Hi I've been trying to use this for several days and cant do one simple thing despite trawling through the internet and reading and looking at videos on BUTTONS!
I have 3 'speech bubbles' sitting over a pik of a person's head. I've used 3 smart shapes for the speech bubbles. I've overlayed each shape with a text box. Each smart shape and text box I have grouped,so I have 3 groups. I have turned the shapes into buttons.
When the user clicks on the button I want 'success' to bring up a text box ie group 9 in my slide (which is the answer to the question). I have programmed 'success' is to 'show' 'group 9'.
When I play the slide all the speech bubbles show up AS WELL as the text box (group 9), like, there's no interaction 😞
This is basic stuff right! Why is it so complicated?
Anything is complicated when you don't know what you are doing. As you have said, you are just beginning with Captivate, and (since you didn't mention it) I assume you haven't undertaken any training other than internet videos or help pages.
It would have helped a lot if you had included screenshots with your question, but based only on the information you so far give, I will try to help.
It seems that you are unaware of the fact that a Smart Shape can also have text as well as being a button. Is that why you chose to overlay a text caption on top of the shape, so that you could have text display? Just double click the shape to see the text entry cursor, or right click on the shape and choose Edit Text from the context menu to get the same option to enter text. This is much cleaner because if you have something positioned over the top of the button then that object may be obscuring the button's 'hit area' and prevent it from responding to clicks.
If you want a button to SHOW another object, then that object needs to start out on the slide as HIDDEN. To hide an object so that it is not visible in the output by default, look for the small 'eye' icon that is beside the object's name in the Properties tab. When you mouse over this icon it will show the tip text 'Visible in Output'. If you click this icon it will change to have a slash through it and the tip text will say 'Not visible in output'. That means the object will now be hidden by default.
Now that the object is hidden, you can SHOW the object again by setting a button to execute a SHOW action where this object is the selected target of the action (which I see you had already figured out how to do).
So, perhaps the main thing you were missing here is that you needed to HIDE the objects first, before trying to SHOW them?
The other thing you are going to need to know is that if you have multiple objects on a slide that all need to be shown or hidden, then the action to show that object also needs to hide the other objects at the same time. So you won't be able to do everything with just simple actions in Captivate (selected from the dropdown in Properties tab > Actions > On Success). You will need to delve into Advanced Actions, which allow you to execute multiple actions from a single click event. But that's another topic.
Although Show/Hide (IMO old workflow) will work, it makes things more complicated than necessary. Moreover you have indeed too may objects which increases the complexity. Using shapes as text container (as Rod points out) is for sure a great tip, although it will lead to issues in Chrome when the text contains variables. I suppose that is not the case for you.
My workflow for Click/Reveal (that is the technique you want, normal terminology) is to use multistate objects instead of Show/Hide. I may write out aother blog post to compare different ways for Click/Reveal. If you are using CP2019, version 11.5 (most recent) you could also have a look at the Slides in the Assets panel, where you'll find mulltiple examples of Click/Reveal (not always the best way but that is my personal opinion).
Summary of a possible workflow
This is for your use case the easiest way to achieve your goal. My moto is KISS...
It has two main advantages:
I may send you a link later on, when I have the courage to write out this workflow as a start of a 'Back to Basics' for Click/Reveal scenarios. It is very frustrating that only old workflows seem to be documented in the overhyped videos. on YouTube and others.
Quote your last sentence:
"This is basic stuff right! Why is it so complicated? "
It is NOT complicated, but keep away from people promoting complicated,, outdated workflows. Already amazed that you didn't detect some 'experts' claiming that you need to code in JS for this.