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Authoring tool

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Authoring tool


An authoring tool provides a storage receptacle for text components of graphics designs. The storage receptacle is easily accessed from within the graphics authoring environment and allows for the text to be changed independently of the graphics authoring environment, for possible future insertion into graphics files. Once a text item from the storage receptacle has been inserted in a graphics file, a relationship is maintained between the graphics file and the text item in the receptacle. This relationship can then be used in many ways, in particular to keep the text in the graphics file and the text in the receptacle synchronized. The storage receptacle can be implemented as a database system. In this manner the authoring tool automates the synchronization between the textual content which is usually drafted and edited outside of the graphics environment and the final graphics files in which the text will ultimately be inserted.
Related Terms: Authoring Tool

USPTO Applicaton #: #20120297295 - Class: 715271 (USPTO) - 11/22/12 - Class 715 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120297295, Authoring tool.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/677,639, filed Feb. 22, 2007 and granted as U.S. Pat. No. 8,245,136 on Aug. 14, 2012, the specification and drawings of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety for all purposes, which claimed the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/776,159 filed Feb. 23, 2006 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/846,796 filed Sep. 22, 2006, the specification and drawings of both of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

Graphic designs for product packaging and advertising most often include text along with the graphics. The text can include ingredient lists, contact telephone numbers, and warning labels that are developed by marketing or legal departments and often will eventually be translated into multiple languages. The graphic designs are generally developed by a separate graphic design group or by outside contractors who are not involved with the text development. This separation between the text development and graphic design processes makes it difficult to work on both components concurrently and may lead to significant graphic redesign when text is updated at the last minute, and does not fit the graphic design. This separation is also often the cause of errors when the graphic designer has to manually cut and paste text from a word processor document into a graphic file.

SUMMARY

The authoring tool provides for a repository of text, including text that is often used across many different graphics files. This text repository is conveniently accessible by graphic designers using a text tool that operates in their graphic design environment. The authoring tool establishes and maintains links between the text in the text repository and the graphics files into which text has been inserted so that the text can be updated and maintained separate from the graphic design environment and imported into the graphics file when so desired.

An authoring tool provides a storage receptacle for text components of graphics designs. In one embodiment, the storage receptacle is a computer readable media (e.g., a hard drive or memory). The storage receptacle is easily accessed from within the graphics authoring environment and allows for the text to be changed independently of the graphics authoring environment, for possible future insertion into graphics files. Once a text item from the storage receptacle has been inserted in a graphics file, a relationship is maintained between the graphics file and the text item in the receptacle. This relationship can then be used in many ways, in particular to keep the text in the graphics file and the text in the receptacle synchronized. The storage receptacle can be implemented as a database system. In this manner the authoring tool automates the synchronization between the textual content which is usually drafted and edited outside of the graphics environment and the final graphics files in which the text will ultimately be inserted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a functional block diagram of an authoring tool constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of an authoring tool constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention that includes a text format conservation tool;

FIG. 3 is a flowchart outlining a method of conserving text formatting information according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of one example of an unformatted text update being formatted by the text format conservation system.

DESCRIPTION

An authoring tool includes a text repository that stores textual elements for insertion in a graphics file and maintains a relationship between the textual elements and their location in the graphics file. Accordingly, the automates the synchronization between all the changes made regarding text, which are usually made and kept track of in word processors and email documents, and the final graphics files in which the text will ultimately be inserted. The authoring tool lets the graphic designer to select for use from existing approved text, thus speeding the creation process by alleviating the need to clear the text after it has been inserted in the graphics. The authoring tool lets the graphic designer select the same existing text for the same purpose across many graphics files thus allowing for greater consistency across different graphics files. Personnel working on the graphic design and personnel creating the text can work in parallel, and in synchronization, thus speeding the overall job of creating the final graphics file.

The present state of the art in managing the development of artwork, such as product labels and packages, that includes both text and graphics is the Digital Asset Management System (DAMS). A leader in the DAMS arena is Documentum. Typically, a DAMS stores the various label components as separate files. Artwork is stored as graphics files and text to be included with artwork to create the label is stored as word processor document files. When using a DAMS, a graphic designer has to manually compare the graphics file and the corresponding word processor document file to see if any changes need to be made to the artwork. If any changes need to be made, they have to be made manually by cutting and pasting from the word processor into the artwork file. This manual process of verification and update is error prone. In contrast to a typical DAMS that manages textual content at the file level, the authoring tool manages textual content at a more granular level.

Another class of artwork development tools leverages the concept of a template and allows the graphic designer to add text to an existing graphic design. Such a tool is BrandWizard which allows for substitution of text in a fixed graphic design but does not provide a full fledged graphical environment. Another such tool is the one described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,349,648 (Handley) which describes a template-based publishing system. Template based systems focus on eliminating the need for graphic design, and graphic designers, by automating the insertion of text in a fixed design. Rather than eliminating the ability to change graphic components of a label or package, the authoring tool described herein alleviates the burden normally associated with inserting and editing text in a graphic design, so the graphic designer can focus all of his/her energy on graphic design.

Overview

The authoring tool provides convenient access to text/copy for graphics designers using a software based graphic authoring environment such as Adobe Illustrator. The authoring tool includes a text tool that is capable of accessing a text repository of text/copy and allows a graphic designer to insert the text and related information into the graphics file being authored. The text tool provides indexes with which the author can access text in the text repository. The text tool also provides a way to insert a group of distinct text strings into a graphics file that have been specified as being part of a group associated with a given project, for example all the text that should be present on a specific package. The text tool also allows the graphic designer to associate the graphics file that a group of text is being inserted into with the group. The text tool enables the author to automatically check for updates on text, or group of text, already inserted into the graphic design by accessing the text repository. If the text, or group of text, has been updated, the text may be replaced automatically or manually altered by the author.

The text tool may include a text format conservation system that maps formatting from the prior version of the text already in the graphics file to newly inserted text, so that as much of the formatting work such as fonts, sizes, kerning, and colors of the characters and text layout that has been done is conserved. In most cases, the insertion of new text into a previously formatted version will not require any manual formatting. With previously existing DAMSs, when text was newly inserted, most of the formatting was lost and had to be manually redone when text needed to be updated.

The text repository may store a text string and its translation into an unlimited number of languages. The indexes and update functions can be used with translations as well. If a translation is not available, the text repository has a translation placeholder function that provides a placeholder for insertion into the graphic until the translation becomes available. The placeholder is generated based on the length of the original text and an algorithm that includes data about translation expansion ratios. The use of placeholders is useful, especially in the case of graphical authoring environments where the size of the placeholder helps the author make authoring/design decisions.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120297295 A1
Publish Date
11/22/2012
Document #
13562983
File Date
07/31/2012
USPTO Class
715271
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F17/21
Drawings
5


Authoring Tool


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