I’ve been teaching and developing projects in Adobe Captivate for years. My particular area of strength is advanced actions. Just when I think I know everything about Captivate, a seemingly teeny, tiny option gets added by the Adobe engineers and I end up looking silly.
Standard Actions, such as Show can be used to easily show a hidden object. The problem is that the project will continue playing after the action occurs (after the shape appears). If you wanted something else to happen while the learner is still on the slide (perhaps another object appearing), it’s too late because the learner has automatically been taken to the next slide after the hidden object appeared.
To get around the problem in the past, you needed to create an advanced action that showed the hidden object instead of using a standard action. Why would you need an advanced action for something so simple? Because the Continue Playing Project behavior does not automatically occur with advanced actions like it did with standard actions.
That was so yesterday! There is now one of those teeny, tiny deals I mentioned earlier on the Properties inspector: a simple checkbox on the Actions tab labeled Continue Playing the Project. It is checked by default so if you use a standard action to show an object, you’ll still end up on the next slide. However, if you want to keep the learner on the current slide, all you have to do is deselect Continue Playing the Project. (In the simple scenario I mentioned above, there’s no longer a need to create the advanced action.)
The Continue Playing the Project checkbox originally appeared in Captivate 9. I missed it. In prior versions, it wasn’t possible to stop a project from continuing to play if you used a standard action. Because Continue Playing the Project is selected by default in both Captivate 9 and 2017, it’s an easy option to overlook, especially if you’ve been developing in Captivate for years like me.
Though the Continue Playing the Project option means that you no longer need to create an advanced action for the behavior I’ve described above, you will still need to create advanced actions if you want an interactive object to perform multiple actions once clicked. If advanced actions have you a bit intimidated, join me for my Captivate Variable and Action Deep Dive series. The 101 class starts with the basics. As we move through 201, 301, and 401, we will continue to build your skills and practice with Captivate Variables and Advanced Actions.
Lori Smith, COTP, is IconLogic's lead programmer and Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Captivate. Lori has a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT as well as a Master’s in electrical engineering from George Mason University. She has been working in the field of software engineering for more than 20 years. During that time she worked as an embedded software engineer at Raytheon (E-Systems) and ARINC.