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1. WO2003023608 - PROCEDE PERMETTANT D'AFFICHER SIMULTANEMENT UNE FENETRE ET UN PANNEAU DEROULANT DE DIALOGUE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

A METHOD OF SIMULTANEOUSLY DISPLAYING A
WINDOW AND A SCROLLABLE DIALOG PANEL

FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[0001] The present invention relates to data processing devices. In particular, the present invention relates to a scrollable dialog panel for a data processing device.

BACKGROUND OF THE RELATED ART
[0002] With advances in silicon processing technology, data processing devices such as personal information managers ("PIMs") and cellular phones continue to decrease in size. Smaller size, however, creates new challenges related to usability. For example, as the data processing devices get smaller, input devices on the data processing devices may get smaller and, consequently, more difficult to use. As a result, it may be necessary to reduce the amount of input required from a user to perform tasks on the data processing device. An additional challenge is that smaller data processing devices typically require smaller displays which may be difficult to read. As such, data may need to be presented to the user in a more compact, efficient manner.
[0003] One example of the information that may need to be presented in a more efficient manner is information presented to the user on graphical dialog panels. The data processing device may use the graphical dialog panels to perform functions such as, but not limited to, finding a file, warning a user, displaying instructions, or displaying related text. The dialog panels may appear when the user or the data processing device calls a function, such as a find function to find a file. The dialog panel may then allow the user to enter a filename or search term in order to perform a search.
[0004] Dialog panels may also be used to warn the user. For example, if the data processing device scans a file and finds a virus in a selected file and/or if the data processing device needs to warn the user that a current file has not been saved, the data processing device may display this warning information on a dialog panel. The data processing device may also use the dialog panel to display instructions or informative text to the user. For example, if the user asks for help on the current application, the dialog panel may appear on the display with relevant information.
[0005] The information displayed in current dialog panels may be divided among a series of panels. Typically, "next" and "previous" buttons are provided to allow the user to flip through a series of panels. Because the dialog panels are read one panel at a time, the user may have a harder time reading instructions or results displayed in the series of dialog panels. For example, the user may have to flip back and forth between panels in order to view results or instructions that may be related to each other.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0006] This invention discloses a scrollable dialog panel for use on a data processing device display.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0007] The present invention is illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the accompanying figs:
[0008] Fig. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a scrollable dialog panel displaying the results of a find function.
[0009] Fig. 2 illustrates an embodiment of a scrollable dialog panel for entering information into an application.
[0010] Fig. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a scrollable dialog panel displaying information to the user.
[0011] Fig. 4 illustrates an embodiment of a scrollable dialog panel displaying choices for a user in a current application.
[0012] Fig. 5 illustrates an embodiment of a scrollable dialog panel having a scroll bar.
[0013] Fig. 6 illustrates an embodiment of a scrollable dialog panel in the form of a flowchart of a system's actions.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
[0014] The following description makes reference to numerous specific details in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention.

