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Managing content color through context based color menu

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20130019208 patent thumbnailZoom

Managing content color through context based color menu


Context based color menus are employed to assign a color to content through touch or gesture actions, keyboard entries, mouse or pen actions, and similar input. Context based color menus are deployed to assign a color through color controls. Color controls are positioned in a variety of forms and potentially expand to multiple levels of color control sets. An example color menu positions a set of top level color controls on an inside region of a context based color menu while positioning a set of color controls corresponding to shades of one of the top level controls on an outside region of the menu. Sub-menus are used to provide shades of colors associated with color controls adjacent to a sub-menu launcher.
Related Terms: Colors Keyboard Menus

USPTO Applicaton #: #20130019208 - Class: 715835 (USPTO) - 01/17/13 - Class 715 
Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing > Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface) >On-screen Workspace Or Object >Menu Or Selectable Iconic Array (e.g., Palette) >Selectable Iconic Array



Inventors: Matthew Kotler, Erez Kikin Gil, Vignesh Sachidanandam, Andrew Hockman

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130019208, Managing content color through context based color menu.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. Nos. 61/507,983 and 61/556,945 filed on Jul. 14, 2011 and Nov. 8, 2011. The disclosures of the provisional patent applications are hereby incorporated by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

With the proliferation of computing and networking technologies, two aspects of computing devices have become prevalent: non-traditional (e.g., mouse and keyboard) input mechanisms and smaller form factors. User interfaces for all kinds of software applications have been designed taking typical screen sizes and input mechanisms into account. Thus, user interactions in conventional systems are presumed to be through keyboard and mouse type input devices and a minimum screen size that enables users to interact with the user interface at a particular precision.

Limited display real estate burdens many portable devices from providing full featured content management functionality. Furthermore, gestural commanding is not efficient using conventional menus including support for limited displays or just taking into account where the user\'s finger/mouse/pen is. Additionally, display devices such as projectors, monitors, and televisions may lack controls for providing content management functionality. Modern software solutions such as on screen keyboards may be awkward to type and encompass valuable display area. Lack of adequate software solutions for managing content on non-traditional devices largely limit device use to content consumption. Carrying multiple devices for content management and consumption defeats portability and unnecessarily takes away from an enriching singular source for content consumption and management.

Limited screen space in mobile devices presents a significant challenge to delivering effective control interfaces. For example, in conventional systems, color choices are provided through multi step menu controls to enable a user to adjust various facets of color selections. Similarly, in conventional systems, users are enabled to alter color of graphics, shapes, objects, etc., through complex menu structures providing extensive functionality to modify many attributes such as shading and light effects. However, screen size limitations and lack of input options can force designers of mobile systems to provide simplified, as well as less natural/cumbersome, controls for color functionality. It may be very hard to select a specific color, for example, because the color palette is too small on a tablet/slate device. Such limited solutions can fail to reproduce coloring features provided by conventional counterparts.

SUMMARY

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to exclusively identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

Embodiments are directed to managing content color through context based color menu. Context based color menus may be deployed for variety of scenarios for content color management. An application according to embodiments may present the context based color menu upon activation of the menu by a user input. The input may include a tap, a swipe, a keyboard, a mouse, a voice, a visual, a pen, and/or a gesture action. Next, the application may assign a color to selected content according to another detected input.

These and other features and advantages will be apparent from a reading of the following detailed description and a review of the associated drawings. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are explanatory and do not restrict aspects as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate some example devices, where context based color menus may be employed;

FIG. 2 illustrates an example context based color menu with controls to manage content color according to embodiments;

FIG. 3 illustrates another example context based color menu with content type controls according to embodiments;

FIG. 4 illustrates an example scenario of applying a color to a content type using a context based color menu according to embodiments;

FIG. 5 illustrates an example context based color menu with additional sub-level color controls integrated into the menu according to embodiments;

FIG. 6 illustrates an example context based color menu with color indicators according to embodiments;

FIG. 7 illustrates other examples of context based color menus according to embodiments;

