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Additional details regarding the user interface provided by the word processing application program 10 and the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 will be provided below with respect to FIGS.


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Referring now to FIGS. As discussed briefly above, in response to a user request the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 searches the entire contents of the electronic document 24 for numerical data. In order to perform this search, the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 utilizes a numeric search table As shown in FIG.

For instance, the English search strings 30 A identify each of the search strings that should be identified by the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 when searching a document written in the English language e. The numeric search table 28 may also include search strings appropriate for searching for numerical data in documents expressed in other languages. For instance, Arabic search strings 30 B, Hebrew search strings 30 C, Hindi search strings 30 D, and Thai search strings 30 E are provided in one embodiment of the invention.

It should be appreciated that search strings appropriate for searching documents expressed in any language and using any character set may defined within the numeric search table 28 and utilized by the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 during the search of an electronic document The contents of the numeric search table 28 may also be user-definable so that custom search strings can be added to the numeric search table 28 as desired.

The numeric search table 28 may also include the gender-specific expressions of numbers for languages that express numbers with a gender. As known in the art, the document editing area 34 displays the contents of the electronic document 24 and allows a user to modify the contents of the electronic document 24 in virtually any desired manner. In order to provide quick access to the various editing functions provided by the word processing application program 10 , the toolbar 36 includes icons for a number of frequently used features. When installed, the number search plug-in DLL 26 adds a user interface button 38 to the toolbar When selected, the button 38 causes the dialog box 40 shown in FIG.

In particular, selection of the check box 42 A indicates that numbers e. A user may select as many or as few of the checks boxes 42 A- 42 E as they desire. The dialog box 40 also includes a number of drop down menu controls, such as the control 50 , adjacent to each of the check boxes 42 A- 42 E.

The drop down menu controls allow a user to identify a unique color attribute that should be utilized to emphasize located numerical data of the specified type. For instance, the drop down menu control 50 may be utilized to specify that a particular color attribute be utilized to emphasize located numbers e. The other drop down menu controls may be utilized similarly to specify a unique color for each of the other corresponding types of numerical data. A user may also utilize the drop down menu control 48 to specify the language of the electronic document This selection allows the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 to determine the appropriate contents of the numeric search table 28 to utilize during a search.

Emphasizing Distributed Systems, Volume 53

The dialog box 40 also includes a button 44 which, when selected, will cause the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 to search the entire electronic document 10 for the specified numerical data. When data is located, it is emphasized in the manner specified by the drop down menu controls. While a search is progressing, the viewable portion of the document may be modified to focus on the portion of the document containing the most recently located numerical data.

A user may also pause a search in progress if the user locates the desired information. When finished, the user will be presented with a user interface dialog box indicating the number of instances of numerical data located during the search. The dialog box 40 also includes a button 46 which, when selected, causes all of the previously-applied emphasis to be undone.

In this manner, a user can emphasize all of the numerical data in a document, locate a point of interest by locating emphasized numerical information, and to de-emphasize the numerical data when finished.


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Additional details regarding the operation of the numeric search plug-in DLL in this regard is described below with respect to FIG. It should be appreciated that although the embodiments of the invention described herein are presented in the context of a word processing application program 10 , the invention may be utilized in other types of application programs that support the creation, editing, or viewing of documents that contain both text data and numerical data.

For instance, the embodiments of the invention described herein may be utilized within a spreadsheet application program, a presentation application program, a drawing or computer-aided design application program, a database application program, a web browser, or other type of application program.

The implementation is a matter of choice dependent on the performance requirements of the computing system implementing the invention. Accordingly, the logical operations illustrated in FIG. It will be recognized by one skilled in the art that these operations, structural devices, acts and modules may be implemented in software, in firmware, in special purpose digital logic, and any combination thereof without deviating from the spirit and scope of the present invention as received within the claims attached hereto.

The routine begins at decision operation , where a determination is made by the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 as to whether a user has requested that the numerical data in an electronic document be emphasized or de-emphasized. As discussed above with respect to FIG.

