System and methods for improved spreadsheet interface with user-familiar objects

  • US 5,590,259 A
  • Filed: 05/12/1995
  • Issued: 12/31/1996
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/08/1992
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. In a computer system having a three-dimensional spreadsheet, said three-dimensional spreadsheet comprising a plurality of information cells arranged in a three-dimensional matrix, said information cells storing user-supplied data and formulas operative on said user-supplied data, each said information cell being uniquely identified by a three-dimensional cell address comprising three-dimensional coordinates, wherein at least one cell stores a formula having a cell address for referencing information stored by another cell, an improved method for creating a formula with cell references to information cells in said three-dimensional spreadsheet, the method comprising:

  • (a) dividing said three-dimensional matrix of information cells into a plurality of two-dimensional matrices, each of said two-dimensional matrices being represented on a display device as a page array of information cells, wherein cell references between cells on one page array are formed by specifying horizontal and vertical coordinates, and cell references between cells on different page arrays are formed by specifying horizontal, vertical, and page coordinates;

    (b) displaying with each said page array of information cells a tab identifier, so that each tab identifier of a particular page array displays the page coordinate for that particular page array;

    (c) receiving as input from a user a descriptive name for naming a page array;

    (d) in response to step (c), assigning said descriptive name to the page coordinate for the named page array; and

    (e) creating a formula having at least one cell reference to a cell on said named page array from a cell on a different page array, so that said at least one cell reference includes said descriptive name as the page coordinate for said named page array.

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