I recently had a student ask me how he could allow users to delete text on a screen in a Captivate simulation. Since there is no feature in Captivate that will allow this kind of user interaction, the solution seems impossible. Think about the problem for a second. The simulation with which your user is interacting is really just a bunch of screen captures. If you captured text on a screen, such as an address in a Web browser's address bar, there is no way in Captivate to allow a user to delete the text in the address bar and replace it with a different Web address. It's impossible! Give it up!!!! Ummm, just kidding. Read on...
It is true that Captivate does not have a magic tool that will take a static screen capture and allow a user to delete something on the background. During the following lesson, I will teach you a few tweaks that will allow you to achieve the same effect.
Before continuing, it might be helpful if you watch a finished sample project so you can see the effect in action. It's a very short simulation. After you are finished watching the sample, minimize the window and return to this lesson so you can learn, slide by slide, how the effect was achieved.
So, if you watched the sample, you know it was a simple lesson allowing a user to jump to a Web site. The movie was recorded in Custom mode (Edit > Preferences > Recording Modes > Custom).
Slide 1 of the Sample Project
If you watched the sample movie via the link above, you should have noticed that slide 1 showed the address bar with the address not yet selected. There was a standard Text Caption, a Click Box over the Address Bar and a Failure Caption. The Click Box was set to Go To Next Slide on Success (its settings are shown in the screen capture below).
Slide 2 of the Sample Project
This is the most important slide in the sample. Remember, you're trying to to make it seem like the user is actually going to delete the selected text. This slide in the sample showed the address bar again, but this time the address was selected.
First the obvious: there's a Text Caption on the slide slide. But I also inserted a Click Box with a Failure Caption. I'll bet you're wondering where the Click Box was hiding. Actually, it's tiny and located in the extreme upper left of the window. Why bother inserting a Click Box and make it so small? It may seem like a waste, but I attached a keyboard shortcut to the Click Box (the [BACKSPACE] key). It's not very likely that a user will accidentally click the little Click Box. If the user clicks anywhere on the screen, they'll likely miss the tiny Click Box and instead see the Failure Caption. If the user presses [BACKSPACE], as instructed, they will jump to the next slide.
The settings for the Click Box are shown in the screen capture below.
Slide 3 of the Sample Project
Slide 3 shows the address bar empty. How did I get this screen capture? In reality, when I recorded the movie, pressing [BACKSPACE] didn't result in a screen capture-and it won't for you either, especially if you turn off the Record keystrokes feature. Since I wanted to show the address bar empty, I simply pressed [Print Screen] on my keyboard and pulled the screen capture manually.
During production, I edited the background in MS Paint to remove the insertion point.
Then I added a Text Entry Box. You can see my Text Entry Box settings in the picture below.
On the Options tab for the Text Entry Box, I selected Show button. I positioned the resulting button over the Browser's Go button.
Then I showed the Properties of the button and used the settings shown below. (Remember, I did not insert a standard button, I elected to Show button as part of the Text Entry Box.)
And that's how you allow users to delete text as part of your simulation. If you'd like to download the Captivate production file used to create the simulation you watched earlier, click here. (You will need Adobe Captivate 3 installed on your computer to open the file.)
Want to learn more about Adobe Captivate 3? Click here.
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