#eLearning #LIVESTREAM – Your First Advanced Actions 09/25/2017, 16:00 EDT

The first few years in Adobe Captivate I played it safe. I stuck with the default functionality and got very good at convincing people that they didn’t need a custom solution to any eLearning situation. Finally one day my manager insisted that I change the default functionality to something unique. I had no choice but to figure out advanced actions. In this live stream, I will be sharing some of the first advanced actions that I learned using Adobe Captivate.

As per usual, I will also be taking questions if time permits so get your Captivate Questions ready for the Live Chat.

Follow the link right now to set up a reminder to get notified when this event becomes live.

#eLearning #LIVESTREAM – Your First Advanced Actions 09/25/2017, 16:00 EDT

If you enjoy my LIVE STREAMS, please share them with your colleagues and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to make sure you’re notified of all my upcoming events. If you subscribe to my YouTube channel you will receive my Adobe Captivate 2017 – Responsive Custom Quiz Questions online course from Udemy for only $10 (a $50 value).

Webinar Recording and Handout: Tips and Tricks to make the most of multi-state objects in Adobe Captivate (2017 release) – 24th August, 2017 | 9:00 AM PDT

Recording link

Handout

Multi-state ObjectsMulti-state objects in Adobe Captivate are a powerhouse of possibilities to create interactions with absolute ease. If you’ve not yet started using multi-state objects to build interactions, now is the time to start using it. You will be delighted to discover this magic mantra to reduce the number of steps to create an interaction, and making your timeline look clutter free.

During this session, Dr. Pooja Jaisingh will show you how to create simple interactions using multi-state objects and simple actions. Then she will show you how to take your interactions to the next level by using multi-state objects alongside advanced actions, variables, effects, drag and drop interactions, and other features and functionalities of Captivate. Along the way, she will share the tips and tricks of making the most of multi-state objects in Adobe Captivate.

Webinar title: Tips and Tricks to make the most of multi-state objects in Adobe Captivate

Date and time: 24th August, 2017 | 9:00 AM PDT

Recording link

Handout 

Master those Fluid Boxes!

Intro

A while ago I published a post explaining the setup of the Quizzing Master slides, compulsory parts of each theme, even the almost empty Blank theme. In this article I will try to explain my experiences using Fluid Boxes on Content Master slides. Most themes shipped with Captivate have several content master slides (exception = Blank theme). Let us first start with the master slides that are not behaving like the content or quiz master slides.

Main master slide, Blank and Title master slides

Main Master slide

It is not possible to insert Fluid boxes on the main master slide: the button seems active but both options (Vertical and Horizontal) are dimmed. Objects placed on that Main master slide, and inherited by the daughter master slides, are to be set up using the Position Properties panel. Example: the text container with my name and copyright in the example movie.
As you probably know, it is not possible to have shape buttons timed for the rest of the project when you use Fluid boxes. You could put a shape button on the main or one of the other master slides but you cannot control it because it has no ID. In the example movie I preferred to have a Next button on the individual slides, because ton most slides it is hidden until the learner has visited everything. However a toggle shape button for Audio, for CC, for the TOC could be on the Main Master slide. They will not behave like objects in a Fluid box however, but act as defined on the Position Properties panel for size and location.

However after some more testing on iOS devices, the Position properties set up for those objects are not correctly displayed in portrait mode.

TIP: at this moment avoid putting objects on the Main master slide (except background of course), since they don’t display at the correct location on some mobile devices.

Blank Master slide

This master slide has no Fluid boxes by default but you could add them. As I have explained in previous articles, you should prefer to duplicate the master slide for editing, don’t edit the original slide because it is used for Powerpoint import and for software simulations.

