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Replaying slide doesn't reset object show/hide status

Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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I have a slide which works in two parts (see image below to identify the objects):

1) A first graphic menu is shown (using shapes as buttons) and whenever one of the three buttons (Btn_GDPR_What, Btn_GDPR_How or Btn_GDPR_Why)
is clicked, it calls an Advanced Action which shows some objects that are hidden by default (Shp_GDPR_What, Shp_GDPR_How or Shp_GDPR_Why,
according to the selected button).

2) This works fine and the learner can then select one of the Btn_GDPR_Detailsx buttons to display various information (they update variables that
are shown in the Shp_GDPR_Details box).

3) When the learner clicks on Btn_GDPR, it moves to the start of the slide to run the process over again.

Problem is the following:

The object that had been made visible in step (1) is still visible, even if another button is selected. It's as if restarting the slide didn't reset the objects
on it to their initial state (shown or hidden). In the Advanced Action attached to Btn_GDPR, I tried restarting the slide both by assigning cpInfoCurrentSlide -1 to cpCmdGotoSlide and also by using a Goto Previous slide command with a dummy slide before this one. Both restart the slide, but in both cases the objects' visibility status doesn't seem to have been reset to their original values.

I thought this may be a timeline issue and tried the having Shp_GDPR_What, Shp_GDPR_How and Shp_GDPR_Why objects starting at 0 and running to the end of the timeline, but this makes no difference.

Any insights would be more than welcome.

Captivate 2017 timeline.jpg

So, I have finally sorted out my problem. It boils down to two issues with Captivate:

1) My initial code was working (this has me rather reassured after years of coding in more complex environments). It just happens to be that Captivate doesn't produce the correct results when you preview slides. They need to be fully published to work as designed (...)

2) My template (downloaded within Captivate from the eLearning Brothers templates) was using a background image (only 72Kb file size), but this was creating problems, such as very long loading times for each slide when published.

I would like to thank Rema ******* who was effective in helping me troubleshoot the issues (and she's not paid by Adobe and is polite).

Let's hope Adobe solves some of the outstanding issues in Captivate (preview, use of Flash, outdated templates, ...) in the 2019 version, rather than just add new VR features. You need to get the basics right first !

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Replaying slide doesn't reset object show/hide status

Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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I have a slide which works in two parts (see image below to identify the objects):

1) A first graphic menu is shown (using shapes as buttons) and whenever one of the three buttons (Btn_GDPR_What, Btn_GDPR_How or Btn_GDPR_Why)
is clicked, it calls an Advanced Action which shows some objects that are hidden by default (Shp_GDPR_What, Shp_GDPR_How or Shp_GDPR_Why,
according to the selected button).

2) This works fine and the learner can then select one of the Btn_GDPR_Detailsx buttons to display various information (they update variables that
are shown in the Shp_GDPR_Details box).

3) When the learner clicks on Btn_GDPR, it moves to the start of the slide to run the process over again.

Problem is the following:

The object that had been made visible in step (1) is still visible, even if another button is selected. It's as if restarting the slide didn't reset the objects
on it to their initial state (shown or hidden). In the Advanced Action attached to Btn_GDPR, I tried restarting the slide both by assigning cpInfoCurrentSlide -1 to cpCmdGotoSlide and also by using a Goto Previous slide command with a dummy slide before this one. Both restart the slide, but in both cases the objects' visibility status doesn't seem to have been reset to their original values.

I thought this may be a timeline issue and tried the having Shp_GDPR_What, Shp_GDPR_How and Shp_GDPR_Why objects starting at 0 and running to the end of the timeline, but this makes no difference.

Any insights would be more than welcome.

Captivate 2017 timeline.jpg

So, I have finally sorted out my problem. It boils down to two issues with Captivate:

1) My initial code was working (this has me rather reassured after years of coding in more complex environments). It just happens to be that Captivate doesn't produce the correct results when you preview slides. They need to be fully published to work as designed (...)

2) My template (downloaded within Captivate from the eLearning Brothers templates) was using a background image (only 72Kb file size), but this was creating problems, such as very long loading times for each slide when published.

I would like to thank Rema ******* who was effective in helping me troubleshoot the issues (and she's not paid by Adobe and is polite).

Let's hope Adobe solves some of the outstanding issues in Captivate (preview, use of Flash, outdated templates, ...) in the 2019 version, rather than just add new VR features. You need to get the basics right first !

