You prefer step-by-step workflow for this second lesson over a video. Great. Let us start with this second lesson, explaining how to use the shared actions from the first project in your project. Believe me: it is as intuitive as the first lesson.
Workflow: (re)Use shared actions in your projects
Step 1: Preparation
To follow this workflow, you need a project with at least two slides:
- Content on the first slide is not important, it is meant to allow you to test the project.
- Second slide needs to have these objects:
- Two multi-state objects. Content is not important: audio, video, graphics, text or combinations in the states. Only requirement: same number of states in both objects (although you can have some identical states). They are labeled Container1/SVGContainer in the Timeline below.
- A shape or caption which will be used to insert the variable v_counter. You will insert the variable later on. Labeled SS_Counter in the Timeline.
- Two navigation buttons: Next and Back. They are labeled SB_Back and SB_Next in my project (shape buttons)
- A button to jump back to slide 1, with the action ‘Jump to slide 1’ or ‘Go to Previous Slide’. I used a SVG as button, labeled SVB_Home.
Here is an example of the Timeline of the project I use, the names are mentioned above::
If you are eager to start but do not have time to create a custom project, you can download this one:
Please do not use the SVGs from SVGContainer in your projects. They were extracted from a licensed AI file.
Step 2: Variables
Have a look at the variables, using menu Project, Variables. The default view will show you the two user variables which are added to each project:
Step 3: Open External Library
Use the File menu, option Import, External Library. You have to point to the original project which has the shared actions on board. In this case that will be the start project which you used in the previous practice; “SlideShow”.
The project will not open, but its library appears as a floating window in the left top corner of your screen. You will probably need to increase its height, and collapse the Images folder to see the Shared Actions folder clearly.
You can use any object directly from this external Library in your project. I used the Home button (SVG). However for the Shared Actions, it is better to not use this method. It can be done if there is only one independent shared action, but in this example the three actions are somehow linked due to the used variables.
Step 4: Drag shared actions to project Library
Select the three shared actions in the external Library, and drag them to the project library. They will appear in that library with the Usage set to 0. Be sure to drag all the actions at once. Reason: they share some variables. which could lead to the creation of multiple instances of the variables. You will check this in step 5.
Step 5: Check variables
Use Project, Variables and… surprise! The variables used in the shared actions have appeared, including their default value and description
You can now insert the variable v_counter in the text (see Timeline) SS_Counter, using the X button in the Properties panel, Character part.
The text will look like this:
Beware: if you see more than one instance of a variable, it means that you didn’t drag ALL the shared actions at once. In that case, please delete the shared actions, delete the variables and retry Step 4.
You can now repeat what you learned in the previous lesson: drag the shared actions to the slide and to the navigation buttons, and choose a ‘value’ for the parameters.
Do not forget to test if everything is working as expected. Use F11, Preview HTML I Browser for the best preview.
The step-by-step workflows described in this and the previous blog (or in the video and the next video to be published soon)) can be used for all the interactions in the Demo project, provide you have the shared actions. Not only for those rather simple interactions! It is also possible for more complicated projects like the Matchstick game, which I published recently, and for many more use cases.
I sincerely hope that at least some Captivate users will realize possibilities. Ask an expert to design shared actions which can be used by any Captivate developer, without having to dive into advanced actions, variables etc. .
I may post an 'epilogue' to this short crash course, listing up some Q&A. If you have a question to contribute, do not hesitate to post it in a comment.