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Spooktacular Halloween eLearning Tips & Tricks

frankieSmall Let’s share a few scary cool tips and tricks for creating great eLearning with Adobe Captivate this Halloween. I held an eSeminar yesterday with a complete overview – Here is the downloadable source: littlMonstors.cptx, as well as a brief overview of some of the highlights.

Trick #1 – Create a popup window with just a few clicks
In this example I created a simple example of a glossary popup window. It’s incredibly simple to do in Captivate. Just Shift-Select all of the items in your popup window – and press CTRL+G to group them. In my case that was the Glossary Interaction (Insert:Interactions:Glossary) a simple shape for the background, and a little button for the close box.


These simple elements will then be hidden so you’ll use the toggle properties tab to first name the newly created group. Name the popup window something appropriate, and then uncheck the box labeled visible in window. You’ll use the name later to control the little window.


Now one last thing – you’ll want this slide to pause. In a real world use case, you’d probably have some learning materials on the slide – maybe you’d highlight or hyperlink some words, and when the user clicks on those on screen words or buttons – you’d ‘Show’ the little popup window. In this example I’ve added a text string to call the ‘Show’ of the little window and a button to enable pause and navigation.


Let’s have a look at the Advanced Action used to Show the little popup window. As you can see, there is just one line in the Action, a line instructing Captivate to Show the popup window.

Just as this simple script opens (actually shows) the window, a similar script will be used to close (hide it again.) We’ll attach that script to the close button. Simply put, it’s the exact same script – but it Hides instead of Shows the group.

Trick #2 – Ever wanted to create a complex window on the page – with text, images, video etc.?
Why not use the new Web Object Interaction? It’s simple, just Insert:Interaction:Web Object. The object can be configured to scroll – and will easily allow you to either point to published web sites / pages, or to point to local html files – so you can build a custom scrolling field that looks and feels the way you want – giving you virtually limitless screen space.

Trick #3 – Gradients, Shadows & Reflections can be insanely powerful
You wouldn’t think that this image was created using a simple shape. The Gradient has been modified. Right click and chose Edit Gradient to modify the center and the spread of a gradient. In this case I’ve changed the gradient type to radial, to echo the spherical shape. I then added an ‘inner shadow’ to round out the effect. The reflection is just for fun.


Trick #4 – I didn’t see that shape in the Smart Shapes Toolbar
You can right click on a smart shape and go into edit mode for that element. Once you are editing points, the handles will allow you to move and edit both the points and the shapes of the curves coming away from those points.


Trick #5 – Fun With Drag and Drop
A Halloween themed drag and drop forms the last little lesson. Simple to produce – just follow these steps.


1. Drop a few small icons on the workspace (in this case some skulls & some colorful icons)
2. Create a little drop zone (in this case a box smart shape)
3. In the Drag and drop panel (Window: Drag & Drop) create a new D&D Interaction. (It’s the little new page icon.)
4. Select the regular skulls – all of them. You can use shift + select.
5. In the D&D panel, Click the Drag Source Radio Button
6. In the D&D panel, click the plus icon next to custom type and name the new type skullz
7. Now select the three other icons (we’ll call them detractors.)
8. In the D&D panel, click the drag source radio button
9. In the D&D panel, click the plus icon next to custom type, and name the new type ‘detractor’
10. Now select the big square smart shape
11. In the D&D panel, select the drop target radio button
12. Now deselect the drop area, and select all six of the original skullz
13. Click the little round + icon in the middle of one of the skulls – and drag the arrow over to the middle of the drop target box shape – release the mouse when you are inside the box shape.
14. Arrows will appear from each drag skull to the drop target.
15. In the D&D panel you’ll see a button called correct answers – click it
16. Note that the correct answer is now all 6 skullz. You can click to change that to 3 skullz
17. Now select the drop target square smart shape
18. In the D&D panel you’ll find a button marked ‘Accept’ Click the Accept button
19. Notice that both skullz and detractors can be accepted
20. Click on the ‘no action’ link for the skullz element
21. Choose Advanced Action – note that you can now create the same kind of show / hide popup box you did in the first activity
22. Can you create a positive reinforcement popup for clicking skullz and a negative popup dialog for clicking detractors?

Happy Holidays everyone – as always, comments and questions are welcome below.

11 Responses

  1. Thanks for the blog post. My schedule was too insane to get to attend the live presentation and the post here has helped me get some of the content of the seminar now that I am nearing a slow down enough to plan to view it this afternoon. I have watching the recording now scheduled and am really looking forward to it. I saw some tips I didn’t realize Captivate could do such as the editing of the smart shape with a right click editing mode. How did I miss that?! Too cool!

  2. Allen,
    Thanks so much for this. We only have Captivate 6, with no plans to upgrade to 7 at this time due to firewall issues among other things. The web object interaction (trick #2) is something we would use a lot, but i don’t see this in my captivate gallery. is there a way to do this in Captivate 6?

    Thank you!

    • Vera,

      Great to hear from you. You can reach me here, or by posting to one of the forums, such as – I work with a whole team of awesome Captivate specialists, who are often responsible for making me look smarter than I really am – so don’t be surprised if one of them reaches out to answer a question. You can also reach us at captivateHelp (at) adobe (dot) com with bugs or feature suggestions. I’m also sending you an email. 😉

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