5 Useful JavaScripts I Commonly Use

This is for anyone interested in learning more about how to use JavaScript with Captivate.  Here’s a list of 5 simple yet commonly used JavaScripts I use.

1.  Arrays

Arrays are awesome and this quick reference only covers a fraction of their power. Let’s say you have a several comments that you want to use throughout your project at various times. Rather than writing them up each time, or having the comments stored as different variables, I use an single ‘array’ that stores all the comments in one place.

var comments = [“You showed a great understanding here.”, “Excellent work.”, “Good effort”, “Could improve on some understanding”, “Please review section 1.”]

Now if I want to ever refer back to any comment in the array I would now just write “comment” and the number it’s at (starting with zero)

comments[1]     // returns ‘Excellent work.’

I almost always pair arrays with variables.  For example, if I had the variable ‘score’ that kept track of a users progress, I can control which comment to display with this variable.

comments[score] // returns the comment at score’s value.

 

2.  Show, Hide, Enable, and Disable Stuff

If you have a button with the id ‘obj’, here’s how you would make it visible, invisible, enabled and disabled.  I usually have to wrap this code inside more complex functions (such as enabling a button after a video has finished playing).

cp.show(‘obj’);

cp.hide(‘obj’);

cp.enable(‘obj’);

cp.disable(‘obj’);

 

3. Alert Messages

Yes you can create your own text box with a button, give it an id, hide it, write a code that triggers it to be visible, and then write another code to hide it again.  But if it’s just for a quick message, the ‘alert’ function is easier.

alert(“message”,”title”)

As a bonus, you can customize how it looks under Edit –> Object Style Manager

4.  document.onkeydown

Let’s say you are creating a software simulation and you want the ‘up arrow’ to change the state of an object. Without javascript, you could create an advanced action with a keyboard shortcut.  But what about if you needed twenty keys to launch different actions? That would require 20 advanced actions associated with 20 shortcuts.

Here is how to achieve this same effect with javascript. The following code would be executed on enter of a slide.

document.onkeydown = function(e){

if(e.code ==”ArrowUp”){

alert(“Up Arrow pressed”)

}

if(e.code ==”ArrowDown”){

alert(“Down Arrow pressed”)

}};

Without getting into too much detail, this code essentially listens for any key to be pressed.  It then uses a bunch of if statements to identify if a certain key was pressed, and will then launch an action.   You can have as many keys or key combinations as you want, and it’s all laid out in one area.

 

5. Switch Statements

I wrote about switch statements in another blog I made about failure messages.  https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/01/super-easy-dynamic-successive-quiz-failure-attempts/  I find them to be a valuable tool in my arsenal.

Let’s say you have a situation where the value of a variable will determine 10 different possible outcomes.  For example, if variable ‘x’ equals 7 do this, but if variable ‘x’ equals 8 do something else.  To write this with advanced actions would require 10 different ‘if statements’.  That’s a lot of repetitive writing of ‘if statements’.  This is where switch statements can come in handy.

switch (x) {

case 1:
alert(“The variable x = 1”);
break;

case 2:
alert(“The variable x = 2”);
break;

case 3:

alert(“The variable x = 3”);
break;

case 4:
alert(“The variable x = 4”)
break;
}

Switch statements act exactly like if statements but without having to write them all out. Each ‘case’ represents the value of the variable.  For example, “case 4:” would occur if the variable ‘x’ equaled 4.

 

If you have any questions about how to utilize these scripts please let me know.  Hope this has been helpful.

 

How to Animate Buttons (and lots of other cool Javascript stuff!)

Preamble

Something that I noticed with Captivate’s built in effects is that you cannot (or at least it is challenging) animate buttons.  In other words, a user clicks on a button, that button animates, and at the end of the animation, it fires off a function or advanced action. There might (or might not be) ways of doing this with invisible buttons, objects, and effects but this is one method.

Please note that if you are very uncomfortable using javascript, or absolutely hate any kind of programming this might not be ideal for you.  This blog is also LONG because I wanted to explain as much as I could at a beginner level.  I hope it will be useful.  In addition, I have posted some helpful links and the .cptx file at the bottom of this blog.

Step 1: Find and modify your cool animation

Head over to http://animista.net/play and find your perfect animation. Copy and then modify the code to your liking.  I modified the ‘wiggle’ animation and put it into the Web Animation API (WAAPI) format.

The animation script I used created was:

var options = {
iterationStart: 0,
endDelay: 100,
duration: 700,
fill: ‘forwards’,

}

var keyframes = [
{ transform: ‘translateY(0) rotate(0)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(-30px) rotate(-6deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(15px) rotate(6deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(-15px) rotate(-3.6deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(9px) rotate(2.4deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(-6px) rotate(-1.2deg)’}
];

All of this script goes into the slide’s on ‘enter slide execute javascript’.

A few notes about this animation script.  There are two variables: ‘options’ and ‘keyframes’.  ‘Keyframes’ basically specifies WHERE the object will move – like x and y position and rotation.  The ‘Options’ variable states HOW the object will move, like timing and repetitions.  If you copy and paste any .css animation code, just make sure it is exactly in the correct format.

 

Step 2: Create Your Buttons

For this example I created 3 buttons. Just basic smart shapes converted into buttons. I turn off ‘continue playing the project’, the clicking noise, and delete the ‘rollover’, and ‘down’ states. Each button will have it’s own function but the same applied animation.

