tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:/posts Captivate blog 2022-11-26T15:32:01Z ir. Lieve Weymeis tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1908836 2022-11-26T15:32:01Z 2022-11-26T15:32:01Z Quiz Basics 3: Attempts and Scores

Intro

In the first two articles of this basic course about Quizzing, I explained the Terminology, and the Submit Process.

Those posts applied to all types of questions: scored, random, Knowledge Check, pretest slides. This post will be talking exclusively about scored (graded) quiz slides and random quiz slides which are graded. For those slides the results are stored in the quizzing system variables, and you can have the score slide in your course. You will get some tips about the default score slide at the end. Scoring doesn’t exist for Knowledge check slides, you can only choose attempts on question level, not on quiz level.  Pretest questions have scoring as well, but the values are stored in different system variables, and are only meant to navigate the learner to another slide,  based on the pretest result.

This article will explore the scoring and attempts on two available levels:

  • on question level
  • on quiz level

Attempts/Scores on Question level

Setup for both is done in the Quiz Properties panel. That panel appears automatically in the newbie UI when you insert a quiz slide (or a random slide) in the right docking station. For quizzes however I strongly recommend to switch to the Expert UI (check the option ‘Enable custom Workspaces….’ under Preferences, General Settings). Set up a workspace where both the Quiz Properties and the Properties panel are visible. Reason is that you need the Properties panel for partial scored MCQ slides with multiple correct answers.

Attempts

In the default setup the number of attempts for graded questions is set to 1. The feedback messages for Correct and Incomplete are checked and 1 Failure message. The actions for Success and Last Attempt are both set to Continue. You could check the option Infinite Attempts, but I strongly doubt you’ll want to have the learner in such an infinite loop.  A limited number of attempts however can be a good choice. If you allow more than one attempt, do not forget to check the ‘Retry message’ because that is not done automatically. Have a look at this screenshot for True/False Question, to the arts marked with a blue rectangle. I set the number of attempts to , and checked Retry. The Failure message was left at its default 1 message.

I kept the default Continue actions as well, but moved the pausing point closer to the end of the question slide (see previous article) to minimize the waiting time after the second step of the Submit process.

Score/penalty for 1 correct answer

Default score for all questions is set to 10 points. Since some LMS’s don’t like to see total scores greater than 100 points, and all questions don’t merit the same score you will certainly want to change those scores. BTW: later on I will offer an exploring post about the wonderful Advanced Interaction panel (F9), unknown to many because it never appears automatically in the newbie UI. It is not only about ‘advanced’ actions at all.

Changing the score happens in the Quiz Properties panel for all question types with a black/white score. B/W score means that you only get the score if everything is correct, score will be zero in all other cases. All question types, except the MCQ with multiple answers are validated with this rule, even Matching, Hotspot and Sequence. In the screenshot above (T/F), you see the score reduced to 4 points.

I also added a penalty: this score will be subtracted from the total score if the answer was wrong after the last attempt. You don’t have to enter a negative number here. Beware: in SCORM 1.2 reporting a negative result at the end will be reset to zero.

MCQ with multiple correct answers and partial scoring

Have a look at this screenshot, set up for such a question slide, with 5 answers. Two out of them are correct, each has a positive score of 5 points. The 3 wrong answers get a penalty of 2 points each. Neither the score nor the penalty can be set up in the Quiz Properties panel, they are dimmed. You have to select each individual answer, and setup score in the Properties panel of that answer (visible in the screenshot as floating panel next to the Quiz Properties):

The 4th answer, wrong answer, is selected in this screenshot. There is no Penalty field in the Properties panel, tab ‘Options’, only ‘points’. Since this needs to be a penalty I entered -2points. Same for the other wrong answers. The correct answers got positive points (5 for each). The dimmed numbers for Score and Penalty on the Quiz Properties panel are calculated by Captivate to 10 points and 6 points. I had to check the ‘Partial correct’ message, was not done automatically although Multiple answers was chosen.

In this example I changed the actions (Success/Last Attempt) to ‘Go to Next Slide’, didn’t move the pausing point of the quiz slide. This is the second possibility to narrow the waiting time after Submitting the result.

You see that 3 attempts are possible for this question (green markings).  But the Retry message is unavailable, dimmed. Reason is that I have chosen to show 3 Failure messages, different one after each attempt. You need to include the warning about clicking the slide (or pressing Y) for the last Failure message which appears after the last attempt.

Quizzing System Variables

These quizzing system variables (see also: Using Quizzing System Variables) are linked to individual question slides:

  • cpQuizInfoAnswerChoice: after submitting the answer (see this post for a typical use case)
  • cpQuizInfoLastSlidePointScored: after submitting the answer
  • cpQuizInfoMaxAttemptsOnCurrentQuestion: while on that slide. Beware: there is no exposed system variable telling which attempt the learner is taking at this moment on question level, only the maximum allowed attempts can be retrieved.
  • cpQuizInfoNegativePointsOnCurrentQuestionSlide: maximum penalty for this question slide
  • cpQuizInfoPointsPerQuestionSlide: maximum score for this question slide.
  • cpQuizInfoQuestionPartialScoringOn: Boolean
  • cpQuizInfoQuestionSlideTiming: if you use a time limit on the quiz slide
  • cpQuizInfoQuestionSlideType

Attempts/Score on Quiz Level

The number of allowed attempts on (total) quiz level is set up in the Quiz Preferences, Pass or Fail.  Default setup is one attempt. If you allow multiple attempts, don’t forget to check the option to ‘Show Retake Button’. When clicking that button, all questions will be reset and the quiz system variables will be cleared.

If you also allow Review (Quiz Preferences, Settings), you have to be aware of the fact that all attempts on Quiz level will be considered to be exhausted if the learner clicks the Review button (also on the score slide). To prevent confusion use this easy trick: drag the Retake button on top of the Review button on the results master slide (or the score slide). Once the attempts are exhausted the Retake button will disappear and Review button becomes visible. Problem is that this is perfectly possible for a non-responsive (blank) project or a responsive project with Breakpoints. But a normal fluid box doesn’t allow stacking of buttons, unless you define the fluid box as being static. I will post a workaround in my “tweaking posts”, later in the Quiz sequence of posts.

The Total Score on quiz level will be calculated from all the scored objects in the course (see Advanced Interaction panel) and stored in a quizzing system variable cpQuizInfoTotalQuizPoints. Except for the feature ‘Branch aware’ that will be a fixed number when starting the course.  Other quizzing variables  (see post) linked to the quiz level are:

  • cpInQuizScope
  • cpInReviewMode
  • cpInfoPercentage:  appears on the results (score) slide as ‘Accuracy’ ‘percent’
  • cpInfoAttempts: appears on the results slide as ‘Attempts’ ‘total-attempts’
  • cpQuizInfoPassFail: Boolean
  • cpQuizInfoPointsscored: appears on the results slide as ‘You scored’  ‘score’
  • cpQuizInfoQuizPassPercent
  • cpQuizInfoQuizPassPoints
  • cpQuizInfoTotalCorrectAnswers:  appears on the results slide as ‘Correct Questions’ ‘correct-questions’; beware: partially correct questions are seen as correct
  • cpQuizInfoTotalProjectPoints: appears on the results slide as ‘Maximum Score’ ‘max-score’
  • cpQuizInfoTotalQuestionsPerProject: appears on the results slide as ‘Total questions’ ‘total-questions’
  • cpQuizInfoTotalUnansweredQuestions

The Continue button on the Score slide has about the same functionality and importance as the Submit button on quiz slides. That actions specified under Quiz Preferences,  Pass or Fail (after Last attempt on Quiz level) will be done after clicking that button. The pausing point on the score slide is linked with that button. You can move that pausing point the same way as for the quiz slides, closer to the end of the score slide. It is recommended not to have the score slide as last slide in a course, but have at least one more slide. That way you’ll be sure that the results will be transferred to the LMS.

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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1905639 2022-11-19T14:41:19Z 2022-11-19T14:41:20Z Quiz Basics 2: Submit Process

Embedded objects

In a first article about Quizzes I introduced some terminology and one of those terms is ‘Embedded Objects’: those objects on the quizzing slides and master slides which have no individual timeline, but have functionality built in. Some of those objects can be turned off, using either Quiz Preferences (for global settings) or Quiz Properties for individual slides. Here is an overview of those objects (for quiz master slide MCQ,T/F….), from top to bottom, using the numbering in this screenshot:

  1. Question title: cannot be deactivated. You can edit that title on the quiz slides, do not delete it.
  2. Question: same, change the style if wanted but never delete.
  3. Answer area: compulsory as well. If you expect long and/or many answers, I recommend to make this area as big as possible on the master slide. If you want custom objects on the quiz slide (like an image), free some space by editing the size of this area. For a Fluid boxes quiz slide, you’ll need to add a fluid box for that purpose. More information in Fluidize your quizzes.
    This area is the container for:
  4. Answers: it is not possible to resize the individual answer size on the master slide, only on the quiz slides. Of course you need this object.
  5. Feedback messages: are stacked in the same location (also in fluid boxes, by using a static fluid box). In the screenshot the Review area is also stacked in the same location. It has almost no meaning anymore since it is only used for skipped questions.
    Quiz Preferences offers no way to activate/deactivate the messages, that has to be done with Quiz Properties for the quiz slides.

    1. Correct message: is checked by default for a normal quiz slide
    2. Incomplete message: is checked by default for a normal quiz slide
    3. Failure message: normally set to 1, with the dropdown list you can choose ‘None’. If you have more than 1 attempt on quiz level, you can add up to  failure messages with that same list.
    4. Retry message: becomes available when the number of attempts is greater than  However if you have more than 1 Failure message it will be dimmed.
    5. Partially correct message will appear instead of the Correct message when Partial scores is turned on and the question is not answered fully correct.
  6. Review Mode Navigation Buttons: if you allow Review (Quiz Preferences), it is wise to activate these buttons in the Quiz Preferences. They will only appear during Review, and make navigation possible since quiz slides normally do not have a Next button (and I also recommend no Back button) except when “Submit All” is turned on (will post a future article about Quiz Preferences). Here is a partial view of Settings in Quiz Preferences:

7. Clear button:  can be turned on/off both globally (see the screenshot above from Quiz Preferences, Settings). In the default setting it is turned off. It is possible also to turn on/off on individual quiz slides using th Quiz Properties (see screenshot top right).

8. Back button:  is a bit confusing. You can turn off ‘Allow Backward movement’ in the Quiz Preferences, which will automatically result in having the Back button disappear on quiz slides. However, when using remediation, where you want to send the learner back to a content slide, you have to turn this option on. Having a Back button on a questions slide is not a good idea, since answers are frozen once the question slide is left. Learners cannot re-enter an answer. One exception: when Submit All is turned on (see future article). Even when ‘Allow Backward movement’ is turned on, you can still check off theBack button on all quiz slides with Quiz Preferences, Settings. You can also do it individually using the Quiz Properties for the question slide.

9. Skip button; is turned off by default, can be turned on both globally and for individual quiz slides.

10. SUBMIT button: is the most important object on this slide. There is no way to turn it off, not globally nor individually. It is that button which is responsible fir the two-step Submit process. Remember: quiz slides have a pausing point by default which cannot be turned off (you can move it only with the mouse).

Two-step Submit Process

When the learner clicks the Submit button:

Step 1

Feedback message appears, playhead is not released but remains paused at the pausing point. If you have added slide audio to the question slide and it is not finished, it will continue playing. The pausing point will not stop the audio. Four possible situation in this first step:

  1. There is no answer or answer is not complete: Incomplete message appears.
  2. The answers were totally or partially correct. The feedback message Correct (or Partially correct) appears.
  3. The answers were not correct (partially correct is considered as correct).
    1. If there is only one Failure message and one attempt Failure message appears
    2. If there are multiple attempts which are not exhausted,  and one failure message: Retry message appears
    3. If there are multiple attempts, not exhausted, and multiple failure message: the appropriate failure message appears. Make sure to indicate that they can retry except for the last failure message.

All messages, except the Retry message and the intermediate failure messages (not the last one) should indicate how to trigger the second step. For all types of quiz slides, except the overlay quiz slides in a VR project, that will be ‘click the slide or press Y’.

The goal of this first step is to offer the learner as much time as necessary to read the feedback messages. Some developers don’t like the present workflow, will post some possible tweaks in a future post. Personally I hope that the new workflow for the overlay quiz slides in VR projects, which is more user friendly, will be extended to the other types of quiz slides.

When the user clicks the slide or presses Y:

Step 2

With this step the playhead will be released, same way as what happens with an action when the option ‘Continue Playing the Project’ is activated. It can only happen in two cases: for a correct answer, or for a Last attempt answer.

  • Correct answer: the action ‘On Success’ specified in the Quiz Properties panel will be done. Beware: default action is set to ‘Continue’.  It means that the released playhead has to travel through the inactive part of the slide (the part after the pausing point).  It it is only the default 1.5secs, that may be OK. However if you added slide audio, and forgot to move the pausing point closer to the end of the slide, that may be a long waiting time for the learner. Alternative could be to replace the action ‘Continue’ by ‘Go to Next slide’. In most cases that works fine, some users could have issues in case of low bandwidth and slow reactions of the LMS due to hardware problems. I had that problem in college when too many students were taking the same assessment, due to outdated switches.
  • Wrong, last attempt: the action ‘Last Attempt’ will be done. Same comments as for the Correct answer concerning the pausing point and audio. Look at the screenshot below: due to the audio clip, if you leave the action to the default command ‘Continue’, the learner will have to wait 4 seconds before getting to the next slide. Better drag the pausing point to almost the end, at 4 seconds. You cannot use the Timing properties panel to do so.

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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1903426 2022-11-14T19:40:59Z 2022-11-14T19:41:00Z Quiz basics 1: Terminology

Why?

Since 2008 I have been blogging regularly about Captivate. The most visited post is a rather old one date October 2011. It is labeled  ‘Question Question Slides‘ and believe me, still has daily views.  It is the reason why  I consider Quizzes as one of the three main topics for any Newbie in ‘Three Skills to Acquire‘.  Since 2011 quite a lot has changed in Captivate, although the basic design of quizzes is still the same.  Many peers have asked me in the past to publish a book about Quizzes  (could easily fill a book if it included custom questions). From what I feel in the community, a book is not at all the appropriate medium anymore. However I want to publish a sequence of articles about Quizzes, as I did for the Timeline (another stumbling block), with up-to-date information. It is important to understand the terminology, which is a problem when trying to answer questions everywhere: there is no ‘official’ glossary for Captivate and lot of terms are used in a haphazard way. To avoid any misunderstanding in future posts about Quizzes, I want to start with explanation of the different terms concerning quizzes. Some are ‘official’ also to be found in the Help documentation, some are terms I am using as well.

Drag&Drop will not be included in this sequence of articles, it is not following all the rules of the normal question types

Quiz Menu

Although you can insert Question slides and Knowledge Check Slides from the big button Slides, the place to be is the Quiz menu:

The red box shows the 4 possible choices:

Question slide

Is based on a dedicated Quizzing Master slide, depending on the type: True/False, Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-Blank, Short Answer and Sequence have the same master slide, Matching, Hotspot and Likert have each an individual master slide. Beware: Likert type cannot be used in a responsive project, whether Fluid Boxes or Breakpoint workflow is used.

An inserted Question slide will have these settings by default (except Likert which is set to Survey):

  • Graded
  • 10p score, no penalty
  • 1 attempt
  • actions Success/Last Attempt are set to Continue
  • pausing point at 1.5 secs
  • 1 Failure message
  • Reporting turned on
  • Included in Quiz Total

Most settings can be changed. Only one type has the possibility for partial scoring: MCQ with multiple correct answers. MCQ with one correct answer has the functionality of Advanced Answers (message/action). If number of attempts is higher than 1, you can have up to 3 Failure messages.

Question slides have a dedicated  category of system variables, read-only. More information in this post

You can use the On Enter event of a question slide to trigger a custom action, but not the On Exit event. Question slides, like interactive objects have a Success and a Last Attempt event which can be used for actions.

Random Question Slide

Is a placeholder slide, which will be replaced by a random question from a question pool. Pool questions are based on the same quizzing master slides as normal question slides. On Enter event can be used on slides in the pool, not on the placeholder slide. The same quizzing system variables are used for random question slides as for the normal question slides.

You find the option for Random slides also in the dialog box ‘Insert Question’ which you open with Quiz, Question slide.

More details about this type in Random Questions, Do’s and Don’ts

Pretest Question Slide

Slides are based on the same master slides as the normal question slides. They have a special bunch of system variables, will not be included in the variables used for question and random slides. The Pretest slides have only one goal: to have navigation after the pretest based on the results. For that reason you set up a Pretest action. These special slides have limitations:

  • They need to appear in sequence at the start of the course.
  • All free navigation will be disabled: both by playbar and by Table of Contents (reason is that learner cannot go back to the Pretest slides).

Knowledge Check Slide

This new type was introduced with Captivate 9.  Likert questions nor random questions can be used. They are not scored, will not be present in the quizzing system variables nor in Review/Retake. They can be recognized by a special icon in the Filmstrip. This is the default setup:

  • Not graded
  • No score, no penalty, partial scoring in MCQ impossible
  • Infinite attempts
  • action Success is set to Continue
  • pausing point at 1.5 secs
  • No Failure message
  • No Reporting

Some featured can be changed: you can limit the attempts and will then get a Last Attempt action. You can turn on Failure message(s).

A complete comparison with normal quiz slides can be found in Tips for Knowledge Slides

TIPS:

  1. It is possible to copy/paste normal question slides in a question pool  to reuse them as random slides.
  2. It is possible to copy/paste a question slide from a pool as a normal question slide in a project.
  3. It is impossible to convert a normal quiz slide to a Knowledge Check slide nor to a Pretest slide.
  4. It is impossible to convert a Knowledge Check slide to a normal quiz slide nor to a Pretest slide.
  5. It is not possible to convert a Pretest slide to a normal question slide, nor to a KC or random slide.

PS: KC slides can also be used as Overlay slides in an Interactive video. You’ll find more details in Tips for Interactive Video.

Question slides can be used in 360 slides and VR projects. Styling of those slides is limited at this moment, cannot be based on a custom theme.

Import GIFT file

Instead of adding the question/answers in the individual slides, Captivate allows two alternatives, one of them being GIFT import. Moodle developed this ‘language’, you can find the full documentation here. Use a text editor which allows to publish to non-formatted txt files. This file can be used to insert all types of questions in Captivate with the exception of Likert, Hotspot and Sequence types. There are also workflows which start from an Excel file.

