# Intro

Review the output tutorial published in this post. The two first use cases were about a knowledge check question where the learner needs to create physics formulas, by clicking the terms in the formula. Those terms are multistate objects, used as buttons. In a previous post we created one shared action to get the 'State number' which is stored in an associated variable for each multistate object. That same post also explained how to choose the sequence of the states.

The first use case has 3 terms in the formula, the second one has 4 terms. The terms are identical multistate objects, at the start of the exercise they show the same Normal state.

In this article youi'll see how to create the action for the Submit button, and the On Enter action which is needed to reset the slide and thus allow multiple visits to the slides.

# Submit actions

Those are advanced action triggered by the Success event of the Submit buttons.

## Formula with 3 terms

To the left of the equal sign the term should be 'Force', which is state 3 in the multistate object.

To the right of the equal sign we need 'Pressure' and 'Area', sequence is not important. Those are states 1 and 2. The easiest way is to calculate the sum of the two state numbers, which should be 3. To avoid confusion, create another user variable v_right to calculate the sum. The condition will be very simple: v_1 (state number to the left of the equal sign) needs to be equal to v_right.  To show the result, another multistate object SS_Feedback was created with these three states:

This feedback shape is on the slide (not hidden) but the Normal state is invisible to the learner. I used the same feedback for the next slide (4 term formula) by timing it for the rest of the project. It will be hidden after the two formula slides.

The Submit action doesn't need much explanation; I used the Delay command to mimick the default time a feedback is shown, allowing a new attempt:

## Formula with 4 terms

Due to the sequence of the states, a correct formula will also have the same sum to the left and to the right of the equal sign. Of course we need another user variable v_left  to store the sum to the left. However, checking the sums will not be sufficient in this case. If the learner chooses exactly the same states on both sides, the sums will also be the same. Example: if only the states for the 'oval 'are chose on both sides. To exclude that situation, I use another expression with a multiplication of the state numbers. For the result of the multiplication two extra user variables a; re defined: v_leftM and v_rightM

Example: if only 'oval' states are used sum will be: 5 = 2 + 3. However the multiplication will result in 6 = 2 * 3. Whereas for the drum the sum is 5 = 1 + 4  but the multiplcation will result in 4 = 1 * 4.  Look at the Submit action in this case:

# Enter actions (reset)

Those are advanced actions triggered by the On Enter event of the slides, to reset the situation.

## Formula with 3 terms

The 3 variables storing the state numbers need to be reset to their default value (1: corresponding with the Normal state). That is not necessary for the v_right, because it is always calculated. The option 'Retain state on revisit slide' is not activated, which means that on revisiting the slide the Normal state is reset automatically. The variable v_states needs to be redefined.

Since the multistate object SS_Feedback is timed for more than one slide, and can be hidden by actions on later slides, it is important to show this object and put it back in the Normal state. The automatic reset to the Normal state is not happening due to the timing. The Next button needs to be hidden.

## Formula with 4 terms

The 4 variables storing the state numbers need to be reset to their default value (1: corresponding with the Normal state). That is not necessary for v_right, v_left, v_leftM and v_rightM because they will be calculated. The option 'Retain state on revisit slide' is not activated, which means that on revisiting the slide the Normal state is reset automatically. The variable v_states needs to be redefined.

The resetting for the feedback object is for the same reason as in the other Formula slide.

# More?

I used a similar workflow in this small project, which is meant as exercise for the math's class about Multiplication tables.

It is a responsie project, uses the same shared action I have used in the use case I described here. The Submit actions are a little bit more complicated. Your challenge: try to replicate this project. This is the link:

CrunchNumbers

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# Intro

In this post you can find a Captivate tutorial, illustrating 4 use cases where the state number was tracked and used to find a solution.

This post will explain the setup of one Shared action to track the state number, when a multistate object is clicked to advance to the next state. To explain I will use the first two (physics) use cases. The first one has 3 identical multistate objects, with 3 states, and two possible correct answers:

The second one has 4 identical multistate objects with 4 states, multiple correct answers are possible:

You can find one of the correct answers in those screenshots. The workflow will be described step-by-step.

# Workflow

## Events

Both use cases have:

1. Success event of the multistate objects which are used as buttons. These events will be used to advance to the next state and to fill a variable with the tracking number. The index start with 1, which means that the Normal state is state 1. Being this the only goal of all the multistate objects in both use cases, the use of a shared action is recommended over duplicated and edited advanced actions. The shared action will be labeled StateNumberAct.
2. The Success event of the Submit button. The action triggered by this even will have two goals: first to check the answer, second to show the Next button if the answer is correct. For a wrong answer the learner can have another attempt at changing the states and submitting the new situation. Those actions are advanced actions, labeled SubmitAct_3 and SubmitAct_4. They are similar but not identical.
3. The Success event of the Next button when it appears which is the Default 'Go to Next Slide'.
4. The On Enter event of the slides which is a Reset action for the slide. These advanced actions are similar but not identical, and they are labeled EnterThreeStates and EnterFourStates.

## Variables

Each multistate object needs an associated variable to store the tracking number. Since that number will be used only on the same slide, the variables can be reused. They will be reset with the On Enter actions. The four variables are labeled v_1, v_2, v_3 and v_4 (only needed for the second use case). If you are a fan of my blog, you may remember that I have those variables in a shared action in my general library to be used as external library. See Creation of Variables.

For the shared action StateNumber Act an extra variable v_states is used to store the number of states in the multistate object. The value of this variable will be defined by the On Enter action of the slide.

