In a recent blog post, I introduced the subject of Captivate Widgets, explaining what they are and why you might choose to use them. In this post, I will go on to discuss the distinct types of Widgets, and will provide brief instructions on how to insert them into a project. Finally, I will mention a few of the most useful Widgets that I have come across recently.
There are three distinct types of Widget:
- Static Widgets — the word “static” here is slightly misleading as these Widgets may potentially include movement, or content that changes. In this context, “static” means that the end-user does not actually interact with the Widget, and there is no Success or Failure action for the Widget. An example of a Static Wizard is the Arrow Widget that I mentioned in my previous blog post on Widgets.
- Interactive Widgets — these are comparable to the interactive objects built into Captivate, which are Click Boxes, Buttons, and Text Entry Boxes. Interactive Widgets are designed for the user to perform a specific action, such as clicking on the Widget. Like Click Boxes, they have a Success Action, Number of Attempts, and Action After Final Attempt Action. An example of an Interactive Widget is the Interactive Button Widget provided by Adobe within Captivate’s Gallery of Widget items.
- Question Widgets — these enable you to add new types of quiz question slides to your projects. You can configure the properties of the question using the Widget Properties button. After creating one of these Widget Question slides, you can move it into a Question Pool if you want to. An example of a Question Widget is the Place Value Question Widget that can be downloaded free from Adobe Captivate Exchange.
The easiest way to add a Widget to a slide in your project is as follows:
- Ensure that the Widgets panel is open. If it is not, select Window > Widget.
Tip: If the Widgets panel does not seem to display many Widgets, this may be because it is not pointed towards the best location for Widgets on your computer. To correct this, click the Change Path button (a folder icon) at the bottom of the Widgets panel, and browse to Gallery\Widgets within your Captivate installation folder.
- Use the drop-down control to select the type of Widget (Static, Interactive, or Question) that you would like to insert.
- Scroll through the list of Widgets to find the one that you want.
- Drag the Widget on to the slide.
If you dragged a Question Widget, then Captivate creates a new blank question slide automatically, and the Widget is placed on that.
- Double-click the Widget to edit its properties.
Here are some interesting Widgets that I have found useful recently:
- Text Entry Box Validator: this enables you to check the format of people’s entries into a Text Entry Box. For example, you may wish to check that they have typed a valid email address. For more information, see Captivate Dev.com
- Text Area with Variables: this is a modified version of the Text Area widget that comes bundled with Adobe Captivate 5.x. For more information, see CaptivateDev.com
- Event Handler Interactive: this enables you to turn any object into an interactive object that can trigger Advanced Actions. In addition to standard mouse click actions, you can also use mouse rollovers and rollouts, including mouse-down and mouse-up, to trigger actions. For more information, see Infosemantics.com.au
- Save and Load Data: this enables you to transfer data between separate Adobe Captivate projects. This could be useful when building courses that consist of multiple modules. For more information, see the CP Guru website.
Captivate Widgets really open up endless possibilities for your Captivate development, and they are well worth investigating further.