Importance of Captivate’s Events?

Intro

Over 6 years ago I published a blog post explaining the importance of Events in the application. I also offered for free a table describing all the possible events. Meanwhile new features have been added, the User interface has changes. It is time to update that old post and table. You will be able to download the table at the end. It is a protected document, you can print it at a low resolution, but no permission for editing. You can find workarounds, but please I beg you to show some respect for my work.

When training/helping users to start with advanced or shared actions, I often detect that newbies are not aware of the process needed to trigger an (advanced/shared) action: each action, whether a simple, shared  or advanced has to be linked to an ‘Event’, and that is the subject of this article.

Events – out of the box

Lot of events to trigger an action are linked with interactivity, requiring  the user to act.  That  is the case for Success/Last Attempt  events for (Shape) Buttons, Click Boxes, Text Entry boxes, interactive Learning interactions, Drag&Drop but also for Question/Knowledge Check slides.

Less known are the actions that can be triggered when a Quiz is completed (Passed/Failed).

In that older blog post I mentioned the  Rollover slidelet which had  two events: on Rollover, and on Click. Since that object is no longer supported for HTML5 output, I took it out of the table.

Object actions can be triggered by each drag event in a Drag&Drop slide and offer a lot of possibilities. Have a look at all the posts I published about Drag&Drop.

Ignored by most users are the Hyperlink events. Such an event is not limited to ‘hyperlink’, but can trigger all sorts of actions, including Advanced actions. Find a example here.

Events that are not linked with interactivity are the slide events: when entering or when exiting a slide, you can have a simple, advanced or shared action to be executed. Have a look at the table to see possible limitations.

Often I get the question if an action can be triggered by time or by a frame. Not possible out of the box, but with micro-navigation, eventually the Delay Next actions command and/or the Timer/Hourglass interaction this limitation can be overridden.

Overlay slides in Interactive Video, both the content and KC slides have similare events to those in a normal project. However the events for the hotspots in a VR project or 360 image/video are more limited as are the overlay Quiz slides in a VR project.

Widget to extend events

InfoSemantics developed a HTML5 widget that is one of my favourites: the CpExtra Widget. Adding events to objects is only one of its multiple features. It is not free but if you are plunging really into advanced/shared  actions, please try it out because it can add as many events as you want to any object. A trial version is available.

InfoSemantics used to have a SWF widget (EventHandler), worked great, but with the EOL of Flash player for all browsers, not so useful anymore.

List

You can download the list from this link.

There are two  tables. First table shows events able to  trigger only one simple, shared or advanced action/ The second smaller table summarizes the events which can trigger one out of two possible actions based on a condition: validated TEB, question slides, scored Drag&Drop slides  and Quiz.

I would appreciate if you left some comment in case you find this list useful. If you find this list useful, I could offer some other tables as well.

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Issue with Shared Actions (not disappearing when advancing/requires two clicks)

Hi everyone! First time poster here. I’m creating a curriculum for a client that wanted it created with Captivate. It’s a fish ID course, so each slide is a fish image. There’s a question mark at the bottom that, when clicked, opens the fish name. I made it a shared action so that when the user advances to the next slide, it is supposed to disappear.

It worked fine for one export, but now the actions apparently no longer work. Additionally, it requires two clicks to trigger the pop-up. I got these buttons working over two months ago at this point, and since it was my first time working with advanced actions, I can’t remember for the life of me what I did.  In the one screenshot of the Advanced Actions box, you’ll see that one setting is left blank. I don’t remember why that’s like that but it’s the same in the archived version of the project where the actions work correctly.

If anyone can advise, I’m happy to share a link to the project. It’s a massive file; every slide is an image so it’s 776.2 MB (even when saved as 150 dpi at 1280 x 720). I’ve included some screenshots that might be relevant. Looking forward to some answers!

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Custom Effects in Advanced/Shared Actions

Intro

Almost 8 years ago I posted this article on my personal blog: Editing Motion Paths and Using Custom Effects. 

Since that time Effects have been improved a lot, advanced and shared actions can make life much easier. Time to upgrade that blog post, meanwhile testing the behavior of effects in HTML output in CP2019. While Flash was always to be trusted, that is not the case for HTML output. And indeed, I bumped onto a problem with the Scale effect, and sometimes the Rotate to effect. When those problems are solved, I will post a published movie. The workflow to use Custom effects in a shared or advanced action is however still the same since many versions. It is a bit complicated, I have answered many questions about it in the forums. I will write it out now step by step.

When do you need  a custom effect?