## StateNumberAct (shared action)

This action will be triggered by the Success event of each multistate object used as button:

It is a two-decision action. The value of the tracking variable (used as parameter 2) is defined by incrementing, while the command 'Go to Next State' is done on the multistate object. The second conditional decision checks if the maximum number of states is reached (stored in v_states) and resets the tracking variable to 1 in that case. The first parameter is the multistate object used as button, which is a compulsory parameter contrary to the variable which is a candidate parameter, needs to be indicated to be a parameter.

## Sequence of States

The state numbers will be used to check for a correct answer in combination with mathematical operators. For that reason there is no arbitrary choice:

### Use case with 3 states

It has two correct answers, left side of the equation sign needs always to be 'Force'. I choose this to be state 3.

To the right side of the equation sign it can be 'Area x Pressure' or 'Pressure x Area'. Those are in state 1 and 2, sequence less important. Reason: check for correctness will calculate the sum of the tracking variables to the right of the equation sign, which needs to be 3. That lead to a very simple condition. Try to figure it out, or wait for the next blog post.

### Use case with 4 states

This is bit more complicated. Similar to the 3 state case, we can calculate the sum of the state numbers to the left and the right. This leads to a sequence of state numbers as shown in the screenshot at the start. In all cases that sum will result in '5', because it will be either '2+3' or '1+4', in all correct answers symbolized in this list:

• 2+3 = 1+4
• 3+2 = 1+4
• 2+3 = 4+1
• 3+2 = 4+1
• 1+4 = 2+3
• 4+1 = 2+3
• 1+4 = 3+2
• 4+1 = 2+3

However there is a 'booby trap' here! Because the condition based on the sum will also result in correct when the states on the left and the right side are identical. Example: 2+3 = 2+3 which is not a correct answer. More is needed than the simple sum condition. Any idea? Find the solution in the next blog post.

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# Intro

This is a short blog post, answering a software simulation (assessment mode) question on the forum. If you are interested, here is the link.

You probably know that in such an assessment scores are attached to one interactive object on each slide: either a click box or a Text Entry Box.It offten happens that the same action can be done by clicking more than one 'target' on the slide, which will need customizing that slide to add at least one extra click box, which will also be scored. However that will lead to a results slide where the acquired percentage is not correct. Reason is that all scored objects are included in the total score. You can verify that easily in the Advanced Interaction panel, to be opened from the Project menu or with the shortcut key F9. Here is an example. Slide 59 has two target click boxes, both are scored.

The OP wants to show the correct percentage to the learner in the project, but for the reporting to the LMS Pass/Fail reporting is sufficient which can be done by basing it on the required pass points.

# Variables

• A while ago this blog post described using the system variables used in the Results slide: Quizzing System Variables. For this blog post the relevant system variables are:

cpQuizInfoTotalQuizPoints: will have the value you see at the top of the Advanced Interaction panel, and is not correct in this case because it includes the scores of the extra target click boxes.

cpQuizInfoPointsscored: will be correct because on each quiz slide only one of the targets can be clicked.

cpInfoPercentage: is calculated from both previous variables and will be lower than expected for the learner.

cpQuizInfoPointsPerQuestionSlide: this system variable is not behaving as expected for slides with multiple scored objects. It will NOT show the total score of the slide, but the score of ONE scored object. I will presume that in case of a slide with two target click boxes, both of them will have the same score. This is also valid if you prefer shape buttons instead of click boxes.

Since there  is no need to transfer the percentage to the LMS, it is possible to use user variables. Create these variables:

v_TotalScore: will replace the system variable cpQuizInfoTotalQuizPoints

v_TooMuch: will store the total score of the extra click boxes. I assume that click boxes on the same slide have the same score.

v_Percentage: will store the result of the calculation from v_TotalScore and cpQuizInfoPointsscored

# Workflow

## Simple

The easiest way would be to count the number of extra targets. If all the click boxes have the same score of 1 point you could calculate the correct percentage with this advanced action:

You can trigger this advanced action with the On Enter event of the custom Score slide. It will allow you to display the correct Percentage.

Situation becomes bit more complicated if not dual targets (click box/shape button) have the same score (of 1 point). In that case you can take advantage of the weird behavior of the quizzing system variable cpQuizInfoPointsPerQuestionSlide  (see above). I used this shared action, triggered by the Success action of the targets, and the 'Last Attempt' action which is used here (Success action on a background Shape covering the complete slide). I assumed that the Last Attempt action of the targets is set to No Action. That typical workflow was used by the OP, and explained in this blog post

You see that this shared action has no parameters, you could also create an identical advanced action, if you still fear shared actions. My main reasons for this choice:

• Shared action can have a small description
• Shared action appears in the Library, which make it easier to check the Usage
• This shared action has no parameters, so it takes the same time as the advanced action to be applied to all the necessary events.
• It is much easier to transfer this shared action to another Project.

There is a small change to the action to be triggered On Enter for the Results slide:

# Conclusion

On the Results slide you can insert most of the default fields, an overview:

• You scored:  the system variable cpQuizInfoPointsscored is correct
• Maximum score: you need to replace the system variable by the user variable v_TotalScore
• Correct questions: will be OK, it is the system variable cpQuizInfoTotalCorrectAnswers
• Total Questions: will not be OK, you could add a supplementary command to the shared action similar to replace the system variable cpQuizInfoTotalQuestionsPerProject by a decremented user variable.
• Accuracy: you need to replace the system variable cpInfoPercentage by the user variable v_Percentage
• Attempts: will be OK, it is the system variable cpQuizInfoAttempts

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# Intro

If you have followed me since a while, you know that I am a great fan of Shared actions.  However I am aware that many developers seem to be afraid of those shared actions. In this post I will try to demystify the 'shared action', and answer some questions.

