Multiple Failure messages (Quiz) in Captivate Classic


This blog post is meant as an answer to a question on the Adobe forum; You can see the full thread under this link.

You'll see that the title is different 'Is it possible to highlight the correct answer option?' The situation:

  • It is about Multiple Choice questions with one correct answer. Problem with a MCQ with multiple correct answers is that Captivate considers the answer to be correct even if it is partially correct. Hence that limitation.
  • Question has 3 attempts.
  • If the learner fails all attempts, the OP wants the correct answer to be highlighted.

Why did I choose a different title here? I proposed the possibility to have 3 different Failure messages (officially labeled as captions, although by default CP uses shapes) as an alternative needing less work.

As usual I create an short project (output see below) to test. In the test I included both possibilities: using a different failure message for each attempt, and highlighting the correct answer after the last attempt if it was a failure again.

Example project

This project has only two MCQ slides, with one correct answer. You'll be able to see the three failure messages, different for e

ach attempt. The arrangement the messages is not the same for both slides. When the second step (click on slide or Y) is done the correct answer will be highlighted. It is a non-responsive project. Review is possible although the learner got already immediate feedback:


Workflow: use 3 Failure messages

  1. Set up the Quiz Properties like this; this setup doesn't include the appearance of a highlight (see below in the second part). In that case the Last Attempt needs an advanced or a shared action instead of 'Continue'. As usual I dragged the pausing point on each quiz slide from the default 1.5 secs closer to the end of the sldie.
  2. Due to the choice for 3 failure messages (which is the maximum), two extra failure messages will have been added on the slide. It is not a fixed location, depends on the theme. The two extra messages (2 and 3) will often be stacked.  This means you need to move the top one (3) to see message 2. To detect the message number, hover over the message. In this screenshot I hovered over the second message, after dragging the third one down because it was covering the second:
  3. Edit the messages and rearrange them, you can stack them again (as I did on the second question) or mirror the set up of the first quiz slide:

Workflow: highlighting

  1. Create the highlight shape over the correct answer. Remember: all custom shapes are stacked below the embedded quiz objects. To make it visible you have to make sure that the 'answer area' is at least partially transparent:
    In this case the answer area had a fill color, but at 60% alpha. The yellow shape behind it will blend, you'll have to look for a proper color combination.

  2. A consequence of the stacking of the highlight shape under the answer area: it is difficult to select that highlight area on the stage. Make sure to open the Timeline where selection is easier. You need to select the highlight an set it to invisible in output in its Properties panel:

  3. You need to create an advanced or shared action, to be triggered by the Last Attempt event of the question slide (Quiz Properties). This is the advanced action,  the marked items will be parameters if you convert to a shared action (recommended). Of course you can choose another Entrance effect (I used FadedZoomIn):

  4. For the shared action, which I recommend since you may want to reuse this action on multiple slides in this project and later projects, I indicated the parameters in the screenshot of the advanced action, and here is the parameter description. The highlight box will not always be in the same location, hence that parameter. It is not possible to have the highlight appear at the same time as the third failure message. That message appears with the first step of the Submit process, whereas the action to show the highlight is triggered by the Last Attempt action, which is with the second step of that process.


You may have more questions, but I expect these to pop up. 

  1. Can this also be done in a Fluid Boxes (responsive project in Captivate Classic)?
    1. Yes, you can also have up to 3 Failure messages. The two extra messages will probably be inserted outside of the static fluid box which has all the other messages. I recommend to rearrange after editing, and have them all stacked in that fluid box.
    2. The highlight is not possible because you cannot stack a shape in the same location as an individual answer, and those answers are embedded objects which means that they have no ID and cannot have states which could be used to change the color of the correct answer.

  2. Can this workflow be done in New Captivate (12.2)?
    Not at this moment for several reasons:
    1. There is no possibility to choose more than 1 failure message. That message is a state in a multistate object, to which you can not add custom states. But even if that possibility existed, you cannot address the multistate object since it has no ID.
    2. You cannot add a highlight shape to the correct answer. You cannot add states to the individual answers, and even if that was possible, same problem arises: that multistate object would not have an ID, so you cannot change its state.

Static Bookmarks in New Captivate


This is a second post about bookmarks in New and Classic Captivate. I hope you have read the introduction, where I explain the terminology and show a Captivate tutorial with examples of static and dynamic bookmarks:

Intro to Bookmarking

New Captivate - version 12 - has only static bookmarks, but they are available on all content slides, with the exception of question and score slides. Captivate Classic has static bookmarks only on slides with slide video. However using micro-navigation (based on available system variables) you can mimick bookmarks on all slides, and also create dynamic bookmarks. Dynamic bookmarks are created on runtime and not available in New Captivate.

In this first part of bookmarking, I treat the topic from its original view: to navigate within a project on the level of frames.

New Captivate also has the possibility to use Bookmarks as events to trigger an (inter)action. That is an improvement over Captivate Classic which has only the Delay command to mimick that behavior. Again, this is limited to static bookmarks. I will publish some examples of bookmark-triggers in a second part.

