In woodblock printing , a relief image of an entire page was carved into blocks of wood, inked, and used to print copies of that page. This method originated in China, in the Han dynasty (before 220 AD), as a method of printing on textiles and later paper , and was widely used throughout East Asia . The oldest dated book printed by this method is The Diamond Sutra (868 AD).The method (called Woodcut when used in art) arrived in Europe in the early 14th century. Books (known as block-books ), as well as playing-cards and religious pictures , began to be produced by this method. Creating an entire book was a painstaking process, requiring a hand-carved block for each page; and the wood blocks tended to crack, if stored for long. The monks or people who wrote them were paid highly.
The above description of the user interface is cast in terms of a purely visual environment. However, the invention is not limited to visual interface means. For example, in an audio environment, user interface 240 may present the structures and associated actions to the user using voice synthesis and may enable selection of a pattern and action using voice or sound activation. In this type of embodiment, analyzer server 220 may be used in conjunction with a text-to-speech synthesis application 167 that reads documents to users over a telephone. Analyzer server 220 scans document 210 to recognize patterns and link actions to the recognized patterns in the same manner as described above. In the audio environment, user interface 240 may provide a special sound after application 167 reads a recognized pattern, and enable selection of the pattern through the use of an audio interface action, such as a voice command or the pressing of a button on the touch-tone telephone keypad as before. Thus, user interface 240 may present the linked actions via voice synthesis. One can create various environments having a combination of sensory mechanisms.