First of all: the biggest advantage of a shared action is its reusability. Whenever you need an action which will be used multiple times in a project, or which you plan to use in more than one project, it is worthwhile to consider the use of a shared action. Here are some other reasons. You can skip this part and come back to it later:

• When used within one project, you are using instances of the same shared action. If you prefer using duplicated and edited advanced actions the file size will be bigger. It can be compared with the use of multiple instances of the same graphic/audio clip.
• Shared actions appear in the Project Library with all the functionalities of Library assets: how many times uses, on which events etc..
• You can transfer an existing advanced action to a new project using copy/paste of the object triggering the action: a button, click box, TEB (success/Last attempt events), slide (Enter/Exit event). If variables are used in the advanced action, they will be created in the new project. However, in many cases, commands in the advanced actions will revert to Continue if what they are referring to is not available in the new project. Example: missing slides for navigation commands, missing states or even multistate objects...
• Transferring a shared action to a new project is a breeze: drag the action from the original Library to the Library of the new project. Variables which are not used as parameters will be created (similar to copy/paste for advanced actions). Since the shared action is not connected with any event, you don't have to bother about having everything in place before transferring the shared action.
• There is no built-in way to document Advanced actions in Captivate. A shared action however allows to add a description to the action and to the parameters if any are used.

There are some limitations to shared actions:

• It is not possible to trigger a shared action from a hyperlink.
• You cannot attribute a shared action to several events at once, as is possible for an advanced action.

Beware: not all advanced actions are suited as shared action. In a recent post about 'Hint after x failed clicks' I explained a use case which was meant as introduction for Captivate users new to variables and advanced actions. You may have a look at that first blog post:  https://blog.lilybiri.com/automatic-hint-after-x-failed-clicks

# Conversion to shared action

It is a good idea to create and test the action as advanced action before creating the shared action. This was the advanced action  created in the mentioned blog post, triggered by the Success event of the  'wrong' hotspots (5) in the example:

Two user variables were used:

• v_attempts tracks the number of clicks on the button/hotspot
• v_failure is used in the Failure feedback message and allows to change the content of that message. The default failure message will be replaced by a Hint message after the defined number of clicks.

## First version Shared Action

Open the advanced action in the dialog box, use the button Save as Shared action, and this dialog box will appear:

In the screenshot you see that I have filled in the description. It is important to do so, try to explain in short sentences what the action will do exactly. It may seem a loss of time, but if you reuse the action a couple of months later, you'll understand why I emphasize this.

In the main part you see the 'parameters', and in this particular case all of them show the green check mark. This means that you can save the shared action as it is. Result will be that the parameters remain static, cannot be changed when you attach the action to an event.  They will not need a description neither. Comparing with the advanced action:

Pro

• The description of the action, which is impossible for an advanced action.
• Its appearance in the Project Library with all the functionality of other assets.
• For reusability in another project: you can drag the shared action from this library opened as external library to the Project library of the new project. For an advanced action you would need to copy/paste one of the wrong hotspots to the new project.

Con

• You cannot attach the shared action to all wrong hotspot events at once, you need to do it one by one. The advanced action could be attached in one workflow by selecting all the wrong hotspots.
• For another hotspot slide in the same project it will be easier to create a duplicate advanced action, and edit the Hint text (value for the variable v_failure).

## Second version Shared action

In the first screenshot I marked two parameters with a question mark:

• Parameter '2': literal indicating the number of required wrong clicks before showing the Hint.
• Parameter 'Click on the icon 'Responsive project'': the new value (literal) for the variable v_failure to replace the failure text by the Hint text.

You can make the static parameter dynamic by clicking the check box, and entering a description for the parameter. To me the most important candidate is the Hint text. Making that parameter dynamic, means that you can enter a different Hint text for each new attachment of the action to an event. Beware: the correct checkmark will only appear after confirming the description of the active parameter:

This makes the action flexible: you only have to enter the Hint text as parameter whenever you attach the shared action to an event.

Pro

• Besides the description of the action, the meaning of the parameter will appear whenever you apply the shared action.
• Its appearance in the Project Library.
• Reusability in any new project remains.
• File size will be lower compared with using duplicate advanced actions.
• You can edit the Hint text for each instance.

Con

• You cannot attach the shared action to multiple events at once.
• You need to fill in the text parameter with each attachment (copy/paste is possible)

## Third version Shared action

You can make the action even more flexible by declaring the number of wrong clicks to be a dynamic parameter.  Using that shared action you'll be able to change the number of wrong clicks before showing the Hint instead of the Failure message.  Like increasing the number for a more complicated hotspot slide. I don't have to explain this screenshot anymore:

# More tips

I may write out a third blog about using this shared action as template for advanced actions, including possible enhancement by adding graphical (audio) assets to the Hint text message.

Shared Actions : intro

Lesson 1 (step-by-step)

Lesson 2 (video)

Lesson 2 (step-by-step)

To circumvent the "Con" of shared actions not being able to apply to multiple events at once, remember that you can easily create an advanced action from a shared action. Here is an example:

Using Shared action as template

//   Posted

# Intro

This short blog post is meant to answer another question on the Adobe forums. It is at the end of this thread:

This was the goal:

1. Slide has narration as slide audio
2. There are multiple shapes used as buttons, which should trigger an audio clip using 'Play Audio' command; those shapes have no pausing point.
3. When a shape button is clicked the audio clip should play, but the slide audio should pause, and resume after the audio clip ends.
4. There is at least one more interactive object pausing the slide towards the end. Idea is that the learner can still listen to the audio clips after the slide audio has finished.

