If you have inserted a Button or Text Entry Box onto an Adobe Captivate slide, the odds are very good that you have been baffled by the action, or lack of action, that occurs on the slide after the Button or Text Entry Box has been inserted. For instance, let's take a long look at the timeline below:
There are three images on the slide. The slide is set to play for just over 13 seconds. If you take a close look at the Timeline, you'll notice that the first image appears right away. It is followed a few seconds later by a second image and then a third.
If you were creating a demonstration project, there isn't much you would have to change on the Timeline--the images would appear on their own, one after the other.
Here's where things get interesting. Imagine a scenario where you are asked to insert a Button on the slide with the three images. Users should be able to click the Button at any time and jump to the next slide (without having to wait for any of the images to appear on the slide).
At first, your task seems as simple as choosing Insert > Button, selecting Go to next slide from the On success drop down menu and clicking OK.
After inserting the Button, your Timeline would look like the image below (the Button is the last object on the Timeline, just above the words Slide 1, 13.4):
If you were to preview the slide, you'd quickly run into the problem: the Button will appear right away (as instructed) and then the first image will appear. But then the wheel comes off of your wobbly cart. After the Button and the Image appear, the action on the slide will seem to freeze. Hmmmm? If you were to click the Button, you'd jump to the next slide. However, the remaining images will not appear before the slide jump. Ideally, the slide would not have become inactive until all of the images had had a chance to appear on the slide. What's a developer to do? Read on! When you insert Buttons and Text Entry Boxes on a Captivate slide, you can control exactly when the object appears on the slide, and at what point in time the object will freeze all slide action. In the image below, notice on the Button object that there is a thin gray line at 1 1/2 seconds on the Timeline.
To the right of the gray line you will notice the word Inactive. The Button includes an option that will Pause the slide after a specified amount of time (or, put another way, make the slide Inactive). Your ability to control the Pause after time, or the point that the slide becomes Inactive, is critical to success on the Timeline, especially if you have multiple objects on the slide. You can control when the slide becomes Inactive two ways: directly on the Timeline; or via the Properties of the Button.
In the image below, notice that the gray line is being dragged right.
In the image below, the gray line has been moved to 3 seconds on the Timeline. If you look at the top of the Timeline, the slide would now freeze at 3 seconds and the 2.bmp image would appear since the slide will freeze after the image has had a chance to appear. However, if you were to play the slide, the image 3.bmp would not appear because the slide would become inactive before the image had a chance to appear.
The image below shows the Inactive setting moved to after 4 seconds on the Timeline. By that time, the third and final image has had a chance to appear on the slide.
If dragging the thin gray line on the Timeline is not your cup of tea (since it's so small, the gray line can be difficult to grab), you can right-click the Button and choose Properties. On the Options tab, you can change the Pause after to an appropriate time and then click OK.