Tweak that Timeline: 4 easy workflows

April 30, 2018
Lieve is a civil engineer (ir) and a professional musician. After years of teaching and research (project management/eLearning/instability) she is now a freelancer specializing in advanced Adobe Captivate as trainer and consultant. Her blog is popular with Captivate users worldwide. As an Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Education Leader, she has presented both online and offline. Since 2015 she is moderator on the Adobe forums and was named as Forum Legend (special category) in the Wall of Fame. In 2017 Adobe Captivate users voted for Lieve as a Top Content Experience Strategist.
Legend 42 posts
Followers: 49 people
17

Tweak that Timeline: 4 easy workflows

Lieve is a civil engineer (ir) and a professional musician. After years of teaching and research (project management/eLearning/instability) she is now a freelancer specializing in advanced Adobe Captivate as trainer and consultant. Her blog is popular with Captivate users worldwide. As an Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Education Leader, she has presented both online and offline. Since 2015 she is moderator on the Adobe forums and was named as Forum Legend (special category) in the Wall of Fame. In 2017 Adobe Captivate users voted for Lieve as a Top Content Experience Strategist.
Legend 42 posts
Followers: 49 people
April 30, 2018

Intro

Last week at the Adobe eLearning Conference in DC I presented two sessions about the Timeline. The first part ‘Demystifying Captvate’s Timeline’ allowed me to explain the basics without having to rush as was the case in the Adobe Learning Summit at Las Vegas 2017 (watch the interactive version of that presentation in: Captivate’s Timeline). The second part ‘Mastering TImeline’ had its focus on more advanced workflows, using micronavigation, advanced/shared actions and multistate objects. In the first part I didn’t use any advanced nor shared action, just offered some small practical tips. For those who couldn’t participate in the conference I will summarize those tips.In this article you’ll find 3 tweaks.

Tip 1: Pausing all slides at the end

This request often appears in the forum, and is also useful when using Captivate for presentations  (as I usually do). The user has to take an action to continue to the next slide. Two possible situations: you are using a default playbar, or custom navigation. Both workflows are using a shape button on master slides. Shape buttons are the only interactive objects allowed on master slides. You can use them in non-responsive and responsive projects (both Fluid boxes and Breakpoint views).

With Default Playbar

  • Open the Master slide panel
  • Select the Main Master slide
  • Add a shape button, with Alpha = 0 for the Fill and width = 0 for the stroke to make it invisible to the user
  • Check the settings for that shape button in the Actions tab of its Properties panel, to look like this screenshot:

    No action is needed for this shape button, its unique use is to Pause the slide. Each shape button set up this way will pause slides using this master slide at the end of the slide, whatever its duration.

  • Check if the daughter master slides have the option ‘Show Main Master Slide Objects’ checked. With the included themes, that is the case for most master slides, with the exception of the Title and the Blank master slide.

With Custom Navigation

If you use master slides with an inserted Back and/or Next shape button for custom navigation, you can use that shape button with the same settings as described under the previous workflow. Those buttons will have a Fill and perhaps also a stroke, and they may not be on the main master slide but on other master slides. You just have to check that each master slide has at least one shape button to pause the slide.

Tip 2: Reset a slide

This tweak can be used in several situations:

  • to reset a knowledge check slide
  • to reset a Drag&Drop slide configured as knowledge check slide
  • to reset effects, including motion effects
  • …..

In the second presentation I explained an advanced workflow using micronavigation, but this workflow is easier, though it will increase the number of slides, which means that you cannot use the system variables cpInfoCurrentSlide and cpInfoSlideCount to show the progess of the slides. Try this out:

  1. Insert a short dummy slide before the slide that you want to reset. Give it a timing of 0,1sec (shortest possible).
  2. On the slide to reset, insert a (shape) button which you can style as you wish.
  3. The success action of that button should be: Go to Previous Slide’. When you click that button, the playhead moves to the previous slide which is so short that it is practically invisible. Since the content slide is re-entered it will automatically be reset for the situations mentioned above.

This workflow is also valid for all types of cptx-projects, responsive or not.