This learner tried to solve this with simple actions, using the feature 'Pause slide audio when clicked'. It cannot be solved that way however.

# Example project

Watch this short project created to double-check my proposed workflow with a shared action for the shape buttons. After the Title slide you'll see a slide with a Next button to pause the slide, and a shared action triggered by each of the shape buttons. A copy of the Timeline panel can be found on the third slide. I used some slides from the Aspire Quick Start Project.

You can open a rescalable version using this link or watch the embedded version below:

# Setup

You could see the slide audio (narration) in the Timeline panel. The audio clips for the shape buttons were imported to the Project library, and their exact duration was checked, because it will be needed in the shared action. Have a look at the shared action with its two parameters (name audio clip and duration clip):

It has two parameters:

The command Pause in the action will pause the slide audio automatically, contrary to a pausing point of an interactive object. You don't have to change any setting in the shape button Properties. The Continue command which will be done at the end of the audio clip will take care of resuming the slide audio.

Do not bother about having two clips playing at the same time. If the learner clicks another shape button before the first audio clip ends, that first clip is stopped automatically. No need to add a command like 'Stop triggered audio' which is only needed when you want to stop a playing clip without playing a new at the same time.

The user is concerned that applying the shared action will take more time than the approach he tried out with simple actions. However, since you don't have to change settings in the shape button Properties panel, the shared action approach needs even less clicks. Check it out. There is no danger of choking Captivate which could happen if you use duplicate advanced actions since you are using instances of one shared action (ecologically).

### Problem

The previous solution works fine until the learner has reached the pausing point of the Next button. At that moment, the Continue command in the shared action will override the pausing and the playhead will continue until it reaches the end of the slide and moves to the next slide. It is necessary to cope with that different situation. The Delay command nor the Continue command take into account possible pausing points.

There are two different situations, each needing a different workflow:

• Learner clicks a shape button before the narration has ended. In that case the slide audio needs to be paused, and to resume after the end of the triggered audio clip.
• Learner clicks a shape button after the narration has ended. You need to maintain the pause which occurs at the pausing point of the Next button.

This screenshot shows the Timeline panel, illustrating the two situations. Situation 1 in red, situation 2 in blue.

This needs apparently a conditional action for the shape buttons. You have to figure out which situation is valid. For that reason you need to know when the narration has ended. It is easy to see its duration in the timeline, in this case it was 28secs. To calculate the frame number at the end of the frame I used micro-navigation. If you are new to this type of navigation, please have a look at this blog post:

# Solution

## Variables

You need two user variables:

• v_start: will store the frame number of the first frame of the slide with the narration and shape buttons
• v_stop: will store the frame number at the end of the narration

Contrary to the timeline panel where seconds restart on each slide, the frame numbering continues throughout the project.

## Shared Actions

### EnterSlideAct

This shared action will be triggered with the Slide Enter event, and is meant to calculate the value of v_stop. Have a look:

The first frame number of the slide is stored in v_start. The duration of the narration is converted to frames, by multiplying with the system variable cpInfoFPS. The only parameter is that duration.

### PlayAudio_Act

The former standard action has been transformed to a conditional action:

Same parameters as before. The condition checks if the learner clicked the shape button before or after the end of the narration. Only when the narration hadn't been finished it will need to resume. That has been done with the Delay command and Continue. That is not necessary after reaching the end of the narration, because the pausing point of the Next button needs to be kept pausing, and the narration doesn't need to resume.

This shared action is needed for each of the interactive objects used to play an audio clip.  In the project I used shape buttons. They are visible in the timeline screenshot as SB_Topic1…. SB_Topic4.

By using shared actions instead of duplicate advanced actions, you avoid choking the project if you need lot of those actions which was the case for the user asking the question. Moreover multiple instances of the same shared action also will result in a smaller file size. Of course they are also very easy to transfer to future projects. You can learn more about using shared actions in these videos:

Use Shared Actions: Lesson 1 (crash course)

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## Intro

This second tip is closely related to the first tip about labeling. If you have read that post you'll have seen that good labeling could facilitate filtering for dropdown lists, using this screenshot. It shows the Parameters dialog box (Shared Actions) where filtering is used to limit the choices in a dropdown list.

Time to explain what I mean by the term 'Filtering'. Dropdown lists are all over Captivate's UI, not only in the Advanced/Shared actions domain. Some of those lists are sorted alphabetically, some are sorted chronologically (very annoying: most recent added item appears on top). They may show all items, but can have an automatic filter of items. That is the case within the Advanced Actions dialog box: when setting up a condition or a While loop, if you need to choose a variable, you'll only see variables in the dropdown list, for operators you only  operators. However, even when filtered and sorted alphabetically the lists can be very long and it takes time to find the proper item. Being able to reduce a list by manual filtering based on the names is a big timesaver! I remember older versions where searching was reduced to typing the first character, to scroll to the items starting with that character. That used to be the case for the variable dropdown list, reason why I started labeling user variables with v_ as first character, to differentiate from the system variables which started either with 'rd' or 'cp' (the first types disappeared from the lists).

