Method and system for selecting and executing arithmetic functions and the like
First Claim
1. A method, executed in a computer system, of implementing a sum function in an application program under the operation of a user during a user session, where the application program uses a worksheet to store and manipulate data, where the worksheet comprises a two dimensional grid of intersecting columns and rows, where the intersection of each column and row is a cell, where a cell may contain data, and where a plurality of cells is a contiguous range of cells in the same column or row, the method comprising the steps of:
 (a) during a user session, choosing a cell within the worksheet where a sum result will be displayed, the chosen cell having a location in the worksheet,(b) during the user session, requesting execution of the sum function;
(c) in response to steps (a) and (b), the computer system automatically determining during the user session, which of a plurality of cells to select based upon the location of the chosen cell in the worksheet and without prior programming or input by a user to explicitly select the plurality of cells; and
(d) responsive to the execution request, calculating the sum result of data associated with the determined plurality of cells and displaying the sum result in the chosen cell.
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Litigations
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Accused Products
Abstract
The present invention provides a method and system for automating the range selection process involved with arithmetic functions. When the sum function is selected, the system searches the cells above and to the left of the active cell to determine which cells the user is most likely attempting to manipulate. The range of cells selected by the system is marked by a flashing, dashed, bold border line, and is subject to confirmation by the user. To reject the range of cells selected by the system, the user only has to select a new range. The system reduces the steps required to perform an arithmetic function.
73 Citations
31 Claims

1. A method, executed in a computer system, of implementing a sum function in an application program under the operation of a user during a user session, where the application program uses a worksheet to store and manipulate data, where the worksheet comprises a two dimensional grid of intersecting columns and rows, where the intersection of each column and row is a cell, where a cell may contain data, and where a plurality of cells is a contiguous range of cells in the same column or row, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) during a user session, choosing a cell within the worksheet where a sum result will be displayed, the chosen cell having a location in the worksheet, (b) during the user session, requesting execution of the sum function; (c) in response to steps (a) and (b), the computer system automatically determining during the user session, which of a plurality of cells to select based upon the location of the chosen cell in the worksheet and without prior programming or input by a user to explicitly select the plurality of cells; and (d) responsive to the execution request, calculating the sum result of data associated with the determined plurality of cells and displaying the sum result in the chosen cell.  View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)


8. A method, executed in a computer system, of implementing a sum function in an application program under the operation of a user, where the application program uses a worksheet to store and manipulate data, where the worksheet consists of a two dimensional grid of intersecting columns and row, where the intersection of each column and row is a cell, where a cell may contain data, and where a plurality of cells is a contiguous range of cells in the same column or row, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) choosing a cell within the worksheet where a sum result will be displayed, the chosen cell having a location in the worksheet; (b) requesting execution of the sum function; (c) in response to steps (a) and (b), the computer system automatically determining which of a plurality of cells to select based upon the location of the chosen cell in the worksheet and without input by a user to explicitly select the plurality of cells; (d) responsive to the execution request, calculating the sum result of data associated with the determined plurality of cells and displaying the sum result in the chosen cell; wherein the step of automatically determining a plurality to cells includes the additional steps of; (e) examining the cells in the rows above and in the same column as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a row score; (f) examining the cells in the columns to the left of and in the same row as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a column score; and (g) selecting a plurality of cells based on a comparison of the row score to the column score.  View Dependent Claims (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)


15. A method, executed in a computer system, of implementing a sum function in an application program under the operation of a user, where the application program uses a worksheet to store and manipulate data, where the worksheet consists of a two dimensional grid of intersecting columns and rows, where the intersection of each column and row is a cell, where a cell may contain data, and where a plurality of cells is a contiguous range of cells in the same column or row, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) choosing a cell within the worksheet where a sum result will be displayed, the chosen cell having a location in the worksheet; (b) requesting execution of the sum function; (c) in response to steps (a) and (b), the computer system automatically determining which of a plurality of cells to select based upon the location of the chosen cell in the worksheet and without input by a user to explicitly select the plurality of cells; (d) responsive to the execution request, calculating the sum result of data associated with the determined plurality of cells and displaying the sum result in the chosen cell; (e) examining the cells in the rows above and in the same column as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a row score; (f) when the row score is equal to its highest possible value, setting the column score equal to zero; (g) when the row score is less than its highest possible value, examining the cells in the columns to the left of and in the same row as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a column score; and (h) selecting a plurality of cells based on a comparison of the row score to the column score.


16. A computer system for summing data where the computer system runs an application program under the operation of a user during a user session, where the application program uses a worksheet to store and manipulate data, where the worksheet comprises a two dimensional grid of intersecting columns and rows, where the intersection of each column and row is a cell, where a cell contains data, and where a plurality of cells is a contiguous range of cells in the same column or row, comprising:

(a) means during a user session for choosing a cell within the worksheet where a sum result will be displayed, the chosen cell having a location in the worksheet; (b) means during a user session for requesting execution of the sum function; (c) means for automatically determining during the user session which of a plurality of cells to select based on the location of the chosen cell in the worksheet and without prior programming or input by a user to explicitly select the plurality of cells; and (d) means, responsive to the execution request, for calculating the sum result of data associated with the selected plurality of cells and displaying the sum result in the chosen cell.  View Dependent Claims (17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)


24. A computer system for summing data where the computer system runs an application program under the operation of a user, where the application program uses a worksheet to store and manipulate data, where the worksheet consists of a two dimensional grid of intersecting columns and rows, where the intersection of each column and row is a cell, where a cell contains data, and where a plurality of cells is a contiguous range of cells in the same column or row, comprising:

(a) means for choosing a cell within the worksheet where a sum result will be displayed, the chosen cell having a location in the worksheet; (b) means for requesting execution of the sum function; (c) means for automatically determining which of a plurality of cells to select based on the location of the chosen cell in the worksheet and without input by a user to explicitly select the plurality of cells; (d) means, responsive to the execution request, for calculating the sum result of data associated with the selected plurality of cells and displaying the sum result in the chosen cell; wherein the means for automatically determining a plurality of cells additionally comprises; (e) means for examining the cells in the rows above and in the same column as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a row score; (f) means for examining the cells in the columns to the left of and in the same row as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a column score; and (g) means for selecting a plurality of cells based on a comparison of the row score to the column score.  View Dependent Claims (25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)


31. A computer system for summing data where the computer system runs an application program under the operation of a user, where the application program uses a worksheet to store and manipulate data, where the worksheet consists of a two dimensional grid of intersecting columns and rows, where the intersection of each column and row is a cell, where a cell contains data, and where a plurality of cells is a contiguous range of cells in the same column or row, comprising:

(a) means for choosing a cell within the worksheet where a sum result will be displayed, the chosen cell having a location in the worksheet; (b) means for requesting execution of the sum function; (c) means for automatically determining which of a plurality of cells to select based on the location of the chosen cell in the worksheet and without input by a user to explicitly select the plurality of cells; (d) means, responsive to the execution request, for calculating the sum result of data associated with the selected plurality of cells and displaying the sum result in the chosen cell; wherein the means for automatically determining a plurality of cells additionally comprises; (e) means for examining the cells in the rows above and in the same column as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a row score; (f) means for setting the column score equal to zero when the row score is equal to its highest possible value; (g) means for examining the cells in the columns to the left of and in the same row as the chosen cell, comparing the cell contents to predefined criteria, and establishing a column score when the row score is less than its highest possible value; and (h) means for selecting a plurality of cells based on a comparison of the row score to the column score.

1 Specification