Convert to Shared Action: Tips & Tricks


Recently i presented ‘Deep dive into Captivate with Shared and Advanced actions’ at the Adobe eLearning Word  202 conference.  During that presentation I used the ‘newbie’ scenario because the start poll pointed out that the majority of attendees were not really familiar with those actions. For the intermediate or advanced user, will try to post some blogs about tips which I would have included in my alternative scenario.  You may have seen the memory game which I published yesterday, and shows how you ca n include short JS scripts in the shared action.

The following tips are linked with my more than 19 years history of using Advanced actions, and 6 years with Shared actions. My viewpoints have changed quite a lot in that period. Presently my natural attitude is to reflect in most situations whether a Shared action is not appropriate. Why? One of the reasons is of course rIusability (with an external library), but even more important: it forces me to find better workflows.

Throughout the presentation I used a demonstration project (include d here as well) FlipCard.   It started with an original slide from the Quick Start Project ‘Alliance’. I added two slides where the functionality of the original slide was extended  to have more functionality (toggle flipcard, forced view, reset of slide on re-enter). I used two different workflows for the Advanced action and the Shared action slides. Why? You’ll discover it below.

You can download the project file using this link.


Actions in the slides

Advanced interaction panel (F9) shows all actions on the 3 slides

Slide 1 (original from the QSP)

As you can see in the screenshot above, this slide has no action On Enter (normally meant to Reset), only   3 similar advanced actions for the flipcards. Those cards are shapes used as buttons, with two states: an image in the Normal state and the explanation in the Active state. Here is a screenshot of the

The state Active is shown instead of the Normal state, a spin effect is applied and the shape button (flipcard) is disabled.  This means:

  • You cannot flip back to the image, because the shape button is disabled
  • Nothing happens when all flipcards have been flipped. Without a default playbar or adding a custom Next button, the learner will be blocked
  • When revisiting the slide:
    • the images will show up again, because the option ‘Retain state when slide is revisited’ is not activated
    • the shape buttons remain disabled, no clicking possible
    • which also means there is nothing to pause the slide, after moving throughout the duration (3seconds) of the slide the playhead continues to the next slide

 Slide 2 (extended Advanced actions)

To fix the issues of the first slide, the advanced actions used here look like this example:

No longer a one decision advanced action. These are the changes:

  • The command ‘Go to state ‘Active” has been replaced by ‘Go to Next State’; this means that clicking act a s a toggle, since the shape buttons have only two states. It would also have been an advantage if this action was converted to a SA, one parameter less.
  • To track the clicks, a variable is needed for each of the flipcards, in this screenshot it is v_one. Its default value = 0, is toggled to 1 when the flipcard is clicked and that value remains 1. It is a so-called Boolean variable.
  • The second decision is conditional, checks the value of all the tracking variables and shows in this case a Next button.

When revisiting the slide, some issues are now automatically solved, but to have the slide behave completely like the first time, an action On Enter for the slide was used.

That action will hide the Next button, and reset the tracking variables to their default value, 0.

Slide 3 (Shared Actions)

Many expected that I would convert the Advanced actions of the second slide to shared actions (at least for the flip act), but I used another workflow. If I use the Shared action ‘FlipAct’ as template for an advanced action for the first flipcard (as demonstrated in the session) it would have looked like this (Preview window):

That looks more complicated:

  • The command ‘Assign var with 1’ has been replaced by an Increment command
  • A new variable v_counter was added to keep track of the clicks. It is only incremented on the first click as you see in the second decision. For shared actions I don’t mind so much about needing more variables. Whe they are not defined as a parameters, they are created automatically when importing the action. Moreover this makes the last decision easier
  • since I need only to check the value of v_counter. Instead of comparing with a literal (which should have been 3 in the first project), another variable v_max was used which will be populated with the On Enter action. That will make the shared action more flexible.

Result of this workflow is that only 3 parameters are needed for the shared action FlipAct:

For the Reset issue, I could have used an Advanced action, slightly different from the second slide. However I also converted it to a Shared action. Why?  When I drag that SA to another project, all variables (none are parameters here) will be created. For that same reason, I added some variables (here  7). This is a filled in action to be used On Enter, only the last two commands need a parameter. One of them is the number of flipcards (value fo v_max):

Not convinced?

For those who are not yet sure that the second workflow is better for shared actions, have converted the first Flip advanced action to a shared action. These would have been the needed parameters:

This is the situation if you have only 3 Flipcards. If you have 5 flipcards, you’ll will have 2 extra parameters: tracking variables.  The risk of missing to indicate the correct parameters when attaching the shared action to the shape buttons is much bigger than with the shared action I used in the third slide.

