llllllllllllllllllllllllllIlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

llllllllllllllllllllllllllIlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
llllllllllllllllllllllllllIlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
US005121499A
United States Patent [l9]
[I1]
[45]
McCaskill et al.
[54]
METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE
ORDER OF EDITING CELLS IN A
SPREADSHEE‘T BY EVALUATING
ENTERED NEXT CELL ATTRIBUTE OF
CURRENT CELL
Filed:
“Interactive Forms Positioning with Delayed Print“;
19, No. 8, Jan. 1977; p. 2821.
“Form Log and Printing“; Cook et al; IBM Technical
Disclosure Bulletin, vol. 18, No. ll. Apr.. 1976; p. 3552.
Manual of "The Smart Spreadsheet with Graphics“. pp.
l3-l92. l3-l94, copyright Jun., I984, published by In
novative Software, Inc.
William Doyle. in “Using Supercalc. The Next Genera
tion" published by John Wiley 8: Son. Inc. 1985.
Lotus l-2-3 User's Manual. 1983, pp. 109, H0, 157, 158.
Jul. 25, 1991
341.
Barlett et al., “Table Processing." Jan. 1984. IBM Tech
nical Disclosure Bulletin, vol. 26, No, 8, pp. 4349-4354.
Continuation of Ser. No. 739.368. Ma) 30. I985. aban
doned.
[51] Int. Cl.’
[53] US Cl.
[53]
............................................ .. G06F 13/00
395/700; 364/DlG. 2:
364/4l9; 364/943: 364/9411: 364/9482
Field of Search .............. .i 364/4l9. 200 MS File.
364/900 MS File
[56]
4.470.l29
9/1984
4.520.457
S/IQBS Haglcr et al.
4.586.l58
4/l986
364/900
. ..
364/900
4.633.430 12/1986
Cooper .... ..
4.646.250
Childress ........................... .. 364/5l8
364/900
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
0075742
9/1982
Attorney. Agent. or Firm~Whitham 8: Marhoefer
[57]
ABSTRACT
A mechanism allows for programming the order of cells
of~ the spreadsheet may be provided with a "next cell"
Disbrow et a]. .................. .. 364/900
Brandle ....... ..
Primary Examiner-Thomas C. Lee
Assistant Examiner—L. Donaghue
for an operator to enter data in a spreadsheet. Each cell
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
2/1987
Jun. 9, 1992
Colnen et a]: IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin. vol.
Related US. Application Data
[63]
5,121,499
Barker et al: IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin. vol.
27. No. 108. Mar. 1985; p. 6002.
Inventors: Rex A. McCasltill; Beverly H.
Maehart; Harry E. O‘Steen, all of
Travis County. Tex.
[73] Assignee: International Business Machines
Corp., Armonk. NY.
[211 Appl. No.; 735,698
ill]
Patent Number:
Date of Patent:
attribute. and these attributes as well as other attributes
for the cells are stored in a table. The “next cell" attri
bute may be a constant. such as the name of the next
cell, or it may be a logic expression so that the next cell
to be edited can be different depending on some condi
tion. When the operator presses the NEXT CELL key,
the "next cell" attribute is searched by accessing the
attribute table. and if a “next cell" attribute is found. it
European Pat. Off. .
is evaluated to determine the next cell to be edited.
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
"lmplicit Object De?nition In a Multiple Data Editor";
l
6 Claims, 7 Drawing Sheets
I, 20
LUCHE CURRENT CELL lllRIBUTES
HM‘ lHLNULCELLlTTRlBUTE
(.ALL tvituitt_um_cttt
lRETllllltS EVMUITEQJULEELL l
“U005
ltEtT_EELL = tvituitto_um_cttt
= - Minn '
US. Patent
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AHer the epreedeheel more text could eppeer. ov per
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Alter the epreedeheet more text could eppeef. or per
hepe e grephic dtegrem or eny of e variety at the neny
dHferent object typee.