Lot of features are supported: for MCQ with multiple correct answers you can set up partial scoring, you can add feedback messages etc.

GIFT import is possible for normal question slides, for slides in a question pool. It is NOT possible for Pretest slides, nor for Knowledge Check Slides.

Especially when dealing with big amounts of question slides, and/or many pools I like to keep the questions ready in a GIFT file as backup and for eventual editing

Import CSV file

New import workflow appeared with CP2019: use of an Excel template which will create a CSV file that can be imported. You’ll need two files which are stored in the GalleryQuiz under the installation folder of Captivate. I published a small article about this workflow. Using the macros in CSVQuestionsCreationMacro file is pretty straightforward and documented in this tutorial by Dr. Pooja Jaisingh.  Same question slides are supported as for GIFT import (T/F, MCQ, Matching, FIB and Short Answer). There are some limitations, reason why I still stick to the GIFT alternative:

  • You cannot indicate partial scoring for MCQ with multiple correct answers
  • CSV file not really suited as backup, since you cannot edit a question once it has been added to the CSV sheet
  • Got some errors when trying CSV editing with importing to an Excel file, and exporting to CSV. File was not accepted by Captivate.

Quizzing Master Slides

All types of question slides described above are using the Quizzing Master slides. Each theme in Captivate needs at least 6 master slides, whether it is a blank (non-responsive) project, a Fluid Boxes (responsive) or a Breakpoint Views (responsive) project. Blank master slide is always required (for PPT import an software simulations), 4 question master slides and one score master slide. The Blank theme used to show this minimum set, but for some reason in CP2019 a Title master slide was added (?) which I deleted in this screenshot.

I will focus on editing those quizzing master slides in a later article. In this introduction I just want to point out some very special aspects of those slides.

Timelines

The timeline of the quizzing master slides, and the result master slide is very simple: you see only the slide timeline. There are no placeholders, no object timelines like you normally find  on content master slides. However when you look at the content of those master slides, you see a lot of objects!

You don’t see any pausing point on the master slides, not for the questions, nor for the score master. However when you insert a question slide (any type) it gets automatically a pausing point at 1.5secs. Same for the Score slide.

When you select an object on the master slide (button, a feedback, Question, Answer area) they still don’t show a timeline. Their properties will appear. I will point to the objects in a question (master) slide or a score (master) slide as:

Embedded Objects

My definition: objects that do not have an individual timeline, not on the master slide nor on the slide itself. Those objects have functionality built in, which control the workflow for the slide. I talk about the Submit process (see future article), the appearance of messages, the inclusion in quizzing system variables etc. Just one tip: be careful when dealing with Embedded objects.

Those objects have absolute priority in the z-order, also known as stacking order. They will always appear on top of extra inserted custom objects.

Puzzling: normally the only interactive object allowed on a master slide is a shape converted to a shape button. However on the quizzing and score master slides the used buttons are all Transparent buttons.

When creating a question slide or a score slide, not all objects will appear. It depends on the setup in Quiz Preferences (see later article), the Quiz Properties of the slide and… on the situation. The Review Navigation buttons (with the double arrows) on quiz slides will only appear during Review. The Retake button on the score slide can only appear if more than one Attempt on Quiz level is allowed.

Next?

So much has to be told about Quizzing, always more than I expected. In future posts I will try to write about:

  • Two-step Submit process
  • Tweaking/customizing that process
  • How to handle Embedded Objects
  • Quiz Preferences
  • Editing the Master slides for quizzing
  • (Setting up the Pretest condition)
  • Audio on Quiz slides
  • Custom objects on quiz/score slide
  • Custom score slide
  • Scoring for KC slides
  • ….

I am sure this list is not complete. If you want to add more ideas, feel free to comment.

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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1884546 2022-09-29T16:32:41Z 2022-10-26T11:28:58Z Randomizing in Captivate

Intro

Randomizing exists in some limited situations in Captivate:

  • Question pools allow to add randomized quiz slides to a project.
  • Shuffle feature for several question types can be seen as randomizing.

However in all other situations you need to use JavaScript to get a randomized number (or text). This short blog is meant as an answer to a user request in the eLearning community, to be found under this link. In my blog you will find multiple examples of randomizing for games. This is a very simple example since the user only wants to have a random card chosen from a deck on clicking the deck. A second click on the deck needs to flip back to the cover of the cards.

Example file

There is only one slide in this project besides the Title slide. The three (tarot) decks are identical, have 14 cards. Try it out. You may get some ideas how to use this workflow for games. In the future I will post more examples of this workflow in a bigger tutorial project. 

This example can be watched below (fixed size) or you can click this link for a rescalable version.


Step-by-step workflow

The timeline of the tarot slide shows the three decks. Each deck has a Click box on top of the deck, which will trigger an advanced action with embedded JavaScript. I hear you exclamations! Why not use the deck itself (PNG image) as interactive object. It is impossible because JS is used to change the state of the object, and it is impossible in that case to use the image itself as button. Of course that is annoying, because a responsive project with Fluid Boxes will not allow stacking of the click box with the multistate object in the same location. You would need a button in another location. For a non-responsive project (like this example) it is not a problem.

Multistate object (deck)

Decks are multistate objects with 15 states. The Normal state shows the cover. Due to the script the labeling is important for the other custom states. They are all labeled Cardx  where x is a number corresponding with the rank of the card. The three decks in the example are identical, but you can have decks with a different number of cards, just use the same logic for the numbering. Look at the Object state panel for Deck1:

Variables

In Captivate I need only one variable for each deck to follow up the status: is it showing the cover, or a random card? Two possibilities means that I can use a Boolean variable. When the cover is visible, the variable has the value 0, for a random card it has the value 1.

Advanced Actions

Click boxes trigger a conditional advanced action. Here is the action for the first click box (CB_1) over Deck1:

The Boolean variable v_1 is checked. If it has the value 0, a random card needs to be shown which is done by a JS script (see below), and the variable is toggled to 1. If it has the value 1, the cover (which is the Normal state) is shown. 

For the second and third deck, the variable and the name of the deck need to be edited.

Javascript

The used trick is to create the name of the state by concatenation of two strings:

  • First string is always 'Deck1'.
  • Second string is a random number between 1 and 14, converted to string.

I have explained in depth the use of Math.floor(Math.random()*(max-min))+min) in an older blog post:

Playing-with-numbers-part-1

That random number is converted to a string with a JS method. Result of the concatenation is the name of one of the states in the deck multistate object. 

For the second and third deck, the deck name need to be changed in this script. If you do have more or less cards in those decks you need to edit the maximum number (here set at 15).

More ideas?

This basic example may have ignited your creativeness? What about creation of a jackpot game? A funny mathematics exercise for your kids? A board game where you use a dice? 

For this use case it is impossible to create a shared action. One of my long-standing feature requests for actions is the possibility to generate a command using concatenation. A second one: being able to change a state based on a variable.






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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1876148 2022-09-08T09:19:22Z 2022-09-09T09:15:11Z Comparing Advanced and Shared Actions

Intro

If you have followed me since a while, you know that I am a great fan of Shared actions.  However I am aware that many developers seem to be afraid of those shared actions. In this post I will try to demystify the 'shared action', and answer some questions.

First of all: the biggest advantage of a shared action is its reusability. Whenever you need an action which will be used multiple times in a project, or which you plan to use in more than one project, it is worthwhile to consider the use of a shared action. Here are some other reasons. You can skip this part and come back to it later:

  • When used within one project, you are using instances of the same shared action. If you prefer using duplicated and edited advanced actions the file size will be bigger. It can be compared with the use of multiple instances of the same graphic/audio clip.
  • Shared actions appear in the Project Library with all the functionalities of Library assets: how many times uses, on which events etc..
  • You can transfer an existing advanced action to a new project using copy/paste of the object triggering the action: a button, click box, TEB (success/Last attempt events), slide (Enter/Exit event). If variables are used in the advanced action, they will be created in the new project. However, in many cases, commands in the advanced actions will revert to Continue if what they are referring to is not available in the new project. Example: missing slides for navigation commands, missing states or even multistate objects...  
  • Transferring a shared action to a new project is a breeze: drag the action from the original Library to the Library of the new project. Variables which are not used as parameters will be created (similar to copy/paste for advanced actions). Since the shared action is not connected with any event, you don't have to bother about having everything in place before transferring the shared action.
  • There is no built-in way to document Advanced actions in Captivate. A shared action however allows to add a description to the action and to the parameters if any are used. 

There are some limitations to shared actions:

  • It is not possible to trigger a shared action from a hyperlink.
  • You cannot attribute a shared action to several events at once, as is possible for an advanced action.

Beware: not all advanced actions are suited as shared action. In a recent post about 'Hint after x failed clicks' I explained a use case which was meant as introduction for Captivate users new to variables and advanced actions. You may have a look at that first blog post:  https://blog.lilybiri.com/automatic-hint-after-x-failed-clicks

Conversion to shared action

It is a good idea to create and test the action as advanced action before creating the shared action. This was the advanced action  created in the mentioned blog post, triggered by the Success event of the  'wrong' hotspots (5) in the example:

Two user variables were used: 

  • v_attempts tracks the number of clicks on the button/hotspot
  • v_failure is used in the Failure feedback message and allows to change the content of that message. The default failure message will be replaced by a Hint message after the defined number of clicks.

First version Shared Action

Open the advanced action in the dialog box, use the button Save as Shared action, and this dialog box will appear:

In the screenshot you see that I have filled in the description. It is important to do so, try to explain in short sentences what the action will do exactly. It may seem a loss of time, but if you reuse the action a couple of months later, you'll understand why I emphasize this.

In the main part you see the 'parameters', and in this particular case all of them show the green check mark. This means that you can save the shared action as it is. Result will be that the parameters remain static, cannot be changed when you attach the action to an event.  They will not need a description neither. Comparing with the advanced action:

Pro

  • The description of the action, which is impossible for an advanced action.
  • Its appearance in the Project Library with all the functionality of other assets.
  • For reusability in another project: you can drag the shared action from this library opened as external library to the Project library of the new project. For an advanced action you would need to copy/paste one of the wrong hotspots to the new project.

Con

  • You cannot attach the shared action to all wrong hotspot events at once, you need to do it one by one. The advanced action could be attached in one workflow by selecting all the wrong hotspots.
  • For another hotspot slide in the same project it will be easier to create a duplicate advanced action, and edit the Hint text (value for the variable v_failure).

Second version Shared action

In the first screenshot I marked two parameters with a question mark:

  • Parameter '2': literal indicating the number of required wrong clicks before showing the Hint.
  • Parameter 'Click on the icon 'Responsive project'': the new value (literal) for the variable v_failure to replace the failure text by the Hint text.

You can make the static parameter dynamic by clicking the check box, and entering a description for the parameter. To me the most important candidate is the Hint text. Making that parameter dynamic, means that you can enter a different Hint text for each new attachment of the action to an event. Beware: the correct checkmark will only appear after confirming the description of the active parameter:

This makes the action flexible: you only have to enter the Hint text as parameter whenever you attach the shared action to an event.

Pro

  • Besides the description of the action, the meaning of the parameter will appear whenever you apply the shared action.
  • Its appearance in the Project Library.
  • Reusability in any new project remains.
  • File size will be lower compared with using duplicate advanced actions.
  • You can edit the Hint text for each instance.

Con

  • You cannot attach the shared action to multiple events at once.
  • You need to fill in the text parameter with each attachment (copy/paste is possible)

Third version Shared action

You can make the action even more flexible by declaring the number of wrong clicks to be a dynamic parameter.  Using that shared action you'll be able to change the number of wrong clicks before showing the Hint instead of the Failure message.  Like increasing the number for a more complicated hotspot slide. I don't have to explain this screenshot anymore:


More tips

I may write out a third blog about using this shared action as template for advanced actions, including possible enhancement by adding graphical (audio) assets to the Hint text message.

If you want to learn more about using Shared actions, please have a look at my 'crash course'. 

Shared Actions : intro

Lesson 1 (video)

Lesson 1 (step-by-step)

Lesson 2 (video)

Lesson 2 (step-by-step)

To circumvent the "Con" of shared actions not being able to apply to multiple events at once, remember that you can easily create an advanced action from a shared action. Here is an example:

Using Shared action as template



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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1873284 2022-08-26T19:12:01Z 2022-09-07T18:55:07Z Automatic Hint after x Failed clicks

Intro 

This short blog post is created to answer a question in the Adobe forum about clicking an interactive object with multiple attempts. After two wrong clicks, the Retry message should be replaced by a Hint message. There are multiple workflows possible, but I tried with this simple solution to use as much of the existing features as possible.  The Hint will be only text. A more elaborate solution could be a Hint where the text is accompanied with a highlight box and/or other graphical elements. If useful, could create such an example as well. This one is meant for relative new users of Captivate, hence the step-by-step workflow.

Example

Watch this published 3 slides project, using this link (for a scalable version).



On the second slide you'll see the results of the workflow: learner is asked to click the correct button. Number of attempts was set to Infinite but could also be lower. First two wrong clicks lead to a Retry message, on the third wrong click the Hint message replaces the Retry message.

Workflow

Slide setup

Have a look at this screenshot, where the slide (2) and its timeline are visible:

The six interactive objects are shape buttons (Alpha and Stroke both set to 0) over the buttons of the image. One of them deserves the correct click and the other ones are wrong choices. All buttons have the default pausing point at 1.5secs. They will all trigger an advanced action, which means the slide will remain paused. You see the Correct feedback message, using the Default Success Shape style (messages are no captions, but shapes).

Variables

The workflow needs setting up two user variables using the Project menu, option Variables:

  • v_attempts will track how many times a click has been done. Its default (start) value is set to 0. Its value will always be numerical.
  • v_failure: will have a text message. In the screenshot of the variables dialog box you see the default value. However it is not really necessary to define that default value if you use the Reset action described below and triggered by the On Enter slide event. 

The first variable is easy to understand. The variable v_failure will be used as placeholder in a default feedback message. That makes the message 'dynamic': by changing the value of the variable, message text will change. This is the only way to achieve such a change, because those default feedback messages do not support multiple states (although the States button is active, you cannot add states). You'll learn which message to use in the next part.

Events and Advanced Actions

As mentioned before, I did set up the 6 shape buttons with Infinite Attempts. This means that they are left with only the Success event, which occurs on clicking the button. Only the Success message will be necessary. That may seem illogical, is linked with the Captivate meaning of Success and Failure. Success means the button has been clicked, Failure means the click happens outside of the button. You understand that clicking outside of a button is useless here.

Setup SBCorrect

Clicking the Correct button should result in navigation to the next slide with the simple action 'Go to Next Slide' (happens to be the default simple action). That navigation will not happen immediately after clicking the button because the option 'Pause for Success/Failure Captions' is activated. Display time for those messages (because they often are not in a caption, but in a shape) is 3 seconds, can be changed in the Timing Properties. See the full setup in this screenshot:

The correct feedback message can be edited on the stage, uses the Default Success Shape style.

Setup 5 SB_Wrongx 

Dynamic Message

Clicking the Wrong buttons will also show the Success feedback message, and you'll get 5 of them. For the learner they should look like Retry (or Hint) messages, so I choose another Shape style for these messages (see screenshot Slide setup). Since they are linked to their buttons and all appear in a different location I also used the Align, Align and Resize to the same size from the right-click menu after selecting the 5 messages.

The trick here is to fill those messages with the same user variable v_failure to replace the normal success text. Do this by using the X-button in the Character part of the Properties panel of the message while in editing mode:

That X-button will show the 'Insert Variable' dialog box. User variable is the default choice, you just need to choose v_failure from the dropdown list. Important: the default 'length' is set to 50 characters, if you expect a longer text increase that amount. In this screenshot I increase it to 100:

Advanced Action FailureAct

This is a screenshot of the Preview window of that action:

You see that this action has two decisions:

Decision 'Tracking' is non conditional. It consist of one Increment action for the variable v_attempts.

Decision 'Message' is conditional, has only the THEN part, not an Else part. When the attempts are greater or equal to 2, the text in the variable v_failure is changed to the Hint text. Of course it is possible to change that amount of attempts if wanted.

EnterSlide Action

If you allow the learner to revisit the slide, and want to have the identical situation of the first visit, it will be necessary to Reset the variables. You'll need this non-conditional advanced action, to be triggered by the On Enter slide event:

Both variables v_attempts and v_failure are reset to their original values. Because an advanced action is not releasing the play head, I added Continue. In this example it is not really necessary, but it would mean that the play head remains in the first frame and is not advancing to the pausing point at 1.5 secs. It is possible with other setups, like having an effect or animation that you need that release of the play head.

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1871956 2022-08-24T08:50:56Z 2022-08-24T19:08:33Z Video Demo - Tips

Intro

You will not find in this blog post details about the basics of creating a Video Demo (cpvc-project) in Captivate, just some practical tips which could make the workflow easier. 

Since I rarely use the possibility to capture from webcam along with the screen recording, you'll not find tips about that neither. Many users reported issues with webcams or cameras. Sorry you'll not find a solution for those issues neither.

Tips for Preparation

You'll need a solid 'storyboard', similar to what you need for a software simulation. My preparation always includes:

  1. In Preferences, Recording, Video Demo set the bitrate to 32-bit instead of 16-bit. You could also change the location of the temporary working folder if you don't have enough space in the default folder under AppData. In most cases you will want to keep the default choice for capturing the mouse tracks:

    BTW this setting will also improve the quality of Full Motion Recording slides in software simulations, although it seems to be only for Video Demo.
  2. Recording requires, similar to software sims, to see 1px/px. That can be done by editing the AdobeCaptivate.ini file, DPIAwareness setting as you are invited to:

    However I prefer the alternative: lowering the screen resolution until I can set the Display Resolution to 100% and still be comfortable to manage Captivate. 
    Example: laptop used has a recommended screen resolution of 3840x2160px and a display resolution of 225%. To be able to work comfortable with Captivate at 100% I need to lower to HD (1920x1080)

Tips for Recording

As mentioned at the beginning, I will focus on screen recording, not webcam recording.

  1. Do not try to record a complete video at once, but split it up in manageable chunks. In most cases I record only a couple of minutes in one session. After recording the first part, I will use the editor to clean up, and eventually replace the audio clip (see tips about editing). Goal is to finalize the real duration of that part before adding the next recording. To add the next recording you need to move the play head to the end of the first footage and start the recording using the menu Insert, Video Recording:

    Tip: If you plan to use the recording to create an interactive video later on, you can use planned bookmarks or overlay slides to choose how to split up in chunks. 
  2. It is important to record in an appropriate rhythm. For that reason I always opt to capture video and audio at the same time. In most cases the narration will define the wanted rhythm. That narration can be a 'draft' version which you'll replace later on by a proper recording (see tips about editing). Try to make the mouse movements as swift as possible, and try a narration speed convenient for a one to one talk.

