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Improving Placeholders in Digital Documents

Buchanan, G. & Pearson, J. (2008). Improving Placeholders in Digital Documents. Paper presented at the 12th European Conference on Digital Libraries (ECDL), 14-19 Sep 2008, Aarhus, Denmark.


Placeholders in physical documents provide critical support for the human reader in relocating material and their place in the text. However, the equivalent tools in digital documents have long been identified as suffering from unintuitive interactions and low rates of use. This paper evaluates the current bookmarking technologies found in digital document readers, and identifies a number of specific and significant shortcomings in their support for user activity. We introduce some simple interactions that close the gap between user requirements and the placeholder support in a simple document reader program. Through this, we demonstrate that improved interactions can be created that reduce the barriers that inhibit placeholder use in digital documents.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Published as Buchanan, G. & Pearson, J. (2008). Improving Placeholders in Digital Documents. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 5173, pp 1-12. The final publication is available at Springer via
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > Human Computer Interaction Design
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