FIG. 8 is a networked environment, where a system according to embodiments may be implemented;

FIG. 9 is a block diagram of an example computing operating environment, where embodiments may be implemented; and

FIG. 10 illustrates a logic flow diagram for a process of managing content color through context based color menu in touch and gesture enabled devices according to embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As briefly described above, a user interface of an application executing on a device may present a context based color menu in relation to displayed content in response to an activation of the menu. The context based color menu may provide controls to manage content. Next, the application may detect another input activating a control within the context based color menu. The input may include touch, gesture, keyboard entry, mouse click, and/or pen input. The application may execute a command associated with the input to assign a color to selected content.

In the following detailed description, references are made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustrations specific embodiments or examples. These aspects may be combined, other aspects may be utilized, and structural changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present disclosure. The following detailed description is therefore not to be taken in the limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims and their equivalents. While the embodiments will be described in the general context of program modules that execute in conjunction with an application program that runs on an operating system on a personal computer, those skilled in the art will recognize that aspects may also be implemented in combination with other program modules.

Generally, program modules include routines, programs, components, data structures, and other types of structures that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. Moreover, those skilled in the art will appreciate that embodiments may be practiced with other computer system configurations, including hand-held devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based or programmable consumer electronics, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and comparable computing devices. Embodiments may also be practiced in distributed computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote memory storage devices.

Embodiments may be implemented as a computer-implemented process (method), a computing system, or as an article of manufacture, such as a computer program product or computer readable media. The computer program product may be a computer storage medium readable by a computer system and encoding a computer program that comprises instructions for causing a computer or computing system to perform example process(es). The computer-readable storage medium is a computer-readable memory device. The computer-readable storage medium can for example be implemented via one or more of a volatile computer memory, a non-volatile memory, a hard drive, a flash drive, a floppy disk, or a compact disk, and comparable media.

According to embodiments, a user interface of a touch-enabled or gesture-enabled device may employ context based color menus to manage content such as textual content, shape, object, line, 3D effect, graphics, tables, etc. A context based color menu may make use of features specific to touch or gesture enabled computing devices, but may also work with a traditional mouse and keyboard. Context based color menu may be an example of a context based menu. Context based menus, in general, may be used to provide quick access to commonly used commands while viewing or editing displayed content such as documents, emails, contact lists, other communications, or any content (e.g., audio, video, etc.). Context based menus may appear as part of a user interface\'s regular menu, in a separate viewing pane (e.g., a window) outside or inside the user interface, and so on. Typically, context based menus present a limited set of commands for easy user access, but additional submenus may be presented upon user selection. Commonly used context based menus may appear over the viewed document. A tap or swipe action as used herein may be provided by a user through a finger, a pen, a mouse, or similar device, as well as through predefined keyboard entry combinations or a voice command.

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate some example devices, where a context based color menus may be employed. As touch and gesture based technologies are proliferating and computing devices employing those technologies are becoming common, user interface arrangement becomes a challenge. Touch and/or gesture enabled devices, specifically portable devices, tend to have smaller screen size, which means less available space for user interfaces. For example, in a user interface that enables editing of a document (text and/or graphics), in addition to the presented portion of the document, a virtual keyboard may have to be displayed further limiting the available space (“real estate”). Thus, in such scenarios, providing a full control menu may be impractical or impossible. Embodiments are directed to a context based color menus to assign color to content including text, shapes, lines, objects, etc.

As mentioned above, smaller available display space, larger content, and different aspect ratios make conventional menus impractical. Existing touch-based devices such as tablet PCs and similar ones are typically directed to data consumption (i.e., viewing). On the other hand, commonly used applications such as word processing applications, spreadsheet applications, presentation applications, and comparable ones are directed to creation (generating and editing documents with textual, graphical, and other content). Currently available context based menus are either invisible most of the time or they block the content when they are visible. A context based color menu according to some embodiments may be provided dynamically based on presented content and available space while providing ease of use without usurping much needed display area.

