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Zoomable Document Structure Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020086D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-24
Document File: 1 page(s) / 40K

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Text documents are currently stored in a textually sequential form. That is, the first sentence is stored before the second sentence, which in turn is stored before the third etc. The documents may additionally have a markup which gives context to the raw text. This means that to appreciate the full scope of a document it is necessary to read the whole file. Using existing document structures it is not possible to read the most important sections of the document first. This article describes a mechanism for storing text documents in a structured manner, in order that more or less detail in the document can be revealed.

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Zoomable Document Structure

This article describes a means of storing a text document in such a way that a user can zoom in and out of the document to reveal more or less detail in the content, but at all times still being able to see the full extent of the document. Using this technique, a user could zoom out of a document and see just the most salient sentences, in order to give them a quick summary of the document. They could then zoom in to reveal more and more of the detail in the sentence structures located between the most significant ones and so on.

    The structure of the document means that as a user reads the file they can always get a view of the document as a whole, reading further into the file merely adds detail.

    As the intelligence is built into the structure of the document, no intelligence is needed in the viewer to decode the document.

    The essential part of this system is the structure that text documents would be stored in. A document would be split up into a set of sentences. Each sentence is then assigned a textual order value and a lexical affinity value. The textual order value represents the position that the sentence takes in its normal written sequence. The lexical affinity value defines the importance of that sentence in the document. The sentence, its textual order and lexical affinity make up a sentence structure. The sentence structures are then stored in the document in order of lexical affinity (the most important sentence structure...