# Filtering workflow

It consists in typing a sequence of characters, resulting in displaying only items which have that sequence in their name. It doesn't matter where that sequence appears: at the start, at the end, in the middle. There is no case sensitivity, which is rather exceptional. Although names cannot start with a number, if you include a number in the name it will be very easy to use the number as part of the filter sequence. This will become easier to understand with some examples:

Show (Hide)

The dropdown list for those commands in advanced actions will show all objects on all slides, leading to a very long dropdown list. Using a filter and proper labels is very useful as you can see comparing these two screenshots of such an action before and after applying a filter. In this case the filter shows all groups, which are labeled as Gr_xxx

Change State

This screenshot (from the Memory game project) simplifies how to find the correct multistate object. In this case there were many multistate objects in the project:

Parameters

Although many dropdown lists are already filtered on the type of item needed, look at this example. You need to know that in the field here you need to click twice to be able to type in a filter: first click selects the field,  second click gets it in Edit mode (like with a text container). I added the Properties panel, because the label of the active button is used as reference for the 'active' button. Same example was shown at the start of this blog.

# Availability of Filters

As you have seen the filters are available for all dropdown lists in:

• Parameter dialog box

Too bad that it is not available for other dropdown lists:

• Simple action (tab Actions)
• Object actions (Drag&Drop)
• Advanced actions list in the Advanced Actions dialog box (which would be very useful if you need to clean up)

# Next tip?

It will compare the use of  Grouping (when using Show/Hide workflows) and multistate objects for similar goals.

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# Intro

Many Captivate developers use advanced actions, which is an easy way to extend the functionality of the application without need for learning the rules of a programming language. After publishing the project, those actions are converted to JavaScript. This is also the case for the more flexible (underestimated) shared actions.

However the  ‘point-and-click’ approach for scripts has rules and limitations.  If you start using advanced/shared actions,  understanding those rules will avoid frustrating situations.  This first Tip is all about the importance of customizing labels, the reasons for establishing a labeling discipline (especially when working with a team). Last week two questions in the Adobe forums about issues with advanced actions were due to lack of knowledge about correct labeling.

The terminology used in this blog is the same as in the Adobe documentation. You can check the in-depth exploration of the Advanced Actions dialog box in one of my previous blogs meant also for starters with actions:

This article will first explain Generic names (labels) attributed by Captivate, continue with Custom labeling. At the end you'll see also an explanation of 'Smart labeling', term used by Adobe when copy/paste is used on items with a custom name.

# Generic names (labeling) - Uniqueness

Almost all items in Captivate get a generic name when they are created in a course: objects, placeholders, groups, slides, states, decisions (in actions)... There are a few exceptions:

• User variables: you need to define a custom name except for the variable associated with a Text Entry Box.
• Advanced/Shared actions: they also need a custom name

The first global ruleis fully respected in those generic names.

'Each name needs to be unique'
Names are case sensitive, so it is easy to use similar names, by changing one or more characters to uppercase from lowercase. Uniqueness applies also to items from different type: do not use the name for a button, which has already been used for a variable (common mistake), or the name of an action for an advanced action (another common mistake). There are some minor exceptions:

• Generic name for a Text Entry Box and its associated variable are the same. I don't really like this, and tend to create a new user variable with a custom name, using the X button next to the generic variable name:
It is not wrong to keep the generic name, but it bumps on the general rule.

• If you define the name of a button, and use the same name for the action to be triggered by the Success event, it will not be flagged as an error. But if you do the reverse (first action, later the button) you do get an error. I would avoid doing this.

• States can have the same name for multiple multistate objects, because as identifier the combination of the object name and the object will be unique if the object has a unique name.

• Similar for decisions within an advanced/shared action. Although years ago I had issues with an advanced action using the same name as a decision in another advanced action. But decisions can have same name in multiple advanced actions.

When using Generic names, and duplicating the item, the duplicate will have a similar name but ending on another number. Check this screenshot, showing the timeline of a slide with multiple objects and of a duplicate slide:

# Custom names (labeling)

Why and when is replacing generic names worthwhile, because it takes time?

• It will be easier to understand, especially for your clients and collaborators. Referring to the screenshots of the Timeline posted above, if you replace the name of the TEB which will ask for a name by 'TEB_name', and the button is named 'Bt_Next' reading the timeline is more comfortable. Have a look at this Timeline, which is from the Stopwatch tutorial to understand better.
• When using the items in advanced or shared actions, where you often will need to choose from dropdown lists, it is almost impossible to identify the right item for your choice when working in a project with tons of items.
• To take advantage of the filtering (see Tip 2) provided by Captivate, custom names can save you lot of time. Look at this screenshot from the Memory Game tutorial where a parameter needs to be chosen for the shared action. There are lot of shape buttons in this game. By typing out one or two characters (here _2) the long list is filtered to facilitate the choice.

Setting up a custom labeling 'system' is also a timesaver, not only when you are collaborating with a team. The global rule of Uniqueness will have to be respected. Names cannot start with a number, nor have strange characters. Try to keep to short names, avoid spaces and remember that names are case sensitive! Here is a short summary of my personal labeling system, however this is just an example. Over a decade ago I started labeling for user variables. At that moment the only way to find a variable in the dropdown lists was by using the first character, because they were sorted alphabetically. To have the group of user variables separated from the system variables (which started with r or c at that moment) user variables started with v_. The first character indicating the type of item, followed by an underscore (replacing a space). This meant the item was also identified by that first character, and I continued to follow the same logic for other items. Some examples:

• Bt_: first characters of buttons of the three old types (text, transparent, image)
• SS_: smart shape
• SB_: shape used as button
• Im_: bitmap image
• Ib_: bitmap image used as button
• SV_: SVG image
• SVB_: SVG used as button
• Tx_: text caption
• CB_: click box
• ...