Title Master slide

That master slide has one Fluid box (parent fluid box) but no child fluid boxes. It is set up as ‘Squeeze in a Column’, and vertically and horizontally centered. Since the Title Placeholder is inserted directly in this Parent Fluid Box, you are not able to add child fluid boxes.  Because each new project, using the default theme White will start automatically with a Title slide, this has caused already many frustrations when starting with the use of Fluid boxes. If you want to use fluid boxes on the first slide, you have to change the master slide from Title to Blank (exception Blank theme which starts with a Blank slide).

TIP: if you want to add objects on the Title master slide, first take out the Title Placeholder, to be able to insert child fluid boxes. Then put back the Title Placeholder in one of the child fluid boxes.

Content master slides

It can be a time saver to use a content slide that has already Fluid boxes. In a future next article I’ll explain how to create a custom content master slide with the help of Guides, but for now let us focus on an existing master slide, and see how we can tweak it.
In the example movie, the second slide is based on the Content04 master slide from the Theme ‘OldPaper’. I didn’t customize the theme, just applied the correction explained in my last post

Look at the setup of the Fluid boxes on the master slide: the parent fluid box (FB_15) has two vertcial child FB’s (FB_16 and FB_17). The top one is meant for the Title placeholder:

The bottom Fluid Box has 4 child FB’s, (FB_19,FB_20, FB_21, FB_22), which are set up to wrap Symmetrically (when width is too small, two FB’s will move to the next row), and have a padding both vertically and horizontally to have some spacing between the FB’s. Each of them has a placeholder for an image.

Example movie

Play with this responsive movie (will open in a new window) which has only 3 slides: Title slide (with inserted Next button, and taking over my name from the main master slide), a slide based on Content04 master slide, with a lot of tweaking, and an End slide. On the content slide you are supposed to click each of the 4 buttons in the top. The Next button on that slide will only appear when you have clicked all available shape buttons and seen all the content.

Refining slide based on Content master slide

The FB setup on the master slides can be tweaked on a slide based on that master slide. You can remove all fluid boxes, but that has not much sense. To demonstrate I did a lot of tweaking for the second slide of the movie which you just watched:
  • I deleted the image placeholders
  • I decreased the height of the top fluid box (FB_MS2_16) to 10%, originally it was 15% (edited font style as well)
  • I added a third vertical child FB under the parent FB_MS2_15, it is labeled FB_9

    TIP: changes like this will not affect the master slide. You can get the original layout from the master slide back by using the ” Reset Master Slide” button in the Properties panel of the slide.

  • That last FB_9 got two horizontal FB’s, FB_37 (70% of the width) and FB_38 (30% of the width); the last one will be used for the navigation buttons (Back/Next)
  • The setup for FB_38 is visible in this screenshot
  • Each of the four FB’s in the center (FB_19,FB_20, FB_21, FB_22) has no longer any object (see 1) and can be divided in two new vertical child FB’s
  • As you can see on the screenshot, the top FB will have a shape button and explanation text (originally hidden, but cannot be grouped in FB’s what would make the advanced actions a lot easier), the bottom one has an example of the style of that state in a shape (also initially hidden).
  • Setup for the top FB’s here is visible in this screenshot; for the Shape button (‘Normal’) the option Maintain Aspect Ratio is kept, but not for the Text container, so that it can change for smaller screen sizes (especially in portrait mode).

More questions?

You will have seen that I always had Rulers and Guides activated. My next blog post will focus on the use of that great tool, which almost no one seems to use?

Sure, I have several advanced actions in that movie, but that was not the goal of this post. No explanations here about those actions.