Effects have been improved in some ways. Some parameters can be defined in the Advanced Actions dialog box. Look for the start time of an effect, its duration and more numeric fields (alpha, rotation, ease in/out, alpha….). However when using a combination of effects over and over again, you can create one custom effect which saves that combination and can applied in one step including the sequence and duration of the different effects. Another practical example are the motion effects, where you need to edit the motion path, which is certainly the case for more complicated custom motion paths.  This screenshot shows an example of a complicated combination of effects on the Timeline. It was meant to be applied to simulate a swimming fish:

Step by Step

Step 1:  Create and save effect

Create the effect or combination of effects on any object as a ‘Self)time based animation and test it out thoroughly (Preview HTML in Browser for a non-responsive project) in several browsers before saving it with a custom name.

You don’t need to save it in a specific folder. I use to save it with the project I am working on as is the case in the screenshot above. Effects are stored in XML-files.

Step 2: Apply the custom effect as time-based animation

If you would try to use the saved effect in a shared/advanced action it will no be available. If this is the first custom effect you ever created, there will not even be a Custom category to choose from You need first to delete all the individual effects applied to the object (above it was to the object SV_Fish (a SVG image). Then apply the custom effect as a (Self) time based animation again, but now with ‘one’ effect chosen with the browse button.

When looking at the timeline you’ll see exactly the same result as in the screenshot at the beginning: all the effects in the correct sequence and with the duration you had chosen.

The result of this second application is that the Category ‘Custom’ will now have been created, and it will have the new custom effect ‘Swimming’.

Step “: use in advanced or shared action

If you only wanted to apply this action using an interactive object, you could use a simple action. The field Category will now have the Custom category.

However often effects are used in Advanced or Shared actions in combination with other commands. In this example the Fishes are originally hidden, so I need to Show them and apply the effectn eventually also have an audio clip playing separately.

The two buttons on this example will trigger the same shared action. Both fishes are hidden in output at the start. When creating the advanced action, the category Custom can now be used, and the available parameters (start, duration) could be edited, but mostly you’ll not want to do that.

Because I needed to use this action twice, maybe also later in other projects unchanged or as template for other actions, I preferred a shared action which will have only one parameter: the object itself. An effect cannot be a parameter. However, the effect can not only be applied to one object, but also to a group. I can replace one fish by a group of fishes.

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Pausing and playing object audio in Advanced Action

I have four buttons (1, 2, 3, and 4) that trigger advanced actions (AAs).  In each of the AAs, text appears, an audio clip plays, and then the next number in the sequence appears. Can I build a pause and play functionality that will pause (and subsequently play) the triggered object audio inside the AA?  (I’m a novice Captivate 2017 user, so please be clear in any reply)

Thank you

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Object that appears through advanced action

I have an object that appears through advanced action when a button is clicked.  It is a sample of something that appears on the same slide as the button so when the user clicks the button, they can see the sample, but then I need it to disappear when they are done viewing the sample as it covers text on the screen.

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Object that appears through advanced action

I have an object that appears through advanced action when a button is clicked.  It is a sample of something that appears on the same slide as the button so when the user clicks the button, they can see the sample, but then I need it to disappear when they are done viewing the sample as it covers text on the screen.

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Would like to meet you on 2-4 October in Las Vegas

Why?

The Adobe team has invited me to the Adobe Learning Summit (3-4 October) based on my 10 years of answering questions in forums and other social media (I don’t like titles like ‘Legend’ or ‘Top most contributor/expert’).  They insist on having me meet users, being able for once to do in person what I do daily throughout virtual channels with Captivate users worldwide: help for solving small and big issues you are bumping on, offering practical tips, explaining and clarifying workflows.  It is always a pleasure to meet users in person!

Welcome to everyone. It is possible you don’t know me, in that case have a look at the blogs I posted on this portal, and at my personal blog: http://blog.lilybiri.com.  You will see that I have some favourite topics:

  • Shared and Advanced actions: since they appeared with Captivate 4 I have explored them in depth, helped many developers solving use cases (also as consultant and trainer). A fan recently indicated me as ‘True empress of Advanced and Shared Actions’, a promotion over the title ‘Queen of Advanced Actions’ which I got long time ago.
    Example: Shared Actions
  • Stumbling Blocks:  most users struggle with the Timeline,  which is the most important panel in Captivate. The sequence of articles and movies I published about the timeline, and their popularity proves my statement. Second main problem is understanding the design of the Quiz in Captivate: how is it set up, which tweaks are possible. Third problem, linked with design, is setting up a custom Theme. This can save so many hours while developing, and its power is often misunderstood.
    Example: Pausing Captivate’s Timeline
  • Workarounds: Captivate is to me the most flexible and multifeatured eLearning authoring tool. Because of that multitude of features, not every feature has all the functionality some users wish to have. Explore my blog posts, for many of those lacking functionality I have posted a workaround.
    Example: Navigation button for InteractiveVideo

When/Where?

