Tab (GUI)

In graphical user interfaces, a tab is a navigational widget for switching between sets of controls or documents. It is traditionally designed as a text label within a rectangular box with its top borders rounded. Activating a tab (usually by a mouse click) makes its associated content visible and the tab itself usually becomes highlighted to distinguish it from other inactive tabs. Only one tab can be active at a time. Use of tabs to display non-static content gives rise to Tabbed document interface, e.g. used in Mozilla browser and many text editors such as SciTE.

GUI tabs are modeled after traditional card tabs inserted in paper files or card indexes and thus they are often employed to give the user interface a more "natural" look.

Usage

Tabs in modern GUIs were introduced by IBM Common User Access. They became widely used to make option-laden dialog boxes easier to understand and navigate. They were designed to group similar or related options into one tab pane.Later, some applications based their main document switching mechanism on tabs, using a tabbed document interface.

Browsers

In the last few years, tabbed document interfaces have also become popular in web browsers, where they are used to switch between different webpages without having to switch top-level windows. Opera 4 introduced tabs as part of its multiple document interface, and tabs are now supported by all major browsers.

Numerous special functions in association with browser tabs have emerged since then, for example the ability to re-order tabs (e.g. in Internet Explorer 8, Google Chrome, Safari 3, Opera, Konqueror, and Firefox), and to bookmark all of the webpages opened in tab panes in a given window in a group or bookmark folder (as well as the ability to reopen all of them at the same time). Links can most often be opened in several modes, using different user interface options and commands:
* in a new main window
* in the same main window and tab panel
* in the same main window and a new tab panel, which is instantly activated
* in the same main window and a new tab panel, which remains in the background until the user switches to it

Patent dispute

Adobe Systems holds patents in the United States and Europe on certain uses of GUI tabs [US patent|5546528 for a "Method of displaying multiple sets of information in the same area of a computer screen"] , which are widely held to be trivial patents. Some argue that there was clear prior art, in both GUI and text-mode user interfaces.

Adobe used these patents to sue Macromedia Inc. for employing tabs in its Macromedia Flash product. Adobe won the case and $2.8 million in damages. However, Macromedia initiated a countersuit which ended in a $4.9 million ruling against Adobe. The suits were settled on undisclosed terms. [cite web|url=http://www.dmxzone.com/ShowDetail.asp?NewsId=3321|accessdate=2007-05-09|title=Adobe Wins Patent Trial Against Macromedia|date=May 9, 2002|publisher=DMX Zone] In 2005, Adobe ended further dispute between the two companies when it bought Macromedia for roughly $3.4 billion.

On April 18, 2007 the intellectual property agency IP Innovation LLC and its parent Technology Licensing Corporation filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. regarding its infringement upon a US Patent originally filed by Xerox researchers in 1987. [US patent|5072412 for a "User Interface with Multiple Workspaces for Sharing Display System Objects"] [cite news|url=http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/04/21/apples_interface_held_to_the_fire_in_dubious_suit.html|title=Apple's interface held to the fire in dubious suit|publisher=Apple Insider|date=April 21, 2007|accessdate=2007-04-24]

References

See also

*Tabbed Document Interface

External links

* [http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/pattern.php?pattern=navigationtabs Navigation] and [http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/pattern.php?pattern=moduletabs Module] tabs at the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library.
* [http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/examples/tabview/ Yahoo! UI Library] TabView
* [http://ajax.asp.net/ajaxtoolkit/Tabs/Tabs.aspx ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit]
* [http://aesthetic-design.co.uk/tabs/ Scriptaculous AJAX tabs]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tab — In Wikipedia, colons (:) are used to tab. Tab or tabs may refer to:*Tabulation: computing evolved from a mechanical basis using cards gradually between the 1940s and 1990s to a completely electronic basis. The card based systems and components… …   Wikipedia

  • GUI widget — This article is about reusable components for building user interfaces. For small desktop/web applications, see widget engine. For other uses, see widget (disambiguation). Various widgets …   Wikipedia

  • Widget (GUI) — Ein Steuerelement (engl. widget oder control) ist ein Interaktionselement in einer grafischen Benutzeroberfläche (GUI), beispielsweise eine Schaltfläche oder eine Bildlaufleiste. Die englische Bezeichnung widget ist ein Kofferwort, gebildet aus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fokus (GUI) — Das aktive Fenster hat einen blauen Rahmen (im Vordergrund unten rechts), die anderen haben einen grauen Die inaktiven Fenster verschwinden im Hintergrund …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Accordion (GUI) — In a graphical user interface, an accordion is an expanded view (by window or thumbnail) of a selected item inside of a list of items. The term stems from the musical accordion in which sections of the bellows can be expanded by pulling outward.… …   Wikipedia

  • Закладка (GUI) — Пример вкладок в Mozilla Firefox 2 Пример вкладок в англ. tab)  элемент графического интерфейса пользователя, который позволяет в одном окне приложения переключение между несколькими открытыми документами или предопределёнными наборами элементов… …   Википедия

  • Вкладка (значения) — Вкладка Вкладка (англ. tab) элемент графического интерфейса пользователя; Вкладка (стоматология) изготавливаемая в зуботехнической лаборатории реставрация зуба …   Википедия

  • Comparison of file managers — The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of notable file managers. Contents 1 General information 2 Operating system support 2.1 Cross platform file managers 2.2 …   Wikipedia

  • a — acar·a·pis; ac·a·ri·a·sis; ac·a·ri·a·sis; ac·a·ri·na; ac·a·ri·nar·i·um; ac·a·rine; ac·a·ri·nol·o·gy; ac·a·ri·no·sis; ac·a·ro·ce·cid·i·um; ac·a·roid; ac·a·rol·o·gist; ac·a·rol·o·gy; ac·a·ro·pho·bia; ac·a·rus; acat·a·lep·sy; acat·a·lex·is;… …   English syllables

  • Microsoft Office 2007 — applications shown on Windows Vista (clockwise from top left: Excel, Word, OneNote, PowerPoint …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.