To Blog or Not to Blog?

At the end of this posting I will offer a small 'toggle' tip. Feel free to jump my (first) personal reflections and get immediately to that tip.

Just one month ago I started a 'trial period' with this blog, and it is the moment to decide if I will continue?  Why did I start?

  • Using the Adobe Online Publishing application I had published several articles, tutorials about new and improved aspects in Adobe Captivate 5. But those articles were not that easy to find, and I felt a little bit frustrated. Several kind friends offered to post a link to them on their website/blog.
  • Publishing an article takes quite a lot of time. And I had so many ideas, tips I wanted to offer to the Captivate Community. I thought that a blog was an easier and quicker way to achieve that.
  • Have been tweeting small tips, sometimes adding a screenshot. But 140 characters (or less if using an image) are limiting of course.
  • As I am rather active on the Captivate user forums, some questions are repeated by several users, and being able to point to an example on the blog seemed to be a better solution than having to create static screenshots to try to explain each time. 
  • Until now I only rely on my intuition and experiences on the user forum to choose subjects for the articles and for the blog postings. The articles did get a few comments, and I was hoping to have a more active interaction with readers on this blog, to get feedback, eventually suggestions for new subjects.

What are my conclusions after this month:

  • Positive: I am really amazed by the number of views of this blog; but is this proving that it did help someone?
  • Negative: no interaction at all, no comments. Being a teacher that gets upset when a class of students is silently absorbing without any reaction or question, this is hard to deal with.

Here is the reason why I am wondering if I would be able to go on with this blog. This morning I sent a tweet asking for advice. Thanks to Rick, Jason, Jenise and Dieter for their reactions. Please, if you have read this until now, send me a tweet (@Lilybiri) or post a comment. Tell me what subjects you would like me to blog about, concerning Adobe Captivate and the eLearning Suite.



Play this project (it is only one slide), to see what I will explain. Everything has been done with the built in Effects in Captivate 5. Try the three buttons in the top right corner:

  1. Playbar:  clicking this button toggles the visibility of the playbar
  2. Mute: clicking this button pauses/plays the audio  (hope it will play, first time I post a SWF with audio on posterous)
  3. CC: clicking this button toggles CC on/off

What do you think? No, I did not create a conditional action to be triggered by those buttons at all. To be honest, I got this suggestion from the Adobe team. You only have to create an Standard Advanced Action for each button. And this action has only one statement, an Expression. In this screensho you see an example (for the first button 'Playbar'). If the system variable cpCmndShowPlaybar = 0 (playbar is invisible) this Expression will result in 1 and the playbar will get visible. But if the variable = 1 (playbar is visible) the Expression will result in 0 and the playbar will be hidden. The actions for the two other buttons are similar, but use the system variables cpCmndMute (for the Mute-button) and cpCmndCC (for the CC-button).

16 responses
Cool. I love lines of code like this. Simple, memorable and imminently useful. I guess wrt your other dilemma we've at least learned a better way to express it... Blog = 1 - Blog. But i'd rather it were Blog = 2 - Blog, so the choice would be should you blog about the same, or should you blog more. Love your posts. Hope you keep making them.
Thanks, Allen, for your support. And what is your answer: more about the same (which subject) or more blogging about as much subjects as possible?
I think tutorials on basic use - very simple things like working with timeline, why does my x disappear, navigating the interface etc. would be very helpful for new users. I see a lot of folks who are just starting and are struggling to understand how the basics work. Its simple of course, but there are always some folks who struggle with new paradigms.
Hi Lieve - I'm new to your blog but I hope you continue. I scan blogs, twitter, LinkedIn conversations, Google search, etc a few times a week and often am very glad I did. Finding fresh ideas, news and novel Captivate techniques and insights make the effort well worth while. Your input is appreciated.
I will be a big user of your blog and appreciate your tutorials very much. I'm waiting for my Captivate 5 to arrive so I can start using your tips. I especially like tips such as you have posted today--where I can get ideas for unique interactions and help on how to set them up behind the scenes. Users sharing interesting ideas help me to grow as a developer.
I'm new to your blog too, but if you have knowledge to share (and it certainly seems you do) continue with the blog. If it's responses you're looking for, you could make your blogs more interactive - just a thought.

My company just purchased the e-creative suite last year, so it is unlikely we will upgrade to Cap5 soon. I would like to see more info that is not specific to Cap5.

I am particularly interested in any research you can offer on the effects of graphics (and how they're displayed) on learning. How does the addition of narration or sound positively or negatively affect learning? Tips along this line would be much appreciated.

@SadieSaid Appreciate your comment, thanks. Will try to look for similar small tips like the Toggle-tip to post.
@Jennifer Snyder Thanks for taking time to comment. I did start this blog to post tips about Captivate 5 and the new eLearning suite. When possible I will certainly explain for Captivate 4 too as I did with the article about variables. Posterous is not really meant to be interactive, it only allows you to post files. Perhaps I will have to look for a more powerful blog application.
Hi Lieve,

I think that you should keep blogging. I understand the frustration of not getting feedback from your hard work but it does help a lot of people. For one, I'm always impressed with the energy that you put in making the Captivate Community a better place to be. Please keep on with the amazing work!

Good article and impressive #Captivate code example. Keep it up.
Using your toggle sample I've implemented on a single slide 18 advanced actions on 18 highlight box objects that toggle on/ off when clicked. I have defined a set of 18 user variables v_visib_01 - v_visib_18 (one for each highlight box/ not visible by default) that are used by the 18 advanced actions to do the toggle on/ off.

The issue I'm seeing is, although in preview mode it works fine, when I run in a browser, instead of the toggle on/ off highlight box behavior, I'm branched to the first slide in the project on a click. Any insight on why? Thank you!

Ken, I should know which version you are using? This seems a very strange behavior. Without seeing the file, bit difficult to guess about causes.
Thanks Lieve-

I am using Captivate 5.5. Browser is IE 8. Flash Player is 11.4.402.287. OS is Windows 7.


Ken, could you ask this question in the Captivate user forums? Either (needs Adobe ID) or

There it will be possible to post a screenshot of your advanced actions.

Thanks Lieve-

Done. Here:

Appreciate your help!


That is reazlly interesting, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I have joinsd your rss feed andd stay up forr in the hhunt for extra of yoiur magnificent post. Also, I've shared your website in my social networks