Referring to FIGS. 1A and 1B, some example devices are illustrated, where a context based color menu may be provided according to embodiments. A context based color menu may be an embodiment of a context based menu. Embodiments may be implemented in touch and/or gesture enabled devices or others with keyboard/mouse/pen input, with varying form factors and capabilities.

Device 104 in FIG. 1A is an example of a large size display device, where a user interface may be provided on screen 106. Functionality of various applications may be controlled through hardware controls 108 and/or soft controls such as a context based color menu displayed on screen 106. A user may be enabled to interact with the user interface through touch actions or gestures (detected by a video capture device). A launcher indicator may be presented at a fixed location or at a dynamically adjustable location for the user to activate the context based color menu. Examples of device 104 may include public information display units, large size computer monitors, and so on.

Device 112 in FIG. 1A is an example for use of a context based color menu to control functionality. A user interface may be displayed on a screen or projected on a surface and actions of user 110 may be detected as gestures through video capture device 114. The user\'s gestures may activate a context based color menu to assign color to content as displayed on the device 112.

FIG. 1B includes several example devices such as touch enabled computer monitor 116, laptop computer 118, handheld computer 124, smart phone 126, tablet computer (or slate) 128, and mobile computing device 132, which may be used for computing, communication, control, measurement, and a number of other purposes. The example devices in FIG. 1B are shown with touch activation 120. However, any of these and other example devices may also employ gesture enabled activation of context based color menus to assign color to content. In addition, tools such as pen 130 may be used to provide touch input. A context based color menu may be controlled also through conventional methods such as a mouse input or input through a keyboard 122.

FIG. 2 illustrates an example context based color menu with controls to manage content color according to embodiments. Diagram 200 displays a context based color menu 202 with controls to manage a color of content including textual content and shapes.

According to some embodiments, a user interface of an application may display context based color menu 202 with navigation control 210 to access a prior context based menu. The prior context based menu may be a top level color menu providing color controls for a wider range of colors. If the menu 202 is a top level color menu, then the navigation control 210 may provide access to a context based menu with controls to select type of content to assign the color such as textual content, shapes, etc. Alternatively, the navigation control 210 may be used to change the context based color menu 202 to a collapsed state (i.e., visually minimized).

According to other embodiments, the menu 202 may have a set of color controls positioned radially adjacent to each other within the menu 202. The radial menu 202 is just an example embodiment. A context based color menu may take many forms and shapes including a linear shape menu, a half circular shape menu, an arc shape menu, etc. A color control 206 may also take multiple forms including color controls displaying a single color or a continuous color control to select a color from a spectrum of color.

According to yet other embodiments, the menu 202 may display sub-menu launcher 204 adjacent to color controls to launch sub-menus associated with the color controls. An example sub-menu launcher 204 may launch a sub-menu of sub colors associated with the adjacent color control. An example sub-menu may include color controls for shades of a color provided by the color control in the menu 202. Once the application may detect an input activating a sub-menu launcher 204, the application may present a sub-menu including a set of sub colors associated with the color control adjacent to the sub-menu launcher. In response to detecting another input selecting one of the sub color controls, the application may assign a sub color associated with the selected sub color control to the content. If there is a sub-menu, the color last selected in that submenu may bubble up to the top level menu so that the user has quick access back to it (without having to go pick the specific hue, e.g., again). Thus, most recently used (MRU) or most frequently used (MFU) colors may be pushed to the top level menu for ease of access.

According to further embodiments, the application may detect an input 212 selecting a color control 206 or hovering over the color control 206. The application may display an indicator 208 in response to the input to notify the user of the selected color. The indicator 208 may enable the user to more easily notice the selected color if the user action blocks the color control 206 from view. The indicator 208 may display the selected color through the control 206 and draw attention to the assigned or to be assigned color by flashing or through other animation.

FIG. 3 illustrates another example context based color menu with content type controls according to embodiments. Diagram 300 displays example context based color menu 302 executing a variety of commands corresponding to user input.

