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Empty variables (Captivate 2019)

Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Hello,

I'm quite lost with this so maybe could show me the good path.

 

Firstly, to prevent blocks of text from being pixelated, you can insert an empty variable in the block, which forces the block to render dynamically. This works very well for export, but as soon as I publish to my Moodle (through a SCORM package), the empty variable is converted to a '0' in my text block.
Is this just due to the type of export or have I missed some extra 'trick' to make it work?

 

And secondly, I have a slide with lots of definitions to give (a kind of glossary). To keep things simple, I thought I could insert 2 variables (title + definition) in a block of text (see screenshot) and that by clicking on my various label buttons I could assign the 2 variables with a shared action. Once again, the principle works well, but at the start (before selecting the first label) or when I return to the 'empty' state by assigning an empty variable to my 2 variables in the block, it displays "0" again.

 

Thanks for any help 😉

 

Capture d’écran 2024-02-27 à 10.21.09.png

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Community Expert , Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

Sorry, went for a short walk because of the sun. Here in Belgium it has been raining for months.

I cannot send it through this forum. It must definitely be another bug in 11.8 because this worked for me in 11.5.5.

Can you try this: use the On Enter action of the slide to assign the value "" to the variable:

AssignEmpty.PNG

You need to do this on the first slide. Since you don't change that value anymore later, it should remain empty. Crossing my fingers that this works, that you don't discover another bug.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Which exact version of CP2019 do you use? It had 3 main releases and multiple patch releases. You find the full version number under Help, About Captivate.

I suspect you didn't make it an empty variable.  I 'invented' this workflow over a decade ago, but did write a new post 5 years ago. It may help you, is linked to the fact that in CP2019 a variable has no defined type. If you leave it empty it is assumed to be the number 0. 

https://blog.lilybiri.com/where-is-null-in-cp2017

 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Hello Lilybiri, thanks for quick response !

I've already come across your post but I didn't really understand the 'why' behind this rather complicated workflow (compare to the older tutos I found). So, just to make sure I have the right starting point, I understand from your reply above that the empty variable 'trick' did work in older versions of Captivate but that the latest versions (mine is 11.8.2) no longer accept empty variables (and so no 'easy' solution now to do the same kind of things)?

 

So, is there another solution for forcing the dynamic rendering of a text block?

And for my glossary things, I will then go further in your post and maybe have a look on kdmemory possible workflow.

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Advocate ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Can't you just work with two text blocks (Text captions in Cp 2019), one for titles and one for definitions and use multistates for the different label texts?

Or, just an idea, maybe your variable concept works when you instead of an empty value (which becomes 0) use the HTML entity:

 

which is in HTML a nonbreaking space , practically an empty (text) string. Maybe?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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@kdmemory Sorry, but the workflow with a nonbreaking space in CP2019 will not work.

The workflow with a (real) empty variable, which is entered as default value "" makes the text container (shape or outdated caption) dynamic. That is the term which was used in Flash, now Animate: since the variable needs to be evaluated on runtime, the complete text will be rendered on runtime, thus avoiding the blurriness when static text is converted to an image and it had a low font size. This is valid ONLY for non-responsive projects. Both Breakpoint views or Fluid Boxes create responsive projects, where all text is rendered on runtime.

Sorry because I point to the blogs which offer more details.

In CP12 all projects are responsive, you don't need this old cheating workflow. I suspect OP didn't define a default value for the 'empty' variable.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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I'm well on a non-responsive project (great) but once more I'm lacking background knowledge and don't understand / The workflow with a (real) empty variable, which is entered as default value "" / ? How are you creating these "real" empty variables?

Sorry if this seems obvious but this is my first project.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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That is what I explained in detail. Version 11.8.2 is indeed very buggy compared with 11.5.5.553 and I have not tested this particular workflow because it is so saddening to find all those new bugs.

Open the variables dialog box from the Project menu, use New variable. Fill in the name and default value, than Save (I didn't save yet in this screenshot):

EmptyVar.PNG

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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I cannot fill the value field with some characters including the opening and closing double quote 😕 (and also all accentuated french characters) !! Maybe related with your comment on v11.8.2 bugs. 

I'm starting to think it could be a good idea to downgrade my version?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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OK, another cheating workaround for you. I had the same problem from scratch in 11.5.5 which is rather bug free. Why did I not see this before? Because I import a shared action with my much used variables in any new project, and v_empty is one of them. I use an external library with many shared actions for that purpose.

Workaround:

  • create a shape in the scratch area, which is the dark area around the stage
  • double-click or use F2 to got into text editing mode
  • type the double quotes ""
  • select them, copy (CTRL-C)
  • go into the  Default value field in the Variables dialog box
  • paste (CTRL-V)

 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Thanks for all your help but this is still not working. When I copy/paste the double quotes in the field, it's enclosed automaticaly between.... double quotes ,-( and even if I'm then deleting the double quotes my variable display the double quotes.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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This software is crazy 🙂

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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And just to be sure, I even copy your quotes from above (type the double quotes "" / those ones) and paste them into my shape but when I copy it again and try to paste it in the Value field of the variable it paste just nothing (refuse to paste at all).

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Could I really go overboard and receive the shared action (or any other simplified action, of course) to see if I can reimport it into my project with the empty variable?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Sorry, went for a short walk because of the sun. Here in Belgium it has been raining for months.

I cannot send it through this forum. It must definitely be another bug in 11.8 because this worked for me in 11.5.5.

Can you try this: use the On Enter action of the slide to assign the value "" to the variable:

AssignEmpty.PNG

You need to do this on the first slide. Since you don't change that value anymore later, it should remain empty. Crossing my fingers that this works, that you don't discover another bug.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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I fully understand (living too under the Belgium weather) 😄 

And this is finaly working !! So I could just assign my empty variable like this on the first slide and use it anywhere after. Many many thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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It took too long. Why did they prevent entering double quotes. I know that localisation (I seem to be the only one to beg about improving that) is not at all a priority. New Captivate is even worse, you cannot use lot of the shortcut keys when using a non-US keyboard. XD was the same.

Je crois que vous êtes francophone? Je suis flamande mais la langue de Voltaire est ma deuxième langue.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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Argh, spoke too fast (ik ben halfve en halve maar spreek en schrijft bijna nooit Vlaamse). I was testing with Preview but just try to publish and import in my Moodle and the "0" is back again (not on first opening but as soon as I restart the project.

As you are in Belgium and this is a pro project, would you be interested by some consultancy (need to talk with my boss first about it but this could be great)?

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Community Expert ,
Feb 27, 2024 Feb 27, 2024

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You can find a form on my website (lilybiri.com) or contact me here by private message.

I am a bit hesitating...my clients are mostly in North America, Australia or even Africa. Europe doesn't like Europeans.

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