If no selection has been made, the routine returns to decision operation If, however, a request has been made to emphasize the numerical data in the electronic document 10 , the routine continues to operation At process operation , the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 requests from the word processing application 10 a first string of the electronic document The string may comprise a word, sentence, paragraph, or other subset of the entire document In response, the word processing application 10 returns to the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 the requested portion of the document From process operation , the routine continues to process operation At process operation , the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 compares the contents of the current string of the electronic document 24 to the appropriate portion of the numeric search table By comparing the contents of the numeric search table 28 , the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 can identify all of the numerical data contained within the current string.

It should be appreciated that, according to the various embodiments of the invention, the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 may be configured to identify numbers contained within fractions and within mathematical equations. Additionally, the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 may be programmed to locate numbers that are separated by decimal separators, currency symbols, and other punctuation.

The numeric search plug-in DLL 26 may also be programmed to ignore numbers contained in formatting fields, headers, footers, end notes, comments, page numbers, and other portions of the electronic document 24 not likely to contain numerical information that would be of substantial interest to a user. According to other embodiments of the invention, the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 may be programmed to locate numerical information utilizing pattern matching.

Emphasizing Distributed Systems by Marvin Zelkowitz Ph.D., MS, BS. |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble®

Other numbers in other languages can be identified similarly without listing all possible numbers in the numeric search table From process operation , the routine continues to decision operation , where the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 determines if numerical data was located within the current search string. If no numerical data was identified, the routine branches to decision operation , where the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 determines if additional data in the current string remains to be searched.

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If additional data remains to be searched in the current search string, the routine branches to process operation where an additional search is performed. If the current search string does not contain additional data to be searched, the routine branches to decision operation , where the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 determines if the document 24 contains additional data to be searched.

If the document 24 does contain additional data to be searched, the routine branches to operation , where the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 requests the next string of the electronic document 24 from the word processing application program The routine then continues from operation to operation where a search is performed on the new current string. If, at operation , the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 determines that numerical data was found in the current string, the routine continues to operation At decision operation , the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 determines whether the match was located outside of the main body of the document Data, for example, that is located within formatting fields, headers and footers, end notes, comments, or page numbers of the document 24 will be considered outside the main body of the document.

If the matching data is located outside of the main body of the document 24 , the routine branches from operation to decision operation , where a determination is made as to whether more text remains to be processed. However, if the matching data is within the main body of the document 24 , the routine continues from operation to process operation At process operation , the located data is emphasized.

As described above, emphasizing the located numerical data may comprise adding a highlighting attribute to the data. Any highlighting attribute may be utilized that sets the numerical data apart from the remainder of the document Alternatively, the remaining data may be highlighted, thereby leaving the numerical data in its previous state but easily distinguishable from the remainder of the document.

According to embodiments of the invention, the highlighting attribute may comprise a color attribute, a bold attribute, an underline attribute, an italics attribute, or a change in font or font size. As also described above, unique attributes, such as colors, may be defined by a user for each type of numerical data located within the electronic document. Matching data may also be de-emphasized at operation if it was highlighted during a previous search operation. In this manner, the same routine may be utilized to emphasize and de-emphasize the numerical data in the document By utilizing the same routine it can also be ensured that formatting added manually would not be accidentally removed by the numeric search plug-in DLL According to embodiments of the invention, an entire mathematical equation may be emphasized, including variables and mathematical operators.

Similarly, if a number expressed as text includes spaces or other characters between its component parts, the entire phrase may be emphasized. According to embodiments, numeric information formatted using superscript or subscript is also highlighted. After the highlighting attribute has been added to the matching text, the routine continues to operation , where the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 determines whether additional text remains to be searched in the current string.

If additional text does not remain to be searched, the routine branches to operation , where the numeric search plug-in DLL 26 determines if additional text remains to be searched in the electronic document. If no additional text remains to be searched, the routine branches to operation , where the results of the numeric search may be displayed to the user. For instance, the number of instances of numerical data located and highlighted may be identified to the user.

Alternatively, if no results were located, the user may be informed that no matches were located. From display operation , the routine continues to halt operation , where it ends. Turning now to FIGS. Longest running series on computers Contains eight insightful chapters on new technology Gives comprehensive treatment of distributed systems Shows how to evaluate measurements Details how to evaluate software process improvement models Examines how to expand e-commerce on the Web Discusses legal liabilities in developing software—a must-read for developers.

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