Tip 3: Avoiding frustration in Quiz

Quiz and score slides have a default pausing point at 1.5secs. That pausing point is visible on the Timeline, but is not present in the Timing Properties panel. Here is a short description of the ‘role’ of this pausing point:

  1. On Quiz slides it is linked with the two-step Submit process (and Submit button). In the first step the playhead remains paused while the learner sees the feedback messages. In the second step, the playhead is released. If you keep the default Success/Last Attempt actions set to Continue, the playhead has to visit all the frames in the inactive part of the quiz slide (part after the pausing point) before reaching the next slide. You could change those actions to ‘Go to Next slide’, but sometimes (depending on the setup for transmitting the score, bandwidth etc) this could lead to problems.
  2. On the Score slide the pausing point is linked with the Continue button. Contrary to the Submit pausing, the actions triggered by that button which you specify in the Quiz Preferences (If passing/failing grade) are only done when the playhead reaches the last frame of the score slide.

In both cases you can avoid frustrations by dragging the pausing point closer to the end of the slide timeline, but not completely till the end (leave a small inactive part).

Moving the pausing point is even more required when you have slide audio on the question or score slide. In almost all cases, that slide audio will result in a longer slide duration than the default 3 seconds.  You have to know that it is not possible to pause slide audio on a quiz/score slide by a pausing point, as is possible on other slides when using an interactive object. You may not be aware of the pause at all, audio will just continue. Many users are confused by that.  If you leave the pausing point at 1,5secs, the learner will have to wait a frustrating long time when completing the Submit process (quiz slide) or leaving the score slide with the Continue button. Make sure to drag the pausing point in such a situation:

Tip 4: Forcing views

As a professor with a lot of experience in tutorials for adult learners, I really dislike this request that appears too often on the forums: how can we force a learner to ‘view’ all the content on a slide. Forcing viewing doesn’t mean understanding, nor learning at all, can even have the opposite effect. But that is off topic.

You have to forget the default playbar in this situation. Each slide will need a Next button. The timeline of that button has to start after all content has appeared and all audio has been listened to. Timelne will look similar to this screenshot:

Such a setup will become very annoying if you allow the user to revist the slide: he will have to wait again until all audio has played and all content has appeared to be able to proceed. Is there a solution? Sure, but not without advanced/shared actions. Watch out for a next blog post, linked with the second part of the Timeline presentation. I will offer you a shared action that makes it very easy to avoid that boring situation on second and later visits.

Comments (17)
2018-05-31 20:31:24
2018-05-31 20:31:24

Sorry, I've just checked it. I can't find the bookmarks section ... :-/ Any help ?

Sorry, I’ve just checked it. I can’t find the bookmarks section … :-/ Any help ?

Like
2018-05-30 20:21:44
2018-05-30 20:21:44

I've just watched your presentation. You've made really important points there. I'll return to it and check a couple of things in practice. That's the best way to learn.

I’ve just watched your presentation. You’ve made really important points there. I’ll return to it and check a couple of things in practice. That’s the best way to learn.

Like
(1)
(2)
>
Piotr Astramowicz
's comment
2018-05-31 07:42:12
2018-05-31 07:42:12
>
Piotr Astramowicz
's comment

Hi Piotr, now you can highlight the text in an article to bookmark. Bookmarked articles along with the highlighted text will be available in profile page under bookmarks section. Hope you like it!

Hi Piotr, now you can highlight the text in an article to bookmark. Bookmarked articles along with the highlighted text will be available in profile page under bookmarks section. Hope you like it!

Like
>
Shambu Nashi
's comment
2018-05-31 20:24:26
2018-05-31 20:24:26
>
Shambu Nashi
's comment

Thanks for the info. I'll certainly use it!

Thanks for the info. I’ll certainly use it!

Like
2018-05-30 20:12:37
2018-05-30 20:12:37

All depends on the situation. If you have several interactive objects on the same slide, you may want to have only one of them pausing the timeline, which is meant to allow the user all the time needed to click on the button. But if you have a button that will pop up and close some info, available at any moment, it has no sense to have a pausing point. If you want a toggle button that opens/closes the TOC you'll not want a pausing point but you'll perhaps want to have that button pause the timeline when it has been clicked. There are two ways of pausing, that is what I explained in the many articles about the Timeline. Most CP users don't understand even that difference, nor what is paused and what is not paused. It snot about people wanting to pause a timeline or not.

All depends on the situation. If you have several interactive objects on the same slide, you may want to have only one of them pausing the timeline, which is meant to allow the user all the time needed to click on the button. But if you have a button that will pop up and close some info, available at any moment, it has no sense to have a pausing point. If you want a toggle button that opens/closes the TOC you’ll not want a pausing point but you’ll perhaps want to have that button pause the timeline when it has been clicked. There are two ways of pausing, that is what I explained in the many articles about the Timeline. Most CP users don’t understand even that difference, nor what is paused and what is not paused. It snot about people wanting to pause a timeline or not.

