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Smart Shape Buttons - Always pauses or unpauses timeline.

Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019

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Hey all!

I'm using smart shapes as buttons in my project to trigger "pop ups" on slides, but I'm running into unintended effects with the timeline. I noticed the following check box:

My assumption was that it would work like this:

Continue playing the project unchecked: Clicking this button will pause the timeline

Continue playing the project checked: Clicking this button will not interact with the timeline in any way

This makes sense although a little counter intuitive, but what actually happens seems to be even moreso:

Continue playing the project unchecked: Clicking this button always pauses the timeline

Continue playing the project checked: Clicking this button always unpauses the timeline

Therefore, there seems to be no way to make a smart shape button simply NOT interact with the timeline. No matter what options are chosen, it will always either pause or unpause the timeline.

This isn't acceptable for me. I don't want the timeline to be paused when this button is clicked, but if I leave the Continue playing option checked, I run into the issue where if the learner waits until the end of the slide where it automatically pauses On Exit, clicking this button will resume the timeline, thus jumping to the next slide before they are ready.

I'm a heavy javascript user, but no amount of custom code seems to be able to get around this, since it appears to be built in functionality. Am I crazy? Am I overlooking something obvious? Any help would be appreciated.

To get this to work you’ll have to create Advanced Actions. In the example project you posted you would have to create four different advanced actions. One to show Popup01, one to hide Popup01, one to show Popup02, and one to hide Popup02. Then assign each advanced action to the corresponding button.

The downside of setting the On Success action to Show or Hide can be problematic when you’re attempting to do something as you’ve described. If you don’t select the option to “continue playing the project”, then pressing the button will pause the project. If you do have it selected, pressing the button won’t affect the project while it’s playing, but if you’re at the end of a slide and you push the button, it will then unpause the project.

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Smart Shape Buttons - Always pauses or unpauses timeline.

Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019

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Hey all!

I'm using smart shapes as buttons in my project to trigger "pop ups" on slides, but I'm running into unintended effects with the timeline. I noticed the following check box:

My assumption was that it would work like this:

Continue playing the project unchecked: Clicking this button will pause the timeline

Continue playing the project checked: Clicking this button will not interact with the timeline in any way

This makes sense although a little counter intuitive, but what actually happens seems to be even moreso:

Continue playing the project unchecked: Clicking this button always pauses the timeline

Continue playing the project checked: Clicking this button always unpauses the timeline

Therefore, there seems to be no way to make a smart shape button simply NOT interact with the timeline. No matter what options are chosen, it will always either pause or unpause the timeline.

This isn't acceptable for me. I don't want the timeline to be paused when this button is clicked, but if I leave the Continue playing option checked, I run into the issue where if the learner waits until the end of the slide where it automatically pauses On Exit, clicking this button will resume the timeline, thus jumping to the next slide before they are ready.

I'm a heavy javascript user, but no amount of custom code seems to be able to get around this, since it appears to be built in functionality. Am I crazy? Am I overlooking something obvious? Any help would be appreciated.

To get this to work you’ll have to create Advanced Actions. In the example project you posted you would have to create four different advanced actions. One to show Popup01, one to hide Popup01, one to show Popup02, and one to hide Popup02. Then assign each advanced action to the corresponding button.

The downside of setting the On Success action to Show or Hide can be problematic when you’re attempting to do something as you’ve described. If you don’t select the option to “continue playing the project”, then pressing the button will pause the project. If you do have it selected, pressing the button won’t affect the project while it’s playing, but if you’re at the end of a slide and you push the button, it will then unpause the project.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 06, 2019

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May I point to one of the many blogs I wrote about the Timeline?

Pausing Captivate's Timeline - Captivate blog

The timeline IS the most neglected topic in any basic training. I don't understand why, because questions like yours pop up all the time everywhere.