I will be available in the hotel of the conference (Hard Rock) on 2 October (afternoon), 3 and 4 October.  If you want to meet, send me a note using any channel you want: Twitter (@Lilybiri), comment on this article, mail at info@lilybiri.com,  If I am able to have a US phone number, will post it here as well.  Or you may just hail me when you see me walking around (will assist in all classes for the certificate on 3 October).

Looking forward to meeting!

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Short answer question or Scrolling Text for Survey?

Intro

Once in a while a question like in this thread pops up:

“….students will need to answer short answer questions.  They will not be right or wrong, they will be their thoughts.  Is there a way to have all their answers compile into a final screen at the end?”

It seems logical to use short answer quiz slides, in Survey mode, for this use case. However I prefer to use one of the Learning Interactions, ‘Scolling Text’ for reasons I want to explain in this article, by describing both workflows with their specificities. It is up to you to decide which you’ll use. In both workflows variables will be important, hope you are familiar with them.

Short Answer quiz slides, Survey mode

Setup quiz slides

No right/wrong answer means that scoring has no sense, change the stqtus of the quiz slide to ‘Survey’. Nevertheless a score slide will be inserted but you can hide it easily.

Answers to quiz slides are stored in a reusable variable, cpQuizInfoAnswerChoice. After a short answer question the variable will contain the text typed in by the learner in the short answer field. Reusable means that the value will change after each short answer slide. Since we need to store each answer safely (for reusing on the slide at the end), you will need:

  • to create a user variable for each short answer question; I will label them v_First, v_Second, v_Third for the example you’ll see in the demo movie;
  • the default answer area is pretty small (one line), if you expect longer answers, make sure to increase the height of the answer area. It is not possible to edit the used master slide because it applies to multiple types of quiz slides;
  • the content of the system variable cpQuizInfoAnswerChoice is updated when the Submit button is clicked; it has to be transferred to the appropriate user variable, using the After Survey event; for that purpose I created a shared action with two commands:
    Assign v_First with cpQuizInfoAnswerChoice
    Go to Next Slide
    only parameter is the user variable (here v_First)
  • apply this shared action to each of the question slides, with the appropriate parameter.

Setup Answer Review slide

In the example movie I created one text container (shape or caption) and inserted the three user variables in it. Be careful to increase the number of characters to be shown when inserting the variables. You’ll also have to leave enough space for each variable. Of course you could create multiple text containers and/or have the answers distributed over multiple slides.

Using Scrolling Text interactions

A limitation of Short Answer quiz slide is that you can have only one answer per slide. When using a Scrolling Text interaction you can have several question on a slide as you can see in the example movie.

Setup interaction

Setup of the first answer box can be seen in this screenshot:

Two important items are indicated  in the screenshot:

  1. You have to type in the name of the variable to be used. There is no way to use a dropdown list. Beware: you have to create the variable, it is not created uatomatically.
  2. To allow text to be typed in by the user, the checkbox ‘ReadOnly’ has to be unchecked. By default it is checked.

It would have been possible to enter the question in the interaction, instead of having it in a separate text container. I preferred not to do it. Reason: if the user adds the answer, instead of overwriting the question, the variable will contain html tags, like <br>.

The Submit button, which you’ll see on the slide, triggers  the (default) action ‘Go to Next Slide’.

Since I reused the three user variables in this part of the example, I have created an advanced action triggered on Enter to empty the user variables with the technique described in this article.:

Setup Answer Review slide

Very easy: duplicate the slide with the interactions, and take out the On Enter action to reset the variables. The interactions are now populated with the given answers. Moreover the learner can still edit those answers, because of the option ‘ReadOnly’ being unchecked. If you don’t want it, check the option ‘ReadOnly’ on this duplicate slide.

It is also possible to use a similar slide for the first workflow with short answer quiz slides. That will be useful if you want indeed to allow editing the answers.

Example movie

Play

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Captivate 2017/19: Make animations and loop animations with advanced actions

This video shows how to make loop animations and various animations with multi-state objects and advanced actions.

It shows:

– an easier way to animate landscapes in loop with the While loop action compared to Captivate 9,

– how to make various loop animations that come in and out of the screen or remain on screen with Multi-state objects and the Effects panel,

– how to make animations without using the Effects panel but with several pictures as in cartoons (e.g. bird),

– how to use the decision tabs to set up all animations in one script only.

This video has been made with Captivate 2017 but it also works with Captivate 2019.

(set the quality of this video to “HD” for a better display).

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