For advanced actions I don't have a fixed system. One exception: if an action is meant to be used On Enter for a slide, I will start its name with Enter. I am a frequent user of shared actions whenever possible, which avoids the need for names for multiple duplicate advanced actions,  since you need only one name for a shared action that can be applied multiple times with different parameters.

For the other characters in the name I will use camel notation. The system allows you to have the second part identical for items which are linked. Example: SVB_Reset can be linked with an advanced action ResetAct, and a variable v_reset.

Maybe I'll add an extra extension to multistate objects in the future, because they are not easily identifiable.

Tip: for much used variables create a shared action as explained in Rare tips (tip 1). By importing that action in a new project you avoid lot of typing.

# Smart labeling

When you copy/paste an item with a custom name, the custom name will be preserved, but an extra number is added to the name. This is indicated as 'smart labeling', was introduced some versions ago.

Example: Duplication of the Next shape button (from the Timeline screenshot for the Stopwatch slide), will lead to this:

The duplicate gets the original name followed by an underscore and a number. In this case the duplicate of SB_Next, became SB_Next_20. It means that the numbers 1-19 had already been used. Same would happen if you copy that button to another project, but the number will be different. If I copy this button to a almost empty new project, the name becomes SB_Next_2, because only one object already existed ending on 1. Keeping at least part of the custom name can be very useful. However it can also become a problem as I learned when importing Shared actions using the same variables. If you don't import (or drag) those actions in one workflow, but in steps, you will end up with duplicate variable bearing another name. You also need to be careful when copying interactive objects which are triggering actions using variables.

# Conclusion

I hope this article convinced you of the importance of consistent labeling. Be sure I do not label every item, but I will when they will be needed in an advanced or a shared action. For slides the names do not need to be unique, because internally they are identified by cpInfoCurrentSlide which is a number. However slide names are important if you want to use a Table of Content.

Next tip about Filtering is closely linked to this first tip, and will save you time when developing advanced and shared actions. You will get an overview of the locations where filtering is possible, and those where - saddening - it is not available.

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# Intro

As new year's blog I offered a simple memory game in this portal

Let 's Play and Dream

The setup however is not explained in the blog. Since another user asked about the creation of such a memory game, this blog will explain shortly the workflow. It will be limited to the game itself, not to the consequences of having succeeded it.

# Setup slide

Besides the use of ONE shared action and ONE advanced reset action, all is based on using multistate objects, groups and variables. It can easily be extended to more than 6 pairs as in the example file. The background image, which in this case is only a static image of all the small images, can be replaced by another image (or a random image if you use JS), which can be included in the game itself. To see what I mean, I have to refer to my first version of this game, 10 years ago:

Concentration game created exclusively with Captivate

If you want to play that old game, I warn that it is a SWF.

## Timeline

Have a look at the timeline of the game slide

The two buttons with the same back image are in a group. There are 12 buttons, so you end up with 6 groups. The buttons themselves indicate where they are. The expanded group Gr_6 has the second button on the third row and the fourth button on the second row.  However you can set up labels as you want.

Each button is a multistate object. Normal state is the symbol for the virus, the Back state has the image.

## Variables

Each group has a tracking variable: v_1 - v_6. Their default value is 0.

The variable v_click starts with a default value of 0. It will track the button clicks (first or second).

The variable v_counter will track the number of correct paired images. It starts at 0, and the game is finished when reaching 6.

The variable v_first is needed to reset the slide, will store the frame number of the first slide frame. For more information check: Replay or Reset?

# Shared action 'ButtonAct'

This action is triggered by the 12 buttons, and has only 3 parameters as you can see in the preview of the action:

You see 4 decisions:

Always  is a standard action, it shows the back state of the clicked button and disables it. The tracking variable for the group and v_click are both incremented by 1.

WrongAct (conditional) checks if this is a second click, and it didn't match the first click (because v_1 is equal to 1). In that case the Reset workflow is used. The advanced action 'EnterGame' (see below) will reset what is necessary.

CorrectAct (conditional) if both clicks pointed to the same image, the variable v_counter is incremented. The group with the two buttons will be hidden, to reveal the background image.

Done: (conditional) checks the value of the variable v_counter and navigates to the conclusion slide if it reaches the value 6, which means the game has been completed successfully.

This action is essentially resetting the slide.

Since buttons can have been disabled (see ButtonAct) all buttons need to be enabled. A group tracking variable can have a value 1, needs to be reset to 0. The variable v_click needs to be reset to 0 as well. The only variable keeping its value is v_counter.

# Extension tips?

More possibilities will not need a lot of work. If you want to reuse the workflow in more projects a shared action has a lot of advantages.  If you import that action in a new project, the variables v_counter, v_first and v_click will be created automatically including their default value and description. Personally I would use the present advanced action ‘EnterGame’ to create a new shared action, keeping only the variables to reset, not the buttons. If you import that new shared actions at the same time as the first shared action, you don’t have to create the group tracking variables neither. You only have to set up the multistate objects and the groups in the slide.

Want less or more groups?

It is logical that you’ll need to edit the EnterGame action. What about the Shared action ButtonAct?  Since I wanted to make the workflow simple, I kept the literal ‘6’ for the number of groups. Two possibilities for editing:

Use the Shared action to create an advanced action. Delete the shared action in the Library. Edit the literal to the wanted number, and recreate the shared action. You can even use the same original name.

If you want to reuse this action in multiple projects, replace the literal by a variable (v_max) which you can edit in the variables dialog, or by adding an Assign command on a slide preceding the game slide.

Background image can be replaced, as I mentioned above.

It is also possible to create a more complicated game, maybe with groups of 3 buttons to match.