$25 off Adobe Captivate 2017 Udemy Course

I wanted to let my friends on the Adobe eLearning Community know that I’ve posted my first premium tutorial on Adobe Captivate 2017 through Udemy. In this course, you will learn how to…

  • create a responsive design interface for your question slides in Adobe Captivate 2017 using fluid boxes
  • setup variables to keep track of the selections made by the users of your eLearning course
  • write advanced actions that will form the basis of the interaction for your users
  • write conditional actions that will validate if your user has submitted the correct answers to your questions
  • convert your questions to become scored final quiz questions

The regular price for this course is $50 USD, however, If you are willing to provide me feedback on this first course I would like to offer the first 20 Adobe eLearning Community members a $25 USD discount by using the link for the coupon below:

Adobe Captivate 2017 – Responsive Custom Quiz Questions

 

Making the Most of Adobe Captivate 2017’s WHILE Loop

Adobe Captivate 2017 is packed with a ton of new features. One that you may have missed is the new WHILE condition in Advanced Actions. Even if you did notice it, you may be wondering: What is the point? Why would I use that? Or, how would I use that? Well how about something like this demo course? Please read on to discover how I built that demo.

WHILE conditions have been used in programming since… well, since there has been programming. The principle idea is to keep your program doing something while a condition exists. An example might be, “The button is blue while the mouse hovers over it.”  Thankfully that logic is already built into Captivate (and most programs). But what about something like, “The alarm will sound while the character is exposed to gases”? Now we can build interactions like that in Captivate.

Before we dig into the more complex example let’s build a simple demo of the WHILE condition. In this example we will build a timer of sorts. Our statement will be, “count upwards while the counter is running”.  We can view the output of this example here.

We begin by creating two variables:

  • “counter” (defaults to 0)
  • “run_counter” (defaults to 1)

Next, we build our Advanced Action.

  1. Create a new Conditional Tab.
  2. Change the type to “While”.
  3. Our only Condition is: “run_counter” is equal to 1.
  4. The only Action is: Increment “counter” by 1.
  5. Name the Action “count_up” and save and close it.

  1. Set the slide On Enter Action to run our new count_up Advanced Action.
  2. Then we display those two variables on the slide so we can watch as the coolness unfolds.

When we preview the slide in the browser you will see that the counter steadily climbs upward, even when the timeline ends or pauses. Captivate runs the WHILE Loop every second so in effect we have just built a timer!

Now to add some complexity to our example we’ll create a few buttons with actions.

  1. Add a button and change the title to “Stop”.
  2. Set its action to Assign run_counter with the value of 0.
  3. Preview the slide in the browser.

Now when we click the stop button the run_counter variable will be set to 0. The next time our WHILE loop runs it will notice that run_counter is no longer equal to 1 and it will stop and exit the loop, which turns off our timer.

Watch the video below to see how to pause, restart, and reset the counter. One of the solutions I demonstrate in the video uses JavaScript to enable an Advanced Action to trigger another Advanced Action. To learn more about that technique see my previous blog post, How to Trigger Captivate Advanced Actions with Javascript.

Now that we have a basic loop running we can use it to perform other actions. Really we can run whatever code we want every second. We can use these loops to run animations, play audio, blink objects, etc. Let your imagination run wild! And, if you would rather run it every five seconds,for example, you could add Captivate’s built-in “Delay Next Actions by” Action.

In the video below I walk through using the WHILE Loop to continuously spin an arrow until the Learner clicks stop. You can view the output of this example here.

Finally, this video will show you how to build a more robust example with multiple conditions in our WHILE Loop. Click here to play with the fun demo.

I hope this post has sparked your imagination and clarified what a WHILE Loop is and when/how you would use it. If so, please share your ideas in the comments below!

James Kingsley has worked in the eLearning Industry for over 15 years. He has won several awards for combining technologies to produce better eLearning. He is an Articulate MVP. James is the Senior Technology Architect for eLearning Brothers and the Co-Founder of ReviewMyElearning.com. You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn for additional tips and examples.

