Tips - Learning Interactions


Captivate 8 has included several learning interactions, that are not well documented in the official Help. You'll be able to download a descriptive table at the end of this article. In the past I have been blogging quite a few times about using Widgets. And there was a similar article 'Using Captivate Widgets? Some tips'. Learning interactions is the name used by Adobe to indicate widgets that are compatible with SWF and HTML5 output, whereas the former Widgets were meant for SWF output. Some of the widgets are still available, others have been replaced by a learning interaction. Widgets can be found in the Gallery\Widgets under the installation folder of Captivate. Learning interactions can be found also in the Gallery, but you'll use them from a duplicate folder in Public Documents, which is easier to access if you don't have full administrative rights. 

In this article I'll offer some general tips. You will see an example movie, using the Radiobutton and Checkbox interactions but I will not explain in depth the advanced actions used for that example. 

Inserting Learning Interactions

There are two possible work flows:

  1. In the Big Button Bar, use the button Interactions, last option. A dialog box with thumbnails of all interactions will be opened. You'll see a badge 'New' or 'Updated' sometimes, when a new version has been pushed to your system.
  2. From the Insert menu, choose Widget and if necessary browse to the appropriate folder. I'm on Win7, you see the folder in top of the screenshot:

The second work flow is also valid for Widgets, and can be used also if you have problems with the Thumbnails dialog box not showing up. I also prefer it because scrolling through a list with names is more efficient than with the other dialog box. Which work flow you prefer, you'll see the the dialog box to edit the properties and parameters for the interaction popping up. In this screenshot you see the dialog box for a simple radiobutton interaction with 2 options (True/False). I unchecked Highlight because that puts a rectangle behind the words 'True' and 'False'. This is one of the interactions that has an associated variable, labeled v_one in this case.

Associated Variables

As you'll see in the table, several interactions have one or more associated variables. In combination with advanced/shared actions this gives you lot of possibilities for using the interactions. You can have a look at the example movie, using both the radiobutton and checkbox interaction. 
As I warned already in the article Tips about widgets, mentioned above, those variables are not created automatically because you type their name in the Properties dialog box, you have to create them in the Variables dialog box as well. The type of the variable is mentioned in the reference table that you can download from the link at the end of this article. 

Example Movie

After the title slide you'll see a slide with 3 Radiobutton interactions to create T/F questions. The Next button triggers a rather complicated conditional advanced action that covers all possible situations:
  • if the user clicks without answering any question
  • if all questions are answered with False (they are mutually exclusive)
  • if more than one answer is True

If you want to test all possibilities you'll have to refresh the browser several times.

I'm using the new possibility to control the display of the radiobuttons, they can now be cleared by controlling the variable.

On the third slide I use the Checkbox interaction, and if you choose the first option (Captivate 8.0.1) on the radiobutton slide, the first option will already be checked for you, another application of controlling the display, in this case using the same user variable for the first T/F radiobutton and the first option of the Checkbox interaction. The advanced action triggered by the Next button will navigate you to another slide, either slide 4 or 5 as you'll find out.

I added a text container with the four user variables v_one...v_four to show how they are changed in the movie.

Resizing - Refresh Widget

When using the interactions Radiobutton, Checkbox, Dropdown and Scrolling Text you'll often need to resize the interaction on the stage to make everything visible. The placeholder on the stage then can look very distorted, discover the Resize Widget button in the Properties that will appear after each resizing to have the placeholder adapt to the new size:

Customizing - Theme colors

All learning interactions can be customized, at least concerning the colors used. New in Captivate 8 is the possibility to have the Theme Colors palette applied to the interactions. I mentioned this already in the article about: Theme Colors. In the table I indicate which interactions do have that new feature. It is not the case for the Checkbox, nor the Radiobutton interaction. You can see the option in this screenshot of a Glossary interaction:

Improvements for Responsive Projects

Some interactions recently got an update to improve the user's experience when used in Responsive projects. You'll also find indication about that in the table. Whenever you see the option 'Scale Text for Responsive Projects'. On the screenshot of the Glossary interaction that option is visible.