Have fun!

//   Posted

# Intro

None of my previous blogs about tweaking quiz slides (like Custom feedback) or using Random question slides (Do’s and Don’ts) could answer this question directly. But the workflow below did use some of the ideas of older blog posts, and addressing the limitations of random questions.

Goal: show a custom review message for random question slides. Follow this step-by-step workflow. Of course I used a shared action since it is a repetitive process. You’ll see a short example project.

# Example project

Watch this quiz, either the embedded version (fixed resolution) or a rescalable version using this link. This short project has 3 random slides which will be selected from a question pool with 8 question slides. There is a score slide at the end, where you can click the Review button. There is no slide after the score slide, which means the Continue button has only the functionality to pause the score slide.

# Problems to be solved

Three limitations/problems need to be addressed by the workaround:
1. In the default Review design of Captivate the Review area is only used for questions which have not been answered.  The default messages which you can still define under  Quiz Preferences, Settings, button ‘Question Review messages’ do not appear anymore since the design with checkmarks has been introduced. You will need to create custom text messages.

2. Although you can add custom objects to question pool slides, you cannot address those objects using an action.  It is possible to use an Advanced or Shared action for the On Enter event, but you cannot hide/show custom objects.

3. A random question cannot have any triggered action in a Captivate project.

My first conclusion:  the custom text container cannot be in the question pool slides nor in the random question slide. It needs to be outside of them. But the message itself needs to be different for each quiz slide, somehow it needs to be attached to each question in the pool.

## Workaround summary:

• Text container will be a shape, timed for the rest of the project. It needs to be on a normal content slide immediately before the first random question slide. That ‘dummy’ slide can be very short (I used 0.1 secs) and even set to fade so that it will barely be visible to the learner. The shape will be the custom text container and it is outside of the question slides. This workflow has an extra advantage: it will be on top of the embedded objects of the quiz slides if you activate 'Place object on top' in its Timing Properties.

• The shape is not filled with a text feedback message but with a user variable set up to show sufficient characters (I used 250). Text style and size of the shape are edited so that those characters can be displayed.

• The value of the variable (feedback) is assigned with a Shared action On Enter for each quiz slide in the question pool(s).

# Step-by-step workflow

## Step 1 (question pool): in scratch area

Use the scratch area for each quiz slide to add the feedback message.  By using copy/paste the text to fill in a parameter in the shared action. That is a lot more comfortable than having to type the (long) text in the small parameter field. Here is a screenshot of one pool question slide:

## Step 2: import the Shared action

Import this shared action to your project library. If you have already created a library to be used as external library in any project, add it to that library as well. I will explain the action functionality later. Importing this action in this early step,  results automatically in the creation of the user variable v_review which you’ll need in the next step.

## Step 3: create dummy slide

Create a short slide immediately before the first random slide. On that slide you insert a shape (labeled Tx_Review). Time it for the rest of the project. in Timing Properties.

Go into Text Edit mode (F2 or double-click) and use the X button in the Character part to insert the user variable v_review. Be sure to increase the default duration. I used 250 characters which was sufficient for the feedback messages created under step 1. Here is a screenshot of that slide and its Timeline. You see the double arrow at the end of Tx_Review timeline, indicating it is timed for the rest of the project, and the very short duration.

Because you don’t want to show the text container Tx_Review from the start, use the On Enter event of this dummy slide to ‘Hide Tx_Review’.

## Step 4: Shared action On Enter in Question pool

On each slide In the question pool add the Shared action (downloaded in step 2) to the On Enter slide event.  This is the preview of this action, with indication of the two parameters:

The functionality is self-explanatory. In the first decision 'Always' the variable v_review gets the feedback text (first parameter). Use copy/paste from the message in the scratch area (step 1) to define this parameter. The second parameter is always Tx_Review.

## Step 5: Hide Tx_Review

you don't need the text container, timed for the rest of the project, on the following score slide and/or content slides.You’ll need to hide Tx_Review similar to the dummy slide (step 3). In the example project that was done on the Score slide.

## Step 6: testing!

Use only F11, Preview HTML in Browser, and preferably test in multiple browsers.

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## Intro

From what I learned on the forums in  2021, many developers are still busy with conversion of legacy courses (SWF output) to HTML5 output. That can be very boring and time consuming.  This blog gives a quick overview of three solutions for a common issue: the HTML Tracker (under Project) will detect all Rollovers and flag them as incompatible. That means for Rollover Slidelet, Rollover Caption, Rollover Image.

In reality non-compativility is only true for Rollover slidelets: those are SWF-based and are useless. However Rollover caption/image can still be used in courses provided they are accessed only from devices with rollover events: desktop, laptop (either with mouse or trackpad).  They will not be functional on mobile devices (tablet, phone) because those do not have rollover events. You don't have a click event, but a tap event.

This article will give you 3 possible workflows to replace Rollover images or Rollover captions. They will not be an exact replacement. Rollovers typically have two 'events':

• Roll over event: triggers the appearance of the image/text.
• Roll out event: triggers the disappearance of the image/text.

Consequence: the learner has full control over the duration of the image/text screen using movements of mouse or trackpad.  The mouse movement needs to be replaced by a tap event (click). Tap events exist for interactive objects (and hyperlinks).

To explore the three possible workflows (Success image, Two-state object, Shared action) you can choose between an interactive Captivate course (audio included) or reading a textual summary.

