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Confusion over Recording and Displaying Keystrokes and Mouse Clicks

Community Beginner ,
Sep 12, 2018

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Hello, all.

My apologies if this question has already been asked. I have searched the Captivate help forum for related posts and have yet to find what I need. I am very new to Captivate (just installed it several hours ago), so my question might sound a bit simplistic.

I'm using Captivate 2017 on Windows 7.

My goal is to create an educational video that teaches the viewer how to build a 3D model. The modelling process (done in a program called "Sketchup Make 2017") is very hotkey-intensive. In order for my video to be effective, I need Captivate to record and show each of my keystrokes (e.g., displaying "ctrl + Q" when I hold the control button down and press the "Q" key) and mouse clicks (i.e., R-click, L-click, and M-click).

I have tried several ways to accomplish this. I tried recording a software simulation, but this did not capture all of my keystrokes, and it did not show different mouse clicks. I tried recording a demo video, but I could not figure out how to make my video display my keystrokes, much less my mouse clicks.

I have searched through forum posts for the past hour, and I have yet to find a solution that a) I can understand, and b) fixes my problem. I'm not looking to do anything fancy - no virtual keyboards, no interactive features, just a simple video with keystrokes and mouse clicks shown as a text overlay. Does anyone have recommendations for how I can do this?

Any advice, including links to other posts, would be much appreciated.

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Confusion over Recording and Displaying Keystrokes and Mouse Clicks

Community Beginner ,
Sep 12, 2018

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Hello, all.

My apologies if this question has already been asked. I have searched the Captivate help forum for related posts and have yet to find what I need. I am very new to Captivate (just installed it several hours ago), so my question might sound a bit simplistic.

I'm using Captivate 2017 on Windows 7.

My goal is to create an educational video that teaches the viewer how to build a 3D model. The modelling process (done in a program called "Sketchup Make 2017") is very hotkey-intensive. In order for my video to be effective, I need Captivate to record and show each of my keystrokes (e.g., displaying "ctrl + Q" when I hold the control button down and press the "Q" key) and mouse clicks (i.e., R-click, L-click, and M-click).

I have tried several ways to accomplish this. I tried recording a software simulation, but this did not capture all of my keystrokes, and it did not show different mouse clicks. I tried recording a demo video, but I could not figure out how to make my video display my keystrokes, much less my mouse clicks.

I have searched through forum posts for the past hour, and I have yet to find a solution that a) I can understand, and b) fixes my problem. I'm not looking to do anything fancy - no virtual keyboards, no interactive features, just a simple video with keystrokes and mouse clicks shown as a text overlay. Does anyone have recommendations for how I can do this?

Any advice, including links to other posts, would be much appreciated.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 12, 2018

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Mouse clicking (or tapping for touchscreens) on hotspots is not usually too hard to arrange.

But for actions invoked by keystroke you need to be aware of the fact that when you capture a simulation recording with Captivate (as slide-by-slide demo) it is always going to be playing in a web browser environment after publishing. That means that the web browser gets first pick of which keystrokes it wants to reserve for its own use.  The content playing in the browser doesn't have the ability to over-ride the browser's reserved keystrokes.

So, there are usually lots of keystrokes which would work in the original application that you cannot really replicate in the Captivate simulation.  You usually need to explain this in the tutorial and provide some other way the learner can indicate a keystroke action.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 13, 2018

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I've had issues recording software simulations when the application I'm recording is not located on my primary monitor in a two monitor situation. Keystrokes and mouse clicks fail to register resulting in the software simulations being useless. It may not be your issue but double check that your 3D Modeling application isn't located on a secondary monitor when recording.

Paul Wilson, CTDP | https://captivateteacher.com

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 13, 2018

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Thank you for replying so quickly, RodWard​.

I think I may have been a little unclear on what my overall goal is. I want to make a non-interactive demo video, to be published on youtube or saved as a video file that I can share with my immediate colleagues. I tried recording my project as a software simulation to see if the different format would allow me to display keystrokes.

Your advice is definitely helpful, as far as software simulations go, but I am not trying to account for my viewer's keystrokes. I only want to display the keys I press while Captivate is recording. Is my understanding too simplistic? Let me know if you want me to clarify my question.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 13, 2018

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Also, thanks paul wilson​. I am on a laptop, with no external monitors connected. I double-checked in control panel, and there are no external 'ghost monitors' detected either, so I don't think that's the problem.

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Engaged ,
Sep 13, 2018

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You may have to place text captions on the slide, timed to appear/disappear at the right times.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 13, 2018

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Thanks for the help, dan56​. I just want to clarify your answer.

Do you mean that for each keystroke I want to display, I need to manually place a text caption, manually type the keystroke information into the text caption, and then manually change the appear/disappear timing for the text caption? If this is what you mean, I'm trying to find a way to do this automatically. My tutorials will have anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of keystrokes in them, and it would prohibitively time-consuming to do all this for each one.

If this isn't what you mean, could you please clarify?

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Engaged ,
Sep 13, 2018

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If the keystrokes aren't appearing as you record, that might be necessary. It's a time-consuming workaround, but might end up being the solution. @paulwilson has a video on software simulation recording and post-production (among many others) on his youtube channel - it might help clarify things.

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