The success of spreadsheets has shown that a visual representation of a 2D array greatly facilitates solving certain problems. However, spreadsheets are not general-purpose programming environments and are not suited to many problems that might naturally be solved using multi-dimensional arrays. Furthermore, spreadsheets employ a textual notation for cell references in formulas. This notation, which adds to the programmer''s burden by distinguishing between relative and absolute addressing, can be difficult to understand and is error-prone even for the most experienced users. In this paper, we present a user interface for multi-dimensional arrays within Formulate, a form-based visual programming language. This implementation avoids textual array notation and supports the application of formulas to logical regions of an array, rather than just to individual elements.

Meeting Name

IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, 1996


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

Formulate; Absolute Addressing; Array Manipulation; Array Visualization; Arrays; Cell References; Data Handling; Data Structures; Data Visualisation; Error-Prone Notation; Form-Based Visual Programming Language; Formulas; Graphical User Interfaces; Logical Regions; Multi-Dimensional Arrays; Relative Addressing; Spreadsheet Programs; Spreadsheets; Textual Notation; User Interface; Visual Languages; Visual Representation

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 1996 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1996