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 04, 2018

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Rewinding the timeline back to the start of the slide, or even back to the previous slide and then re-entering the slide again DOES NOT automatically reset the visibility of objects.  If your actions have made an object visible or invisible, then it will stay that way until another object changes its visibility again.  That's how Captivate works.

So you need to design your interactivity to explicitly set the visibility of the objects, and also allow for the possibility that a slide might be re-entered later.  It's your job as a designer to work these things out.

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Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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Why in that case do objects have a "Retain state on slide revisit" option in their properties? Would have thought checking this would make objects behave this way.

Furthermore, I just added an Advanced Action on the On Entry of my slide which hides the three objects, and it makes no difference. The ones previously made visible still remain visible.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 04, 2018

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That option is for multistate objects. If it is unchecker, they'll revert to their Normal state. But you have to re-enter the slide.

Have a look at:

Easy Timeline Tweaks - Captivate blog

Replay (slide) Button - Captivate blog

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Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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I had already seen your great blog posts.

I still don't understand my issue however. As you can see in my reply to RodWard, I have created an Advanced Action in the On Enter event of my slide in which I hide the three shapes. In my slide, when the Btn_GDPR button is pressed, I jump to the previous slide which lasts for 0.1 seconds.

If I first use the slide and show one of the shapes, then click on Btn_GDPR, the slide is displayed again with the initial 3 menus. If I then select a new menu choice, the shape corresponding to the previous menu selection is still visible (it should have been hidden on reentering the slide).

Any idea why this isn't working?

I also noticed another strange issue: On revisiting the slide, some objects are sometimes missing, yet they appear if I hover the mouse over their position (this occurs rarely, at random). I'm viewing the output using the latest version of Chrome.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 04, 2018

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Didn't want to interrupt your discussion with Rod, just to explain what Retain State means. Rod will take care of you.

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Engaged ,
Jul 04, 2018

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Could you post a screenshot of your On Enter action? Which objects are showing/not showing as expected?

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Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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Here's a screenshot of the On Enter action.

These three shapes are originally hidden (eye in their properties barred). As they can be individually activated (shown) depending on which menu is selected (using Btn_GDPR_What, Btn_GDPR_How or Btn_GDPR_Why), they need to be hidden again when the slide is reset (after pressing on Btn_GDPR which jumps to previous dummy slide and then displays this slide again).

Slide Enter action.jpg

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 04, 2018

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So does clicking the Btn_GDPR actually execute this particular action named Act_Reset_Overview?  It would seem that if the button were executing this action then all three objects should be hidden.  But you only show three line items.  If you assign the button to execute this action, you should also have another line action at the end that jumps to the previous slide.

Have you tried all this?

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Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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No, Act_Reset_Overview is the action that is executed on entering the slide (with On Enter).

The Btn_GDPR executes another action called Act_Overview_Restart which just contains two lines (Go to previous slide & Continue).

The other "menu" buttons (such as Btn_GDPR_What) contain instructions to show the corresponding shape (in this case Shp_GDPR_What) and various other elements.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 04, 2018

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The dummy slide approach is from my blog site I suspect. There is no need for 'Conitnue', just 'Go to Previous slide' is fine.

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Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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Yes, I did catch the idea of the dummy slide from your blog (it's slightly annoying in a commercial tool to have to use such "tricks" to do something as simple as restarting a slide...).

I used the Continue as a habit to un-pause the button, but I removed it (still functions the same way).

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Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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To illustrate what happens, I have copied the screens from the output hereafter.

1. When this slide runs the first time

GDPR Demo_1.jpg

2. After clicking on "How", we get this screen. Notice the small green "How" displayed bottom left. The GDPR displayed
next to it is the Btn_GDPR (used to restart the slide).

GDPR Demo_2.jpg

3. After returning to the start of the slide (same image as in 1), if you now select the "Why bother" menu,
you obtain the following screen. Notice that the How box is still displayed (despite the Hide applied to it on
entering the slide) and the Why box doesn't seem to display (can only see its text), despite it being
made visible (with a Show) when the "Why" menu element was clicked.

GDPR Demo_3.jpg

Hope this makes the way this is supposed to work clear and can help someone figure out why it's not working.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 04, 2018

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I know, but this is due to the fact that you need to re-enter the slide to replay the On Enter action. I used to do it with micro-navigation (no dummy slide) but it didn't work for a while in CP2017 HTML output, now seems again to work. Is a little bit more complicated for most users, hence the dummy slide approach. If you don't pause a slide On Enter, the playhead will continue automatically. That is the reason why the default action On Enter is set to 'No Action'.