Example in New Captivate


After the title slide you’ll see:

  1. A list of explanations of the Steps. Appearance of each step is controlled by the user with a Continue button This slide uses bookmarks for that reason, but the original idea to use those bookmarks as navigation target from the last slide did not work. I am waiting on an answer from the team, logged a bug. Their use as event trigger has been used, but will be explained in a later blog.
  2. A video slide (slide video). On top you’ll find three buttons which allow to jump to bookmarks within the same slide. One of the buttons is the Replay button.

Example project


Workflow step-by-step

Bug warning

When you open a project which has a slide video slide where the video duration is longer than the default 3 seconds duration of the video placeholder, the time ruler will disappear and be replaced by an emoticon:

Luckily it is easy to solve, just move the zoom slider and the time ruler will reappear:

Step 1: Create bookmarks

If you know the exact time for the bookmark, you can move the play head near that time. For a video I recommend to use the Play button to get the exact timing. Pause/play using the space bar as toggle is still possible, but not always in a consistent way.

Click the bookmark bar to insert a bookmark which looks like a black diamond. I strongly recommend to replace the generative name by a custom one which will make it easier to find the target bookmarks. Just double-click the proposed name and edit it. In this screenshot you see a bookmark near the start of the slide, which will be used to create a Replay button:

Beware: it can happen that while editing the name that the focus switches from the Properties to the Interactions. In that panel it looks like you forgot to define an interaction for the bookmark. This is a bit confusing because it looks like 'missing'. However a bookmark used as target for micro-navigation doesn't need an interaction. The interaction panel shows all the bookmarks on a slide (bookmarks belong to the group of Slide events) with their timing.

It is possible to move a bookmark by dragging. You can delete a bookmark using the right-click menu.

Step 2: navigation buttons

On top of the video slide I added 3 buttons (it is the maximum in New Captivate within one interactive component). The button functions as trigger for the action 'Jump to bookmark xxxx'. Here is an example screenshot for Button 'Second':

The Replay button will get back to a bookmark at the start of the slide:

The Steps slide with the explanations has 5 bookmarks:

As you could read in the scenario, I meant to have 'Jump to Bookmark' as target bookmark from the video slide. But at this moment that is not working. The jump is replaced buy Go to Previous slide.  I hope this will be fixed soon.

You may wonder why there is a fifth bookmark at the end?  Its action is 'Go to Next Slide' to mimick the smooth transition to the next slide which was typical for all previous versions. Using the On Exit slide event is not working. I am not the only user to have found this workaround. Personallty I never have liked the PPT-like presentation playbar.

The other 4 bookmarks are using the frame event to trigger an interaction. In this first part I restrict to the bookmarks in their original meaning: as navigation targets.        

Comparison New/Classic

Advantage of New Captivate: you can use bookmarks on all content slides except quiz slides. 

For Classic Captivate bookmarks are limited to slides with Slide video.  For other slides you need 'micro-navigation'. Next blog post will explain the workaround by replacing the same scenario. I may provide the shared actions to mimick the bookmark navigation on non-video slides.

Classic Captivate vs 'Charm' test case (responsive project).


The 'All New Captivate', version 12 has been released just over a month ago.

It lives along Captivate Classic because it has not all the features which are expected in a full-blown authoring tool. Main limitation is that you can only create responsive projects. As a long-time user of Captivate I know that this implicates a lot of prohibited workflows which are possible in a non-responsive project.

To test the differences in workflow and possible bugs/lacking features I want to recreate a responsive project in the new version. The project which you'll be able to see here, was created with Fluid Boxes and based on a Quick Start Project 'Rhapsody' for the design aspect. 

'Crunch Numbers' test project

Play with the project on any device, using this link. You can also view the embedded one below, but on mobile devices you better use the link.

The topic is simple, and suited for playing on small mobile devices. There are some references to previous blog posts, but they used a non-responsive project. I focused on multistate objects because I know already that they are easier to use in the new Captivate release than in Classic Captivate.

Test follow-up

I plan to document each of the steps of the test process in another blog with limited access. Although my primary focus will be on recreation of the interactivities in the project, I will also spend time on the design features. Here is a non-restrictive first list of steps:

  • Preparation: setup of Preferences and Theme.
  • Recreating simple content slides using the slide templates and blocks
  • Eventually use of slides from Quick Start Projects.
  • Setup Multistate objects
  • Use of audio.
  • Animations tool
  • Defining user variables
  • Replacing Shared actions by Interaction tool (and Copy/Paste)
  • Replacing Advanced actions by Interaction tool (and Copy/Paste)
  • Scoring 

Steps in Bold are for me the primary goal.

After the process I will post a link to the result in this blog.


As mentioned the new blog will not be public. If you are interested in following my test steps and conclusions, you'll need to contact me either:

  • by sending me a mail with your credentials to
  • by adding a comment here, but I need your name and mail address
  • by filling in the form under the Contact button on my website.

You may get an invitation. It will be a limited group and I expect some engagement/reactions on the private blog.