BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a character display technique, and more particularly to a technique for displaying characters or letters produced by a word processor, for example, in a dynamic manner.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Conventionally, the transmission of written information is performed in the form of printed papers. Namely, people write sentences on papers by hand or by using a word processor, and the document thus made is printed on papers. Thus, information is transmitted in the form of the papers. Recently, as an alternative to the information transmission using papers, an electronic mail (hereinafter referred to "E-mail") has been broadly used. Generally, in the information transmission using the E-mail, the sender makes an E-mail including some sentences or comments by using a terminal device, and sends the E-mail thus made via a communication path or a network. The receiver receives, opens and reads the E-mail addressed to him or her by operating the terminal device. Therefore, the information transmission via E-mail mostly utilizes the display screen of the terminal device for displaying the information. Thus, the manner of information transmission is now changing from the conventional way using papers to the recent paperless way using E-mail.
However, E-mail is sometimes unsatisfactory in its poor expressiveness of the contents written. Normally, the written information in the E-mail is produced and transmitted in the form of text data. Since it is difficult to freely modify and/or emphasize the characters in the text data, the E-mail cannot play a role of more than a plain and dry information transmission means. Some E-mail users use illustration so-called "face mark" (simple figure made by the combination of marks or symbols included in the text data. It is called "face mark" because the figure expressing human face is frequently made.) to make the contents of E-mail more expressive and attractive. However, there still is a limit in enhancing the expressiveness the E-mail contents by this technique.
On the other hand, the expressiveness of E-mail may be enhanced by attaching image data such as still picture or moving picture to the E-mail. However, it sometimes takes relatively long time to make an E-mail. Also, attaching the image data to the E-mail greatly increases the total file size (data-amount) of the E-mail, and hence its transmission via the transmission path unnecessarily takes long time. Therefore, attaching image data is not a good way in practical view.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
One reason that E-mail lacks expressiveness originates from the fact that the character itself is visually static, i.e., it does not change its appearance. As mentioned above, the characters are originally used in the form printed on a paper, and hence the character itself originally does not involve the concept of movement or appearance change. However, at present, the information transmission using E-mail has been broadly used, and the information transmitted via E-mail is mainly shown, not on a paper, but on a screen of display
device. Therefore, it is possible to enhance the expressiveness of the E-mail contents by dynamically showing the characters. In this view, it is an object of the present invention to provide a character display technique capable of
5 transmitting and displaying expressive documents in a simple way without excessive increase of data amount.
According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of transmitting and receiving an electronic mail including the steps of: transmitting the electronic
1° mail from a sender terminal to a receiver terminal, the transmitting step including the steps of producing the electronic mail including character codes of characters constituting a mail document, at least one conversion program for converting the characters to be displayed in a dynamic
15 manner, and an address of the receiver terminal, and transmitting the electronic mail; and receiving the electronic mail at the receiver terminal, the receiving step including: receiving the electronic mail; from a font storage unit storing character patterns corresponding to character codes, reading
20 out the character patterns corresponding to the character codes included in the electronic mail; spreading the read-out character patterns on a bit map memory to produce bit map fonts; converting the bit map fonts by using the received conversion program according to the passage of time; and
25 displaying the converted bit map fonts on a display device. In accordance with the method of transmitting and receiving an electronic mail, at the transmitting side of the electronic mail, characters for making a mail document are inputted to produce corresponding character codes. In
30 addition, the conversion program for displaying the characters in the dynamic manner and the address of the receiver of the mail are designated, and the electronic mail including these are produced and transmitted. On the other hand, at the receiving side of the mail, based on the character codes
included in the transmitted electronic mail, corresponding character patterns are obtained, and the character patterns are spread on the bit map memory to produce bit map fonts. Then, the bit map fonts are converted by using the conversion program in the electronic mail according to the passage 40 of time. Thereafter, the bit map fonts after the conversion are displayed on the display device. By this, the characters included in the electronic mail are displayed in the dynamic manner.
45 In a preferred embodiment, the conversion program may include a coordinate conversion program for converting coordinates of pixels constituting the bit map font according to the passage of time. Thus, the dynamic representation of the characters may be achieved by the simple coordinate
5Q conversion processing.
In another preferred embodiment, the conversion program may include a filter program for performing filter operation processing of the bit map font. Thus, the dynamic representation of the characters may be achieved by executing the
55 filter operation program at the receiving side.
According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided an electronic mail transmitting, method including the steps of: inputting character sequence constituting a mail document via an input device to produce
60 character codes corresponding to the character sequence; designating a range of the character sequence and a type of dynamic character display applied to the range via the input device to produce data indicating the designated range and data indicating the type of the dynamic character display;
65 designating an address of a receiver of the electronic mail via the input device; producing an electronic mail including the character codes, the data indicating the designated range,