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Custom Show/Hide Glossary that works in Captivate 8, 9, and 2017

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Hey Paul, you promised to never do a Captivate 8 or 9 tutorial again”, and that’s right. I did say that but this is actually a Captivate 2017 tutorial that just happens to include steps that would work for Captivate 8 or 9 as well. In this video, I show you how you can create a custom interaction that can be used as a glossary page in your Adobe Captivate project. If you found this video useful, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel at Paul Wilson Adobe Captivate Tutorials. Please share this video with your colleagues.

Zero to Sixty with Advanced Actions

The Question: Just how fast do advanced actions execute themselves?

The Answer: At times, I’ve found myself pondering that same question. And to find the answer, I set out to test it in the real world. My process, and findings are below.

First, I have no doubt that executing a single advanced action would happen too quickly to measure. So, I decided to execute a lengthy list of actions (60 in all, thus the aptly named title of this blog).

  • The image below represents my test project. It consists of 28 identical squares (each with 3 states: normal (black), orange, and blue), a Run button (used to execute the advanced actions), and several variable boxes to capture what happens once executed. It’s important to note that all testing took place on a single screen.


  • The next image (below) shows a portion of the straightforward advanced actions that executed (each box changes its state from black to orange, and then from orange to blue – 58 actions in total. In addition to that, I have two actions that capture starting time – Starting Epoch – and ending time – Ending Epoch).


  • This next image shows what the screen looks like just before pressing the Run button to initiate the string of advanced actions. Notice all variables properly display their default value of zero.


  • And lastly (drum roll, please), the image below displays the results after executing the series of advanced actions.


The Debrief: For my first test to execute 60 consecutive advanced actions, it took 37 milliseconds (0.037 seconds) not including the 1 second delay, which I added to allow the passage of enough time to register in the “True Time Lapsed” indicator boxes.

I did a total of 10 identical tests, for which there was a slight variance, but the stats for all 10 are as follows:

  • Average (per test): 48.1 milliseconds
  • Average (per action): 8/10ths of 1 millisecond
  • Fastest test: 15 milliseconds
  • Slowest test: 134 milliseconds
  • So, what is an Epoch? – In terms of Adobe Captivate, it is the time elapsed, in milliseconds, since January 1, 1970. These can be used to establish great unique identifiers in your training! Stay tuned for a post about the power unique identifiers!

The Morel of this Story: When working with a lengthy list of advanced actions, there is no need to worry about a delay in user experience in order for the actions to fully execute. However, the order in which advanced actions are written/placed is incredibly important, because actions execute in a linear fashion (from top, straight down to bottom). Additionally, placing actions in a cohesive order will undoubtedly make it easier for others (and future you) to read and understand them at a later date.

I hope this was helpful, or at least worth pondering. Until next time folks! Go BE the YOND!


P.S. I originally posted this on my website at

Showing a hidden button on 2nd visit to the slide



I have this as slide 2 of a project and the Review & Lab buttons jump to other slides, and then those are directed back to this slide.  I do not want the transparent “Click here to skip to quiz” button to show until the learner comes back to this page a second or subsequent time.  Essentially, I only want it hidden on the first visit to the page, but any time the user comes back around to it, I want it shown.

Can someone show me a script that will achieve this.  I am rather new, and need to progress quickly with the projects I am creating for our LMS.  Thanks in advance!


Shared Actions for Easy Navigation Controls

I record Adobe Captivate tutorials on procedures I use myself. One such topic that I haven’t covered before now is shared actions. I simply haven’t had a reason to use them in my everyday work. I would use “advanced actions” for the navigation controls I would put at the beginning of my course and display for the rest of the project. One problem is that you can’t have items displayed for rest of project and contained in a non-static fluid boxes. I solve this problem using a shared action in this video tutorial.



#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


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


Master those Fluid Boxes!


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