Static versus Interactive interactions

In the former Widgets panel, which disappeared in the new UI of Captivate, you could see that widgets existed in three types: Static, Interactive and Question. Interactions have only two types: Static and Interactive. The difference is the same as for the standard objects: an interactive object (shape button, click box, button, Text Entry Box) has events that can trigger an (advanced/shared) a action and can have a score that can be added to the Quiz total. Non-interactive or static objects do not have those two features.

Most learning interactions are Static. Only the Games (with exception of the old Word Search interaction) are Interactive. Beware: although the score for some Games is stored in the associated user variable, you cannot add that score to the Quiz total. The points attributed to a Game in the Reporting section, are granted to the user in the same way as most questions in Captivate (with exception of the MCQ): black-white. If the game has been played, the user will be awarded the points, whatever the score of the game was.

Table - categories

You can download the table here. The categories are my personal choice:

  1. Interactions without variables
    1. Objects: several small interactions
    2. Display: interactions like accordion, tabs... that allow you to show a lot of info on one slide
  2. Interactions with variables: most of my favourites are here like the checkbox, dropdown, radiobutton and scrolling text
  3. Games (with or without variables)

Drag&Drop is to me also an interactive interaction, but because of its importance and different work flow it is not in this table.

Waiting for your comments :)

29 responses
great source of information regarding captivate. thanks a lot. my question: is there a way to localize messages in "notes" widget? embedded messages are in english and we would like to use turkish versions. could not find the source file.
Source files were provided for older widgets, but not for the learning interactions. Some can be customized, but I'm afraid that is not the case for the Notes interaction.
:( thanks...
The "Table Here" link gives a "Down for Maintenance" message for the last two days.
Sorry Jay, there was no warning whatsoever that would be unavailable when I uploaded the file. I just hope it will be solved quickly. I don't want to put files in a non-securized environment. This blog is already costing me a lot of money, with no return at all.
Thanks for sharing this Lieve. You mentioned "I'm using the new possibility to control the display of the radiobuttons, they can now be cleared by controlling the variable." Can you please explain this new approach? (Or did I miss that in the blog post?)
Sreekanth, I talked about it in a recent blog post, believe it was created for you: The same functionality that Jim Leichliter built in his extended widgets for TextArea and other widgets is now available for radiobuttons, checkboxes and Scrolling Text interactions. One of my feature requests that has been fulfilled. Remaining on a slide, you can change the variable by an action and the display will be updated automatically. In this movie I used it to clear the radiobuttons (for an impossible answer) and to check the first box for the checkbox interaction if the user is on Captivate 8.0.1. 2015-04-09 10:19 GMT+02:00 Posthaven Comments :
Thanks Lieve. Got it now. I had missed your earlier post.
The link is working now. Thanks, Lieve, for all the valuable information. You are truly a gem, and a huge asset to the Captivate community.
@Jay changed link to Dropbox, but don't like that (security). Acrobat is still not functional.
I want to develop a quiz package with a timer in captivate 8 but not sure how to do it. Can u lend ur help please? Can a timer be enabled on captivate 8 ? can I publish it in .exe file? I have 10 slides, the person who attend this quiz when he starts the timer should run at the top of it and once he finish the results should come to me saying this person has answered this many correct answer with the time taken Is it possible? Regd hyperlink, I want to have a hyperlink enabled on first slide of the rules to show that before taking this quiz they have to do adobe registration with user id and psw. That document to be hyperlinked on to the quiz main page under rules section. if someone guide me detailed steps it would be great
@Nagamni This is a private blog, where I offer a lot of free information to the Captivate community. You seem to confuse it with a free consultancy agency?
