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.