If you don't have an On Enter action to reset Replay is much easier as I showed in the first blog post.

About your problem (Rod may be sleeping?), did you ever show the action that is triggered by the three first shape buttons? From what I can deduct on the screen shots the indicator 'Why' is not an interactive button but a static shape? Is it a multistate object (which is what I would have done)?

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Explorer ,
Jul 04, 2018

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The first three shape buttons run a quite long list of actions, mostly setting values for the names of the red buttons you can see in the circle. They also make one of the three small What / How / Why static shapes shown on the bottom left-hand side visible using a "show" command.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 04, 2018

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Why cannot you show that action? What is happening is that you don't reset some items that have been changed with those actions. As I told, I would not use Show/Hide for the non-interactive items, but states,. That is better because when re-entering, and with the default setting that Retain state is unchecked, you don't have to bother about resetting the state. It will always be the Normal state. That normal state could be a shape with no stroke, no fill. The other states have the color and the text you want for the indicator Why.... SInce you don't want to show a Preview of those actions, cannot be more specific. My intuition may be wrong, but it tells me that your actions are much more complicated than necessary because you don't use groups nor multistate objects, nor shared actions.

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Explorer ,
Jul 05, 2018

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I replaced the show/hide actions by using states for the boxes, but it doesn't work any better. I now have the boxes visible in their default state and created a second "hidden" state in which their opacity is at 0%. When I click on one of the menu buttons, the Advanced Action sets two of the boxes to their secondary hidden state. They don't appear now in their usual position, but the text appears up at the top of the screen!!! Furthermore, the button used to jump back to the previous dummy slide doesn't work anymore (there's really no logic to this, as there have been no timeline changes or changes to the Advanced Action this button calls).

Could I possibly send you a copy of the Captivate files to your blog address (info@lilybiri.com) for you to review and determine the problem?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 05, 2018

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I don't accept files to debug. I asked you for a screenshot of the action, so that I could specify what to do.

For the multistate object (don't know what you mean by 'box', I talked about the indicator down left) you did exactly the contrary of what I wrote: Normal (default) state should be 'empty', and when clicking a button of the highest level you should change the state of the indicator to the text and color needed for that button (What, Why, ...) because now you lose exactly the advantage which I explained, that the multistate object will return to its normal (empty) state when replaying the slide.

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Explorer ,
Jul 05, 2018

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When I talked about a box, it was the multistate object. I now did do exactly as you suggested, but things still aren't working, the result I have now is shown hereafter:

Try2 result.jpg

I had clicked on the "Btn_GDPR_Why" menu button, meaning the two "What" & "How" boxes should be invisible and the "Why" box visible. Not only are the two first partly visible, but the "Why" box is not (only its text is at the top of the screen - how it ended-up there is anyone's guess).

Here's the Action content for the "Btn_GDPR_Why" button:

Btn_GDPR_Why.jpg

The Shp_GDPR_Why, Shp_GDPR_What & Shp_GDPR_How shapes have the following states defined:

1) Normal (Default): Filled with white (background colour) and opacity 0%

2) Active: Filled with a colour and opacity 100%

Let me know if you need any other information.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 05, 2018

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Glad you didin't hear me You have a lot to learn, will try to help and explain slowly.

Multistate object: You didn't understand what I meant at all. I told to replace the 3 indicators starting with "Shp_GDPR.... " by ONE multistate "Shp_GDPR" object with 4 states:

  1. Normal state:  Alpha = 0, Stroke = 0 Color doesn't matter
  2. Why state: has the appropriate color, stroke AND the text WHY
  3. What state: has the appropriate color, stroke AND the text WHAT
  4. How state: has the appropriate color, stroke AND the text HOW

You have to replace the present command Change State... by

  • Change State of Shp_GDPR to Why      for the Why button
  • Change State of Shp_GDPR to What    for the What button
  • Change State of Shp_GDPR to How     for the How button

Do not check the option 'Retain state....'. When replaying the slide the Normal state will automatically be reset.

Clearing a variable, do not do that with a "". Read why in this recent blog post: Where is Null in CP2017? - Captivate blog  Use an empty variable v_null to avoid later problems.