As previously stated, an input may include a touch action, a gesture action, a keyboard input, a mouse input, or a pen input. The content may include textual content, a shape, a shading, a 3D effect, a line, a fill, a highlighter, a cell color, etc. The user may assign a color to a selected content, a single content type from a set of content types, or multiple content types from the set.

According to some embodiments, the application may position a set of color controls within a half section of the context based color menu 302. A user may choose to activate a color control 306 to assign a color to content. The application may display an indicator 308 on a color control to indicate current or recent input on the color control. As stated in relation to menu 202, a navigation control 310 may be used to navigate to a prior context based menu which may include top level color menu or a menu providing other functionality to manage content such as content type selection or general functions such as copy and paste.

According to other embodiments, the application may position a set of content type controls radially within the other half section of the context based color menu. Example content type controls may include a textual control 304 to assign a selected color to selected text within the content. Another example content type control may include fill control 312 to assign a selected color to selected object within the content. Yet, another example content type control may include a highlight control 314 to highlight the content with the selected color. Furthermore, another example content type control may include a shading control 316 to assign a selected color to selected shading within the content.

According to yet other embodiments, the application may detect an input activating a color control 306. The application may detect another input selecting a content type control 312 from the set content type controls. Next, the application may assign a color associated with the selected color control 306 to the content associated with the content type control 312 to fill a selected object within the content. Selecting different types of content (text, shape, line, etc.) may expose an entirely different palette. For example, for text colors one might want fairly dark colors since they are on a white background. However, for a highlighter one may want fairly light (or bright) colors since the text under the highlighter needs to be able to be visible.

FIG. 4 illustrates an example scenario of applying a color to a content type using a context based color menu according to embodiments. Diagram 400 displays example context based color menu 402 executing variety of commands associated with user input.

According to some embodiments, the menu 402 may have a single content type control 404. The application may position a set of color controls radially within the menu 402 adjacent to the content type control 404. The application may determine an input activating the content type control 404 and launch a sub-menu of content type controls 406. The application may present the sub-menu of content type controls and detect another input selecting one of the content type controls. In response to the other input, the application may assign a selected color from menu 402 to the content associated with the selected content type control.

In some embodiments, content types (text, highlight, shape, line, etc.) may be presented at a top level menu, and clicking on them may expose a different color menu for each type. Depending on the complexity of the color scheme, multiple levels of color selection sub-menus (hierarchical) may be provided for each content type. In other embodiments, the menu may include an item (like control 404) that can be tapped to enable a user to toggle between the options that are currently shown in the submenu. This may allow the user to quickly switch between the different types.

FIG. 5 illustrates an example context based color menu with additional sub-level color controls integrated into the menu according to embodiments. Diagram 500 displays context based color menu 502 integrating multiple levels of color controls into one menu.

According to some embodiments, the menu 502 may have a set of color controls positioned radially within an outside region of the menu 502. An input 516 such as a tap action may select a color control 506 to assign a color to the selected content. The application may display an indicator 508 to show the current selection of the color control 506.

According to other embodiments, the application may position a set of additional sub-level color controls 510 radially inside the set of color controls within the menu 502. The application may detect another input selecting one of the additional sub-level color controls. In response to detecting the other input, the application may replace the set of color controls with another set of color controls associated with the selected sub-level color control 512 in menu 502. The other set of color controls may be shades of the sub-level color control 512. The application may also display another indicator 514 to inform the user of the currently selected sub-level color control. Alternatively, the application may replace the outside set of color controls with the additional sub-level color controls. Additionally, if the set of additional sub-level controls may have another level of sub-level color controls then the application may place the other level of sub-level color controls within the inside color control set of menu 502. If no other level of controls exist then the application may remove the inside set of color controls.

FIG. 6 illustrates an example context based color menu with color indicators according to embodiments. Diagram 600 displays context based color menu 602 illustrating indicators to inform a user of a state of the prior or currently assigned color to the content.



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Key IP Translations - Patent Translations


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130019208 A1
Publish Date
01/17/2013
Document #
13543976
File Date
07/09/2012
USPTO Class
715835
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/048
Drawings
12


Colors
Keyboard
Menus


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