Tips for Editing

The Video Demo editor has a lot of features, and editing is non-destructive. Although it is possible to do some editing in specific editing applications like Premiere Pro and Rush (see later), those applications need a published MP4-file. It is important to do use the editor before switching to those other applications.

  1. When previewing the video you'll often find the mouse paths too boring because they are too slow. In that case I often prefer to hide the path and use only the the marker for the mouse click itself.

  2. Although you can edit the audio narration clips in Audition or in Captivate, it is possible that you want to replace the 'draft' audio by a more professionally recorded version. This is possible using either the Audio menu, Import Video Narration. However, in that case you get the full audio clip. For that reason I prefer to use the Edit options in the Library on the individual audio clips of each part. That way you'll keep even the original WAV files on top of the 'edited' clips which can be new recordings. Look at this example of a video which had 7 parts. Some audio clips have been edited, others have been replaced.
  3. The object styles are available in Video Demo projects. Use them to create proper styles for the static objects you want to insert: highlight boxes, shapes, captions.
  4. If you use text (captions or shapes) you don't have to bother about the used fonts, as in normal cptx projects. ( Fonts in Captivate). It is perfectly possible to use a cool system font.
  5. Careful with transitions which you'll need between the 'chunks' of your video. You can also bridge a gap between clips using a static object which can have transitions (no Effects).

Extra tips

Video Demo Slides in Software sims

Software simulations often need Full Motion Recording slides for mouse movements. Those slides are short videos, which are still based on the original SWF technology (FLV slides). Although they will be converted to MP4 when published, several developers have reported issues with the conversion. You can avoid those problems by replacing the FMR slide by Video Demo slides. The easiest way is during recording:

  • When you expect a FMR slide to appear, stop the recording.
  • Use the Slides button to create a Video Demo slide, the resolution will be set automatically to the chosen resolution at the start.
  • After the creation of the Video Demo slide, continue with the software simulation. 

Final touch with Adobe Premiere Rush 

The Video Demo editor has great features for mouse management, Pan and Zoom, inserting static objects. However if you want to uplevel your video with great intro and outro, you need a real video editor. This can only be used with published MP4 footage. I used Premiere Pro in the past, but always found it rather challenging for the small improvements to the videos. Adobe launched Rush a couple of years ago, available for phones, tablets and desktop. It has exactly the amount of features needed to embellish your Video Demo projects. If you have a license to Creative Cloud, give it a try:

Adobe Premiere Rush

Interactive video

It is no secret that I am not a big fan of passive video, because due to my decades of experience with coaching/training/teaching interactivity is my first goal.  A recorded Video Demo is perfect to use as Interactive Video to enhance its learning efficiency. It is not offering a big amount of interactivity but way better than passive video. Here is an example:
Custom Play/Pause button



]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1857076 2022-07-20T18:14:15Z 2022-07-20T18:14:15Z Timer Learning Interaction - use case

Intro

That interaction is meant in the first place to show the learner the exact time he spent on a course. In that situation the interaction is often timed for the rest of the project. However it can be used in other situations. This blog is due to a user request on the Adobe forums, have a look at this link. Summarized: the course should be exited automatically when a slide is displayed longer than a certain time, because it means that the learner probably disappeared without closing the course. That caused issues due to the LMS when retaking a new session for that course. 

Example file

I used one of my previous projects to show the result of the proposed workflow. In this case the course will be exited on each slide if it is displayed for more than 3 minutes. Of course it is perfectly possible to edit that duration, or even have a different duration for each slide as you'll see in the described setup workflow. Try to be patient on at least one slide to let the 3 minutes elapse and see the course automatic exit. You can open this course in a scalable version using this link, or you can watch the embedded non-scalable one below.



Setup

Basics Timer interaction

When you insert a Timer interaction, you'll have to define the properties in this dialog box:

You need to define the amount of time (here 3 minutes 0 seconds) for the timer, and whether you want to count down or up. In a normal situation you can have a message popping up after the end of the counting, but in this case it was not needed. I marked three fields in this screenshot:

  • Background: I unchecked this option which would show the image of a clock. Since the timer should not be visible for the present use case I preferred a transparent background. 
  • Variable: is an optional field, but was needed in this case(see below). That variable is a Boolean with only two possible values (0/1). You need to define that variable in Project, Variables. It was labeled v_timer in this use case. Its default value will be 0, and toggled to 1 when Timeout occurs.
  • Jump to Slide on Timeout: which slide is not important, but you can use the On Enter event of that slide to trigger an advanced or shared action. As you'll see in the setup, I used a very short dummy slide in this case.

Even after closing the dialog box, you can always reopen it using the pencil icon in its Properties panel:

Setup workflow

Variable: Although each slide will have an instance of the Timer Interaction, the created user variable v_timer (see screenshot under Basics) can be used for all instances. The value will automatically be reset to 0 on a slide with a new instance of the interaction. It will be toggled to 1 only when the Timeout occurs on a slide, and then the course will exit. Variables do not keep their value when closing a session.

Timing Interaction instances: insert an interaction on the first slide where you want to enable the timeout, and resize it and set up the properties as indicated in the screenshot under Basics. Since its visibility is not wanted, there are two ways to make this possible. Remember that the background already has been made transparent (see screenshot of the dialog box):

  • If the slide background is a solid color, you can use that color for the Text in the interaction:
  • It is not necessary to have the complete interaction on the slide, you can move it partially to the scratch area so that the numbers (text) is not visible on the stage. That will be necessary if the slide background is not a solid color:

You can copy/paste the interaction to the other slides without any problem. All fields  will be the same. Only two possible exceptions which can need editing: the text color field (if using the first method above) and the time duration if you don't like to have the same timeout settings for each slide.

Dummy slide: in this case I used a very short slide at the beginning of the project, duration = 0.1second. It is not really necessary to use such a slide, you can choose any slide of the project. These are the reasons for my choice:

  • The On Enter event of this slide will be used to trigger an advanced action. For most slides in my projects I already have a dedicated On Enter action to reset situations. If you need to add another decision to those actions, it will be different for each project where you want to use this workflow. The Dummy slide can be copied to any project, including its advanced conditional action.
  • The first slide will already be rendered in the project whatever the slide used to navigate back to this slide. That may speed up the navigation process. However: if you have quiz slides, you need to enable Backwards navigation in the Quiz Preferences. 

Advanced action

The On Enter event of the Dummy slide triggers this advanced action:

Since this is the first slide, it has to continue to the next slide on first visit. That is the reason for the conditional action, because on first visit the timer variable v_timer will have its default value (0). Only when the slide is visited from another slide where timeout has occurred, that variable will be set to 1. 

Before exiting the navigation is returned to the "last visited slide" in order not to mess up bookmarking by LMS: last visited slide (bookmarked) will be the slide where timeout occurred. If you don't want bookmarking by LMS, you can delete that command.

Reusing workflow

User insisted on a workflow that was easily to be reproduced in multiple projects, both responsive and non-responsive. 

For another non-responsive project:

  • Copy/paste the dummy slide and use it as first slide.  An extra advantage will be that the used variable v_timer will be created in the new project.
  • Copy/paste the learning interaction. You may need to edit the timeout duration and eventually the text color to adapt to the colors of the new project.
  • Now you can proceed as described: just copy/paste the interaction to all the slides. Do not forget to check Quiz Preferences to allow Backwards movement.

For a fluid boxes project:

  • Copy/paste the dummy slide, do not bother about fluid boxes on that slide.
  • You'll need to create a fluid box for the Timer interaction, it is not possible to copy it from a non-responsive project. Edit the interaction as needed, the user variable has been created from the dummy slide.
  • It is recommended to create the fluid box on the used master slide(s), because you'll need to copy/paste the first instance to the same fluid box on each slide. 
]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1836117 2022-06-24T19:12:10Z 2022-06-24T19:12:10Z Button states - Basics and Tips

Intro

Recently I answered several questions about button states, which proved that some information is missing. For that reason I checked the official Captivate document, and indeed to me it is not at all complete especially for buttons which are the most used interactive objects. You can have a look:

Work with multi-state objects in Adobe Captivate

Some examples: the InBuilt state 'Visited' is not mentioned at all. I couldn't find any information about the lock of InBuilt states for buttons and how to circumvent it. The recent added button types - SVG and Bitmap images - are not even mentioned. What is the meaning of the blue and red selection rectangles in button state objects? Several years ago I published an extensive blog about the InBuilt states for Drag&Drop objects (Inbuilt D&D states) to fill in gaps in the Help document.  With this blog I will try to summarize tips and workarounds for InBuilt states for buttons. After a short recapitulation of typical features of Button states, you'll get some examples.

Typical features

InBuilt states

Buttons of any type have by default three InBuilt states: Normal, Rollover and Down. Those three states are part of the object styles for text buttons, image buttons, transparent buttons and shapes (because they can always be converted to shape buttons). However no object styles can be created for bitmap images and SVGs used as buttons, the most recent types added in version 11.5. 

Less known is the fourth InBuilt state: Visited, probably because you always need to create that state. It cannot be included in the object style for the four mentioned button types neither which is a pity. Audio can be attached to the Visited state and Normal state, while that is impossible for the Rollover and Down state

InBuilt states will appear in specific situations. Rollover when hovering over the button, Down while button is pressed, Visited after the button has been pressed and released. However the Visited state can also be set using the Change State action which is impossible for any other InBuilt state (for buttons and D&D objects). Like with custom states, you can add Audio to the InBuilt states. Here are two tips based on that knowledge:

Tip 1: The Down state will disappear when you release the button. If you want to keep the down state after release, use the Visited state, looking identical to the Down state. This is valid for both responsive and non-responsive projects.

Lock Size/position

The size and position of the button is the same for all InBuilt states, based on what you designed for the Normal state. That is the reason for the lock symbol which you see on the stage when Rollover, Down or Visited are selected. 
The Normal state defines the clickable area, hence the Lock symbol. For all buttons, except the SVG used as button, this will always be the bounding box of the button. You can always edit or replace the content in a state but that content will be rescaled to the bounding box defined in the Normal state. In the example screenshot that content was a SVG where the clickable area was kept to the bounding box. That vector image type always keeps its height/width ratio. If you want to use another SVG in the Rollover or Down state, which needs more space, be sure to create a bounding box which is bigger than what is needed in the Normal state. Here is an example, the SVG in the Rollover state is wider, so the bounding box in the Normal state has a larger width.
In this example a different SVG was used in all the states. You cannot replace a SVG by a bitmap image, each replacement needs to be of the same type.

Tip 2: (answer to this thread in the eLearning community: Word Search) to create a highlight appearing after a click, use a shape button with 2 (or 4, the Rollover and Down are not important) states, one is the Normal state and the shape has no fill nor outline, the second one is a custom state where the shape has an outline. Use the action 'Go to Next State....' for that button. First click will show the custom state (outline), second click will revert to the Normal state.

Extra objects

Contrary to audio which can only be added to the InBuilt states Normal and Visited, you can add extra objects to all InBuilt states. However this is only possible in non-responsive (Blank) projects and in static fluid boxes. Normal fluid boxes do not allow adding extra objects to a state (due to the stack prohibition). 

This aspect opens a lot of tweaking possibilities. Those extra objects are not locked, nor do they need to be of the same type. Contrary to the locked button states which have a blue outline marker, extra objects will have a red outline marker (see screenshot under Tip 3). There is no real limit to the number of objects you can add. Whereas audio cannot be added to Rollover or Down states, you can add extra objects to those states.

Tip 3: Create a tooltip for a button by adding a text (or other object) to the Rollover state.

Tip 4: Quick Click/Reveal workflow, using a button with a custom state derived from the Normal state but with the Reveal objects added to it. Use 'Go to Next State' for that button, and you have a toggle button, which will hide the revealed objects when clicking again. When using a variable as explained here, you have even more control.

Tip 5: Can you increase the size of a shape button in Rollover state, was another recent question? The forementioned trick with a bigger bounding box in the Normal state is not functional in that case. Here is another possibility:

  • In the Rollover state make the shape button invisible. Depending on its setup this means Alpha for Fill set to 0, border width set to 0 and eventually take out the text.
  • Add a bigger image of the shape button to the Rollover state and align it as wanted.

Of course you can this also apply on the Down state and/or with a smaller version of the button, see screenshot:

Tip 6: Starting with an invisible Normal state for a shape button (Alpha and stroke set to 0) and adding an object to that state within the bounding box of the shape button, allows you to create a rotating button. A full description of the workflow can be found in this blog post. Of course this means the clickable area will be greater than the image itself, but most learners will not detect that incongruity.


Conclusion

You'll for sure know about more examples to use button states in a creative way. Feel free to post your ideas in a comment, always appreciated.

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1816033 2022-04-08T13:03:19Z 2022-09-30T06:14:18Z Fractioning (custom) motion paths

Intro

Motion effects can be customized in many ways. Pausing Captivate's timeline will also pause automatically any effect if it is not finished. This feature can be used to make boring slides more engaging. To see what I mean, have a look at this example file. It has three slides using that approach:

  • Business Model: has a simple left to right motion path use on a cover shape to deploy an infographic sequentially.
  • Career Steps: uses a custom polygon path to have an animated avatar and discovering states in a multistate object
  • Captivate Hurdles: has a custom curved path, and uses also multistate objects.

You can watch the example file full screen by clicking this link.

Or have a look at this embedded example:


Workflow

Steps

Each of these three steps will be explained in detail below:

  1. Create the motion path, and edit its duration taking into account the number of wanted fractions.
  2. Create the button and its advanced action, which will have two decisions:
    1. Decision 1 will manage the motion and pausing, and a tracking variable if you want a second decision to be done when all parts have been deployed. This decision is non-conditional
    2. Decision 2 will be done when the path has ended and is conditional
  3. Test the interaction, it will probable need tweaking the path length and fraction times. Moreover if you allow to revisit the slide, you may need an On Enter action to reset the situation.

The detailed explanation will be done using the first example ‘Business Model’ . Explore its timeline:

Slide background is a a shape filled with a gradient. That shape was duplicated to be a cover, which is stacked on top of the Infographic (with the images) and the Next button. Motion effect will be attached to that cover shape. On top of the cover you’ll see the Play button (no pausing point), title and instruction text. The Next button has a pausing point which needs to be after the end of the motion effect.

Step 1: Motion path

The effect applied to the cover is a simple Left-to-Right motion path. It has no easing because easing would be applied to the start and/on end of the complete path, but you’ll use it in fractions. This linear path will be cut in 6 parts. I used a vertical guides grid to visualize the 6 fractions, and make sure that each guide is in between two images. Have a look at this screenshot, showing the guides and their setup (using View, Create Multiple Guides):

Motion path  is visible on the stage with end and start points. Those points are always connected to the center of the bounding box of the shape. The start point is at 1024/2px = 512px because the project width is 1024px. You need to extend the length of the path by moving the end point horizontally (keep SHIFT key pressed) to the X coordinate 512+1024px = 1536px. For that reason I added another vertical guide at 1536px. Turning the snap on for the guides helps to position the end point. See screenshot:

For the duration of the Effect, start from the time to use for each fraction. I found that using a time between 1 and 2 seconds is fine. As you can see in the timeline screenshot above, for this slide a duration of 1.5secs was chosen, leading to the Effect duration of 9secs. If you look closer to the Timeline, you’ll see that the effect duration is slightly shorter, because of step 3: tweaking.

Step 2: Action for Play button

Basic setup

At first sight the needed advanced action for the Play button seems to be rather simple.:

  • Pause the slide On Enter.
  • For the Play button use this sequence:
    • Continue      to release the playhead, the motion effect will start
    • Delay Next Actions by 1.5 secs          for the Business model slide 1.5seconds is 9secs/6
    • Pause      to pause the motion effect waiting for the next step (see guides in the first screenshot )
  • The Next button will be uncovered in the last step.

However, there is no way to prevent the learner to click the Play button after the motion effect ended, and the Continue command would then override the pausing point of the Next button, which you probably want to avoid. To prevent this you need a way to track the end of the motion path. Using a variable v_counter for tracking is an easy way. Although you could use one conditional decision, I like to separate the advanced action in two decisions. Have a look at this screenshot of the basic PlayMotion action:

Supposed here is a starting value of 0 for the variable v_counter. When all 6 parts have been ‘discovered’ the Play button will be hidden. It could be possible to replace that Hide action by a pure Pause action, but it would lead to frustrated learners.

If you try out this basic action for the Business Model slide, you’ll have a flickering problem. That has been a pain since many versions. In the Tweaking section of this blog, I will show you how to solve this. Moreover in the video displayed in the previous post, you’ll see that the first part of the effect is deployed immediately. There is also need for an On Enter action on all the slides, to reset everything in the original situation including the value of the counter variable.

Extended Setup

This simple slide didn’t need to have another action to be done besides part of the motion effect. That is not the case for the Steps nor the Hurdles slides. The extra actions need to be inserted before the Delay command in the Always decision. Look at the versions for the Hurdles slide. Multistate objects were used to show explanations. There are 4 parts. At the end the Play button (is in a group with a Tooltip) needs to be hidden, and the group of extra buttons made visible:

Step 3: Tweaking

Timing

When testing the project with F11, Preview HTML in Browser, you'll see that the timing is not perfect: motion effect. There are two ways to tweak this timing, and often both are needed:

  1. Decrease the total time of the motion effect (Timeline panel or Timing Properties). That will speed up the motion, more will be shown with each part. If you look at the first screenshot, Timeline panel for the Business Model slide, you see that the duration of the effect is now 8.9secs instead of the original 9secs. For the Steps slide, I reduced the original 10secs (5steps of 2sec) to 9.7secs, for the Hurdles slide 5secs was reduced to 4.8secs

  2. Decrease the Delay time in the advanced action for the Play buttons. You could see in the Hurdles action the change to 1.8secs. 

On Enter action

You’ll need such an action to reset the situation if the learner is allowed to revisit the slide, and also to be able to reuse the unique variable v_counter.  Whenever possible, avoid to create multiple variables if you can reuse the same variable. Here is a simple On Enter action for the Steps slide:

As promised, here is the On Enter action for the Business Model slide, which is more complicated because it solves the flicker issue, and will show the first part of the image (Hence the Assign to 1 command for the counter variable):

To avoid the flickering of the InfoGraphic image, it is hidden to start with and shown after 0.3secs.  I also added a Fade in Transition The starting value of the variable is now 1 instead of 0. To deploy the first part of the infographics you’ll see the same actions as in the Play button action. The total delay for this first part is 1.6secs.

More?

It would be wonderful to hear how the described workflow could inspire you for your projects.. 

Creating custom paths - curved or polygonal - comes with some issues:

  • For polygons: you cannot create horizontal nor vertical parts for an obscure reason. I have logged this bug multiple times.
  • For curves: realizing cusp points is normally not possible... 

If you want to learn how to overcome those issues, please let me know.



]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1770964 2021-12-14T14:49:52Z 2021-12-18T16:24:31Z Combining Slide Audio and 'Play Audio'

Intro

This short blog post is meant to answer another question on the Adobe forums. It is at the end of this thread:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/captivate-discussions/pausing-slide-audio/td-p/12312792

This was the goal:

  1. Slide has narration as slide audio
  2. There are multiple shapes used as buttons, which should trigger an audio clip using 'Play Audio' command; those shapes have no pausing point.
  3. When a shape button is clicked the audio clip should play, but the slide audio should pause, and resume after the audio clip ends.
  4. There is at least one more interactive object pausing the slide towards the end. Idea is that the learner can still listen to the audio clips after the slide audio has finished.

This learner tried to solve this with simple actions, using the feature 'Pause slide audio when clicked'. It cannot be solved that way however.

Example project

Watch this short project created to double-check my proposed workflow with a shared action for the shape buttons. After the Title slide you'll see a slide with a Next button to pause the slide, and a shared action triggered by each of the shape buttons. A copy of the Timeline panel can be found on the third slide. I used some slides from the Aspire Quick Start Project.

You can open a rescalable version using this link or watch the embedded version below:



Setup

You could see the slide audio (narration) in the Timeline panel. The audio clips for the shape buttons were imported to the Project library, and their exact duration was checked, because it will be needed in the shared action. Have a look at the shared action with its two parameters (name audio clip and duration clip):

It has two parameters:

The command Pause in the action will pause the slide audio automatically, contrary to a pausing point of an interactive object. You don't have to change any setting in the shape button Properties. The Continue command which will be done at the end of the audio clip will take care of resuming the slide audio.

Do not bother about having two clips playing at the same time. If the learner clicks another shape button before the first audio clip ends, that first clip is stopped automatically. No need to add a command like 'Stop triggered audio' which is only needed when you want to stop a playing clip without playing a new at the same time.

The user is concerned that applying the shared action will take more time than the approach he tried out with simple actions. However, since you don't have to change settings in the shape button Properties panel, the shared action approach needs even less clicks. Check it out. There is no danger of choking Captivate which could happen if you use duplicate advanced actions since you are using instances of one shared action (ecologically).

Problem

The previous solution works fine until the learner has reached the pausing point of the Next button. At that moment, the Continue command in the shared action will override the pausing and the playhead will continue until it reaches the end of the slide and moves to the next slide. It is necessary to cope with that different situation. The Delay command nor the Continue command take into account possible pausing points. 

There are two different situations, each needing a different workflow:

  • Learner clicks a shape button before the narration has ended. In that case the slide audio needs to be paused, and to resume after the end of the triggered audio clip.
  • Learner clicks a shape button after the narration has ended. You need to maintain the pause which occurs at the pausing point of the Next button.

This screenshot shows the Timeline panel, illustrating the two situations. Situation 1 in red, situation 2 in blue.

This needs apparently a conditional action for the shape buttons. You have to figure out which situation is valid. For that reason you need to know when the narration has ended. It is easy to see its duration in the timeline, in this case it was 28secs. To calculate the frame number at the end of the frame I used micro-navigation. If you are new to this type of navigation, please have a look at this blog post:

Intro to Micro-navigation

Solution

Variables

You need two user variables:

  • v_start: will store the frame number of the first frame of the slide with the narration and shape buttons
  • v_stop: will store the frame number at the end of the narration

Contrary to the timeline panel where seconds restart on each slide, the frame numbering continues throughout the project.

Shared Actions

EnterSlideAct

This shared action will be triggered with the Slide Enter event, and is meant to calculate the value of v_stop. Have a look:

The first frame number of the slide is stored in v_start. The duration of the narration is converted to frames, by multiplying with the system variable cpInfoFPS. The only parameter is that duration.

PlayAudio_Act

The former standard action has been transformed to a conditional action:

Same parameters as before. The condition checks if the learner clicked the shape button before or after the end of the narration. Only when the narration hadn't been finished it will need to resume. That has been done with the Delay command and Continue. That is not necessary after reaching the end of the narration, because the pausing point of the Next button needs to be kept pausing, and the narration doesn't need to resume.

This shared action is needed for each of the interactive objects used to play an audio clip.  In the project I used shape buttons. They are visible in the timeline screenshot as SB_Topic1…. SB_Topic4.

By using shared actions instead of duplicate advanced actions, you avoid choking the project if you need lot of those actions which was the case for the user asking the question. Moreover multiple instances of the same shared action also will result in a smaller file size. Of course they are also very easy to transfer to future projects. You can learn more about using shared actions in these videos:

Use Shared Actions: Lesson 1 (crash course)

(re)Use Shared Actions: Lesson 2 (crash course)

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1759999 2021-11-17T11:24:22Z 2021-11-17T11:24:22Z Choose and use Personal avatars

Intro

One of the reasons I started using eLearning assets as professor in a university college, was to offer students a more personalized learning experience. In this blog I will not expand on that goal, but show how you can use an ignored feature of advanced actions in combination with multistate objects to offer the choice or a personal avatar. 

Do you know that several simple actions (dropdown list in the Actions tab for a slide or an interactive object) also appear as possible commands in advanced action, but that they are ‘enhanced’? Typical examples are:

  • Show/Hide: as simple action they can only address objects (or groups) on the same slide as where you trigger the action. However when used in an advanced action, you can address all project objects.

  • Change State/Go to Next State/Go to Previous State: when used as simple actions you can only point to multistate objects on the slide of the action, but used in an advanced action you point to all multistate objects in the project.

Example project

Have a look at this example. You can use the Table of Content (custom button) to navigate freely. This project has:

  • Title slide
  • Slide ‘Flashlight’ with timeline staggering, where you see bottom left an avatar
  • Slide ‘AvatarChoice’ where you can change the avatar. It is not the first slide to prove that the avatar change will also be functional on the previous slide (Flashlight)
  • Slide ‘CareerSteps’ which has an avatar outside of the slide, but it will appear in steps if you click the play button (motion path animation triggered partially with each Play button click)
  • Slide KnowledgeCheck where the avatar is used to give a feedback message

Have fun:



Setup workflow

Multistate objects

Lot of multistate objects were used in the project:

Slide AvatarChoice

The four buttons with the avatars are SVGs used as buttons. The InBuilt states Rollover and Down were deleted, but a custom state labeled 'Chosen' was added to show the selected avatar by adding a white-stroked border (shape) to the original avatar image.

Slides Flashlight, CareerSteps, KnowledgeCheck

The images SV_Candidate (Flashlight), and People (CareerSteps) have 4 states. The Normal state shows by default the first male avatar. This screenshot shows the states for SV_Candidate, the one for People is similar. They use the same names for the states.

The image KCMessage (KnowledgeCheck) has 5 states, the Normal state being an empty shape (Alpha and Stroke both set to 0). It is just an alternative, because that message needs to be hidden with the On Enter action of this slide. Reason: the message should pop up only after clicking the Submit button. Same names are used for the states, but M1 is new since it is no longer the Normal state:

Events and Actions

W1Act, W2Act, M1Act, M2Act

Those advanced actions are triggered by the Success event of the the buttons on slide AvatarChoice. Here is an example screenshot for the button SVB_W1, the action W1Act:

The four first commands, changing states, take care of the buttons on the slide itself. Only the clicked button will switch to the second state 'Chosen'.  You can easily adapt those commands for more or less buttons on that slide, in this case there were 4 buttons.

The three later commands switch the multistate objects on the other slides to the appropriate state.  Add similar commands if you have more than 3 slides to propagate the choice.

Beware: it is important to check the option 'Retain state on slide revisit' for the multistate objects on the three slides where the chosen avatar has to be solidified. If you don't do that, the choice will be visible only on the first visit of that slide, not on later visits.

KnowledgeCheck slide

The On Enter slide event is used to hide the multistate object 'KC_Message'. 

For the setup of the actions on the slide, refer to this screenshot:

It is of course possible to have different feedback messages, by using conditional actions, but that was not the goal of this blog post. 

You cannot have any multistate object in a default feedback message (Failure, Success) on a question/knowledge check slide. That is why you need to create a custom solution.

No shared actions?

Why did I not choose for my favourite shared actions in this particular use case? Reason is that such a shared action would need a lot of parameters, even for this short project: 7 for the multistate objects, 4 for the states on the AvatarChoice slide, and 3 for the to be changed state on the other slides. That results in 14 parameters! It is much easier to edit the duplicate advanced actions in this case than applying shared actions with 14 parameters.


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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1754396 2021-11-02T15:52:23Z 2021-11-02T15:52:23Z Forced view for Tabs Interactions - Shared actions as template

Why?

Recently the question appeared a couple of times in the forums: is it possible to delay the appearance of the Next button until all tabs in the learning interaction Tabs have been clicked.  This ‘Forced view’ request has been documented many times for normal click/reveal interactions and for a branching scenario. However the limitation of all learning interactions to the provided editing functionality prevents an easy way to realize such a scenario. Same is valid for Accordions, Timeline, Pyramid etc… interactions.

My recommendation is to use one of the multiple interaction slides from the Quick Start Projects (version 11.5, Assets panel). They do not offer Forced viewing out of the box, but can be transformed to do the trick. Have a look at the published example.

Warning: This blog contains three short video clips, it may some time to load completely on your system.

Example project

In this example I took 3 ready-to-go slides: one from the Safety, the Alliance and the Earth projects. The existing actions have been edited and you’ll get the Next button only when all tabs on a slide have been clicked:


The embedded example has a fixed resolution. You can also use this link for a scalable version.

How?

All was done using two shared actions, which you’ll be able to download in a Library project:

  1. VarsCreateForceTabs: is used to create the needed user variables, and acts also as reset action On Enter for each slide. In this particular case the same action (one parameter) could be used directly. However if more is used in the On Enter action, the shared action can be used as template for a dedicated advanced action.
  2. ForceTabs: has been used only as template for all the advanced actions on the 14 tab buttons in this project. I will describe the workflow step-by-step in a future blog.

If you want to try the workflow (described below) out, download this project which has the two shared actions in its Library. In an older blog (or video)  I explained how to import those actions in any project using External Library. Download the project from this link:

SA_Library

Workflow

Step 0: Next buttons

Add the Next button to each slide, and hide it in output. I labeled them SB_Next_Earth; SB_Next_Safety, SB_Next_Alliance 

Step 1: import the shared actions to your project

  • Open the Library panel in your project. Scroll to the Shared actions subfolder.
  • Use File, Import, External Library and point to the downloaded project file. It will appear in a floating panel top left of your screen.
  • Find the Shared actions folder in that external library and select BOTH shared actions.
  • Drag them to the Shared actions folder in your project library. They will both appear with a usage of 0. But the variables used in those actions will now appear in the Variables dialog box (Project, Variables). 

You can watch this step in the video below as well.

Step 2: use VarsCreateForceTabs action as Reset action

  • Check the On Enter event for the Quick Start Project slide you want to use. In many case that will be the default action 'No Action'. If that is the case, apply the Shared action 'VarsCreateForceTabs' to the event. It will need only one parameter: the number of tabs. 
  • If the On Enter event triggered another action than 'No action', screen that action. In many cases it is a superfluous action. One example is the 'Horizontal Tabs' layout in the Business project. It has an On Enter action to reset states to the Normal state, but that action is not needed since such a reset happens automatically when you re-enter the slide. Reason: the option Retain State on revisiting slide is unchecked.
  • If the existing On Enter action has to be done, you need to use the Shared action as template to create an advanced action. In that advanced action you'll need to add the existing action, which can be done by copy/paste eventually on a new decision tab. In the available Quick Start Projects the On Enter actions are never conditional. 
  • Using the described workflow, the Next button will remain visible when the slide is revisited. That is mostly the required situation: only on a first visit clicking all the tabs is required to get the Next button, but later on that is no longer the case.

Second step is also shown in this video clip:

Step 3: use ForceTabs as template for Tab action

  • Select a Tab button on the slide. In the following screenshots I selected the first button on the slide from Earth, which will have the name C2R37_BTN_xx  (xx will be a number added by Captivate to make the name unique).
  • Check its action in the Properties panel, Actions. Open that action in the Advanced Actions dialog box.  For all the ready-to-go slides with a similar Tabs interaction, those actions always have one standard decision. No IF conditional decisions, nor While loops
  • Select all the commands in that action, copy them to the clipboard (Edit menu, right-click menu or with CTRL-C).
  • Open the shared action 'ForceTabs' from the dropdown list top left (starts with Blank). You'll need to fill in the two parameters in the dropdown lists. First parameter which appears in the two first decisions is the tracking variable. Second parameter in this case is the Next button, which was hidden in output. A Preview of such a filled in shared action is visible in this screenshot, created for the first tab button in the slide taken from the Earth QSP:
  • Return to the first decision 'Always', on the second line (after the 'Increment' command), paste the commands copied to the clipboard (CTRL-C or from the menu).  Save the advanced action with a unique name. For that same tab button as the previous screenshot, this would result in:
  • Assign the new advanced action (in the example SB1_Earth_act) to the tab tutton.

You will need to repeat this third step for each of the tab buttons. Eventually you could also duplicate the advanced action for the first tab, and edit the duplicates. Do not forget to copy the commands from the original advanced action on the tab to the first decision 'Always' after the Increment command. In that scenario, only the first parameter (tracking variable) needs to be edited, but in the first AND the second decision. If you start from the shared action as template you need to define that parameter only once. However you don't need to edit the last decision, because the Next button will be the same for all the tab buttons if you work with duplicate advanced actions.

Here is the video clip for the third step:

Conclusion

Although this blog was meant in the first place to answer a forum question, I had a hidden agenda (a badass?):

  • Using shared actions as template
  • Using shared actions to avoid creating variables over and over again
  • Combining existing advanced actions with filled in shared actions
  • Understanding and extending the use of Ready-to-go slides from the Quick Start Projects.


]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1741821 2021-09-29T15:31:19Z 2021-10-11T18:08:32Z Custom MCQ slide with multiple correct answers

Why?

Recently a user posted a request on the Adobe forums, asking for a Multiple Choice question to be used as Knowledge Check, but with possibility of multiple combinations of answers to be correct. Here is the link:

MCQ with more than one correct answer

Example project

I used some slides from the QSP Alliance to create quickly this example project.  It has 3 MCQ slides which are using the same shared actions. For the answers I used placeholder text, so that you can recognize the 'correct' and 'wrong' answers. All questions have 6 possible answers but the workflow is not limited to that specific number of answers. The total number of correct and wrong answers is different on each slide, workflow is flexible enough to cope with those differences. Answer is considered to be correct when no wrong answers are selected and at least one correct answer is chosen. But multiple correct answers are allowed as well. It would be very easy to add scores to the MCQ slides. At this moment they are set up as Knowledge Check slides, with Infinite attempts. You cannot proceed to the next question before having posted a correct answer.

You can watch this project using this link for a scalable version, or the fixed resolution embedded version below:



Workflow Setup

Slide setup/Multistate objects

Have a look at this Timeline screenshot of the most important objects on the MCQ slides:

From bottom to top you see 

  • The 6 shapes (black) which are used as shape buttons, who will trigger either a CorrectAct or a WrongAct shared action. Their names start with SB. They have an extra custom state 'Checked' to indicate when they are chosen:
  • The Submit button. Each slide has its Submit button. A custom 'Retry' was added to replace the Normal state for later attempts than the first attempt. The option 'Retain State on Slide Revisit remained unchecked.
  • A multistate shape SS_Message which has an empty Normal state, two custom states (see screenshot). This object is timed for the rest of the project (and hidden on the End slide with its On Enter action). The option 'Retain State on Slide Revisit remained unchecked.
  • The Next button SB_Next which is also timed for the rest of the project (and hidden on the End slide with its On Enter action).

Variables and events

8 user variables are used:

  • Six tracking variables of the Boolean type, labeled v_1, v_2.....v_6 - one for each possible answer. Their default value is 0, will be toggled to 1 when that answer is chosen. 
  • Two counter variables v_correct and v_wrong which will track the Correct and Wrong answers which are checked.

The used events are:

  • Enter slide event for each MCQ slide, for a reset action 'EnterAct'. 
  • Success event of the answer shape buttons SB_x to trigger either the 'CorrectAct' or the 'WrongAct', which are both shared actions.
  • Success event of the Submit buttons to trigger a specific advanced action 'SubmitActx'.
  • Enter slide event of the End slide to hide the messages shape SS_Message and the Next button. That Next button kept the default action 'Go to Next Slide'.

Actions

EnterAct

This Reset advanced action is triggered On Enter for each MCQ slide, it is self-explanatory. I used an advanced action in this case, based on a shared action CreateVars, which I use all the time to create a bunch of variables. 

CorrectAct (shared action)

This shared action is triggered by the Success events of the answer shape buttons which have the correct answers. Only two parameters are needed: the button itself and its tracking variable. As you may have read in my Tips about Parameters using numbers in the names makes the assignment of the parameters a lot easier:

WrongAct (shared action)

Similar to the previous action, using the same two parameters:

As you may know both shared actions appear in the project Library, easy to check with Usage if they have been assigned correctly:

SubmitActx

Due to the change state needed for this button, there is an individual advanced action for each Submit button:

EnterEnd

A very simple advanced action for the On Enter slide event of the last slide, to hide the Next button and the multistate Message shape, both were set till the end of the project.




]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1741215 2021-09-28T18:47:11Z 2021-09-28T18:47:12Z Tip 5: Parameters (Shared Actions)

Intro

First 4 tips in this series were valid for both Advanced and Shared actions. 

This blog is only for Shared actions, which are still not very popular amongst the Captivate developers. In my workshop at the Adobe eLearning World Conference I have demonstrated their power, even for unexpected uses. For each action I develop in my projects I always take a little time to reflect on this question 'Will this be useful as Shared action'? Result is that more than half of my actions end up to be Shared, not Advanced actions. My Libraries with useful shared actions are growing all the time, and have saved me already many hours of work.

In this article I will focus on tips for choosing Parameters to make the shared actions as flexible as possible. When saving an action as Shared action, you get a dialog box where compulsory and candidate parameters will appear:

  • Compulsory parameters: include all objects, audio clips, states... which you have in the advanced action dialog box, with the exception of literals and variables. You recognize them by the appearance of a yellow exclamation sign. When you add a description to such a line and indicate something as placeholder for the parameter the yellow sign is replaced by a green checkmark.
  • Candidate parameters: are the literals and variables which you find in a condition, or in commands like Increment. They get a green checkmark, but by using the checkbox you can convert them to parameters as well. 

Here is a screenshot of the dialog box for a toggle button. You'll see the compulsory and candidate parameters.  Description for the compulsory parameters has not yet been typed:

General Tips

Using several instances of one shared action to replace duplicate advanced actions leads normally to smoother projects, less risk of choking Captivate and even lower file size. However it is important to keep the number of parameters to assign on each instance not too high. Personally my goal is to have a maximum of 6-7 parameters. If you really need more of them, but appreciate the ease of transferring shared actions to new projects, remember that you can use each shared action as template for advanced actions. You can use that knowledge to create duplicate advanced actions if the number of parameters is too high. Labeling (see Tip 1) remains very important as well, because of the filtering (Tip 2) which is possible in the dropdown lists for parameters. You'll find some more tips below for the two types of parameters.

Compulsory parameters

Depending on the action using those parameters, they are either very specific (only one type) or they can be flexible and cover more than one type. Examples:

Show/Hide actions: they can aim at lot of object types. All graphics (bitmap or SVG), video, but also audio objects (invisible objects which have audio attached), learning interactions, but also Groups! These are probably the most flexible actions, and you may consider to replace a multistate object approach by Show/Hide for that reason.

Change State: not so flexible, they need always two parameters which are the multistate object and the state. Whenever possible try to use 

Go to Next State/Go to Previous State: you only need the multistate object as parameter

Assign can be used with 0, 1 or 2 parameters. You need 0 parameters if using two variables which are not defined as parameters, 1 if you have a literal which is no parameter or one variable defined as parameter, 2 if you have both literals/variables defined as parameters. 

Toggle: can only be used for Boolean variables, better choice than Assign because you have 0 or 1 parameter (the variable which could be defined as parameter).

Play Audio: needs an audio clip as parameter.

Apply Effect: only the object or group to which you want to apply the effect can be a parameter, not the effect itself. In most cases you'll want to use a custom effect to have the correct setup parameters.

Candidate parameters

Candidate parameters are variables and literals.  They appear in conditions, both for IF and WHILE setup, but also in the commands Assign, Increment, Decrement, Expression. 

Variables

If a variable in a shared action is not defined as a parameter, it will automatically be created when you import the shared action to a new project, including its Default value and description. One of the shared actions in my actions library is meant to avoid having to create much used variables in new projects. See this screenshot:

I also use that action as template for the many Reset actions needed On Enter for slides.

When you define a variable as parameter, this automatic creation will not happen!

Before defining a variable as parameter, you need to check if that variable is used multiple times in the action. Know that when assigning a variable to the parameter, it will replace that variable wherever it has been used in the action. I will try to explain by an example. If you ever created an advanced action for 'Forced View', where the appearance of a Next button is postponed until all clickable objects on the slide have been used at least once, this action for the first clickable object will look familiar:

In this project, the first clickable object is SV_Decision.  That object has a custom state showing Info, and acts as a toggle button. On a second click the Normal state will re-appear. Its tracking variable is v_1, a Boolean, which will get the value 1 on each click. On the slide 4 of those buttons need to be clicked.  For the three other buttons both the name of the button and the tracking variable need to be edited in a duplicate advanced action. The second decision checks the 4 tracking variables, shows the Next button if all have the value 1.

In this setup you cannot convert this action to a shared action. It would need 3 parameters:  the Next button, the button itself and the tracking variable. But if you replace the first variable by the second variable, that will also happen in the second decision, thus leading to a non-functional second decision where only 3 variables are checked. Have a look at this action:

In this action 2 extra variables are used:

  • v_counter: will be incremented only on the first click; that makes the third checking decision easier, and the tracking variable v_1 which appears twice can be replaced by any other tracking variable.
  • v_max: instead of the literal '4' this new variable makes the action more flexible. It can be used for any number of clickable objects on the slide. The value of v_max (4 in this case) can be assigned either directly in the Variables dialog box, or with the On enter action of the slide. You could also define that variable as parameter if you prefer.

Literals

Be very careful with literals as parameters. My replacing it by a variable in the previous example gives you a possible workaround. Especially if you have multiple literals in an action, defining them as parameters can lead to issues.  Look at this variant on the same situation described above:

It could be possible to define the value '4' in the last decision as a parameter, so that you can use the action for any number of clickable objects (alternative for the variable v_max). However, if you should define the '1' as parameter, changing it in an instance of a shared action would lead to changing it in 3 locations of the action! 

My recommendation: avoid defining literals as parameters!




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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1734932 2021-09-16T19:08:55Z 2021-09-16T19:08:56Z Tip 4: Decisions (Advanced/Shared Actions)

Intro: Decision (tab)

The Advanced Actions dialog box in its default setup for a new action, shows  3 decisions with the generic names 'Untitled-1', 'Untitled-2' and 'Untitled-3'.It is possible to replace the generic names of course. In this screenshot they are marked by a red rounded rectangle. 

On top of the decisions to the left you see three buttons, which allow to Add decisions, Remove or Duplicate a decision.  There is no real limit to the number of decisions within one advanced/shared action. 

In the center above the decision names you find two buttons (blue rounded rectangle in screenshot above) which allow to change the sequence of the decisions by moving them to the right or to the left. That sequence is very important! First rule to remember when starting with Advanced/shared actions:

"All commands (actions) within an Advanced or Shared actions are always executed when the action is triggered. They are done always in the same sequence: top to bottom within a decision, left to right in the decision sequence."

Workflows which exist in most programming language to skip part of a long script do not exist. Forgetting about this first rule often leads to logical bugs!

Each decision can be converted into a conditional one by checking the option 'Conditional tab'. The word 'tab' is used there, but I largely prefer the original name 'decision' because Captivate has tabs in many locations, not only in the Advanced Actions dialog box. For a conditional decision, you have the choice between the classical 'IF-THEN-ELSE' which has two sets of commands (THEN, ELSE). One set be will chosen based on the result of the condition.
The WHILE condition leads to an infinite or finite loop. The set of commands will be executed after 1 second, based on the condition:
I would like to offer some tips now both to avoid problems and to streamline the choice of decisions taking into account the limitations mentioned before.

Tip 1: Combining standard and conditional decisions

This tip is based on my experiences with consultancy jobs and answering on the forums.

When starting to create advanced actions it often happens that too much commands are pushed into one conditional decision. I recommend to reflect: which of the commands (actions) have to be done independently of the condition? Those commands will appear in both  THEN and ELSE sections. In that case, take them out and put them in a separate non-conditional decision. 

Same recommendation when using multiple conditional decisions, if some commands appear in all of those conditions.

Example

This scenario appeared several times for debugging on the forums: 'Looping through a number of images  with their text, and showing a Next button after the first loop'.  The loop in this example is done with show/hide, not with a multistate object (which is easier however). Look at the original advanced action, meant for 3 images:

The second/third image and text are hidden in Output. The first image and text are visible. The result of this action is that the loop will not work, that each click on the button will always show the third image, while the counter will indeed loop and the Next button will appear as wanted. Reason is that the last conditional decision overrides the other decisions. Compare this with this solution:

In this action:

  • Texts and Images were grouped, to allow taking out the Hide actions from the conditional decisions.
  • A non-conditional decision was added before the conditional ones to hide the groups before the showing the text/image corresponding with a specific variable value. Moreover the (absolute) Assign command was replaced by Increment.
  • The conditional decisions show text, image. The last one needs also to show the Next button and reset the counter to its original value, which is 0. In that case you need Assign of course.


Tip 2: Multiple conditional decisions - make them mutually exclusive

When you have multiple conditions decisions in sequence (remember the sequence rule), avoid using the ELSE parts. You'll have less possible problems when using only the THEN part and write a conditional decision for each possible situation. If you use the THEN parts, there is a big chance that a later decision will overrule what has been done in the previous ones.

Eventually it is possible to use an ELSE part, but only for the last decision. You need to double-check if that THEN part will not mess up with previous decisions.

Example:

Using the same situation as for the first tip, there is no way to use the ELSE part of the decision 'Second' to replace the decision 'Third'.  The complete action would then look like this:

The result would be that the First decision would never be done, the second image/text never pops up and the Next button will appear after having viewed only the first and third image.


Tip 3: working with Tracking Variables

The first tip already showed how dangerous it is to change the value of a tracking variable within a conditional decision, if you have more than one of those decisions. In most cases it is safer to keep the value change in a non-conditional decision. You are probably aware of the three ways to attribute or change the value of a variable:

  • Assign: which I label as the 'absolute' way, and is valid for both strings and numerical values.
  • Increment/Decrement: often used when you also need a counter.
  • Toggle: typical for a Boolean variable, which is used for an On/Off situation. 

Here are two situations where you will need to have the variable value change within both parts of a conditional action (THEN and ELSE):

3.1 Toggle button action

Such an action will often have only one conditional decision and uses a Boolean variable for tracking. Have a look at this script, which will show/hide an object:

3.2 Non-eternal loop (WHILE)

Such a loop needs to have a way to stop looping. That is done with a tracking variable which needs to be changed within the actions which need repetition. Here is an example from a dice game. The dice number (random) is stored in a variable, and another variable stores the number of stairs which need to be climbed. The screenshots shows only the While decision of the action.




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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1720353 2021-08-08T17:09:42Z 2021-08-08T17:09:42Z Tip 3: Show/Hide or Multistate object? (Advanced/Shared actions)

Intro

When talking about Advanced/Shared actions most developers think immediately about rather complicated scripts, with conditional branching. However the first reason to start using those actions replacing simple actions (from the dropdown list under the Actions tab) is that the commands have less restrictions when used in advanced/shared actions. Typical examples:
  • Show/Hide commands: when using those in a simple action you can only address objects residing on the same slide as the action. It doesn't matter which event you use as trigger: Success event of a button, On Enter event of the slide. That is not the case when using those commands IN an advanced/shared action.
  • State commands: are also restricted in a similar way. You can only point to multistate objects on the same slide. Another limitation which disappears when used IN advanced/shared actions.
  • Jump to slide command: when used as simple action it is impossible to point to the same slide as where the action is triggered. That is a show stopper when trying to Replay a slide. See the blog Replay/Reset Slide.

This blog will focus on the two first command groups. Although they are both used often for Click/Reveal actions, it is in a branching scenario, with a dashboard branching to chapters that the extended commands are especially useful.

Due to being able to access objects on other slides than the active slide, the dropdown lists can become very long. That is the reason why my first two tips were about Filtering and Labeling of course. 

In most courses the learner will be allowed to revisit slides. To allow that it is important to include that situation when setting up actions. 

Dashboard Setup

Situations

  1. The dashboard or menu slide has interactive objects - mostly buttons - branching to the different chapters in the course. 
  2. On the last slide of each chapter another interactive object will navigate back to the dashboard slide.
  3. The progress is made clear to the learner by adding an indicator to the dashboard slide for completed chapter. That indicator can be a checkmark, a different look to the chapter button, a progress bar... 
  4. Tracking full completion of the course is often required. After having taken all the chapters something will occur: a new button appears, navigation to a congratulations or recommendations slide,...

Show/Hide workflow

Add the checkmarks (or other objects) to the Dashboard slide, and hide them in output (eye button on Properties panel). Label them with a referenced to the chapter they belong to. I will use Check1, Check2, Check3....

Use these events and actions:

  • Buttons on the Dashboard slide (Success event) need a simple action 'Jump to....' pointing to the first slide of each chapter. Do NOT create a Visited state for those buttons, because such a state will appear immediately after the button has been clicked, not after finishing a chapter. This refers to situation 1.
  • Return button on the last slide of each chapter t(Success event). That will need an advanced or shared action with these commands:
       Assign v_1 with 1                                a Boolean user variable will be set to 1 to track completion of chapter (situation 4)
       
    Show Check1                                      to make the previously hidden checkmark visible (situation 3)
       
    Jump to Dashboard                             situation 2
    A similar action is needed for each return button. If you choose a shared action, the tracking variable (v_1), checkmark (Check1) and Dashboard slide will be the parameters.
  • On Enter event of the Dashboard slide will need a conditional action to complete situation 4:
       IF v_1 is equal to 1 AND
           v_2 is equal to 1 AND
           v_3 is equal to 1 ....
        DO.....                                               whatever you want to happen when all chapters are done at least once.
    This example is for a dashboard with 3 buttons/chapters. You can of course extend this for any amount of chapters.

This is the easiest setup, better than having a much more complicated script On Enter for the dashboard slide, which will check all chapters. I often see that still appearing during consultancy jobs.

If you want to allow resetting the dashboard slide (taking out checkmarks and toggling the tracking variables back to 0) during one  session, start by grouping the checkmarks in Gr_Checks. Use this action for the Reset button:
                 Hide Gr_Checks
                 Assign v_1 with 0
                 Assign v_2 with 0  
                 Assign v_3 with 0
                 Hide.....                      whatever you had popping up after course completion

Multistate object workflow

Add a custom state to each button on the dashboard slide, which includes the checkmark and eventually has a different style forr the button. Make sure to check the option 'Retain state on slide revisit'.

The same events are used as in the Show/Hide workflow. Even the same actions, except for the Return button on the last slide of each chapter:

  • Buttons on the Dashboard slide (Success event) same as in Show/Hide (situation 1).
  • Return button on the last slide of each chapter t(Success event). That will need an advanced or shared action with these commands:
       Assign v_1 with 1                                a Boolean user variable will be set to 1 to track completion of chapter (situation 4)
     
    Change state of Button1 to Done       to show the custom state (situation 3)
       
    Jump to Dashboard                            situation 2
    A similar action is needed for each return button. If you choose a shared action, the tracking variable (v_1), state (Done)/button (Button1) and Dashboard slide will be the parameters.
  • On Enter event of the Dashboard slide: same as for Show/Hide (situation 4)

If you need to reset the dashboard slide within the same session, the Reset button action will be bit longer:
                 Change state of Button1 to Normal
                 Change state of Button2 to Normal
                 Change state of Button3 to Normal
                 Assign v_1 with 0
                 Assign v_2 with 0 
                 Assign v_3 with 0
                 Hide.....                      whatever you had popping up after course completion


Next?

The choice of decisions, and its sequence are very important when creating advanced/shared actions. It will be the topic of the next tip.

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1705720 2021-07-07T18:41:28Z 2021-07-07T18:41:29Z Tip 2: Filtering (Advanced/Shared actions)

Intro

This second tip is closely related to the first tip about labeling. If you have read that post you'll have seen that good labeling could facilitate filtering for dropdown lists, using this screenshot. It shows the Parameters dialog box (Shared Actions) where filtering is used to limit the choices in a dropdown list.

Time to explain what I mean by the term 'Filtering'. Dropdown lists are all over Captivate's UI, not only in the Advanced/Shared actions domain. Some of those lists are sorted alphabetically, some are sorted chronologically (very annoying: most recent added item appears on top). They may show all items, but can have an automatic filter of items. That is the case within the Advanced Actions dialog box: when setting up a condition or a While loop, if you need to choose a variable, you'll only see variables in the dropdown list, for operators you only  operators. However, even when filtered and sorted alphabetically the lists can be very long and it takes time to find the proper item. Being able to reduce a list by manual filtering based on the names is a big timesaver! I remember older versions where searching was reduced to typing the first character, to scroll to the items starting with that character. That used to be the case for the variable dropdown list, reason why I started labeling user variables with v_ as first character, to differentiate from the system variables which started either with 'rd' or 'cp' (the first types disappeared from the lists).

Filtering workflow

It consists in typing a sequence of characters, resulting in displaying only items which have that sequence in their name. It doesn't matter where that sequence appears: at the start, at the end, in the middle. There is no case sensitivity, which is rather exceptional. Although names cannot start with a number, if you include a number in the name it will be very easy to use the number as part of the filter sequence. This will become easier to understand with some examples:

Show (Hide)

The dropdown list for those commands in advanced actions will show all objects on all slides, leading to a very long dropdown list. Using a filter and proper labels is very useful as you can see comparing these two screenshots of such an action before and after applying a filter. In this case the filter shows all groups, which are labeled as Gr_xxx

Change State

This screenshot (from the Memory game project) simplifies how to find the correct multistate object. In this case there were many multistate objects in the project:

Parameters

Although many dropdown lists are already filtered on the type of item needed, look at this example. You need to know that in the field here you need to click twice to be able to type in a filter: first click selects the field,  second click gets it in Edit mode (like with a text container). I added the Properties panel, because the label of the active button is used as reference for the 'active' button. Same example was shown at the start of this blog.

Availability of Filters

As you have seen the filters are available for all dropdown lists in:

  • Advanced Actions dialog box
  • Parameter dialog box

Too bad that it is not available for other dropdown lists:

  • Simple action (tab Actions)
  • Object actions (Drag&Drop)
  • Advanced actions list in the Advanced Actions dialog box (which would be very useful if you need to clean up)

Next tip?

It will compare the use of  Grouping (when using Show/Hide workflows) and multistate objects for similar goals.


]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1703302 2021-06-15T15:04:18Z 2021-06-15T15:04:19Z Tip 1: Labeling (Advanced/Shared actions)

Intro

Many Captivate developers use advanced actions, which is an easy way to extend the functionality of the application without need for learning the rules of a programming language. After publishing the project, those actions are converted to JavaScript. This is also the case for the more flexible (underestimated) shared actions.

However the  ‘point-and-click’ approach for scripts has rules and limitations.  If you start using advanced/shared actions,  understanding those rules will avoid frustrating situations.  This first Tip is all about the importance of customizing labels, the reasons for establishing a labeling discipline (especially when working with a team). Last week two questions in the Adobe forums about issues with advanced actions were due to lack of knowledge about correct labeling.

The terminology used in this blog is the same as in the Adobe documentation. You can check the in-depth exploration of the Advanced Actions dialog box in one of my previous blogs meant also for starters with actions: 

Advanced Actions Outfit since CP2017 – eLearning (adobe.com.

This article will first explain Generic names (labels) attributed by Captivate, continue with Custom labeling. At the end you'll see also an explanation of 'Smart labeling', term used by Adobe when copy/paste is used on items with a custom name.

Generic names (labeling) - Uniqueness

Almost all items in Captivate get a generic name when they are created in a course: objects, placeholders, groups, slides, states, decisions (in actions)... There are a few exceptions:

  • User variables: you need to define a custom name except for the variable associated with a Text Entry Box.
  • Advanced/Shared actions: they also need a custom name 

The first global ruleis fully respected in those generic names. 

 'Each name needs to be unique'
Names are case sensitive, so it is easy to use similar names, by changing one or more characters to uppercase from lowercase. Uniqueness applies also to items from different type: do not use the name for a button, which has already been used for a variable (common mistake), or the name of an action for an advanced action (another common mistake). There are some minor exceptions:

  • Generic name for a Text Entry Box and its associated variable are the same. I don't really like this, and tend to create a new user variable with a custom name, using the X button next to the generic variable name:
    It is not wrong to keep the generic name, but it bumps on the general rule.

  • If you define the name of a button, and use the same name for the action to be triggered by the Success event, it will not be flagged as an error. But if you do the reverse (first action, later the button) you do get an error. I would avoid doing this. 

  • States can have the same name for multiple multistate objects, because as identifier the combination of the object name and the object will be unique if the object has a unique name.

  • Similar for decisions within an advanced/shared action. Although years ago I had issues with an advanced action using the same name as a decision in another advanced action. But decisions can have same name in multiple advanced actions.

When using Generic names, and duplicating the item, the duplicate will have a similar name but ending on another number. Check this screenshot, showing the timeline of a slide with multiple objects and of a duplicate slide:

Custom names (labeling)

Why and when is replacing generic names worthwhile, because it takes time?

  • It will be easier to understand, especially for your clients and collaborators. Referring to the screenshots of the Timeline posted above, if you replace the name of the TEB which will ask for a name by 'TEB_name', and the button is named 'Bt_Next' reading the timeline is more comfortable. Have a look at this Timeline, which is from the Stopwatch tutorial to understand better.
  • When using the items in advanced or shared actions, where you often will need to choose from dropdown lists, it is almost impossible to identify the right item for your choice when working in a project with tons of items.
  • To take advantage of the filtering (see Tip 2) provided by Captivate, custom names can save you lot of time. Look at this screenshot from the Memory Game tutorial where a parameter needs to be chosen for the shared action. There are lot of shape buttons in this game. By typing out one or two characters (here _2) the long list is filtered to facilitate the choice.

Setting up a custom labeling 'system' is also a timesaver, not only when you are collaborating with a team. The global rule of Uniqueness will have to be respected. Names cannot start with a number, nor have strange characters. Try to keep to short names, avoid spaces and remember that names are case sensitive! Here is a short summary of my personal labeling system, however this is just an example. Over a decade ago I started labeling for user variables. At that moment the only way to find a variable in the dropdown lists was by using the first character, because they were sorted alphabetically. To have the group of user variables separated from the system variables (which started with r or c at that moment) user variables started with v_. The first character indicating the type of item, followed by an underscore (replacing a space). This meant the item was also identified by that first character, and I continued to follow the same logic for other items. Some examples:

  • Bt_: first characters of buttons of the three old types (text, transparent, image)
  • SS_: smart shape
  • SB_: shape used as button
  • Im_: bitmap image
  • Ib_: bitmap image used as button
  • SV_: SVG image
  • SVB_: SVG used as button
  • Gr_: group both for object groups and slide groups (Table of Contents)
  • Tx_: text caption
  • CB_: click box
  • ...

For advanced actions I don't have a fixed system. One exception: if an action is meant to be used On Enter for a slide, I will start its name with Enter. I am a frequent user of shared actions whenever possible, which avoids the need for names for multiple duplicate advanced actions,  since you need only one name for a shared action that can be applied multiple times with different parameters. 

For the other characters in the name I will use camel notation. The system allows you to have the second part identical for items which are linked. Example: SVB_Reset can be linked with an advanced action ResetAct, and a variable v_reset.

Maybe I'll add an extra extension to multistate objects in the future, because they are not easily identifiable.

Tip: for much used variables create a shared action as explained in Rare tips (tip 1). By importing that action in a new project you avoid lot of typing.

Smart labeling

When you copy/paste an item with a custom name, the custom name will be preserved, but an extra number is added to the name. This is indicated as 'smart labeling', was introduced some versions ago. 

Example: Duplication of the Next shape button (from the Timeline screenshot for the Stopwatch slide), will lead to this:

The duplicate gets the original name followed by an underscore and a number. In this case the duplicate of SB_Next, became SB_Next_20. It means that the numbers 1-19 had already been used. Same would happen if you copy that button to another project, but the number will be different. If I copy this button to a almost empty new project, the name becomes SB_Next_2, because only one object already existed ending on 1. Keeping at least part of the custom name can be very useful. However it can also become a problem as I learned when importing Shared actions using the same variables. If you don't import (or drag) those actions in one workflow, but in steps, you will end up with duplicate variable bearing another name. You also need to be careful when copying interactive objects which are triggering actions using variables.

Conclusion

I hope this article convinced you of the importance of consistent labeling. Be sure I do not label every item, but I will when they will be needed in an advanced or a shared action. For slides the names do not need to be unique, because internally they are identified by cpInfoCurrentSlide which is a number. However slide names are important if you want to use a Table of Content.

Next tip about Filtering is closely linked to this first tip, and will save you time when developing advanced and shared actions. You will get an overview of the locations where filtering is possible, and those where - saddening - it is not available.

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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1701924 2021-06-11T10:25:14Z 2021-12-21T05:53:24Z Quiz/Score slides in Quick Start Projects - part 2: Responsive projects

Intro

Recently I posted about using Quiz slides as ready-to-go slides from the available Quick Start projects, in their non-responsive version. The conclusion was not very positive, because most themes didn’t include the necessary master slides to allow you to create all types of quiz slides with the theme look/design. For the Score slides the situation is even worse, because they cannot be inserted as ready-to-go slide, they will appear automatically after insertion of a quiz slide, or after setting up the Quiz Preferences to show a score slide (for scored objects). If the Results master slide has not been created in a theme (as was the case for multiple QSPs) you’ll not be able to get them in your project, unless by using the long workaround I explained in that post.

This second part refers to the responsive versions of the Quick Start Projects. It is a relief to see that the situation is better for the used themes. You will be able to download a table, with the same indications as in the first post.

Table

The number of Quick Start Project with a responsive (fluid boxes) set up is more limited than for the non-responsive projects. You can find a similar overview like the one provided for the non-responsive projects in this downloadable table:

QuizQSPResp

Items marked in red need some explanation, have a look at the Tips below

TIPS

Similar to the non-responsive projects, there are QSPs (Quick Start Project) with a fully developed theme, including dedicated master slides for the score slide and the quiz slides. That group includes the projects Safety, Wellbeing and Alliance. A second group (Earth, Rhapsody and Wired) has master slides but only partially similar to the example slides. Mostly images are lacking, but since you are dealing now with Fluid Boxes, it will need some knowledge of that workflow to reproduce the look of the quiz and score slides.

The project Aspire  has several example MCQ slides, only one of them is using a dedicated master slide. It has also an incomplete Results master slide. The project League has incomplete quiz master slides.

The situation for the score slide is different. As told before, you cannot insert a score slide as a standalone slide. It will be inserted automatically after you have inserted a question slide of the same theme, or when you select the option ‘Show score at the end of the Quiz’ in Quiz Preferences, Settings.

The tips for the question slides, mentioned in the previous post, are valid here as well. For that reason, focus in the TIPS is only on the Results (score) slide. If you want to learn more about the Fluid Boxes layout for question slides, and about editing the feedback messages, have a look at:

Tips for Fluid Boxes quiz slides

Feedback Messages in Fluid Boxes question slides

Score slide

Three groups of Quick Start Projects, each with a different approach.

Group 1: Safety, Wellbeing, Alliance

These projects have a Results master slide consistent with the global Theme design. The content (inserted fields) is similar to Results slides in all themes packaged with Captivate. That means that you can use choose the to be inserted fields, using Quiz Preferences,  Settings, button ‘Quiz result messages. The screenshot below shows an example, where two fields (Max. Score and Attempts) have been unchecked. The Fluid boxes layout will adapt to those changes.

No problems with this group at all. When you insert any question slide from one of these QSPs the results slide will automatically be inserted and have the design of the master slide of that same QSP.

If you insert a question slide directly (using Quiz menu) the theme of the project will have priority and the project Results master slide will be used. This is due to the fact that version 11.5 supports the use of multiple themes.

Group 2: Aspire and Rhapsody

Those projects have two Results slides. This screenshot shows them for Aspire:

The first master slide (Result) is the default master slide used when the Results slide is inserted (due to insertion of a question slide). It has only partially adapted the Theme design.

The second master slide (Custom Result) is used in the Alliance project for the example results slide.  You can switch the existing Results slide to this master slide if you want. BUT! the big problem is that you’ll miss the Advanced action used for this results slide, and the text content for some text captions.  This is a big problem if you are not familiar with those features.

Group 3: Wired, Earth and League

These projects have no Normal Result master slide. By Normal I mean that you can add/delete fields as shown in the screenshot ‘Quiz Result Messages’ under Group 1. These projects have only a customized Result slide, which is using an advanced action.

This is a problem: when you insert a question slide from one of these projects, the companion Results slide will be that custom slide. That means that you will have to find the advanced action and attach it, after having filled in the missing information.

Two possible solutions: either you will replace the custom Results slide by the default Results slide from the project theme. These two screenshots may illustrate the workflow. It is a project using the ‘Cement and Steel’ theme packaged with Captivate.  A T/F question slide was inserted from the QSP ‘Earth’, which resulted also in the Results slide of ‘Earth’, and you can see the result here (missing Text, advanced action). You see the results slide at the back (with part of the missing fields in the scratch area), the Filmstrip and the Properties panel of the results slide. You see that the Results slide belongs to the ‘Earth’ theme:

To replace the Results slide by the one belonging to the theme ‘Cement and Steel’, use the dropdown list (showing Earth) to switch, and you’ll get only one possible master slide: the Results Master slide of ‘Cement and Steel.’ Select that master slide, and you’ll get all the fields back, no advanced action needed, although the design may need some editing.

Post a comment, if you want to learn how to recover the advanced actions for the custom results slides in groups 2 and 3.

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1694584 2021-05-25T08:03:39Z 2021-05-25T08:03:40Z Quiz/Score slides in Quick Start Projects - part 1: Non-responsive projects

Intro

I already published blogs to help you using and editing content slides from the Quick Start projects which you find under the Assets. Those individual slides are also indicated as ‘Ready-to-go Slides’.  The first blog was about the static objects, second one treated the interactions:

Editing Ready-to-go slides (Quick Start Projects) - part 1: Text and Images

Editing Ready-to-go slides (Quick Start Projects) - part 2: interactions

In the forum a question was posted about customizing Quiz and Score slides in Quick Start Projects.  You can consider this post as a third part, because those particular slides are tricky compared with normal content slides. If you know the ins and outs of quiz slides, you can skip the next part and go immediately to the Practical tips. Since the Quick Start Projects are coming in two flavors: responsive (fluid boxes) and non-responsive, this blog will focus on the non-responsive ones, the next blog on the responsive projects.

Quiz Refresher – Overview table

Quiz and Score slides are always based on dedicated Master slides, which are compulsory in each Theme: 4 master slides for questions and one for the Results slide. Those master slides have a lot of embedded object with inbuilt functionality. An embedded object has no individual timeline, and should not be deleted if there is no way to uncheck its presence on the slide.

Those master slides are also used for Knowledge Check slides and for Pretest slides. You cannot convert a slide created as one of the three types to another type. That is the reason you’ll find in the QSPs both Knowledge Check and normal Quiz slides.

The Results or Score slide will appear automatically when you insert a question slide, but you may also choose to create a score slide when you have only scored objects using the Quiz Preferences. It is impossible to delete a score slide, it can only be hidden. Reason: it is still providing functionality even when it is hidden. This blog post can clarify what I mean.

Tables

You can download this table identifying the Score, Quiz and Knowledge Check slides in the QSPs available at this moment (May 2021).  In the table you’ll see the slide number of the slides, type of question and whether they have a dedicated master slide (which should be the case in a custom theme). The score slide and its possible master slide is mentioned separately (see first Tip).

QuizQSPNonResp  is the table for non-responsive Quick Start Projects. Red-colored items can cause problems.

Tips

Score slide

It is NOT possible to insert a results (score) slide from any QSP in a custom project at all.  This may come as a disappointment. They are dimmed in the Assets panel. If you want them as standalone slide in your project this is the only possible workflow:
  • Open the QSP as a project.
  • Delete all slides you don’t want to use; even if you delete all quiz slides in the QSP, the results slide will still remain. Of course the inserted fields (system variables) will only get a value if you have at least one scored object or question slide.
  • Add your slides to the project. If you have quiz slides or slides with scored objects which are set to include in the total score, the results slide will get the values of the uses quizzing system variables on runtime.

You don’t like this (neither do I)? If the QSP of your choice has a complete custom theme you are lucky: the results slide has been edited and will be used once you add the first quiz slide from this QSP. On adding a quiz slide, the results slide will be added automatically and will use the results master slide of that theme. Bad news: only a limites group QSPs are in that situation, Safety and Wellbeing. The QSPs League and Earth have a master slide which is partially customizedand you can easily make it look like the one in the Assets panel. But the other themes fail for score slide design.

There may be another issue with a custom score slide, if you want to add more system variables. I will explain that more in detail in the second part (responsive projects), because it is even more important for Fluid Boxes projects.

Quiz slides

Inserting a quiz slide as ready-to-go slide is possible, if the type you want is available. All the QSPs in the table have slides for Multiple Choice questions. Sometimes you’ll find both MCQ with one correct answer, and MCQ with multiple correct answers but changing from one to multiple correct answers can be done easily.  Some projects also have a True/False question. Three QSPs (Safety/Wellbeing/Alliance) also have a Matching slide.

Why is this important to know?  Reason is the same as for the Score slide: if the theme has master slides used to create the example slides this is not important. Once you have the master slides of the QSPs you can add quiz slides from the quiz menu, they will get the look which you expect, similar to the downloaded quiz slide. That is even true for other types of questions. The two excellent QSPs for that feature: ‘Safety’ and ‘Wellbeing’ are in that situation. They have designed three out of the 4 quizzing master slides: “MCQ:T/F,…  “, “Matching” and “Hotspot”. Only the Likert type (getting deprecated since unusable in responsive projects) is missing.

For those two QSPs, once you have the theme (which is the case when you have one imported slide) you can safely add Quiz slides of all types. They will get the expected look, same as the score slide.

However that is not the case for the other QSPs. The QSPs “Earth” and “League” has some editing to the quizzing master slide, but the top image (normally visible in the Ready-to-go quiz slides) is not there, can easily be edited.  For the other QSPs you can only use the quiz types offered in the project, but not add any other question types because the master slides are not available. It is possible to duplicate quiz slides, but you will not be able to add a (True/False for some), Matching, Sequence nor a Hotspot quiz slide having the same look. Look at this last screenshot, showing the master slides from the QSP “Wired” which normally has dark blue backgrounds. Not only the backgrounds are missing, but even the object styles are different from  those shown on the example quiz slides:

You will be able to edit some features after insertion of a Ready-to-go question slide: feedback messages, score, penalty, shuffling, switching from one to multiple correct answers for a MCQ, actions and when available Advanced answer feature.

Summary – conclusion

What are the possibilities if you want to use a quiz, Knowledge Check, Score slide from one of the Quick Start projects? Look at the table I provided above and you’ll see that there are two groups of Quick Start projects, based on the availability of master slides reflecting the ready-to-go slides:

Group 1: ‘Safety’, ‘Wellbeing’ and – with some restrictions - ‘League’ and ‘Alliance’

I would first recommend for ‘League’ to add the images (which you can easily find in the Library using the right-click menu) to the quizzing master slides.

  • You want an available question slide: no problem, you can even insert them directly from the Quiz menu, because the master slide has all the design of the question slides.
  • You want question slide which is not available: with the exception of ‘Likert’ use the Quiz menu to insert the question slide, it will have the look of the available question types in the QSP.
  • You want a score slide: you cannot insert the available score slide as an individual slide. However if you have at least one question slide, the automatically inserted Score slide will have the design of its dedicated master slide.

Group 2

All the other QSPs are in this group.  Repeating the same choices:

  • You want an available question slide: insert them as individual slides from the QSP. You can duplicate the question slide (for a scored slide check the Interaction ID, but normally it will be changed) to have more slides of that type.
  • You want question slide which is not available: that is a problem since you don’t have edited master slides. Some workarounds are possible: you can use a MCQ slide to mimick a T/F slide. However that is not possible with Sequence, Fill-in-the-Blank, Matching (if it is not available).
  • You want a score slide: impossible unless you use the full project workaround described before. You will get a score slide, but it will use the master slide of the project itself, which will for sure not have the look you expect.


]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1689555 2021-05-11T12:47:50Z 2022-05-31T19:37:59Z Memory game setup - version 2021

Intro

As new year's blog I offered a simple memory game in this portal

Let 's Play and Dream

The setup however is not explained in the blog. Since another user asked about the creation of such a memory game, this blog will explain shortly the workflow. It will be limited to the game itself, not to the consequences of having succeeded it.

Setup slide

Besides the use of ONE shared action and ONE advanced reset action, all is based on using multistate objects, groups and variables. It can easily be extended to more than 6 pairs as in the example file. The background image, which in this case is only a static image of all the small images, can be replaced by another image (or a random image if you use JS), which can be included in the game itself. To see what I mean, I have to refer to my first version of this game, 10 years ago: 

Concentration game created exclusively with Captivate

If you want to play that old game, I warn that it is a SWF.

Timeline

Have a look at the timeline of the game slide

The two buttons with the same back image are in a group. There are 12 buttons, so you end up with 6 groups. The buttons themselves indicate where they are. The expanded group Gr_6 has the second button on the third row and the fourth button on the second row.  However you can set up labels as you want.

Each button is a multistate object. Normal state is the symbol for the virus, the Back state has the image. 

Variables

Each group has a tracking variable: v_1 - v_6. Their default value is 0.

The variable v_click starts with a default value of 0. It will track the button clicks (first or second).

The variable v_counter will track the number of correct paired images. It starts at 0, and the game is finished when reaching 6.

The variable v_first is needed to reset the slide, will store the frame number of the first slide frame. For more information check: Replay or Reset?

Shared action 'ButtonAct'

This action is triggered by the 12 buttons, and has only 3 parameters as you can see in the preview of the action:

You see 4 decisions:

Always  is a standard action, it shows the back state of the clicked button and disables it. The tracking variable for the group and v_click are both incremented by 1.

WrongAct (conditional) checks if this is a second click, and it didn't match the first click (because v_1 is equal to 1). In that case the Reset workflow is used. The advanced action 'EnterGame' (see below) will reset what is necessary.

CorrectAct (conditional) if both clicks pointed to the same image, the variable v_counter is incremented. The group with the two buttons will be hidden, to reveal the background image. 

Done: (conditional) checks the value of the variable v_counter and navigates to the conclusion slide if it reaches the value 6, which means the game has been completed successfully.

Advanced action EnterGame

This action is essentially resetting the slide. 

 Since buttons can have been disabled (see ButtonAct) all buttons need to be enabled. A group tracking variable can have a value 1, needs to be reset to 0. The variable v_click needs to be reset to 0 as well. The only variable keeping its value is v_counter.

Extension tips?

More possibilities will not need a lot of work. If you want to reuse the workflow in more projects a shared action has a lot of advantages.  If you import that action in a new project, the variables v_counter, v_first and v_click will be created automatically including their default value and description. Personally I would use the present advanced action ‘EnterGame’ to create a new shared action, keeping only the variables to reset, not the buttons. If you import that new shared actions at the same time as the first shared action, you don’t have to create the group tracking variables neither. You only have to set up the multistate objects and the groups in the slide.

Want less or more groups? 

It is logical that you’ll need to edit the EnterGame action. What about the Shared action ButtonAct?  Since I wanted to make the workflow simple, I kept the literal ‘6’ for the number of groups. Two possibilities for editing:

Use the Shared action to create an advanced action. Delete the shared action in the Library. Edit the literal to the wanted number, and recreate the shared action. You can even use the same original name.

If you want to reuse this action in multiple projects, replace the literal by a variable (v_max) which you can edit in the variables dialog, or by adding an Assign command on a slide preceding the game slide. 

Background image can be replaced, as I mentioned above.

It is also possible to create a more complicated game, maybe with groups of 3 buttons to match. 

Have fun!

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1678994 2021-04-15T10:27:48Z 2022-09-21T08:30:28Z Custom review text for Random questions.

Intro

Another Quiz tweak blog, answering a question in the Adobe forums found under this ‘link‘.

None of my previous blogs about tweaking quiz slides (like Custom feedback) or using Random question slides (Do’s and Don’ts) could answer this question directly. But the workflow below did use some of the ideas of older blog posts, and addressing the limitations of random questions.

Goal: show a custom review message for random question slides. Follow this step-by-step workflow. Of course I used a shared action since it is a repetitive process. You’ll see a short example project.

Example project

Watch this quiz, either the embedded version (fixed resolution) or a rescalable version using this link. This short project has 3 random slides which will be selected from a question pool with 8 question slides. There is a score slide at the end, where you can click the Review button. There is no slide after the score slide, which means the Continue button has only the functionality to pause the score slide.



Problems to be solved

Three limitations/problems need to be addressed by the workaround:
  1. In the default Review design of Captivate the Review area is only used for questions which have not been answered.  The default messages which you can still define under  Quiz Preferences, Settings, button ‘Question Review messages’ do not appear anymore since the design with checkmarks has been introduced. You will need to create custom text messages.

  2. Although you can add custom objects to question pool slides, you cannot address those objects using an action.  It is possible to use an Advanced or Shared action for the On Enter event, but you cannot hide/show custom objects.

  3. A random question cannot have any triggered action in a Captivate project.

My first conclusion:  the custom text container cannot be in the question pool slides nor in the random question slide. It needs to be outside of them. But the message itself needs to be different for each quiz slide, somehow it needs to be attached to each question in the pool.

Workaround summary:

  • Text container will be a shape, timed for the rest of the project. It needs to be on a normal content slide immediately before the first random question slide. That ‘dummy’ slide can be very short (I used 0.1 secs) and even set to fade so that it will barely be visible to the learner. The shape will be the custom text container and it is outside of the question slides. This workflow has an extra advantage: it will be on top of the embedded objects of the quiz slides if you activate 'Place object on top' in its Timing Properties.

  • The shape is not filled with a text feedback message but with a user variable set up to show sufficient characters (I used 250). Text style and size of the shape are edited so that those characters can be displayed.

  • The value of the variable (feedback) is assigned with a Shared action On Enter for each quiz slide in the question pool(s). 

Step-by-step workflow

Step 1 (question pool): in scratch area

Use the scratch area for each quiz slide to add the feedback message.  By using copy/paste the text to fill in a parameter in the shared action. That is a lot more comfortable than having to type the (long) text in the small parameter field. Here is a screenshot of one pool question slide:

Step 2: import the Shared action

You can download the Shared action here:

https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/f63df322-5037-479a-42b8-86506a7f1b7e

Import this shared action to your project library. If you have already created a library to be used as external library in any project, add it to that library as well. I will explain the action functionality later. Importing this action in this early step,  results automatically in the creation of the user variable v_review which you’ll need in the next step.

Step 3: create dummy slide

Create a short slide immediately before the first random slide. On that slide you insert a shape (labeled Tx_Review). Time it for the rest of the project. in Timing Properties.

Go into Text Edit mode (F2 or double-click) and use the X button in the Character part to insert the user variable v_review. Be sure to increase the default duration. I used 250 characters which was sufficient for the feedback messages created under step 1. Here is a screenshot of that slide and its Timeline. You see the double arrow at the end of Tx_Review timeline, indicating it is timed for the rest of the project, and the very short duration.

Because you don’t want to show the text container Tx_Review from the start, use the On Enter event of this dummy slide to ‘Hide Tx_Review’.

Step 4: Shared action On Enter in Question pool

On each slide In the question pool add the Shared action (downloaded in step 2) to the On Enter slide event.  This is the preview of this action, with indication of the two parameters:

The functionality is self-explanatory. In the first decision 'Always' the variable v_review gets the feedback text (first parameter). Use copy/paste from the message in the scratch area (step 1) to define this parameter. The second parameter is always Tx_Review.  

Step 5: Hide Tx_Review

you don't need the text container, timed for the rest of the project, on the following score slide and/or content slides.You’ll need to hide Tx_Review similar to the dummy slide (step 3). In the example project that was done on the Score slide.

Step 6: testing!

Use only F11, Preview HTML in Browser, and preferably test in multiple browsers.

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1677791 2021-04-12T13:34:33Z 2021-10-20T16:20:01Z Fluid Boxes and Interactive Video? (Position Properties panel)

Intro

With CP2019 the Position Properties panel, originally used only in Breakpoint Views workflow, can also be used for a Fluid Boxes project. From recent questions on the forum I detected that this can lead to confusion, especially for starting users. Some use only the Position Properties panel to create slides and ignore the Fluid Boxes setup.  That was not the goal of adding access to this panel. 

If you choose to set up a responsive project with Fluid Boxes workflow, it is compulsory that you leave the layout to be monitored by Fluid Boxes control as primary. Only for specific situations Fluid Boxes should be overridden by using Position properties. It is similar to the use of Static fluid boxes: their use should also be limited as much as possible or you lose most of the fluidity which is typical for Fluid Boxes.  Besides object stacking, one of the excluded items in a normal fluid box is Interactive video. This blog tries to explain best practice for such a slide, which will not have any fluid boxes. 

Position Properties panel can also be used for objects which are unlocked from any fluid box. 

Interactive video slide

It is not compulsory to have fluid boxes on each slide. Be careful: if you use a packaged responsive theme, it is possible that the theme provides fluid boxes on the master slide(s). Same is valid when you use slides and theme from one of the Quick Start Projects.  The savior in this case in any correct Captivate theme is the Blank master slide. It shouldn never have fluid boxes. 

Recommendation: use the Blank master slide to insert an interactive video. That is the case for the example screenshots. The video was taken by night, hence very dark. For that reason I changed the background color of the Blank master slide to black instead of the default white. That way it could blend more easily with the video if it is not filling the slide (setup 1). This has consequences for the overlay slides as you'll see later.

In a normal fluid box you cannot have slide video.  Similar to bitmap images it is very important that the width/height ratio is maintained whatever the browser resolution on the device. That is where Position Properties are important. Two possible setups, to have the video adapting to any browser resolutions will be described.. 

The images are for a video in 4:3 format. The desktop resolution is 1024x627 as you can see in this screenshot. The width of the video is 1024, which means that part of the height (765) is outside. 

I turned on the feature ‘Preview Height’ under the Style tab, which results in the yellow surrounding box and the indication of the device size.  When the resolution changes, there are two ways to keep an acceptable view, while not distorting the video. The setup is realized using the Position Properties panel. If you don't see that panel, turn it on using the Window menu.

Setup 1: Width = 100%, Height = Auto

This will result in having the video  always completely visible. The following screenshot shows the iPad situation. Due to the black background the empty slide pixels blend in well with the video. Next to the result you’ll see the Position Panel setup, with Advanced part expanded. Vertical and horizontal alignment are turned on, reason why the % for Left, Right, Top and Bottom are greyed out

Setup 2: Width = Auto, Height = 100%

This will result in cropping the video as you can see in the setup and the screenshot of the same iPad situation as in the first setup:

The choice between both setups  depends on the video and whether you need to preserve it to be fully visible or not. For the second setup, if you want to keep another part than the central part, you can add specific setting for the X and Y position of the video, instead of using the center horizontally option.

How do you treat the overlay slides? They need to be created individually, should you use a master slide with or without fluid boxes? Read on.

Content overlay slides

After a lot of exploration, I detected that you get the best result when creating Overlay slides without using Fluid Boxes as well. For the layout, use a similar approach as you used for the video with the Position Properties.  Using Fluid boxes could mess up the slides when they appear in the interactive video. Here is a screenshot of such an overlay slide, when using Setup 1 (Width set to 100%):

It has been set up without vertical alignment in this case. As you may know, the black background (because the video is on a black background) will become transparent when the overlay slide appears to allow the dimmed video to be visible (more about this in an older post).

This screenshots shows the same overlay slide for setup 2:

Knowledge Check  Overlay slides

The situation is different now. This is a Fluid boxes project, so it is impossible to create those KC slides without using the responsive masters for quiz slides.  I tested this out in the same short (dirty) example project and everything works as expected. Just a warning: do NOT use a playbar, because it causes a lot of flickering when a Knowledge Check slide appears.  If you want navigation possibilities for the overlay slides (when you want a sequence of slides) create custom navigation. 

Similar use cases

Background images for slides or master slides can be treated the same way. 

Position properties panel can also be useful when taking out objects from a fluid box, to attach it to the one of the slide edges, or to another item. A company logo is a typical example. 

Those use cases have been treated in many videos, but I never found one about the workflow for an interactive video. since you have to deal with the overlay slides as well, suspected this could be a useful blog.

Using SVGs instead of bitmap images in or out of fluid boxes in a responsive project can lead to weird situations. Stuff for another blog.

The example project is not provided. If you want to play with it, contact me by mail or through my website. It is just a trial and error project, not an example of a nice interactive video.

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1664361 2021-03-11T16:25:50Z 2021-03-11T16:25:50Z Tips for troubleshooting

Intro

Quite a while ago i created this blog post, explaining how to restore some customisation after having cleared the Preferences:
Keep your Customisation!

That blog is still fully valid for the most recent versions. This one offers some additional tips which still seem to be unknown to many. I deducted this from my daily visits to the Adobe forum and the eLearning community. Often you see these recommendations, to solve a possible corruption:

  • Clear the cache, but be careful because the cache of a recent project can be used as backup
  • Clean the Preferences

I will not repeat how to do both – you’ll find that easily –  but want to offer some less-known tips. Even though some of those tips are over a decade old (will refer to the original authors).

Cache

You don’t need admin rights on Captivate for cleaning the cache. The cache folder is used to speed up the opening of existing projects and should be on your system, never on a networked drive. It can grow very quickly, if you are short on disk space take the time to clear it regularly.

Clearing the complete Cache is easy: use the button ‘Clear cache’ in Preferences, General settings. But:

  • If you do this from the Welcome screen, all cache folders will be deleted.
  • If you do it when one or more projects are opened, the cache folders of the opened projects will not be deleted.

That could be a way to preserve those caches for eventual backups.

However it is less known that the team provided an AIR application (in 2010) to delete selectively cache folders, based on the name of the projects (instead of the cryptic generic names used in the cache folder). The blog announcing this app is still available, the app is labeled ‘dCache‘ and can still be downloaded:

New utility for deleting Adobe Captivate project cache folders – eLearning

Yesterday a user asked if it would still be functional after the demise of Flash Player. This is due to a common confusion between the authoring tool Flash Builder (now renamed to Animate) and the Flash player needed to play SWF output. AIR application can be built with Animate and do not need the Flash Player. I double-checked it with version 11.5, all works as expected. Look at its UI.

The cache folders of all the projects since previous clearing are shown. The one which is dimmed (blue rectangle) means that it is open in Captivate. I have checked two caches (red rectangle) which I can now clear using the Clear button. It is very simple, but avoids having to search for the folder linked with a project.

Preferences

To clean the Preferences you need admin rights for Captivate. You find two clean options under the ‘utils’ subfolder in Captivate’s installation folder. Run the file appropriate for your OS.

Doing that you are deleting a folder in your profile.  I am on Windows and that folder is under AppDataLocalAdobe and it is named ‘Captivate 11.5’ (for the most recent release). When deleting that folder (can also be done manually) Captivate needs to be closed. A fresh copy of the folder will be restored when you restart Captivate. Do not import the previous Preferences, because they may have been corrupted, reason why you cleaned them.

Problem with deleting that folder is that you lose some customization, because they are stored in that folder. Have a look at the structure of the folder ‘Captivate 11.5’ in my profile:

I have marked the most important subfolders with customized items:

  • objects: will store saved custom shapes
  • PhotoshopTextEffects:  custom Text Effects
  • Themes: I never use a custom theme in this folder, but maybe you did.
  • Workspace: custom workspaces if you are working in the Expert UI. The default UI is the Newbie UI (has big buttons for Library and Properties next to the Assets button).

If you want to keep some custom items, make a backup before cleaning the Preferences. You can move the backup back to the subfolders (in AppData) after cleaning. Personally I always keep the workspaces stored somewhere if I need to reset them because Preferences needed cleaning. It saves time. I always store the custom Themes with the projects, not in the subfolder of the Preferences.

What cannot be restored is the choice for the Expert UI. You will have to repeat that workflow, by activating the option ‘Enable custom workspaces….’ under Preferences, General Settings.

]]>
ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1656064 2021-02-28T17:00:34Z 2021-02-28T17:00:34Z (SWF to HTML) Replacing Rollover Caption/Image

Intro

From what I learned on the forums in  2021, many developers are still busy with conversion of legacy courses (SWF output) to HTML5 output. That can be very boring and time consuming.  This blog gives a quick overview of three solutions for a common issue: the HTML Tracker (under Project) will detect all Rollovers and flag them as incompatible. That means for Rollover Slidelet, Rollover Caption, Rollover Image.

In reality non-compativility is only true for Rollover slidelets: those are SWF-based and are useless. However Rollover caption/image can still be used in courses provided they are accessed only from devices with rollover events: desktop, laptop (either with mouse or trackpad).  They will not be functional on mobile devices (tablet, phone) because those do not have rollover events. You don't have a click event, but a tap event. 

This article will give you 3 possible workflows to replace Rollover images or Rollover captions. They will not be an exact replacement. Rollovers typically have two 'events':

  • Roll over event: triggers the appearance of the image/text.
  • Roll out event: triggers the disappearance of the image/text.

Consequence: the learner has full control over the duration of the image/text screen using movements of mouse or trackpad.  The mouse movement needs to be replaced by a tap event (click). Tap events exist for interactive objects (and hyperlinks). 

To explore the three possible workflows (Success image, Two-state object, Shared action) you can choose between an interactive Captivate course (audio included) or reading a textual summary.

Captivate tutorial

In the tutorial I used some design elements from the Quick Start Project 'Earth'. All interactions are custom. You can watch the embedded version, but I recommend to use this link because it will give you a scalable version. To see the original rollovers, you need to use a laptop or desktop (with mouse or trackpad). Here is the link:

Converting Rollovers for HTML5 output

Embedded version:



Step-by-step workflows

1. Using Success feedback shape

An interactive object (button, click box, shape button) has the possibility for a Success and a Failure message. The Success message appears automatically when the object is clicked or tapped for a fixed duration. Default duration is 3 seconds. In recent versions those messages by default use Shapes, not captions  (see Preferences, Defaults).

Rollover Caption replacement (step-by-step)

  1. If possible, convert the object used to be 'rolled over' to a button. In version 11.5 that is possible for all images. Since version 6 that is possible for shapes and a shape can be used as text container and can be filled with an image. 
    If this is not possible, put a click box (or a shape with Alpha and Stroke set to 0) over the object. This may also be necessary if you want multiple rollover objects in one text container.
  2. In the Properties panel activate the 'Success' message on the Actions tab.
  3. Edit the text in the Success message on the stage to the text you want to appear.
  4. (optional) Go to the Timing Properties, and edit the duration if you estimate 3 seconds not to be sufficient.

Rollover Image replacement (step-by-step)

  1. Identical as for the Caption replacement
  2. Ditto
  3. Import the image to the Library. It needs to be a bitmap image, SVG is not possible.
  4. Check the size of the image
  5. Select the Success message on the stage. Delete the default text and use the Options tab (Properties panel to resize the shape to the exact size of the image.
  6. In the Properties panel for the message, Style tab, switch Fill to 'Image' and select the image to fill the shape.
  7. (optional) Edit timing if necessary in the Timing Properties.

Advantage: very simple solution since you use existing design with feedback messages.  The workflow to have a shape size fitting for the image can take some time but for text, no problem. This solution works for all versions supporting HTML5 output.

Drawback: problem with this very simple solution is that the learner has no control over the duration of the text/image which appears when they tap the rollover object.  You can add audio to the Success shape if wanted (options), it will play when the shape appears.

2. Using Two-state object (toggle)

This solution has been described in detail in this post.  Same workflow can be used to replace Rollover text and image. It is even possible to have both text and (multiple) image(s), and audio. In short:
  • Convert the text container or image to a button. For images that is only possible if you are on version 11.5.
  • Take out the InBuilt rollover and down states
  • Create a custom state where you add the items you want to show when tapping the button
  • Add the command 'Go to Next State' to the button. That will convert it into a toggle button: first click will show the items (as rollover event does), next click will hide them again because you return to the Normal state (as a Rollout event would do) since you have only two states.

Advantage: learner has control over the duration of the appearance, same as for the old Rollover items. You can add as many items as wanted in the second state: image, text, audio, even video.

Drawback: you need to instruct the learner about the toggle functionality. It may take bit more time than the first solution.

3. Shared action with flexible duration

Both previous workflows have some drawbacks, although they seem rather simple. Do not be afraid of this third workflow, because it may even be the quickest solution to replace rollover captions/images.  Once you have a functional shared action, adding it to replace rollovers in any project is a breeze.  Especially when you work in a team, you don't need to be an expert in actions to apply a shared action.

If you didn't watch the Captivate tutorial, watch this one-slide project. It  has been taken out of the complete tutorial. You will see three buttons to reveal popups. The popup will disappear automatically after a certain duration (like in Workflow 1). That duration is stored in  a user variable v_duration. In the example you'll see the default duration, but you can increase or decrease that duration with two small buttons.


You may have seen that an Entrance effect was applied, something what is impossible with the two other workflows.

The duration in the variable for the popup can be set:

  • by the developer (default duration or by using an On Enter action for the slide); 
  • default duration by developer, but ability for the learner to change (as in the example)
  • ask the learner the preferred duration using a Text Entry Box or a Scrolling Text Interaction.

Using Shared Action (step-by-step)

  1. Convert the rollover area to a button to be tapped/clicked. If that is not possible use a click box.
  2. Insert the content you want to pop up when the button is clicked. If you need more than one item, group them (CTRL-G).
  3. Make the group invisible in output (eye icon in Properties panel).
  4. Assign the shared action 'ShowItems' to the Success event of the button. You can download the one I used from this link:
    ShowItems
  5. The parameter is the name of the group you want to show.
  6. Set the value of the variable: either you use the definition of the variable (Project, Variables) or you can use the On Enter event of the slide with an Assign command.
  7. (Optional): If you want to replicate the setup of the example file, add two extra buttons with respectively the commands:
       Decrement v_duration by 1
       Increment v_duration by 1

Advantage: learner has some control over the duration of the appearance depending on the setup. You can group as many items of all nature: images, texts, video, audio.... You can add effects, and even sequencing the appearance with the Delay command.

Drawback: complete control of the duration is not possible. 

Conclusion

The tutorial was created with the most recent version (11.5.5.553) of Captivate, but the workflows can be used in Captivate 11, 10 and 9. That is also valid for the shared action. If you never used a shared action, you can find a short course in this blog. Look for 'Who is afraid of Shared Actions?'. 

All Click/Reveal workflows are a possible replacement for rollover text/image. My choice for these particular ones was made based on their timesaving features. With exception for the second workflow, the learner will not have total control over the duration of the reveal information which they have with a rollover. On the positive side, the second and third workflow allow to have multiple texts and images pop up which was not possible with rollover Caption/Image. It was possible with Rollover slidelets, but they died with the demise of the Flash Player.

The workflows suppose that you are able to open the legacy projects in your present version of Captivate, and that you still have access to the raw files (cptx). If that is not the case, have a look at this blog:

Conversion from SWF to HTML5


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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1649191 2021-02-08T16:45:21Z 2021-04-01T13:16:42Z Simple Stopwatch with While Loop

Why?

Since a while I planned to:

  • explain the use of the Timer (or similar Hourglass) learning interaction
  • create a new example of using the While condition in an advanced or shared action

For some reason every blog I write about Timing (not timeline) seems to attract lot of viewers.  I have been using the Timer interaction several times, in combination with Time system variables. It is one of the rare interactions that allows you to have an action based on the expiration of a set time (jump to another slide) without having to play with variables and JS or advanced actions.

However that Timer interaction has several drawbacks:

  • You cannot pause.
  • You cannot control the start. It starts running whenever its timeline starts, even if it is hidden in output.
  • You cannot restart after a pause, since you cannot pause.
  • You cannot reset it.

Personally I am also bit frustrated by the While loop, because of the time lag between two executions of the command sequence in the loop. I could see a lot more possibilities if I could control that time lag. ‘Delay next actions’ is not always possible. However I suspected an unexplored possibility which I used in this example. Compare the time showed in the Timer interaction and the digital Stopwatch.

Have a look at the example file, it shows two very simple Stopwatches: a digital and an analog version. You are able to start them, to pause, restart after a pause and reset.  They are very simple, show only seconds.  Reason: for this first version I didn’t want to use JS, everything is done with advanced (or shared) actions.

The workflow step-by-step will be explained in a blog post. You’ll learn how to ‘break’ an eternal loop created with a While condition.

Example project

It is not a full course, only to show the created Stopwatches. There are multiple possibilities to include such a stopwatch in a course: to allows the learner to check time spend on slides, questions. Since the time is stored in a user variable it is also possible to use that to calculate total time…  I would appreciate your ideas. You can watch the project from this link (rescalable) or the embedded version:



While loop

Although this feature appeared with the refurbished Advanced Actions dialog post in CP2017, I rarely see projects using the While loop except for some games.  Such a loop can be eternal or limited to a a specific number or repeating commands. It is always based on a condition, but the result is different from the older ‘IF’ condition.
  1. Eternal loop:  uses the condition ‘IF 1 is equal to 1‘ or something similar, which results always in a positive result. The specified commands will repeat continuously. However! Contrary to the default behavior in advanced actions, where all commands run immediately and in sequence (top-down and left to right through the decisions), the commands in a While loop will be delayed for 1 second before the next run. It is this feature which I have used for the stopwatches.
  2. Limited loop: will need at least one variable. The condition ‘IF var is less than 6′ is an example. The variable ‘var’ needs to start with a number which you define in the variable definition or by another action. The variable will also need to be changed inside the commands. In this case it will probably be done with ‘Increment’. If var starts at 0, the commands will be run 6 times. In this case as well there is a delay of 1 second after each run.

Breaking a loop?

To break an eternal (or limited) loop, you need a combination of two conditions with the AND operator. The second condition will probably refer to a variable. I used a Boolean variable as you’ll see below. That variable needs to be changed by another action. Example:

IF 1 is equal to 1 AND
     v_stop is equal to 0

As long as the variable v_stop has the valueo 0, the loop will continue. But if the variable is toggled to 1, the loop will be broken.

Workflow Step-by-Step

Variables

No system variables were used, just 3 user variables:
  • v_time: stores the number of elapsed seconds. It starts with a value of 0, also after Reset.
  • v_stop (Boolean) has a default value of 0 and is used in the combined condition of the While loop. It will be toggled to 1 when the Pause button is pressed.
  • v_start: stores the frame number of the first frame of the slide. It is necessary for the Reset functionality, where I used the workflow described in this recent post ‘Replay or Reset‘.

Events and Actions

EnterAct triggered by the On Enter event

Both v_time and v_stop are reset to their default values (0). The frame number in v_start is needed for the Reset action.

Start actions triggered by the Success event of the Start buttons

These actions are slightly different for both stopwatches. This is the digital version:

The button used in this version has a custom state to replace the Normal state when the Pause button is used. It has the text Restart. The variable v_stop needs to be reset to 0, because it could have been toggled to 1 when the Pause button was used.

The combined condition for the While loop has been explained before.

The version for the Analog stopwatch:

Needle is a shape with a transparent part to be able to apply a rotation effect. The technique has been described in this blog ‘Reference point in Captivate‘.

The rotation effect was defined as a custom effect. If you want more information, have a look at:

How to use a Custom effect in an (advanced) action

ResetAct, triggered by the Reset buttons

As explained in the Replay/Reset blog, this action needs only one command:

In this use case the Continue command is superfluous, since Captivate is waiting from the first frame for a click on a button.


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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1639722 2021-01-13T17:49:41Z 2022-09-27T09:09:09Z Tweak Remediation: get out of the eternal loop

Intro

The Remediation feature was introduced with Captivate 6. There are many YouTube videos explaining the setup. I still prefer the original one by Shameer Ayyappan. 

The idea is that a learner when failing a Question will be navigated back to a content slide. When clicking the Next button on that content slide learner will return to the Question, and be able to change the answer. That is not a normal behavior for quiz slides, by design answers are blocked and attempts considered to be exhausted when leaving such a slide. 

There are some issues with the feature:

  • The learner will need to give a correct answer before being able to continue to the next slide. Result is an ‘eternal’ loop until the correct answer is given.
  • Each learner will have a 100% score at the end. Not always what you want as developer.

Quite a while ago I designed a workaround to break the ‘loop’. Yesterday a user in the Adobe forums asked for such a workflow. This is the thread.

As usual I checked if the workflow still is functional on the most recent release (I am on 11.5.5.553) and if it could be improved.  You can guess that I replaced the former advanced actions by the much more useful and flexible shared actions.

Example 

Watch this example: it has two content slides, and two quiz slides. For the first question (T/F) remediation feature is used, but after a second failed attempt the learner will proceed to the next question. Remediation for the first slide is using the first content slide. Similar for the second quiz slide (MCQ): remediation is using the second content slide, and learner will go to the next slide (score) after the third attempt. Watch it using this link (rescalable) or the embedded fixed resolution version below:



Step-by-step workflow

The limitation for the workaround is the same as for the default Remediation feature: you cannot use partial scoring for the MCQ slides, because a partially correct answer is considered to be correct by Captivate.

Sort summary of the default Remediation setup:

  1. The next button on the content slide has the command ‘Return to Quiz’ for its Success event. That command will only be done when the slide is visited from a quiz slide. If that is not the case, the Next button uses the action ‘Go to Next Slide’.
  2. Attempts for the question slide is set to 1.
  3. The Last Attempt action for the Quiz slide has the action ‘Jump to Slide, pointing to the appropriate Content slide

To break the eternal loop:

1. User variables

Create two user variables:

  • v_attempt: starts with a default value of 0 and is reusable for each quiz slide (will be reset to 0). It tracks the number of attempts on question level. There is no system variable possible. Only on quiz level you can use cpQuizInfoAttempts.
  • v_max: will get assigned the number of attempts allowed for each question. In the example file, for the first question it has the value 2, for the second one the value 3. That makes it flexible.

Once you have the shared actions in an external library, no need for this first step. Just drag the shared actions (together) from the external library to the project library and they will be created automatically. Since they are in both shared actions, even if you replace the EnterQuest action by an advanced action, it will still be done by importing the second shared action FailureAct.

2. EnterQuest (Shared action)

This (standard) action is triggered by the On Enter event of the quiz slide.

For each quiz slide you’ll need this action to set the value for v_max and to increment the value of v_attempt by 1 to track attempts. This shared action has only 1 parameter: the literal which is the value of v_max for this particular quiz slide. If you want the same number of attempts for all the quiz slides, you can replace this shared action by an advanced action of course.

3. FailureAct (Shared action)

This (conditional) action is triggered by the Last Attempt event of each quiz slide. 

It has one parameter as well: the content slide which needs to be used for remediation.

4. Next buttons

Similar to the default Remediation, you need a Next button on each content slide with the action ‘Return to Quiz’.


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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1639188 2021-01-12T15:54:23Z 2021-01-12T16:43:37Z Let's Play and Dream

Intro

I want to try to keep the tradition to offer a special blog at the start of a new year. Like last year it is a game, hiding my greetings card. There is some nostalgia here as you will read.

On my personal blog you can still find the very first game I every created exclusively with Captivate: no Javascript, no use of widgets nor other applications. That was almost a decade ago. Since that  game used Captivate 5 , it took me quite a number of hours to get a satisfactory result. If you still have a browser with Flash Player plugin enabled, you can even watch the embedded game in this post:

http://blog.lilybiri.com/concentration-game-created-exclusively-with-c

With version 11.5, all interactive learning interactions were taken out (lack of use), including the games. You will recognize the former ‘Memory game’ in this game which I offer as an interactive Greetings card for 2021. Last year I also offered a game for the Chinese New Year.

Using version 11.5,  this version took me only about 20% of the time I spent in 2011 for the original version. This game uses only one shared action with 3 parameters, one advanced action for reset (and another one to restart the game). It is also much more flexible than the original game. Creating another game with more or less pairs will be a breeze due to the shared action. Finding or creating the images will take lot longer than adding the actions. It is possible to create 'pairs' that are not identical images: for language learning you can pair an image with a word (and maybe even audio), you could pair words in different languages, acronyms with their description etc...

Personally I would have used CpExtra to reduce the statement lines in the Advanced actions, because that wonderful widget allows to Assign, Show, Hide, Disable multiple objects in one statement. However, for the sake of consistency I have created the advanced actions  in the default way.

Have fun in 2021!

Game

As usual, I provide both a link to a rescalable version, and an embedded one with a fixed resolution.



Invite

I want to organize a webinar about this topic:

Remodeling Advanced actions to flexible Shared actions

This would be for developers with some experience about variables and  Advanced actions. If you are interested, please add a comment. From exploring Shared actions I learned to use a different mindset and could offer practical tips. You can even send me an advanced action you estimate to be appropriate to convert to a shared action.


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ir. Lieve Weymeis
tag:blog.lilybiri.com,2013:Post/1633307 2020-12-29T20:10:19Z 2020-12-29T20:10:46Z Embed Software Simulations (Knockout slide)

Intro

Over 10 years ago I posted a blog 'Create/Use a Knockout Master slide'. At that moment SWF was the only way to publish a Captivate project, and in versions 5 and 5.5 Themes were not ‘grown up’ yet to their present power. Meanwhile I have pointed many users to that old article, and many claimed it was still useful. However time to clarify the slight differences and offer updated tips., Of course I will use a HTML example. 

Example Tutorial: 'Shared actions as Template'

This is a Captivate tutorial explaining how you can use a Shared action to create variables and as template for advanced actions. There are two versions. Here is a screenshot showing the difference in sim slides between version 1 (Full-size) and 2 (Embedded)

Version 1: Default software simulation

Personally I never use a software simulation in Demo mode, because it is better replaced by a Video Demo for its quality and advanced editor. I created a Training simulation, meant to learn about this Captivate topic. The UI of Captivate is rather complicated, hence my choice of a resolution 1600x900px. The ratio is important, here the common 16:9. In the limited space here, I don't want to embed the simulation because that would be almost useless. I published it as a HTML rescalable project. You can watch it using this link:

Full-size tutorial

In this first version, instructions are given using Audio. The captured Backgrounds (see Library) are filling the slides. Although this tutorial is rescalable, you will realize that using this on the limited space of a smartphone with a phone browser is not appropriate. It may be used on tablets (no incompaté:ible features), but the preferred devices are laptop/desktop. 

Version 2: Embedded in a content slide

I used the workflow explained below to create a second version, where the software sim slides are rescaled and embedded in content slides (1280x720px). On those slides there is space for a logo and more. The narration was replaced by text instrutions on the same slide as the software sim. Published project is also rescalable HTML. Even a tablet will probably be impractial in this version. Use this link:

Embedded tutorial


Setup for Embedded sim slides

For this example the simulation slides need to be embedded in a project  with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels. The captured slides were created with a resolution of 1600x900pixels, which is larger than the final resolution.  

To embed the sim slides, they need to be rescaled. If the original simulation slides have the correct resolution ready for embedding, you can skip Step 0.

Step 0 in Captivate (only if captured resolution is not correct)

Rescaling the software simulation to 2/3, which leads to a resolution of 1066x600px. You choose the resolution needed for your project, but keep 'Maintain Aspect Ratio' and 'Rescale all objects'.  Those are the default settings.

Step 1 (in Photoshop or other app) – create the Knockout image

In Photoshop I created images on two layers: the first one (FullTexture' will be used for normal content slides, the second one is the 'Knockout' image which has a transparent part.  Size of the file is same as the end resolution (1280×720). I used one of the provided textures in Photoshop as Fill. In the second layer I deleted a rectangle of 1066x600px to create a ‘knockout’ part in which the sim slides would fit. You see the size of the margins (with texture) in the screenshot: to the left – a vertical bar with a width of 200pixels, to the right one with a width of 14px; at the top another with a height of 90 pixels and a the bottom a bar with a height of 30 pixels. 

You can import the Photoshop file, and will have both layers as PNG images. See 'Roundtripping with Photoshop'.
You can use another graphics application if you cannot use Photoshop. You could also create a freeform filled shape in Captivate, start with the hexagon, which has 6 points.

Step 2 (in Captivate) 

Some maths to start with:
  1. calculate the difference between the widths of the vertical bars:     200 – 14 = 186 pixels
  2. new width project will be 1066 + 186 = 1252 pixels
  3. calculate the difference between the heights of the horizontal bars:   90 – 30 = 60 pixels
  4. new height project will be 600+ 60 = 660 pixels
Rescale the project using these settings:
  • deselect ‘Maintain aspect ratio’ and introduce the new dimensions
  • under ‘New Size is Larger’, select ‘Keep project the same size and position project Bottom Right; I choose this because the bottom bar and the right bar have the smallest dimension; you can choose another option if your smallest margins are elsewhere.

The result will look like this:


Step 3 (in Captivate)

 Rescale now to the final size, for this example to 1280x720 pixels, with settings:
  •  deselect ‘Maintain aspect ratio’ and introduce the final dimensions
  • under ‘New Size is Larger’, select ‘Keep project the same size and position project Center

After this rescale of the project it will look like this:

Step 4 (in Captivate): Master slides

 In the original blog post it was possible to create a master slide which is partially transparent, but that is no longer possible in the present versions with the Themes (new since Captivate 6).  Here is the master slide panel, where you see some master slides of the custom Theme 'Knockout' which I created:

I used the two imported PNGs from the Photoshop file to create:

  1. The Main master slide, where the FullTexture image is set as background image. You see the setup in the Properties panel:
  2. Based on that Main master slide, I created some content master slides. You see acouple of them in the master slide panel above (Title, Light). The Blank master slide always has to remain Blank, it is not using the Main master slide.
  3. The Knockout master slide. You cannot use the KnockoutTexture image as was done in the Main master slide, it needs to be a separate image as you can see in the Timeline and in the Properties panel. I added some objects and placeholders:

Step 5: Apply Knockout to simulation slides

Up till now the simulation slides used the Blank master slide. Change the master slide to the Knockout Master slide. It is very important that you do NOT check the option 'Master slide objects on top', because you'll lose the textured parts of the image.





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ir. Lieve Weymeis