Like
2018-05-30 20:04:03
2018-05-30 20:04:03

Thank you for the link. I had an impression that a lot of people are more concerned about stopping the timeline than keeping it running as it runs by default.

Thank you for the link. I had an impression that a lot of people are more concerned about stopping the timeline than keeping it running as it runs by default.

Like
2018-05-30 19:18:30
2018-05-30 19:18:30

Not rare at all, you must have missed all my posts about the Timeline, especially the one about Pausing the timeline. Whether you want an interactive object to have a pausing point or not is entirely your choice. You should watch and read the Timeline blogs. Here is one link to an interactive movie: http://www.lilybiri.com/published/TimelineBlog/index.html Understanding and mastering the Timeline is the number one priority for each Captivate user, I always spend a lot of hours on it during all basic training. From your remark, it looks like there are still a lot of secrets you didn't discover.

Not rare at all, you must have missed all my posts about the Timeline, especially the one about Pausing the timeline. Whether you want an interactive object to have a pausing point or not is entirely your choice. You should watch and read the Timeline blogs. Here is one link to an interactive movie:
http://www.lilybiri.com/published/TimelineBlog/index.html
Understanding and mastering the Timeline is the number one priority for each Captivate user, I always spend a lot of hours on it during all basic training. From your remark, it looks like there are still a lot of secrets you didn’t discover.

Like
2018-05-30 19:13:22
2018-05-30 19:13:22

There's also one little trick related to button-pause problems. I had a situation where I wanted to have a clickable button but didn't want it to stop the film flow, even at the end of a slide. Maybe it's a rare case, but it's worth knowing that you can disable the pause (while retaining the properties of an active button) by going to TIMING and unchecking "Pause After" button. I know that it's a rare case, but you never know what your scenario might require :-)

There’s also one little trick related to button-pause problems. I had a situation where I wanted to have a clickable button but didn’t want it to stop the film flow, even at the end of a slide. Maybe it’s a rare case, but it’s worth knowing that you can disable the pause (while retaining the properties of an active button) by going to TIMING and unchecking “Pause After” button. I know that it’s a rare case, but you never know what your scenario might require 🙂

Like
2018-05-28 15:07:22
2018-05-28 15:07:22

Glad you liked it!

Glad you liked it!

Like
2018-05-28 13:33:12
2018-05-28 13:33:12

As always, an amazing work!. Thank you for your invaluable help.

As always, an amazing work!. Thank you for your invaluable help.

Like
2018-05-11 11:16:21
2018-05-11 11:16:21

You're welcome! It works fine for many situations.

You’re welcome! It works fine for many situations.

Like
2018-05-08 19:36:31
2018-05-08 19:36:31

This is awesome. Thanks for the tip on resetting a slide.

This is awesome. Thanks for the tip on resetting a slide.

Like
2018-05-08 09:06:53
2018-05-08 09:06:53

@Rosemary @Lita Thanks for the appreciation.

@Rosemary @Lita Thanks for the appreciation.

Like
(1)
2018-05-07 21:36:05
2018-05-07 21:36:05

Thanks for posting this; it was really tough to choose which sessions to attend and I wasn't able to get to yours so I'm so happy to see some of the content presented!

Thanks for posting this; it was really tough to choose which sessions to attend and I wasn’t able to get to yours so I’m so happy to see some of the content presented!

Like
2018-05-03 17:06:12
2018-05-03 17:06:12

Thank you for all of the contributions you make to this forum. You are an incredible resource for people learning and using Captivate like me. I do work for a company that enforces the "must watch all the content on slide" position. I am very interested in the advanced action you mentioned to avoid forcing views on the 2nd and later visits of a slide.

Thank you for all of the contributions you make to this forum. You are an incredible resource for people learning and using Captivate like me.

I do work for a company that enforces the “must watch all the content on slide” position. I am very interested in the advanced action you mentioned to avoid forcing views on the 2nd and later visits of a slide.

Like
2018-05-03 08:20:23
2018-05-03 08:20:23

Chandra, you can contact me directly, will send you a pdf with all articles and movies I published about Timeline.

Chandra, you can contact me directly, will send you a pdf with all articles and movies I published about Timeline.

Like
2018-05-02 23:07:38
2018-05-02 23:07:38

Lieve, I was unable to attend the conference. This was a helpful overview.

Lieve, I was unable to attend the conference. This was a helpful overview.

Like
Add your comment