I gave my buttons the ID ‘btn’, ‘btn1’, and ‘btn2’.

Oh – I also created a second slide with a button going back to the first slide.

Step 3: Create Your Buttons Functions

I don’t want to go into too much in detail about javascript functions, but essentially I want each button to ‘do’ something different.  If you really hate javascript you could always create advanced actions on a button and call them through javascript (that’s for another blog).  I’ll run through each function here briefly:

All of these function also go into the

Function 1:

function nextSlide(){
window.cpAPIInterface.next();
}

The function is titled ‘nextSlide’. It uses the captivate API interface to jump to the next slide.

Function 2:

function message(){
alert(“You pressed the Message Button”)
}

The function is titled ‘message’. When the function is called it creates an alert message with the “You pressed the Message Button” text.

Function 3:

function unHide(){
t = !t
if(t ==true){
cp.show(‘hidden’)
}
else
{
cp.hide(‘hidden’)
}
}

Ok this one is a bit trickier but it still uses some of Captivate’s built in function.  The function is titled ‘unHide’. When called it toggles the variable ‘t’ (which I’ll mention later) from ‘true’ to ‘false’. In other words, if ‘t’ initially equals ‘true’, the “t =!t” toggles ‘t’ to equal ‘false’.  Then it checks if t == true (the double ‘==’ means ‘is it equal to’. If ‘t’ is true it will “cp.show(‘hidden’) which means it will show an object I have given the ID name  ‘hidden’.  If ‘t’ is not equal to true “else” it will hide the object with the ID ‘hidden’

Step 4: Create the Animation Function

Here is the function that will trigger the animation. This also goes into the ‘enter slide execute javascript’ window.

function playAnim(e,f,g){

pAnim = e.animate(keyframes, options);
pAnim.play()
pAnim.onfinish = function(){
cp.enable(f);
g();
}
}

This one gets really complicated if you are a beginner at functions but I believe in you .  The function is titled ‘playAnim’ and it ‘passes through’ three bits of information ‘e’, ‘f’, and ‘g’.  I declare what those bits of information are when I ‘call’ (ask to start) the function.

pAnim = e.animate(keyframes, options);  This creates a new variable titled pAnim.  It states that whatever bit of information ‘e’ is, it will create an animation (.animate) ‘e’ with the ‘keyframe’ and ‘options’ variables.

pAnim.play() starts the animation

pAnim.onfinish = function(){   This means that when pAnim finishes it’s animation it will call a new function which is titled function and does…

cp.enable(f);  The function enables whatever bit of information ‘f’ is and…

g();   Launch whatever bit of information ‘g’ is.

 

Step 5: Program your buttons

Now you need to execute javascript for each button. But because we did all the work on ‘on enter frame execute javascript’ window, the rest is easy.

For button 1, I put this code in and that’s it.

playAnim(btnc,’btn’,nextSlide)

cp.disable(‘btn’)

playAnim(btnc,’btn’,nextSlide)    This is calling the function playAnim (the one that had e,g, and f)  If you look at that code you can replace ‘e’ with ‘btnc’, f with ‘btn’ and ‘g’ with ‘nextSlide’ to see how it all works.

You might be asking what is ‘btnc’.  If you ever want to animate something in Captivate, just add a ‘c’ to the end of the ID and it should work.  That could be a discussion for next time.

So playAnim(btnc,’btn’,nextSlide)  will essentially animate ‘btnc’, will enable ‘btn’ and will call the function ‘nextSlide’ when the animation ends.

The second line of the code: cp.disable(‘btn’) tells Captivate to disable the button.  It’s annoying if a user can click a button multiple times before the animation ends and it looks bad.  That’s why it nice to disable the button, play the whole animation, and then re-enable the button.

For button 2, the code is this:

playAnim(btn1c,’btn1′,message)

cp.disable(‘btn1’)

 

And button 3, it is this:

playAnim(btn2c,’btn2′,unHide)

cp.disable(‘btn2’)

 

Step 6: Add the ‘t’ Variable

Add the top of the execute on enter frame script add:

t = true;

This will declare the variable ‘t’ as true and will alternate when the toggle function is called.

_____________________________

 

That is all.  I hope that you find some or all of this useful.  All the best,

Jeremy

 

All the Execute on Enter Frame Code (in one place)

t = false
var options = {
iterationStart: 0,
endDelay: 100,
duration: 700,
fill: ‘forwards’,

}

var keyframes = [
{ transform: ‘translateY(0) rotate(0)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(-30px) rotate(-6deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(15px) rotate(6deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(-15px) rotate(-3.6deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(9px) rotate(2.4deg)’},
{transform: ‘translateY(-6px) rotate(-1.2deg)’}
];

function playAnim(e,f,g){

pAnim = e.animate(keyframes, options);
pAnim.play()
pAnim.onfinish = function(){
cp.enable(f);
g();
}
}

function nextSlide(){
window.cpAPIInterface.next();
}
function message(){
alert(“You pressed the Message Button”)
}

function unHide(){
t = !t
if(t ==true){
cp.show(‘hidden’)
}
else
{
cp.hide(‘hidden’)
}
}

 

Useful WAAPI Animation Sites

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Web_Animations_API/Web_Animations_API_Concepts

https://css-tricks.com/css-animations-vs-web-animations-api/

 

The .cptx file

animateBtns