An interactive object (not only a shape button) can pause the timeline or not pause the timeline, that depends on the setup. If it pauses the timeline, the playhead will remain at the frame indicated by the pausing point. Clicking the object is normally meant to trigger an action: simple, advanced or shared using the Success event of the object. Clicking outside of the button can trigger another action but that is less used. You can combine the action with releasing the playhead or not. For a simple action the choice is made by checking/unchecking the option 'Continue....'. For an advanced or shared action the default setup is to keep the playhead paused. You can override that with the command Continue which is the opposite of the Pause command.

I have no problems whatsoever with this behavior.

I don't really understand why you 'pause the slide On Exit', that is an available slide event which I rarely use. Reason: it happens after leaving the last frame. If that last frame is not visited, that action will never occur. Use the On Enter slide event, never the On Exit event? I have blogs about events as well.

The command to pause the timeline is PAUSE, the command to release the playhead is CONTINUE. What is counter intuitive? 

Captivate's timeline is like the timeline of a short movie clip, since you have one for each slide. Interactivity is always built by controlling the timeline. In most cases that will be pausing the playhead to allow the user to do something, like clicking one of many buttons.

If you only want to have an interactive object to do something, but without ever pausing it on the frame corresponsiding with the pausing point, take out that pausing point. Result will be that whent he playhead reaches the last frame it will continue to the first frame of the next slide, where that button is maybe no longer avialable. Unless of course it is on the master slide, or timed for the rest of the project.

Understanding the timeline is for me priority number one in each basic training I offer.  SInce I often am asked to coach an advanced training, I have experieneced in many cases that I have to start by explaining the timeline (and themes) for those users as well.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019

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Thank you for your reply, I've actually read through most of your articles. They are definitely helpful, but I feel you misunderstand my use case.


Each slide has audio and animation time with this audio. It also contains images, text, and other interactions that the learner can explore at their own pace, either while the audio and animations are playing, or after they have completed.

This is why I Pause on Slide Exit. I can't pause on Enter, because I need the animation and audio to play first. Pausing on exit allows the learner to explore, read, then proceed when they are ready.

What I find counter intuitive is that buttons force a timeline interaction. It would make sense to me, that PAUSE and CONTINUE would be manually set up by the author as the button action if and when they wanted to do it, but instead I'm forced to choose to either resume, or pause the timeline when I want to do neither.

As a side note. All of my items on the slide have the "Pause After" option unchecked in the Timing panel:

I'm starting to see though, that as you said, Captivate is meant to be used like a movie of sorts. I may have to remove our interactive bits to conform to what Captivate was built to do, as this isn't the first time I've run into issues trying to add things like this. It doesn't make for particularly interesting content though.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 06, 2019

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Seems we speak a different language. The command PAUSE has not totally the same effect as the pausing point of an interiactive object.

If you want to pause each slide at its end, use ashape butotn on the main master slide. One of the tricks that I explained in:

Easy Timeline Tweaks - Captivate blog

Much safer workflow, because now the slide will pause AT its last frame, not after it.

There is no reason at all to remove any animiation, I use them all the time as well. Same with audio (which can be paused or not by a pausing point).  Misunderstanding again.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019

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My background is in programming, so it's very likely I'm being unclear. What may make sense to me may not make sense to someone with a different background, so sorry about that.

Thank you, I will try out the shape button on a master slide technique and report back.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 06, 2019

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I started in programming decades ago.... Captivate's interactivity workflows are amazing,  I rarely have to switch to JS but as you probably know have a lot of experience with CP.

BTW if you cannot solve it, would like to see the actions triggered by the buttons. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019

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The shape button on the master slide technique did indeed work for stopping the slide at the end. (Funny note about it though: the invisible button must be located within the screen bounds for this to work. If you drag it off of the screen, it won't work. That may seem obvious, but I figure it's worth noting.)

Buttons triggering the timeline to pause or resume doesn't seem to be resolved though.

I think my only option at this point is to just wait until the end of the timeline to display the button, that way user's won't inadvertently pause the timeline by clicking it early.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 06, 2019

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Something is awry with the setup of those buttons. Have an early

flight tomorrow.

Any object in the scratch area is considered not to be part of the file.