# Captivate tutorial

In the tutorial I used some design elements from the Quick Start Project 'Earth'. All interactions are custom. You can watch the embedded version, but I recommend to use this link because it will give you a scalable version. To see the original rollovers, you need to use a laptop or desktop (with mouse or trackpad). Here is the link:

Converting Rollovers for HTML5 output

Embedded version:

# Step-by-step workflows

## 1. Using Success feedback shape

An interactive object (button, click box, shape button) has the possibility for a Success and a Failure message. The Success message appears automatically when the object is clicked or tapped for a fixed duration. Default duration is 3 seconds. In recent versions those messages by default use Shapes, not captions  (see Preferences, Defaults).

### Rollover Caption replacement (step-by-step)

1. If possible, convert the object used to be 'rolled over' to a button. In version 11.5 that is possible for all images. Since version 6 that is possible for shapes and a shape can be used as text container and can be filled with an image.
If this is not possible, put a click box (or a shape with Alpha and Stroke set to 0) over the object. This may also be necessary if you want multiple rollover objects in one text container.
2. In the Properties panel activate the 'Success' message on the Actions tab.
3. Edit the text in the Success message on the stage to the text you want to appear.
4. (optional) Go to the Timing Properties, and edit the duration if you estimate 3 seconds not to be sufficient.

### Rollover Image replacement (step-by-step)

1. Identical as for the Caption replacement
2. Ditto
3. Import the image to the Library. It needs to be a bitmap image, SVG is not possible.
4. Check the size of the image
5. Select the Success message on the stage. Delete the default text and use the Options tab (Properties panel to resize the shape to the exact size of the image.
6. In the Properties panel for the message, Style tab, switch Fill to 'Image' and select the image to fill the shape.
7. (optional) Edit timing if necessary in the Timing Properties.

Advantage: very simple solution since you use existing design with feedback messages.  The workflow to have a shape size fitting for the image can take some time but for text, no problem. This solution works for all versions supporting HTML5 output.

Drawback: problem with this very simple solution is that the learner has no control over the duration of the text/image which appears when they tap the rollover object.  You can add audio to the Success shape if wanted (options), it will play when the shape appears.

## 2. Using Two-state object (toggle)

This solution has been described in detail in this post.  Same workflow can be used to replace Rollover text and image. It is even possible to have both text and (multiple) image(s), and audio. In short:
• Convert the text container or image to a button. For images that is only possible if you are on version 11.5.
• Take out the InBuilt rollover and down states
• Create a custom state where you add the items you want to show when tapping the button
• Add the command 'Go to Next State' to the button. That will convert it into a toggle button: first click will show the items (as rollover event does), next click will hide them again because you return to the Normal state (as a Rollout event would do) since you have only two states.

Advantage: learner has control over the duration of the appearance, same as for the old Rollover items. You can add as many items as wanted in the second state: image, text, audio, even video.

Drawback: you need to instruct the learner about the toggle functionality. It may take bit more time than the first solution.

## 3. Shared action with flexible duration

Both previous workflows have some drawbacks, although they seem rather simple. Do not be afraid of this third workflow, because it may even be the quickest solution to replace rollover captions/images.  Once you have a functional shared action, adding it to replace rollovers in any project is a breeze.  Especially when you work in a team, you don't need to be an expert in actions to apply a shared action.

If you didn't watch the Captivate tutorial, watch this one-slide project. It  has been taken out of the complete tutorial. You will see three buttons to reveal popups. The popup will disappear automatically after a certain duration (like in Workflow 1). That duration is stored in  a user variable v_duration. In the example you'll see the default duration, but you can increase or decrease that duration with two small buttons.

You may have seen that an Entrance effect was applied, something what is impossible with the two other workflows.

The duration in the variable for the popup can be set:

• by the developer (default duration or by using an On Enter action for the slide);
• default duration by developer, but ability for the learner to change (as in the example)
• ask the learner the preferred duration using a Text Entry Box or a Scrolling Text Interaction.

### Using Shared Action (step-by-step)

1. Convert the rollover area to a button to be tapped/clicked. If that is not possible use a click box.
2. Insert the content you want to pop up when the button is clicked. If you need more than one item, group them (CTRL-G).
3. Make the group invisible in output (eye icon in Properties panel).
4. Assign the shared action 'ShowItems' to the Success event of the button. You can download the one I used from this link:
ShowItems
5. The parameter is the name of the group you want to show.
6. Set the value of the variable: either you use the definition of the variable (Project, Variables) or you can use the On Enter event of the slide with an Assign command.
7. (Optional): If you want to replicate the setup of the example file, add two extra buttons with respectively the commands:
Decrement v_duration by 1
Increment v_duration by 1

Advantage: learner has some control over the duration of the appearance depending on the setup. You can group as many items of all nature: images, texts, video, audio.... You can add effects, and even sequencing the appearance with the Delay command.

Drawback: complete control of the duration is not possible.

# Conclusion

The tutorial was created with the most recent version (11.5.5.553) of Captivate, but the workflows can be used in Captivate 11, 10 and 9. That is also valid for the shared action. If you never used a shared action, you can find a short course in this blog. Look for 'Who is afraid of Shared Actions?'.

All Click/Reveal workflows are a possible replacement for rollover text/image. My choice for these particular ones was made based on their timesaving features. With exception for the second workflow, the learner will not have total control over the duration of the reveal information which they have with a rollover. On the positive side, the second and third workflow allow to have multiple texts and images pop up which was not possible with rollover Caption/Image. It was possible with Rollover slidelets, but they died with the demise of the Flash Player.

The workflows suppose that you are able to open the legacy projects in your present version of Captivate, and that you still have access to the raw files (cptx). If that is not the case, have a look at this blog:

Conversion from SWF to HTML5

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