Grouping Apparently I don't see all the commands (you can learn to use the Preview feature and more in another blog post:

Advanced Actions Dialog box in Captivate 2017 - Captivate blog

From what I see you could get rid a lot of commands if you grouped the 5 buttons that you are showing, and probably same for those to be hidden. I cannot specify because I don't see everything, but group those buttons that are to be shown together. You probably will reduce the commands then to one Show and two Hide commands.

If you want to reset the whole slide on Replay, you have to hide everything that has been shown with one of the first level buttons, and grouping can help here tremendously. I already recommended to group the first level buttons.

I don't know the reason of all those variables, maybe you can explain?

Personally I would certainly switch to a shared action, but this would be over your head. Try to grab what I explained above.

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Explorer ,
Jul 05, 2018

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I find your tone slightly condescending. Just for your information:

- If people don't understand a product, it's generally due to poor design, rather than poor understanding (I suggest you read this regarding the topic: https://www.amazon.com/Design-Everyday-Things-Revised-Expanded/dp/0465050654/ )

- Adobe is notoriously bad at including good teaching materials with its products in general and the UI in many of its products is quite bad (think Photoshop and its 64 tools in a single tool bar). I suppose they allow an entire Adobe education side-industry to thrive...

- I happen to have used many of Adobe's products for years (Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects), yet the concepts in Captivate are really bizarre for people coming from other areas

Now to the point regarding my problem in Captivate:

1) I didn't want to replace my 3 coloured boxes by a single one, as I want them to be in three different positions on the screen. If I use a single multistate object, I can vary the text & colours, but not the screen position (by the way, you still haven't figured out why my "why" text ended-up at the top of the screen)

2) Clearing variables: I would also prefer to use a Null value (I happen to also know how to code, having written an entire engine using C# in Unity), but it was really not clear from your interface how to do so (just entering an empty string is not allowed and there's no drop-down option for a Null)

3) Grouping: I would have clearly loved to group many of my objects into a group to simplify the code and execute actions in one go on them. However, I didn't do so because Captivate seems to have the following issue: create two shapes on your screen and move the screen width cursor to see them shrink properly accordingly. Now create a group with these two objects and try reducing your screen size again (the group just moves off the screen instead of resizing in a responsive manner)

4) Variables: These are used to dynamically assign names to the red buttons in the circle. As there are three places in which this is done (according to the initial selection you make). The button names will be different if you select the What, How or Why menu.

5) Shared action: Not over my head (...), I will be using this in different places, but just haven't had time yet trying to figure out the issues with Captivate

To be honest, I recently selected Captivate for an e-learning project for its advanced actions, because I use many other Adobe products and for the subscription model, but judging by my initial experience, I'm thinking I should perhaps have purchased Articulate upfront...


Shame I now need to wait 12 months to get out of my contract with Adobe.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 05, 2018

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I think I just saw someone wave a red rag in front of a Belgian bull...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 05, 2018

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OK, know what to do. J_Nice comment after all the time spent here to try to help you out.

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Explorer ,
Jul 06, 2018

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Well, could you possibly let me know if what I'm trying to do is possible or not in Captivate? That is make one of the three small box shapes appear at the bottom left-hand side of the screen, each in a different position, when the slide restarts and according to the menu button which is pressed?

If so, please provide exact instructions on how to achieve this, otherwise, please just indicate that this is not possible.

As you mentioned points about other aspects not directly related to my problem, I would also be interested in knowing your thoughts on my reply to point (3), e.g. is it normal for grouped objects not to shrink the same way as they do when they're placed individually on the slide?

Thank you for your insights.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 06, 2018

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I think you may have used up all your available credits with the free support team here.  Perhaps you could ring Adobe's official Support number and get their view on the issue. 

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Explorer ,
Jul 18, 2018

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So, I have finally sorted out my problem. It boils down to two issues with Captivate:

1) My initial code was working (this has me rather reassured after years of coding in more complex environments). It just happens to be that Captivate doesn't produce the correct results when you preview slides. They need to be fully published to work as designed (...)

2) My template (downloaded within Captivate from the eLearning Brothers templates) was using a background image (only 72Kb file size), but this was creating problems, such as very long loading times for each slide when published.

I would like to thank Rema ******* who was effective in helping me troubleshoot the issues (and she's not paid by Adobe and is polite).

Let's hope Adobe solves some of the outstanding issues in Captivate (preview, use of Flash, outdated templates, ...) in the 2019 version, rather than just add new VR features. You need to get the basics right first !

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