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Memory games (Javascript IN shared actions)


Last week I presented at the Adobe eLearning World 2020 “Deep dive into Captivate with Advanced and Shared actions’. I had prepared 3 different scenarios, to be ready for any audience. Due to the poll before the session I decided to go for the ‘newbie’ scenario because the majority was new to Shared actions, and a considerable amount of attendees even to Advanced actions. That means that intermediate and advanced users were perhaps disappointed. To remediate I plan some blogs and examples as illustration. This is the first one.

Javascript and Shared actions

It is possible to have the command ‘Execute Javascript’ embedded in a shared action. When talking about games, randomization is mostly used but not a ready-to-go feature in Captivate. In the session I showed a very simple board game where the tossing of a dice is simulated, and the board cursor advances based on the result of the dice toss. That was realized with one shared action.

This game uses random numbers as well. It is a memory game which can be used in many variations due to the flexibility of shared actions, variables and multistate objects.


You will learn about the game rules in the game. There is an easy and a more complicated way to play the 3 games. Hope you don’t keep only the easy one if you are in for some memory training:


Have fun!

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Adding closed captions to object voiceovers

While it is straight forward to add closed captions (cc) to slide voiceovers, I seem to have hit the roadblock when it comes to adding cc to an object containing audio (using actions) that is enabled via user input.

Is there a way to do this using advanced actions?

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5 Approaches to Consider While Transitioning from ILT to Fully Self-paced Virtual Training

On account of the ongoing pandemic, employers are responding by changing their work paradigms to embrace greater work-from-home models. As a result, the L&D teams need to deliver all their training programs remotely.

In the context of this new reality, where physical distance between learners and instructors is the hallmark, Virtual Training offers the ideal solution.

In this Infographic, we showcase 5 approaches to consider while transitioning from ILT to fully self-paced Virtual Training.

5 Approaches to Consider While Transitioning from ILT to Fully Self-paced Virtual Training

The journey from ILT to VILT is way more than just putting the existing trainer PowerPoint decks online. Only a well-thought-out transition plan will resonate with your learners and help you achieve your terminal learning objectives. We hope this Infographic will help you achieve your transition from ILT to fully Self-paced Virtual Training.

Contact us to see how we provide just-in-time support for L&D teams and business units to effectively respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Captivate Drag&Drop Functionality: Does not work on iPad with iOS 13 and Safari or Firefox !!!

We noticed that the drag-and-drop functionality does not work on iPads with iOS 13 and the two browsers Safari and Firefox. The drag objects cannot be moved. The drag & drop question cannot be solved. This is particularly problematic because, in our case, the learner cannot continue with e-learning. Draggin works fine on Chrome and Edge.

Hopefully the problem will be fixed in iOS 14!

I would be very grateful if someone has more information on the problem (or even a solution?).

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Help! Overlay position keeps changing

Hi – I have a video inserted from youtube to captivate, and then 4 captivate slides which I have placed on it as overlays. However, each time I play the project in the Preview – Device Preview, and play on my laptop, where I’m also developing, the overlays come in at slightly different times, about a half second before or after where I placed them.

The overlay timing even recurs when I play the same captivate preview a second time without making changes to the overlay position.

Any ideas on possible causes, like:

– hardware related? (video card, laptop is 3 years old)

– captivate related?

– other???

Trying not to go crazy – thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Is there a way to use custom play bar specific to slides?

I am creating e-learning content and want to change the available buttons (play, pause, slide bar etc) on the play bar specific to slides, I know that captivate gives playbar settings under project menu along with TOC, but this option reflects for the entire project.

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How to allow multiple, different right answers?

Hi – In captivate, how can I allow multiple right answers, that differ from user to user?  For example,

“Which of the course goals do you feel will help you the most?”

A. goal 1

B. goal 2

c. goal 3

I want it to be possible for any or all answers to be right (or better, to not mark right/wrong at all). For example:

1. User 1 chooses A and B, vs.

2. User 2 choose B only.

I want both responses to be right.

So far what I have tried and didn’t work:

1. Multiple choice knowledge check with multiple right answers enabled, and

2. Checkboxes, because they allow the user to choose more than 1 response (but this also didn’t work because I think you have to mark each checkbox variable as right or wrong, 0 or 1

Thanks in advance for your advice,


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Show play bar after clicking multiple buttons in captivate using advanced actions

The post Show play bar after clicking multiple buttons in captivate using advanced actions appeared first on eLearning.