News Column

"Information Processing Device, and Method and Medium for the Same" in Patent Application Approval Process

January 30, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventor Shiohara, Tetsuya (Yokohama-shi, JP), filed on June 26, 2013, was made available online on January 16, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an information processing device, and a method and a medium for the same.

"In a printing system using a computer equipped with an operating system (OS) such as Windows (Registered Trademark), an application program (hereinafter referred to as application) and the like are executed. Print data generated through execution of such application is stored in a spool file in a data format commonly used in the OS. In the case where print processing is executed by the application, and the generated print data is stored in the spool file, to print the print data, the OS generally calls a printer driver. The called printer driver reads the print data stored in the spool file, produces an image by an image generating unit of the printer driver, and converts the image into a print command that can be interpreted by the printer. The print command generated by the conversion is transmitted to the printer, and the printer interprets the command to form an image on a recording medium, for example, thereby executing the print processing. Conventionally, in such printing system, to preview an actual printing mode, the printer driver executes the print processing, and activates a previewer for displaying a print image. Such preview is generally achieved by producing display image data for print preview in the image generating unit, delivering the produced image data to the previewer, and displaying the image data.

"In recent years, as the data format of data stored in the spool file, an XPS format (XML Paper Specification) rather than a conventional EMF format (Enhanced Meta File) has been used. Such printing system adopts an XPS printer driver capable of handling data in the XPS format as the printer driver. Since the XPS format is an open-standard electronic document format developed by Microsoft Corporation, the OS is provided with a display function of displaying the print data passed to the OS as it is. In the case of offering a print preview function in such the printing system, by using the display function of the OS, XPS data as the print data can be displayed without being converted into display image data (Refer to, for example, Japanese Patent Laid-open No. 2009-282843).

"Furthermore, it is also possible to add a print-setting changing function of changing print setting while checking a print result to the print preview function. Examples of the print-setting altering function include a color adjusting function of adjusting coloring of a print result. Specifically, according to the color adjusting function, monochrome printing of printing a manuscript in a monochrome mode can be set, and coloring can be adjusted by changing adjustment items such as density and contrast. In the case where the print preview function includes the color adjusting function, since contents of color adjustment set by the user are checked on print preview, it is desirable to immediately reflect the set contents. As long as the image generating unit produces display image data for print preview, the color adjustment can be reflected on the produced display image data, and the display image data can be displayed. However, in the case where data in the above-mentioned XPS format is passed to the OS for print preview, it is needed to previously reflect the color adjustment on the data itself in the XPS format to be passed to the OS. In this case, to perform print preview, it is necessary to analyze the data in the XPS format, and convert color of all of images and character strings, which are contained in the data in the XPS format, thus requiring extremely complicated processing. In order to simplify the processing, there is proposed a method of using a pixel data process in which data in the XPS format is not previously processed, pixel data generated for image display is converted, and display contents are changed. The pixel data process can be executed by, for example, a pixel shader offered by DirectX of Microsoft Corporation.

"In actual processing, for example, by assigning a module that previously implement the pixel data process to a control on which an image is displayed (hereinafter referred to as display control), pixel data to be displayed is converted according to the corresponding display control. This enables a result of color adjustment designated by the user using the print preview function to be reflected on displayed pixel data without previously converting data in the XPS format.

"Conventionally, the number of instructions that can be used in the pixel data process is sometimes limited. Moreover, the number of pixel data processes that can be assigned to one display control is one. For this reason, in complicated conversion processing, due to such limitation, all of necessary processes disadvantageously cannot be executed. Specifically, for example, in the above-mentioned color adjustment, a plurality of setting items including brightness, density, contrast, and tone is sometimes set, and it is difficult to execute the conversion processing addressing all of the setting items in one pixel data process. As a result, disadvantageously, preview display reflecting change contents of the all setting items cannot be achieved.

"Further, even in the case where there is no such limitation in the number of instructions, since a lot of processes are executed at one time, processing time increases and calculation accuracy may decrease.

"Thus, in conversion of display contents according to a set value in the pixel data process, the present invention intends to reflect setting contents on pixel data to be displayed even in the case where there is the limitation in the number of instructions or the number of instructions suitable to be handled for one pixel data process is exceeded."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "An information processing method according to the present invention for solving the above-mentioned problems includes a receiving step of receiving a layer structure that displays one image by executing a plurality of display controls displaying pixel data in an overlapped manner; an assigning step of dividing a pixel data process assigned so as to execute image processing on the pixel data to be displayed by the display control into a plurality of processes, adding a required number of display controls to the display control included in the received layer structure, and assigning the individual pixel data processes divided in a predetermined processing execution order to the display controls overlappingly arranged in the number same as the divided pixel data processes, the display controls each having a dimension that includes an area for each pixel data process, in order from the display control arranged in an upper layer; and a processing step of executing the image processing on the pixel data displayed by the display controls to which the pixel data processes are assigned in the predetermined processing execution order in the pixel data process, and superimposing and displaying the pixel data subjected to the image processing.

"According to the present invention, even in the case where the number of instructions suitable to be handled for one pixel data process is exceeded, the conversion processing for reflecting the set value can be applied to the pixel data to be displayed.

"Further features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of exemplary embodiments (with reference to the attached drawings).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a personal computer used in the present embodiment;

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing an example of a printer driver in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 3 is a view showing an example of a preview window in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 is a view showing a configuration of a preview display area in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 5 is a view showing a configuration of the preview display area in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 is a view showing a pixel data process at display updating in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 7 is a view showing an example of processing of assigning the pixel data process in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 8 is a view showing the pixel data process according to a setting item in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is a view showing the pixel data process according to the setting item in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 10 is a diagram showing the relationship of FIGS. 10A and 10B; and

"FIGS. 10A and 10B are a view showing an example of processing of assigning the pixel data process according to the setting item in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Shiohara, Tetsuya. Information Processing Device, and Method and Medium for the Same. Filed June 26, 2013 and posted January 16, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3690&p=74&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140109.PD.&OS=PD/20140109&RS=PD/20140109

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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