Assisted Mouse Navigation Through Pull-Down Menus
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-12
Disclosed herein is an alternate operating method for pull-down menu visual components. Currently, it is often annoying for the user to use the pull-down menu GUI mechanism (particularly when using an imprecise input mechanism, such as a trackpoint) as it requires two separate visual "hunt-and-click" actions. First the user must hunt for the location of the correct pull-down, then the user must reposition the mouse (often times while avoiding floating the mouse over other visual components that are seeking "mouseover" events) through and over the entries therein to find their desired selection. Proposed herein is an alternative system and method to replace the current "hunt and click, then hunt and click again (while avoiding other components now)" with a less abrasive "hunt and click, then guide me easily" mechanism.
Assisted Mouse Navigation Through Pull -Down Menus
Once a pull-down has been selected, navigation could then be assisted by allowing one or more mouse buttons to guide navigation, thereby saving the user from having to endure precision mouse-work.
In one embodiment of this invention, after a user has selected a pull-down menu with the mouse (and the pull-down menu has deployed), the user could click the middle button once to reposition the mouse down the list by precisely one menu item. The user could also be enable to click a different button, such as the right mouse button, to reposition the mouse up the list by one menu item. Alternatively, the mouse wheel could be used. Note, however, that current art shows occasions when the mouse wheel is used for scrolling the menu if it a scroll bar is present. As such, this navigational enhancement could be employed to work in coordination with current mouse wheel art, or as a replacement thereof. Note that in current art the mouse wheel will not actually move the mouse. In any case, when a mouse reaches the on-screen boundary of a scroll-able list with more elements remaining in that direction, continued navigation in that direction would cause the menu to scroll by one element since the mouse should not be enabled to move beyond the boundaries of the menu. In this way, accidentally navigating outside of the menu and over other visual components is avoided.
Note that by using this invention, a user can navigate through...