Why did you do that? Of Alpha and stroke are set to 0, shape button is

invisible to user.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019

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This is getting off topic, but I did it because it was still possible to click the button, even if it has 0 alpha and stroke set to 0. I made it as small as possible, but I still managed to accidentally click it as the slide transitioned. I was experimenting with ways to make sure the user could not click it. I was documenting my findings for anyone who may run into that issue (and consequently this thread) in the future.

I appreciate the effort, but if you have somewhere to be please don't let this keep you up.

For anyone else reading this thread, I present to you a small project file with the issue reproduced:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1niCPY9lvDuFlbdaYUKYKx_1JNEcpj_Eu

To restate my desired outcome: I want to be able to "Show" an item with a button, and not have it interact with the timeline in any way.

Even setting the button action to "Execute Javascript" doesn't allow me to skirt the "Continue..." option

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 06, 2019

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Kotton.  You seem to be very focused on that Continue Playing the Project checkbox on the Properties tab for the button.  But that checkbox is really intended to determine what should happen AFTER the button is clicked and the Advanced Action you specify has been executed.

The default behaviour of a button or interactive object is to pause the timeline, usually at about 1.5 seconds after it enters the timeline.  You can configure whether button objects and click boxes pause the timeline via the settings in the Timing tab (which I haven't seen mentioned yet in this discussion).  If you don't want the button to pause the timeline, just deselect the checkbox there for Pause After x seconds.

In earlier versions of Captivate, if you wanted the timeline to continue after clicking a button that executed a Single action (e.g. a SHOW action) then you had to go to all the trouble of creating an Advanced Action (e.g. a Standard Action or Conditional Action) and explicitly add another action line for Continue after the SHOW action.  This was quite a bit more setup.  But since it was quite a common thing to want to continue playing the timeline after a single action Adobe added that little Continue Playing the Project checkbox on certain actions.  It was a welcome enhancement.

Does that now make more sense?

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 06, 2019

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Thanks for your input Rod!

Unfortunately, I've already unchecked the option you mentioned (Pause after x seconds). That doesn't appear to be the issue. In my digging I actually did happen upon older threads from before the "Continue" option was implemented. It makes sense given the context, and so I fear I'm just using captivate in a way I'm not supposed to be.

If the answer at the end of the day is simply "You cannot do what you want to do", I would be satisfied. I've already wasted almost a full day just trying to get this to meet client specifications. It'd be nice to just tell them "We can't do that, how about option x or y instead?"

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019

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If you have turned off the Smart Shape button's default pausing behaviour in Timing tab, and there are no other interactive objects on the slide that might also be pausing the timeline, then the only other things that will pause playback are Pause Actions being executed by some event.  Captivate's interactivity is always event-based.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 07, 2019

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Rod, there is a shape button on the main master slide, pausing each slide

at its end.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2019

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Yes I know.

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2019

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Set the slide to "pause" on entry.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 14, 2019

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Not a good advice at all! OP wanted to remain on slide at end. Pausing On Enter will prevent anything from appearing except animations. Slide audio will not play.

On Thu, 14 Mar 2019, 02:02 melissasl79045872, <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

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Engaged ,
Mar 20, 2019

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To get this to work you’ll have to create Advanced Actions. In the example project you posted you would have to create four different advanced actions. One to show Popup01, one to hide Popup01, one to show Popup02, and one to hide Popup02. Then assign each advanced action to the corresponding button.

The downside of setting the On Success action to Show or Hide can be problematic when you’re attempting to do something as you’ve described. If you don’t select the option to “continue playing the project”, then pressing the button will pause the project. If you do have it selected, pressing the button won’t affect the project while it’s playing, but if you’re at the end of a slide and you push the button, it will then unpause the project.

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KoltonM LATEST
Community Beginner ,
Mar 22, 2019

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Thank you MichaelStevens! I never would have thought about doing this myself, but it works flawlessly. I'm glad it was so simple.

I created a Shared action to show and hide objects so I can reuse them in this and other courses.

Although it's too late for this client, this will definitely make my life easier in the future.

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