For any Captivate user, new, intermediate or advanced.
Even if you are very new to Captivate, continue reading!
- One or more shared actions created by a friend/colleague who is more advanced with Captivate
- To understand what a 'parameter' is (new term in your personal Captivate glossary)
- To learn how to add shared actions to your project, slides and interactive objects. Description and name of the shared action will help you (contrary to advanced actions).
- To choose the parameter values based on their descriptions. Automatic filtering by Captivate is a big help.
You read the introduction to a short ourse for adventurous newbies, including:
- A demo project with 4 useful interactions. All interactions can be realized using shared actions without having to create variables nor scripts.
- Explanation of the term 'parameter'
The course for newbies has TWO lessons. Each lesson comes in two 'flavors' to adapt to your taste:
- Short video
- Step-by-step text
To facilitate your learning/understanding, you'll get a start project to practice the workflow. You will also be able to use your personal project for the second lesson. Both lessons are about one of the 4 interactions in the Demo project (see below). Depending on the 'welcome' by the community, may repeat this workflow for the other interactions or even for a game like MatchStick game
Watch this project, which includes 4 typical interactions:
- Dashboard interaction (menu going to 4 chapters)
- Toggle buttons
I used design elements from the new Quick Start Project ‘Diverse’. You can open the demo project using this link:
Or watch it below (fixed resolution):
What is a Parameter (in shared actions)?
This is my definition: a parameter is an ‘item’ replaceable by another item when you (re)use the shared action either in the same or in another project. That ‘item’ doesn’t always have a fixed type! It depends on the used command. Look at a some examples for clarification:
- Command Jump to slide: needs one parameter which is the slide. It is clear that you cannot change to another type of item than a slide.
- Command Change State of…: needs two parameters, first is the multistate object, second is the state you want to show. The first parameter has to be a multistate object of any type: shape, caption, button (for custom states), image, video, animation… Second parameter needs to be a state of that multistate object.
- Commands Hide/Show: need one parameter. Anything that can be shown or hidden is possible: shape, caption, button (for custom states), image, video. But also groups are possible! Look at the practice session below to see how this extends shared action functionality beyond what you are used to.
You may skip the explanation about the two types of parameters and go directly to the first lesson if you don’t like definition texts. Knowing the differences between parameters is not so important in this crash course, . BTW: the terms ‘compulsory’ and ‘candidate’ are just my personal choice, not official terms.
All the items mentioned in the previous examples are compulsory: you will always have to choose them in any shared action. Even though some will be the same in all instances of that shared action.
You probably know the command ‘Assign’ to store a value in a user variable or a system variable of the category ‘Movie Control’. A variable when used in a shared action can be a parameter, but it is not compulsory. If it is not a parameter, here is a rather unknown secret: importing the shared action in a new project will automatically create that variable, with the same name, description and value as designed originally.
In some circumstances it is necessary to define the variable as parameter. You will see an example in the practice session for the toggle action.
In a conditional action you can have another candidate parameter, the ‘literal‘. Example: you want to limit a number of attempts by the learner to a maximum of 5. If you want to be able to edit that maximum number, you could define the literal as a parameter. This can be a bit tricky, but is beyond the scope of this basic blog.