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A method for searching strings by defining rich text attributes Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236177D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-11

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


This article introduces a search method based on the pre-defined or auto-recognized rich text attributes. Users can define the rich text attributes as search criteria to find the specific strings or any strings with the same rich text attributes as defined. Users can also paste a sample string (with rich text attributes copied as well) to ask the search method to automatically recognize the rich text attributes; then, the stings or other strings with the same rich text attributes would be filtered out.

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A method for searching strings by defining rich text attributes


The search function has long been facilitating document or website users to quickly locate the contents or strings they are looking for. The search attributes, as shown in the following screen captures, are mainly developed based on where and what the content is, whether to conduct a fuzzy or exact search, or whether to make it case or wild-card sensitive.

Figure 1 shows some samples of basic search function.

Figure 1. Search function examples in current programs and browsers

Some professional websites, to server users' sophisticated searching requirements, have designed and implemented advanced and customized search methods. Take the sample web page below for example (see Figure 2). It has guided search, advanced search, semantic search, and notes search, making optimal use of different searching


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ranges and attributes.

Figure 2. Sample web page with advanced and customized search methods

However, all of the above mentioned searching attributes are focusing on defining search strings in plain texts rather than rich texts, which most of the time leads to a wide range of unrelated or inaccurate results. It is sometimes time consuming and cannot satisfy users' needs.

This invention allows users to search rich text by easily specifying the text attributes, such as "font", "size", "style", and "color", as needed. Moreover, users can use the attributes copy and automatic style identification functions to simplify the search process to get the search results quickly and accurately.

Known solutions and drawbacks

We investigated and found the following known solutions that are related to this invention; however, they all have drawbacks.

Search and replace function for specific attribute

The program below provides a polyfunctional search support where users can search for specific text, color, symbol, or graphic, etc. Users can choose the type they want to search from the For drop-down list (see Figure 3).


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Figure 3. Search function for specific attribute

This invention differs from the above program in the following aspects:

In the above program, users can search only one attribute, for example color, at one time; while this invention can search multiple attributes together to get more precise and accurate results.

The search function in the above program can only be used to search in specific type of files; while this invention can do the search in multiple formats of files, including different documents and various web pages.

Quick Font Match

Patent Number: US 20120054231 A1 Search term used: font, match

In text processing, when the default font for the text is unavailable, sometimes the unmatched font is selected for the text. As a result, the whole text might become


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gibberish because the same UNICODE might correspond to different characters in different font types. This patent designs a method to s...