However, it is to be noted that not every specific detail need be employed to practice the present invention. Additionally, well-known details, such as particular materials or methods, have not been described in order to avoid obscuring the invention.
[0015] Referring to Fig. 1, an embodiment of the invention is shown in the form of a scrollable dialog panel 5 displaying the results of a find function. Data processing devices may use the scrollable dialog panels 5 to display information related to functions (i.e. auxiliary applications) such as, but not limited to, a find function, a search function, diagnostics, and formatting. For example, when a display 1 , coupled to the data processing device, displays a list of files, such as file 3, a user may use the find function in order to locate a specific file in the list of files. Upon starting the find function, the display 1 may display the scrollable dialog panel 5 with a find box 7. The user may then enter the filename the user is looking for. The scrollable dialog panel 5 may display the results of the search 9 with each result, such as result one 11 , shown on a separate line. In one embodiment, to review result six 13, the user may scroll down the list of results instead of flipping between panels in a series of panels containing the results. The user may scroll through the scrollable display panel 5 in increments less than the size of the scrollable dialog panel 5. For example, the user may scroll through the scrollable dialog panel 5 one line at a time. Accordingly, to compare result five 12 and result six 13, the user may only need to scroll the scrollable dialog panel down until result six 13 and result five 12 are both viewable. Because the user does not need to flip back and forth between panels to compare the result five 12 and the result six 13 (e.g., using "next" and "back" buttons), the comparison may be performed more efficiently. The scrollable dialog panel 5 may also be used by the data processing device to search for search terms such as words or phrases in a file, to find files by date or size, or to locate other elements that may be useful to the user.
[0016] The scrollable dialog panel may vary in size depending on several factors such as, but not limited to, the screen size and the size of the related application's window. For example, the scrollable dialog panel 5 may have outer dimensions either smaller or larger than the viewable dimensions of the display 1. The scrollable dialog panel 5 may also have outer dimensions smaller than the dimensions of a related application. For example, in the embodiment shown in Fig. 1 , the application window 2 may have dimensions equal to the viewable dimensions of the display 1. In another embodiment, the application window 2 may have dimensions smaller than the viewable dimensions of the display 1 to allow the user to see other application windows on the display 1 at the same time. Because scrollable dialog panel 5 may have outer dimensions that are smaller than display 1 , the data processing device may only be able to display a limited amount of information in the viewable part of the scrollable dialog panel 5. However, because the user may scroll through the information on the scrollable dialog panel 5, instead of flipping through the information in a series of panels, the user may be able to overcome the disadvantage of the scrollable dialog panel's small size.
[0017] The user may scroll through the information on scrollable dialog panel 5 using any one of several input devices including, but not limited to, a computer mouse, a scroll bar, a control knob, a keyboard, a touch pad, or a touch display. In addition, the user may not be limited to scrolling in a vertical direction but may be able to scroll the scrollable dialog panel 5 in a horizontal direction. For example, if a dialog result is wider than the scrollable dialog panel 5, one embodiment of the invention will allow a user to scroll horizontally in order to view the entire result. In another embodiment of the invention, the result may wrap around in the scrollable dialog panel 5 to circumvent the need to scroll in the horizontal direction. The user may also need to scroll in the horizontal direction if the search term to be entered in the find box 7 is wider than the scrollable dialog panel 5. Accordingly, the data processing device may scroll the scrollable dialog panel 5 in the horizontal direction automatically as the user enters information into the find box 7. While the scrollable dialog panel 5 is displayed in the center of the display 1 in Fig. 1 , the scrollable dialog panel 5 may be located anywhere on the display 1.
[0018] Referring to Fig. 2, an embodiment of the invention is shown with scrollable dialog panel 5 being used on display 1 to enter information into a current application (i.e. an application being executed by the data processing device). Data processing devices may use applications to keep track of personal information 15 such as, but not limited to, a user's home address 19, business address 21 , and weekly schedule 23. To input or change information, such as personal information, on the data processing device, a user may choose a category of information by using selection box 17. For example, in Fig. 2, the selection box 17 may be used to indicate that the home address 19 needs to be entered or changed. The data processing device may display a scrollable dialog panel 5 to receive the new information (e.g., the street address 25, apartment number 27, city 29, state 31 , zip code 33 and country 35, . . . etc). Because the dialog panel 5 is scrollable, the user will not need to flip between a series of panels when entering information. For example, after entering the zip code 33, the user may scroll down the scrollable dialog panel to bring up the country 35 instead of having to flip to a new panel to enter country 35. In the same manner, information such as the business address 21 or the weekly schedule 23 may be entered or changed in the data processing device. In another embodiment, the data processing device may automatically scroll the scrollable dialog panel 5 as the user enters information near the bottom of the panel (e.g., allowing the user to enter country information 35 without manually scrolling the dialog panel 5). This provides a benefit over a series of dialog panels in which, in order to enter the country information 35, it may be confusing as to whether each dialog panel is connected to the same home address.
[0019] Other applications, other types of information, and other methods of selecting types of information to enter or change, are also within the scope of the invention. As described above, the scrollable dialog panel 5 may be scrollable in the horizontal direction. For example, if the street information 25 was wider than the scrollable dialog panel 5, the user may scroll the scrollable dialog panel 5 in the horizontal direction in order to enter additional street information 25. In another embodiment of the invention, the data processing device may scroll the scrollable dialog panel 5 automatically as the user enters the street information 25.
[0020] In an embodiment in which the scrollable dialog panel 5 is smaller than the display 1 , the user may see the related application window displayed in the background. As such, the user will be continually reminded of which application the entered information is associated with. This feature may be particularly beneficial on data processing devices that contain multiple applications that use the same types of information such as, for example, an e-mail application and an electronic address book.