Hello, I'm currently working with Adobe Captivate 8 and I found a problem while using Learning Interactions. For example if I inserted crossword on the slide, it will be position at the center of the stage (the stage size 800x600), but whenever I published or even previewed it on html5, the crossword will re-positioned at the top-left of the screen. Since my stage has the 'standardized' header and footer design, the crossword will always overlapped on the header. Is there a way to fix this? Note: We already try to modify the html5 document using dreamweaver, by altering the position manually. At first it come out well, but when we start to answer the first clue, it will re-positioned again.
Some of the older interactions do have issues with HTML5 output. Couple of those interactions have an updated version, but not all are fixed. Sorry, cannot help you for a fix, just hoping that they will be updated progressively by the team.
Lieve, you do wonderful work, but I'm afraid I have to offer a critical response to this entry. I'm not liking the logic here, I DO use Captivate 8.0.1; I ALSO use an older version, the results I get ask: "Do you not use Captivate?" Having these as a series of True/False radio buttons is, IMHO, a bad user interface (UI). As I have to choose *what I use*, AND indicate *what I don't use*, only to find my input doesn't fit the logic expected. Having this interaction as a series of checkboxes, only labeled for the versions under consideration, and the building the logic to presume that no checkboxes checked confirms that a user does NOT use these versions of captivate. But, now there is another issue. The logic assumed that there are only TWO versions released of Cp8, and that ALL OTHER versions were earlier. By adding another checkbox that allowed us to identify 'Later than Cp8,' this interaction would not suffer from becoming outdated once a version past Cp8 was released.
A blog post is momentary, if I had tons of time I would update all my blog posts after each release. My focus is on the way to 'do' things. Maybe you also forget I cannot pay someone that is a native English speaker to review everything. Sorry, nobody has to read this blog. Lot of the work flows will not work on the most recent release. If I earned a dime with this blog, I would feel responsible, but that is not the case.
Hi Lieve - this is a great blog about widgets! Question... is there a way to create hyperlinked text in the Accordian Widget? Alternatively, I've even tried typing the entire www. address but when previewed the URL is not active. Any suggestions? Thanks for your time. :->
I answered your question already on the Adobe forums. No, that is not possible. In Tabs, Accordian, Pyramids and Timeline you can only add the objects that are proposed: audio, text (no hyperlinks), sometimes image.
Thanks, Lieve. You should ask people to donate by using PayPal to express their appreciation for your efforts. I'd be the first to donate!
Is it so strange to offer for free? I know it is mostly not appreciated at all, seems like money is the only value in this (stupid) world.
just spent over 2 hours with Adobe support trying to customize the Award learning interaction. The objective is to have the student print a certificate showing continuing education credits for their file. The CPE cert requires a written signature (scanned image) ... not a typed name. An image cannot be added to the Award widget. So, I made the widget smaller than the frame (80% height) and added my sig image and a text box below the widget. However, the "print" button in the widget prints only the widget space not the whole frame/window. Adobe support had access to my machine and tried many ways to add a button with javascript windows.print() but that also didn't show up where needed and was confusing to have two "print" buttons on the window. After 2 plus hours of trial and error, I gave up and just posted in the text box "use ctl-P not the button". We'll see how many students get this right. Easiest would have been adding an image to the main widget. Next easiest would have been to modify the widget's print button to print the whole window. Neither were available. So a student workaround is being tried.
David, your comment is not a comment on this blog post at all, just ranting and posting exactly the same question that I also see on the Captivate forums (that is the right place). I offer a lot of free tutorials using this blog, all for free, I am not responsible for bugs in the Captivate application at all.
How i want to make the text paragraph in a slide to come out one by one by just clicking a next button?
@Joanne This is not related to the blog post. With that type of questions, go to the Adobe Captivate forums. In Captivate 9 I am using states for this purpose: each state has one paragraph more and the button has the command 'Go to Next State'.
sorry and thank you for the advice.
No problem, I'm often around on the forums, the advantage for other users is that they can search in threads. If this comment has no relation with the blog post, there is very little chance that someone else can find it. :-)
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