. In normal mode, pressing a key results in the character with the bold font style (1, 2, 3, etc) being selected for input. In shift mode, pressing a key results in the grayed out character (!, @, #, etc) on the upper left being selected for input. Shift mode is entered when the shift key on a keyboard is pressed or held down.

Figure 1: Normal keyboard display.

For increased readability of the characters available in shift mode, two methods are proposed: bolding and switching. With bolding, the characters available in shift mode will display in a bold font style and the normal characters would be grayed out as shown in figure 2.

Figure 2: Shift mode display (bolding).

With switching, the characters available in shift mode would switch positions with the normal characters as shown in figure 3.

Figure 3: Shift mode display (switching).

When the shift mode is exited the keyboard would retur...