[0021] Referring to Fig. 3, an embodiment of the invention is shown with the scrollable dialog panel 5 displaying warning information on a display 1. The data processing device may use the scrollable dialog panel 5 to display information such as, but not limited to, warning information, instructions, help advice, and status reports. For example, if a series of files, such as file 3 and file 39, are displayed on the display 1 for the user to select using selection bar 37, a data processing device virus scanner may scan each file as the file is selected. For example, if the user has moved selection bar 37 over file 39, the data processing device may scan file 39, detect a virus and display warning information 41 in the scrollable dialog panel 5. Thus, the scrollable dialog panel 5 may appear only when the information 41 is relevant (e.g., when the user selects an infected file). Moreover, the user may scroll through the warning information rather than flipping through a series of dialog panels (e.g., as the user moves through the information with a cursor).
[0022] As in the previous embodiment, the scrollable dialog panel 5 illustrated in Fig. 3 may be smaller than the display 1 , to concurrently display the warning information 41 and the application window in the background. Thus, the user may see the list and selected file in the background while viewing the warning information 41 at the same time. In one embodiment, the panel containing the warning information is also be scrollable in the horizontal direction (although it may be more convenient to have the text wrap around in the display window and allow scrolling in the vertical direction only).
[0023] Referring to Fig. 4, one embodiment of a scrollable dialog panel 5 for selecting an item in a list is shown. The scrollable dialog panel 5 may be used by a data processing device to display a list of items or options related to the current application window. For example, the scrollable dialog panel 5 may have a list of titles, such as title one 55, title three 57, and title eight 61 , associated with a category displayed on the display 1. For example, under book categories 43, the user may be able to choose among categories, such as non-fiction 45, science fiction 47, drama 49, and action/suspense 53. After selecting the category in the application window, such as with a selection box 51 , the data processing device may display a scrollable dialog panel to list related items to the user (e.g., title three 57). The user may be able to scroll through the items by moving the scrollable dialog panel selection box 59 down through the items using some form of input such as, but not limited to, a computer mouse, keyboard keys, a touch pad, control knob, or touch display. In an alternate embodiment, the data processing device may automatically scroll the scrollable dialog panel 5 as the user moves the scrollable dialog selection box 59 closer to the bottom of the scrollable dialog panel 5. Because the user can scroll the scrollable dialog panel 5 without having to flip through a series of panels, the user may more easily be able to select between adjacent items, such as title seven 60 and title eight 61 , without flipping back and forth between panels. The scrollable dialog panel 5 may also be scrolled by the user in the horizontal direction if the text of a selection, such as title three 57, is wider than the widest dimension of the scrollable dialog panel 5. As described above, the application window may be viewable in the background, reminding the user which application created the scrollable dialog panel 5.
[0024] Referring to Fig. 5, an embodiment of the invention is shown with the scrollable dialog panel 5 having a scroll bar 63. The user may use the scroll bar 63 to scroll the contents displayed on the scrollable dialog panel 5. For example, the contents may be scrolled by manipulating the scroll bar 63 such as, but not limited to, clicking the up arrow 67, clicking the down arrow 65, moving the scroll bar box 69, or clicking above or below the scroll bar box 69, but inside of the scroll bar 63. The scroll bar 63 may allow a user to more quickly access different parts of information displayed in the scrollable dialog panel 5 without having to scroll through all of the information between the subsequent parts. For example, if the user knows that the relevant information he or she is looking for is near the bottom of the information presented in the scrollable dialog panel 5, the user may move scroll bar box 69 to the bottom of scroll bar 63 using a device such as, but not limited to, a computer mouse, control knob, trackball, touch pad, touch display, and/or keyboard. A horizontal scroll bar (not shown) may also be used to scroll the information in the scrollable dialog panel 5 along the horizontal axis. Other methods of scrolling through the information in the scrollable dialog panel 5 may also be within the scope of the invention.
[0025] Referring to Fig. 6, one embodiment of the invention is shown in the form of flowchart of the system's actions. At block 71 , a system may display a scrollable display panel on a display. At block 73, the system may receive user input through an input device and at block 75 the system may scroll a scrollable display panel in response to the user input.
[0026] Embodiments of the invention may include various steps as set forth above. The steps may be embodied in machine-executable instructions. The instructions can be used to cause a general-purpose or special-purpose processor to perform certain steps. Alternatively, these steps may be performed by specific hardware components that contain hardwired logic for performing the steps, or by any combination of programmed data processing device components and custom hardware components.
[0027] Elements of the present invention may also be provided as a machine-readable medium for storing the machine-executable instructions. The machine-readable medium may include, but is not limited to, floppy diskettes, optical disks, CD-ROMs, and magneto-optical disks, ROMs, RAMs, EPROMs, EEPROMs, magnetic or optical cards, propagation media or other type of media/machine-readable medium suitable for storing electronic instructions. For example, the present invention may be downloaded as a data processing device program which may be transferred from a remote data processing device (e.g., a server) to a requesting data processing device (e.g., a client) by way of data signals embodied in a carrier wave or other propagation medium via a communication link (e.g., a modem or network connection).
[0028] Throughout the foregoing description, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details were set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the invention may be practiced without some of these specific details. For example, while a scrollable dialog box was described above in the context of a small, portable device, such a limitation is not required for performing the underlying principles of the invention. Accordingly, the scope and spirit of the invention should be judged in terms of the claims, which follow.