Have fun with.. While loop

Introduction

In a previous blog post I explained the ins and outs of the new Advanced Actions dialog box. If you feel confused about my terminology in this more practical blog post, please read that first article. A decision block of type ‘While’ is totally new in version 2017. It has some similarities with the Conditional decision block (IF, Then, Else) but offers new possibilities as you’ll see in this simple game.  The While loop can be used to create a looping sequence of commands. That loop can be infinite, or limited in number of executions, based on one condition or a combination of conditions.  Mohana Das from the Adobe team published recently this article demonstrating the infinite While loop. Please read that article, for users familiar with advanced actions the used condition ‘IF 1 is equal to 1’ will be easily recognized, since this was the condition needed to create a mimicked standard action decision in older versions. It means that the sequence of commands will continue to be done, since that condition always results in True. In a future blog post, I will offer some tips about breaking such an infinite loop.
The present article  will focus on using the While loop, based on a condition which results in having the commands sequence repeated a limited number of times. It is a very simple game, every object was created within Captivate. One exception: the color shift in the Characters was achieved using roundtripping with Photoshop.
It is not a responsive project, to avoid a too long article (should have to explain setup in fluid boxes with logic of the variables and advanced actions). Maybe in a next article?

Play first!

Dice Game

It is a small game: when you click on the Play button, a dice will be rolled and you’ll see one of the faces of the dice, indicating a (random) number. The girl is supposed to climb the stairs, she will go up as many steps as the number you won. The goal is to reach the top. When the girl reaches the top of the stairs, clicking on the Play button will result in another scenario, and a Reset button will appear.
On entering the Game slide you’ll see two looping animations, with added randomness and a possibility to stop the the looping. You’ll see this action in Preview, but I will not provide details.

While Loop in Captivate 2017 Advanced Actions

To follow along and try it yourself, download the CPTX from: WhileLoop and open it in Captivate 2017

A “while” loop can be used to repeat a set of actions a certain number of times, or till a condition is met. It can also be used to repeat some actions infinitely.

Let us use an example to demonstrate While loop in Captivate 2017.

  1. Create a new slide and insert some objects as below. You may use your own assets or use the Arrow and Circle shapes from the Smart shapes menu.

circle

 

  1. Each of the Circle shapes has a custom state added to it as shown below:

1_2

 

You can add states to the circles by selecting the circle, going to the Properties Inspector and adding a new State to it:

3_3

Let this new state be named “NewState1

 

 

  1. Add a button to the slide and set its action to “Execute Advanced Action” and add a Script to execute a While loop.

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  1. Create a new advanced action, and check the “Conditional Action” checkbox. You will see an “If’ in the condition section. Click the dropdown next to it and change it to While.

4_$

  1. The script should have a structure as below. (1==1) condition :

55

 

Below is the logic:

While (1 == 1) {

Change State of ‘Active Circle’ to NewState1

Apply Flicker Effect on ‘Active Circle’

Change Last Active State back to Normal

}

 

What we are essentially doing here is, using a (1 is equal to 1) condition to simulate the loop running infinite number of times. The actions in this loop will keep on getting executed while 1 equals 1, i.e. forever. We do three things on repeat:

  1. Change the state of the last active circle back to its normal state
  2. Change the next active circle to its Active state
  3. Apply an effect on the next active circle to make the transition look good

These three actions will be repeatedly executed every 1 second.

Note: While loop has an inbuilt Delay of 1 second. This means that, all actions executed within the loop are looped with a delay of 1 second, per loop. Adding more Delay statements will be exclusive of the inbuilt 1 second delay.

  1. Now your slide may look something like this:

 gerg

  1. Preview this slide and click the button to see the While loop in action.

A similar example is on the first slide. A while loop is used to loop between the states of the top-right images infinitely. The OnEnter action for that slide contains this While loop.

Custom Quiz Results Slide Using Fluid Boxes

With the release of Adobe Captivate 2017 edition, I’ve decided to revisit some of the earlier tutorials that I have made for you in the past, especially tutorials that were created with Adobe Captivate 8. Several years ago I made a tutorial on creating a custom quiz results slide using a simple advanced action. In this video, I will show you how to create such a slide but this time using Fluid Boxes, multi-state objects, and Adobe Captivate (2017 Release).