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Q: Computer technology ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Computer technology
Category: Computers
Asked by: bettjay-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 09 Jun 2004 17:26 PDT
Expires: 09 Jul 2004 17:26 PDT
Question ID: 358886
Purpose and functionality of these components of Microsoft word:
document window, insertion point, end mark, mouse pointer, rulers,
scroll bars, status bar, menu bar, and toolbar. Who invented these
things or concepts? What company?
Subject: Re: Computer technology
Answered By: tox-ga on 10 Jun 2004 12:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi bettjay-ga,

I will go through your list sequentially and for each component, give
a description, purpose, functionality, and history.

1) Document Window
  The document window is the graphical display of your document and
constitutes the majority of the screen when Microsoft Word is running.
 Its purpose is to act like a canvas for adding document elements and
to provide a WYSIWYG display of your document.  WSYIWYG means 'what
you see is what you get'; that is, the document window provides a
close approximation to what the document would look like when printed.
  The concept of a document window has existed in many different
incarnations since the very beginning of computing with graphical
displays.  However, it is possible to trace the first document window
in a GUI-driven word processor context.  This honor belongs to the
Xerox PARC team which, in the 1970's invented many of the components
of the modern PC environment.  Bravo, a program created by PARC's
Charles Simonyi, was the world's first GUI word processor and this
would be the first example of a graphical document window.

2) Insertion Point
  The insertion point is the (sometimes blinking) vertical line which
indicates where newly inserted characters are to be added in a
document.  It can be moved using the arrow keys or by using the mouse
to click a point on a page.  It is also used for creating selections
which are useful for applying formatting to certain contiguous chunks
of text.
  The idea of the insertion point is far older than that of word
processing as they existed in very old operating systems as a blinking
cursor.  The first occurence of the insertion point is impossible to
determine, however it is likely that several people invented it
independently, as it is such an intuitive and crucial idea.  The
insertion point was present in Xerox's Bravo, so they deserve credit
for the first use of it in a graphical word processor context.

3) End Mark
  The end mark is a horizontal line which marks the end of the
document.  It is automatically moved up and down when the insertion or
deletion of document elements changes the length of the document.  It
can also be turned on or off in most versions of Word.  This is and
idea which can definitively be traced back to Bravo.

4) Mouse Pointer
  The mouse pointer merely indicates the position of the mouse on the
screen.  The invention of a pointing device with an on-screen pointer
was made in the mid-70's and is attributed to Doug Englebart of the
Stanford Research Institute.

5) Ruler
  The ruler provides an on-screen reference of the length of the page,
as well as elements placed on the page.  It is also used to place
indents or tabs at certain lengths.  This concept was invented by
Apple and first appeared in MacWrite, the first commercially available
WYSIWYG word processor.  It came with the Apple Macintosh in 1984.

6)  Scroll Bars
  Scroll bars allow for the vertical or horizontal navigation of the
document.  They consist of two buttons at its ends for moving the view
of the document in either direction, as well as a slider bar which
displays the relative position of the current view.  It was invented
by the Learning Research Group, headed by Alan Kay.  This group was a
part of the Xerox PARC team and invented many of today's graphical
user interface innovations.

7)  Status Bar
  Word's version of the status bar is described by Microsoft as: "...a
horizontal area at the bottom of the document window...[which]
provides information about the current state of what you are viewing
in the window and any other contextual information."
  From left to right, the information displayed is:  the page number,
section number, page number/total number of pages, the distance from
the top of the page of the insertion point, the line of text where the
insertion point is located, the distance (in number of characters) of
the insertion point from the left margin, an indicator of whether a
macro is being recorded (REC), the Track Changes status (TRK), the
extend selection mode status (EXT), the overtype mode status (OVR),
and finally, the language at the insertion point.
  The general idea of a status bar has been around for a while in many
different forms, but this specific incarnation was invented by

8)  Menu Bar
  The menu bar is a horizontal menu appearing above the document
window. Each option in the menu bar is associated with a pull-down
menu, which in turn has more options.  The Microsoft Word menu bar
generally consists of File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, Table,
Window, Help.  From here, almost every feature of the word processor
is available under the appropriate category.
  The idea of the menu bar is attributable to Apple and first appeared
in the Apple Lisa.

9)  Toolbar
  The toolbar is the bar below the menu bar which contains icons that
correspond to certain commands.  They are customizable and generally
can include formatting and file options.  There are also toolbars for
specific purposes, such as drawing, which can be added by right
clicking a blank space in a toolbar, and choosing it from the
resulting drop down menu.
  The toolbar with options for formatting and font/style options was
invented by Apple, appearing in the MacWrite program which came with
the Apple Macintosh.

I hope this answers your question to your satisfaction.  If you would
like any further clarification, feel free to put in a request before
rating this answer so that I may best help you.


Request for Answer Clarification by bettjay-ga on 10 Jun 2004 13:22 PDT
What was your reference for the history portions?

Clarification of Answer by tox-ga on 10 Jun 2004 15:00 PDT
Hi bettjay-ga!

I'm glad you were satisfied with your answer.

I have a personal interest in the history of computing so I already
knew more or less what companies were responsible for most of the
developments.  I used these sites to confirm what I thought to give a
definitive answer:

This list was compiled by Professor A. E. Siegman of Stanford
University and is currently hosted at University of San Francisco:

MacWrite was a rather important program in the history of
wordprocessing and this site mentions a few of their innovations,
particularly the ones that pertain to your question.

This site has some information about Xerox PARC's and Apple's
contributions to GUI development.

bettjay-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $25.00
Perfect, perfect, perfect!!!! Great job, every thing I needed to know,
thank you, thank you....
Betty Jay

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