Patent Number: 7,047,501

Title: Method for displaying controls in a system using a graphical user interface

Abstract: In a computer employing a graphical user interface (GUI), a method for displaying controls in command bars, which replace conventional menu bars and toolbars. Command bars employ a unified data structure that allows all types of controls to be included in both menu-like command bars and toolbar-like command bars. Command bars may be customized by dragging controls from a list of available commands or from another command bar. By not restricting the types of controls that can appear in each command bar, controls may be grouped to associate drop down menu controls with pushbutton controls. Menu-like command bars and toolbar-like command bars may be merged in a way that provides an intuitive and advantageous listing of commands. Menu popups may be torn off using a clearly indicated drag handle.

Inventors: Morcos; Peter G. (Redmond, WA), Agrawal; Ravindra K. (Redmond, WA), Baldwin; Lawrence W. (Seattle, WA), Hoek; Tjeerd S. (Kirkland, WA), Parker; David C. (Woodinville, WA)

Assignee: Microsoft Corporation

International Classification: G06F 13/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/16/02018