Dare to Share - part 2


In the first part of this series about Shared Actions (in Captivate 7) I explained how you can create a shared action. The examples only had the statements Show and Hide. At the end you could see a published CP-movie, in which shared actions were applied several times. This second part will explain the first way of using shared actions. As a surplus you'll get an explanation of the use case that you watched in the first part.

'Execute Shared Action'

The first way of using a shared action is with the command Execute Shared Action, that can be triggered by all the events explained in a previous post: Events and (advanced) Actions. You'll find this new command in the dropdown list, just below its sibling 'Execute Advanced Action'. 

The only place, where you will not find this command, is in the dropdown list for Hyperlinks (Format accordion for Text). However it is available in the dropdown lists for Actions in the Drag&Drop interaction. Look out for an example of shared actions in D&D later on in this series. 

When you have chosen a shared action, next to its name you'll not find the browser button (as for Advanced actions), but a Parameter button. When you click that button, you'll see a dialog box in which you can choose the parameters to apply. In this screenshot you'll see the highlighted Parameter button. This shared action is applied to one of the click boxes of the example in the first part of this series (see later: Use case). Two parameters are already assigned. To find the third one (a new click box) I clicked twice in the field and typed 'peer' (first characters "pe" would have be sufficient as well) to filter the list to those objects/groups that have the character sequence 'peer'. Consistent labeling is good practice, as I told multiple times! 

I could have interchanged the items for second and third parameter, it doesn't matter because both will be made visible. You are totally free which items to use as parameters. As an illustration: here is the same shared action for the last click box: you'll see that the second item to show is not a click box, but a text container:

Use Case - Description

Slide objects

Here is the timeline of this unique slide, it shows from bottom up:
  • Title
  • Image (circle)
  • Group with 4 click boxes, over the circle image; only the bottom one, CB_Social, is 'Visible in output', the others are invisible
  • Gr_Bubble, group with 4 shape buttons that are also text containers, all invisible at the start
  • Tx_Instruction, set to invisible, that will appear when the last click box is clicked, telling to click on one of the bubbles
  • Gr_HLCover, set to invisible, grouping the gray transparent shape covering the slide and a shape button to close the Lightbox
  • Gr_HLBox: set to invisible, group with 4 light boxes that are (again) shapes used as text containers.

Events and Shared actions

The used events that trigger shared actions are:

  • Success event for each of the click boxes, using the shared action Show2Hide1, you have seen examples of the shared actions above. Only the fourth click box had a slightly different use of the parameters: not a click box was shown but the instruction text Tx_instruction. There is no Failure action, because the attempts are left at Infinite.

  • Success event for each of the 'bubbles', the shape buttons, triggers the shared action Show2, showing both Gr_HLCover  and the appropriate lightbox. Again, the attempts are set to Infinite, no Failure action will ever be fired. Here is one example:
    If another slide would be following, at least one of those bubbles needs a pause, to keep the playhead stopped. The four click boxes are no longer visible, so their pause is no longer active, available to stop the slide.

  • Success event for the shape button Bt_CloseHL triggers the shared action Hide2. Wondering why I could use that same shape button with the same action, because there is not only the group Gr_HLCover to be hidden, but also the specific lightbox? Well, I don't hide one lightbox, but hide the whole group Gr_HLBox, which means the one that is visible will be hidden as well. 

Visibility Shared Actions

In the first part I already explained that the number of times shared actions are reused is visible in the library. Double-clicking on the library item you can open the dialog with the Usage button and have details of the events where that action is used. You can also open directly the Usage overview only, by clicking the chain button at the top of the Library:

You will also see a nice summary in one of my favourite panels: Advanced Interaction (F9). Tip: this panel can be printed.

What next?

I did not see any comment in this blog yet, got some on other social media. Series is not finished, I plan to focus on reusing this kind of shared actions in the third part. That will be with another use case.

7 responses
Thank you Lieve Another really good explanation and insight into advanced actions - i love it Your blog is my Captivate life line
Thank you, Lieve ! I discover the possibilities of Cp ! I 'm trying to learn by myself - instructions from Adobe are really too... - But we can read you and it is... captivating ! Thank you again for sharing your experience !
Thanks Joanne, Nicolas. I'm glad my blog is helpful to you!
This is so very helpful! You explain it well, and the graphics showing the timeline, properties, etc make this easy to understand. Thanks so much!
Thanks, Lynn, I love to teach, and blogging allows me to reach so much more Captivate users.
Hello Lieve, Thank you very much for the helpful explanation. I am still quite new to advanced actions and shared actions so I have a specific question based on a project I am working on. In my project, I need to have the same 3 buttons appear on each slide with the same behaviors. When clicked, each of these buttons needs to pause the audio, and show a group of items which appears as a pop-up box with an "X" in the corner to close out which is a click box. When the X is clicked, the group of items is hidden and the audio resumes. I am wondering if I can copy the same buttons onto each slide and use shared actions in order to apply the same behaviors to those 3 buttons on every slide in the project. Right now, I have to rename the buttons and groups as well as re-program the advanced actions for each on every slide in the project which is extremely time-consuming. Any guidance you can provide on this would be most appreciated. Thank you in advance, Evan
Which version are you using? If the pop-up box is different on each slide, you'll need indeed to rename it, and use the appropriate name for the parameters in the shared action. I would certainly recommend to use groups when possible. Audio clip will need an appropriate name as well. Only shape buttons can be timed for the rest of the project, maybe this is a possibility for your Close button, if it can be put on top of all the other stuff. That way the shape button will keep always the same name, no need to rename but you'll have to assign it as parameter for each instance of the shared action.