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PROTECT:
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If ter
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more
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can“ eppeer .
hepe e graphic diegrem or any of e ver iely of
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NEXT CELL=B§§§ 5
9
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—
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hapl I graphic diagram or any 0! I var loly of
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US. Patent
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Sheet 5 of 7
5,121,499
POS|T|ON T0 HRST CELL TO PROCESS
l6 \
NORMAL
PROCESSING
HND_NEXT_CELL
(RETURNS NEXLCELL )
n
ERROR
YES
IIS
POST ERROR MESSAGE
N0
n9 \
CURRENT_CELL== NEXLCELL
END
FIGS
US. Patent
June 9, 1992
Sheet 6 of 7
5,121,499
1 START )
[20
LOCATE CURRENT cm ATTRiBUTES
FIND THE_NEXT_CELL_ATTRIBUTE
CALL EVALUATE__NEXT_CELL
(RETURNS EVALUATED_NEXT_CELL)
RET__C0DE :
/24
RET_CODE := "vnuo"
mum 1: EVALUATEDJEXLCELL
END
FIGB
" INVAUD "
U.S. Patent
June 9, 1992
5,121,499
Sheet 7 of 7
1 /26
CHECK THE REMINDER
OF THE STRING FOR A
VALLO CELL SYNTAX
EVALUATE BOOLEAN
EXPRESSION
/32
SET THE RETURN
COOE TO'VALID
CELL NOT FOUND"
27
ERROR
YES
CALL
NO
EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL WTTH
STRING AFTER THE
"ELSE"
CALL
[29
EvALUATE_NExT_cELL WITH
SET THE RETURN CODE
TO "VALID CELL
NOT FOUND"
STRING BETWEEN
"THEN" ANU "ELSE"
36
[25
\
RETURN TRE CELL NANE
PASS RAcN RETURN
PARANETERs FROM
EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL
sET THE RETURN CODE
To ‘VALID CELL
FOUND"
FIG]
END
I
5,121,499
2
described and. if data is changed or deleted in the
METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE ORDER OF
EDITING CELLS IN A SPREADSHEET BY
EVALUATING ENTERED NEXT CELL
ATTRIBUTE OF CURRENT CELL
course of editing the spreadsheet. all computations that
are effected by the changes or deletions are automati
cally recomputed.
In existing spreadsheets. however. there is no method
for programming the order of cells for an operator to
enter data. In a large. complex model. it is desirable
(even for the originator of the model) to direct the user
to the cells in which data is to be entered and to specify
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED
APPLICATIONS
This is a continuation of Ser. No. 739,368 ?led May
10
30, I985, abandoned.
the order of entry. By cells. what is meant the various
The invention disclosed in this application is related
intersections of rows and columns of the spreadsheets.
in subject matter to the inventions disclosed in the fol
lowing patent applications which are assigned to the
assignee of this application:
Ser. No. 06/645,622 ?led Aug. 30, 1984. by Barbara
These may be of various sizes as de?ned by the origina
tor of the model to accomodate the expected number of
5 characters that may need to be entered into a particular
A. Barker and Rex A. McCaskill for "Superblock
Structure in a Multiple Data Editor”, now U.S. Pat. No.
4.723.210;
cell.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is therefore an object of the subject invention to
provide a technique for programming the order of cells
Ser. No. 06/645.620 ?led Aug. 30. I984. by Barbara
A. Barker and Irene H. Hernandez for "Implicit Cre
ation of a Superblock Structure", now US. Pat. No.
4.739.477; and
Ser. No. 06/645630 ?led Aug. 30. I984. by Barbara
method to direct the user to the cells in which to enter
A. Barker. Irene H. Hernandez and Rex A. McCaskill
data and to specify the order of entry of the data in a
for "Editing ofa Superblock Structure". now US. Pat.
No. 4.72.3.2! l.
spreadsheet program.
The disclosures of the foregoing patent applications
are incorporated herein by reference.
for an operator to enter data in a spreadsheet.
It is another object of the invention to provide a
It is a further object of the invention to provide the
spreadsheet editor ofa multiple data editor with a way
in which the order of data entry and/or editing of cells
in a spreadsheet can be speci?ed by the originator ofthe
TECHNICAL FIELD
30
model represented by the spreadsheet.
