SYSTEM FOR DIRECTLY ACCESSING FIELDS ON ELECTRONIC FORMS
 Inventors: Reiner Kraft, Gilroy; Qi Lu, San Jose;
Ron Yair Pinter, Palo Alto, all of Calif.
 Assignee: International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y.
 Appl. No.: 09/124,635  Filed: Jul. 29, 1998
Related U.S. Application Data
 Provisional application No. 60/067,675, Dec. 5, 1997.
 Int. C I. G06F 3/14
 U.S. CI 345/352; 345/353; 345/356;
345/329; 707/507; 707/505
 Field of Search 345/352, 353,
345/356, 357, 975, 347, 329; 707/507, 508, 505, 506, 906, 503
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
4,763,356 8/1988 Day, Jr. et al 707/507 X
5,367,619 11/1994 Dipaolo et al 707/506
5,444,841 8/1995 Glaser et al 707/506
5,450,538 9/1995 Glaser et al 707/508
5,557,723 9/1996 Holt et al 707/506
5,687,385 11/1997 Janay 707/506
5,704,029 12/1997 Wright, Jr. 707/505
5,920,866 7/1999 Crim 345/352 X
A computer system provides a graphical user interface (GUI) to assist a user in completing electronic forms. The computer includes components such as a processor, user interface, and video display. Using the video display, the processor presents a row entry template including a menu field and an associated data field. The user completes the menu field by selecting a desired menu entry from a list of predefined menu entries. The user completes the data field by entering data into the data field. This format is especially useful when the data entry provides data categorized by the menu entry, explains the menu entry, or otherwise pertains to the menu entry. Each time the GUI detects activation of a form expand key, it presents an additional row entry template for completion by the user. Upon selection of a submit key, data of the completed form is sent to a predefined destination, such as a linked list, table, database, or another computer. Thus, by planned selection of menu entries, the user can limit his/her completion of an electronic form to blanks applicable to that user, avoiding the others. Nonetheless, the form can be easily expanded row by row to accommodate as many different blanks as the user wishes to complete. The invention may be implemented by a host sending a remote computer machine-executable instructions which the remote computer executes to provide the GUI, where the remote computer ultimately returns the completed form data to the host.
33 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets