Review? Not really...
Lot of well-known Captivate users have already blogged about the new features in version 8 of Captivate, released this week: Michael Lund and Jim Leichliter are not the only friends who published their review. If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you'll know that I don't want to talk about features before having been able to explore the final release and that I'm used to offer an article with at least one example movie to demo what I try to explain. Some will be disappointed that the included movies are not responsive projects, but a good old SWF's (sorry Mac-users). You'll see some of the less-talked about new enhancements in Captivate 8.
Watch this first movie. Focus in this project was on:
- new possibility to customize theme colors: I edited one of the new themes, based on a Kuler palette (imported in the Swatches) panel; for this palette I used the colorful new box-shot of Captivate 7 as resource
- the ability to save and reuse custom shapes: for the shape buttons I used a custom shapes that are now available to me in the shape library
- creating Normal, Rollover and Down states for Shape buttons and save those states in one Shape button object style: all buttons in the movie are shape buttons with 3 states; I used two shape button object styles
shared actions: being able to define variables and literals as parameters
- shared actions: dragging them from the Library onto slides or interactive objects to open immediately the Parameters dialog
- shared actions: being able to exclude variables, literals as parameters; discovered some nifty tricks! Maybe I'll offer them in the future
- new character sets
Actions & Variables
Five user variables were created:
- v_counter: tracks the total number of views of chapters
- v_ch1: tracks the number of views of the first chapter
- v_ch2, v_ch3 and v_ch4: similar for the three other chapters
As you can see in the Library, I created/used three shared actions. Only the Reset functionality uses an advanced action (not described in this article).
When saving this action as a shared action, the dialog box looks different from Captivate 7:
Watch the icons in the first column (fuchsia colored rectangle): before entering the description, this column will have the Warning icon for the items that are automatically defined as parameters: objects/groups. In this example 3 objects had that status: the buttons (BullletRight_1 and Sec_1), the first slide of the chapter. However now you'll also see variables and literals as possible candidates for parameters! They are normally indicated by a check mark (green) in the first column. In this example: v_counter, '1'(literal used in Increment statements) and v_ch1. To turn such a candidate in a parameter, you have to check it in the third column (blue rectangle). In this case I choose to make turn the chapter specific variable v_ch1 into a parameter. The warning icon appeared, and will disappear when I confirm the entered description. Both v_counter and the literal '1' are no parameters, since they will not have to be changed when using the shared action for a different button.
- increment v_counter
- increment specific chapter user variable
- jump to first slide of that chapter
- Why did I convert this into a shared action?
- What are the parameters for this shared action?
- Can the user vars be parameters, they are used more than once?
- Same question perhaps for the literal '0' that is used 8 times?
- ....yours ?
Movie2: reused shared actions
Dare to Share - part 3
A while ago I published two posts as an introduction to shared actions in Captivate 7. At that moment I promised a third part about reusing shared actions in other projects. But since I was aware of the imminent release of CP8, and as a professional procrastinator, I postponed this part. I will explain how I reused the shared actions described in this article for the second movie. Watch out next week.