The present invention generally relates to data edi
According to the invention, a mechanism is provided
tors and. more particularly. to a technique for linking a
to link a cell to the "next cell“ to be edited. The value
cell in a spreadsheet to the "next cell" in the spreadsheet
placed in the “next cell“ parameter may be a constant
for facilitating data entry and editing in a spreadsheet
application. The invention has particular application in
a multiple data editor characterized by a superblock
construction containing two or more diverse object
sets; however. the technique according to the invention
can be advantageously applied to spreadsheet applica
such as the name of another cell However. the value
may also be a logic expression so that the next cell to
edit can be different depending on some condition. This
mechanism can be used to set “edit paths“ that can
merge. cross, or follow any pattern desired. Multiple
tions in general and is therefore not limited to multiple 40 paths can also be de?ned. By using a system de?ned
indicator (such as a speci?c keystroke) to go to the next
data editors.
cell, the operator can move through the spreadsheet on
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
a path. or simply choose to use the keys that move to
Spreadsheet applications or programs have come into
adjacent cells.
wide use on personal computers and are used for bud 45
geting. ?nancial forecasting. pro?t—and-loss statements
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
as well as many other accounting applications. The
The foregoing and other objects. aspects and advan
tages of the invention will be better understood from
“electronic spreadsheet" generated by such a program
can be considered to be analogous to an accountant‘s
ledger sheet having many rows and columns in which
data are entered. Certain columns may be mathemati
cally linked so that data entered in a row of one column
and data entered in the same row of another column
generate data in that row of yet another column. Thus,
for example. the ?rst column might be an interest rate,
the second column might be the principal amount, and
the third column might be the interest amount com
the following detailed description with reference to the
drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates the screen of a spreadsheet applica
tion that has a command area and a document area;
FIG. 2 illustrates the highlighting of one of the cells
in the document area of the screen shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 shows the result of selecting the DESCRIBE
command from the command area of the screen shown
puted by multiplying the interest rate times the principal
in FIG. 1;
might be summed to provide total amounts. This, of
FIG. 5 is a ?ow chart showing the main procedure
according to the invention;
FIG. 6 is a ?ow chart showing the procedure for the
FIG. 4 shows the result of selecting the NEXT
amount. Further. the amounts in the principal amount
column and the amounts in the interest amount column 60 CELL property in the screen shown in FIG. 3;
course. is but a simple example to illustrate the use of a
spreadsheet in general. and the description is equally
applicable to hand entry of data in a ledger sheet or the
data entered by a keyboard into the spreadsheet applica
tion. The advantage of the latter is that the computa
tions. once de?ned by the user, are all automatic as data
is entered into the ?rst two columns in the example
subroutine FIND_NEXT_CELL which is called from
the main procedure; and
FIG. 7 is a flow chart showing the procedure for the
subroutine EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL which is
called from the subroutine FIND_NEXT._CELL.
3
5,121,499
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE
INVENTION
In the multiple data editor described. for example. in
4
directions relative to the currently edited cell. The
assumption for the “Next Cell" attribute made for this
description is that the attribute is a free key ?eld. as
shown in FIG. 3. in which the operator can enter an
expression that. when properly evaluated. indicates the
the above-referenced US. Pat. No. 4.723.210. table is
next cell to edit.
the name given to an object set that consists of a sym
The "main" procedure below is representative of a
spreadsheet program that would use the “?nd_nex
metrical arrangement of cells which form a rectangular
pattern consisting of rows and columns on the display.
t__cell" procedure. This procedure is written in Pro
Thus. a table object set is de?ned as a collection of cells O gram Design Language (PDL) from which source and
arranged in rows and columns. and such an object set
object code may be readily derived by a programmer of
includes a spreadsheet as de?ned above. A cell is the
ordinary skill in the art.
smallest object in the table object set. and the contents
of a cell may include formulas. calculations. numeric
values and textual data. As implemented in the multiple 5
data editor. the invention is practiced by providing a
NEXT CELL key which allows the user go to the cell
named in the "Next Cell“ attribute of the current cell.
In designing the model for the spreadsheet, the origina
20
tor supplies this attribute.
FIG. I illustrates the screen of a spreadsheet applica
tion that has a command area 1 and a document area 2.
Inside the document area is text data 3 followed by
spreadsheet data 4 which. in turn. is followed by more
text data. It will be observed that the spreadsheet data is
represented by an array of rectangles. These rectangles
represent the cells of the spreadsheet as described
above. FIG. 2 illustrates the highlighting of one of the
cells of the spreadsheet data. In this ?gure. the high
lighting is represented by a cell 5 drawn with double 30
lines; however. those skilled in the art will understand
that highlighting on a display screen can take any of a
number of different forms including reverse video. in
creased intensity. or a change in color. The highlighted
PROCEDURE main
Ill.It.‘.‘GO'I'OOIII'IIOOUUOO'U'I'IIIII'I‘QO'Q"
‘
PURPOSE: Control the order of editing cells in
'
'
the spreadsheet.
'
.‘OGOOI0.00I‘OOI'O'OO.IO".I‘IO'QOC'IOO‘IOOIOOO.
Position the operating point to the ?rst cell to
process.
WHILE editing is to be done DO
Edit the current cell.
IF edit next cell is requested THEN
Call FIND_NEXT_CELL
If no error in ?nding next cell THEN
Position operating point to the cell
returned by FIND_NEXT_CELL.
ELSE
Post an error message indicating that the
"next cell" expression is in error
ENDIF
ELSE
Process depending on method to use when "edit
next cell" is not requested
ENDIF
ENDWHILE
cell is in the second row and second column and has the 35
FIG. 5 is the flow chart for the main procedure. This
a default name of R2C2. meaning that the cell is located
is the procedure that is in effect at the time the spread
in row 2 and column 2. FIG. 3 shows the result of se
sheet is being edited. The ?rst cell to be processed, as
lecting the DESCRIBE command after an object. in
determined by the system. is used as the cell to which
this case a cell of the spreadsheet. has been selected. A
the operating point is initially positioned, as indicated
pop-down menu 6 is presented with the properties of
by block 11. The initial condition of spreadsheet editing
the selected object. In this illustration. two ofthe types
is that this ?rst cell is to be edited. so the system deter
of properties are shown. Some properties such as the
mines that there is more editing to do. as indicated by
PROTECT property 7 for a cell are speci?ed by select
decision block 12. and begins the process of editing the
ing one of several options. Other properties such as
cell in block 13. After the cell has been edited, the sys
NEXT CELL 8 are speci?ed by a free-key input ?eld 45 tem must determine whether the next cell to edit is
that must then be interpreted by the program. FIG. 4
identi?ed by the Next Cell property ofthe current cell.
shows the result of selecting the NEXT CELL prop
This is indicated by decision block 14. If not, then as
erty and typing in the speci?cation R4C3 at 9. This
indicated in block 16. the normal processing determines
speci?cation indicates that when the system designated
the next cell to edit. which could be dependent on the
method for moving to the next cell is used. the next cell
direction of cursor movement or an explicit selection by
to edit is cell 10 in row four. column three.
pointing. The process loops back to decision block 12.
The following is a pseudocode description of an im
and it may be that at this time editing is complete. Ifthis
plementation of "cell linking“. This description repre~
sents the logic of the implementation. The assumptions
were the case. the process exits. However. on the other
butes associated with it. Examples of attributes are pro
in decision block 17 to see if an error condition exists. If
not. then the identi?ed cell is made the current cell as
hand, if the Next Cell property is found in decision
made for the purpose of this description are that a 55 block 14. then a procedure is called to identify which
spreadsheet program has been implemented in such a
cell is to be edited next. This is the function indicated in
way that each cell in the spreadsheet has certain attri'
block 15. After the procedure is executed, a test is made
tection. adjust. numeric formatting. and the like. As is
well known in the data processing arts. such attributes
are part of the data structure that de?ne the cell. The
particular attribute that is required for this invention is
indicated in block 19. If an error occured. an error
message is posted as indicated in block 18, and the cur
rent cell remains unchanged. In either case, the proce
dure loops back to decision block 12.
the "Next Cell" attribute mentioned above, and this too
is part of the data structure of the cell. This attribute is
The PDL code for the procedure FIND_NEX
used to indicate what cell should be edited (or made 65 T_CELL is listed below.
active) next when the NEXT CELL key is pressed by
the operator. This is different from using cursor motion
keys to indicate that the next cell to edit is in one of four
PROCEDURE FIND_NEXT_CELL
5,121,499
-continued
I‘II...It'llD.ll‘I‘I...I...Il‘III."II.’I’."U.........U...D
'
PURPOSE
'
'
INPL'T
‘
'
OL'TPL‘T
'
O
Find the next cell b) using the "next
'
Cell" attribute
'
Current cell location in the
'
spreadsheet.
'
Return code tndtcating ifa valld
'
next cell vias found The next cell
'
to edit
Q
II'.‘IIOO'IIIO'IIII'IO'OIIIII-Q...II.‘IIOOOI'O'IOO'II'IIIC.‘
Locate current cell attributes
Find the "next cell" attribute
Call EVALUATE._NEXT._CELL
6
The flow chart for the procedure FIND_NEX
T_CELL is shown in FIG. 6. This procedure is called
to determine the next cell to edit as speci?ed in the Next
Cell property ofthe current cell. The current cell attri
butes are located and the Next_Cell attribute is located
as indicated in block 20. The value for this attribute is a
string that was speci?ed by the operator through key
ing. pointing or some other means. This string is evalu
ated by calling the EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL pro
cedure to parse the string and derive the identity of the
next cell to edit as indicated in block 21. This procedure
returns an error indicator which is tested in decision
block 22. If the error indicator is true, then an invalid
return code is returned to the calling program as indi
cated in block 23. On the other hand, ifthe error indica
tor is false, the identi?ed cell can be returned to the
calling program as indicated in block 24.
IF a valid next cell found THEN
Set return code to "valid cell found";
Set next cell to edit to cell returned from
E\'ALUATE_NEXT_CELL;
ELSE
Set return code to "valid cell not found";
ENDIF
The
PDL
code
listing
for
the
procedure
EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL is listed below.
PROCEDURE E\"ALUATE_NEXT_CELL
onenoose...‘no.0-000......nuance...cocoons.‘noon.cannons.oon...nooonnooooeeoooenennoo
0
PURPOSE
INPL'T:
OL'TPL'T'
Evaluate the "next cell" attribute expression
Pointer to and length of the expression
Return code.
SYNTAX.
Cell identi?er (if valid cell found)
The following is the set of syntax
0e
- Valld cell found
- Valid cell not found
diagrams for the expression.
Expressmn;
0
Cell T
Q
If Statement
If Statement:
0 .! '
———> IF -—-> Boolean Expression
0
THEN% Expression j
-—>ELSE —>E1presston J
0
Boolean Expression:
-——9Simple Expression
0.
Simple Expression
Simple Expression:
Til
%_
V
>Term
[- Term
l
0
5,121,499
-continued
Term
——9Factnr
L
V
Faclnr
'
6
a
n
0
l
o
0
.IQO'’
Factor
———-9 L’nslgncd Constant
at %B0Olean Expression -——>| —'
NOT -——--> Factur
Unstgned Constant
I
c
l
0
0
c
u
o
a
-—-%lnteger Number ———--t-%
———>Rc.1l Number
% I
Character
Integer Number
Real Number
I > Dtgu
I > Dtgtl
I
]
V
L E
Dlglt -—
Cell
o
% R -% R0“ Number —> c -_9 Col Number -_->
IF the expression with an "If statement" THEN
Evaluate the bOOlean expressmn
IF there ts a syntax error m the boolean expression
THEN set the return code to vahd cell not found
ELSE
IF the boolean expression evaluated "true"
THEN call EVALUATE__NEXT_CELL with the string
between the "then“ and “elsc‘~
'
Puss back the return parameters returned
from EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL
ELSE
Call EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL with the stnng
after the "else"
Pass back the return parameters returned
from EVALUATE_NEXT_CELL
ENDIF
ENDIF
ELSE
Check the remainder of the string for a valid cell syntax
IF I valid cell syntax we: found
THEN return the cell name
Set the return code to valid cell found
ELSE
Set the return code to vll‘ld cell not found
ENDIF
5,121,499
10
-continued
END“
accessing an attribute editing function of said spread
sheet application program;
entering data in ?elds of the data structure defining
The flow chart for the EVALUATE_NEX
T_CELL procedure is shown in FIG. 7. This proce
dure examines the input string to determine the cell to
be identi?ed according to the syntax rules of the Next
Cell attribute. The syntax is described in the PDL code
given above for this procedure. First, a test is made in
the "next cell" attribute of a selected plurality of
cells of the spreadsheet to de?ne said order of data
entry to said selected plurality of cells of the
spreadsheet;
decision block 25 to determine if an "IF Statement“ is
contained in the string. lfthere is not an “lF Statement“
responding to a next cell command from the user by
in the string. then the remainder is examined in block 26
for valid syntax of a speci?c cell. In decision block 27,
current cell to determine the next cell to edit; and
evaluating the entered "next cell" attribute of the
moving to the next cell identi?ed by the "next cell"
a test is made for a valid cell syntax. lfa valid cell syntax
attribute.
is not found, then a return parameter is passed to the
2. The method recited in claim 1 wherein the "next
calling program indicating that a valid cell was not
cell" attribute is a constant identifying a predetermined
found as indicated in block 29. On the other hand, if a
different cell in the spreadsheet.
valid cell syntax is found, then a return parameter is 20
3. The method recited in claim I wherein the “next
passed to the calling program indicating that a valid cell
cell“ attribute is logic expression, said method further
was found and the name ofthe cell as indicated in block
28. In the case where the "lF Statment" is found in
comprising the computer performed step of evaluating
decision block 25. the boolean expression of the state
ment is evaluated as indicated in block 30. Since the
expression may be in error, a test is made in decision
next cell to edit in the spreadsheet.
said logic expression to determine the identity of the
4. The method recited in claim 1 further comprising
the steps of:
accessing a first cell of said plurality of selected and
edited cells;
locating cell attributes of a currently accessed cell;
evaluating said "next cell" attribute and, upon entry
of data in said currently accessed cell, moving to a
cell identi?ed by said "next cell" attribute: and
block 31 so that a return parameter can be passed to the
calling program to indicate that a valid cell was not
found as indicated in block 32. If no error occured. then
the expression evaluated is either True or False. This is
tested in decision block 33. If the expression is True.
then the following portion of the string between the
THEN and ELSE parts of the IF statement is to be
evaluated recursively by this same procedure as indi
cated in block 35. In the case where the expression is 35
repeating said locating, evaluating and moving steps
False. the portion of the string after the ELSE is to be
5. A computer implemented data entry method for an
until data has been entered in all of said selected
cells.
evaluated as indicated in block 34. In either case. the
electronic spreadsheet running on a computer compris
return parameters from the recursive call are returned
ing the steps of:
as the parameters to the calling program as indicated in
providing the cells of the spreadsheet with a "next
block 36.
40
cell" attribute as part of the data structure which
While the invention has been described in terms ofa
de?nes the cells;
preferred embodiment. those skilled in the art will rec
accessing an attribute editing function for the spread
ognize that the technique employed may be modi?ed
sheet application program for each ofa plurality of
selected cells of the spreadsheet;
and used without departing from the scope of the inven
tion.
45
inputting data in the "next cell" attribute data struc
Having thus described my invention. what I consider
ture for said selected cells, which data de?nes an
novel and desire to secure by Letters Patent is set forth
order of data entry for said selected cells of the
in the following claims:
1. A computer implemented method of setting up a
spreadsheet application program on a computer, said 50
application program displaying a spreadsheet compris
ing intersecting rows and columns forming cells of the
spreadsheet, each of said cells being de?ned by a data
structure accessed by said spreadsheet application pro
gram and evaluated by said computer for the processing
spreadsheet;
accessing a ?rst cell of said plurality of selected cells;
locating cell attributes of a currently accessed cell;
evaluating said “next cell" attribute and, upon entry
of data in said currently accessed cell, moving to a
cell identi?ed by said "next cell" attribute; and
repeating said locating, evaluating and moving steps
until data has been entered in all of said selected
cells.
6. The data entry method for an electronic spread
sheet recited in claim 5 wherein said data which de?nes
program is directed from a current cell to a next cell of
an order of data entry comprises for at least one of said
the spreadsheet for the purpose of making entries int eh 60 selected cells a Boolean expression which, when evalu
cells of the spreadsheet in an order in which data is to be
ated, identi?es ?rst or second cells of said plurality of
entered comprising the steps of;
selected cells of the spreadsheet, said method further
55
of displayed data, wherein the order of data entry to the
cells of the spreadsheet by a user is controlled by the
computer so that a user of the spreadsheet application
providing in said spreadsheet application program at
least some of the cells of the spreadsheet with a
"next cell" attribute as part of the data structure 65
which de?nes the cell and which is evaluated by
said computer to determine the next cell after the
current cell for the entry of data;
comprising the steps of:
evaluating said Boolean expression ; and
if said Boolean expression is true moving to said ?rst
cell; otherwise.
moving to said second cell.
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