A couple of months ago I was working on a project where I needed to show a graph and allow the user to click on each section of the graph for additional information. In itself that doesn’t sound difficult at all since you can use buttons and click boxes in Captivate, but there was one small caveat. The graph looked like this (note that I edited the text in the graph as that is proprietary).
The “Red” and “Green” sections are piece of cake. However the “Blue”, “Light brown” and “Yellow” sections aren’t square or rectangular, so they are a bit more problematic. Thankfully Captivate allows you to rotate objects so I ended up with a couple of rotated transparent buttons on top of the graph.
When I published and tested the project I was however in for a rather big surprise. My rotated buttons didn’t work. Well actually they worked but they didn’t work how I expected them to. In Captivate 7 and Captivate 8 there is a bug which means that if you rotate a button or a click box it will look like it is rotated, but the click area remains as the original non-rotated view.
A demonstration might make it more clear what is happening. Take a look at this Adobe Captivate 8 project:
As you can see that doesn’t really work as it should.
The solution – Smart Shapes
The solution to this problem is to use Smart Shapes instead. Smart Shapes can be “broken apart” and their points edited. Using this approach you can pretty much make the smart shape into any shape you like and Smart Shapes can be used as buttons as well. This will effectively solve the problem of rotated buttons and click boxes not working properly in Adobe Captivate.
This is how the graph looks like in Captivate with the Smart Shapes set up. The black border is only turned on for illustration purposes.
To modify a Smart Shape simply insert it on the Captivate stage – right click it and select Convert to freeform. Right click the Smart Shape again and select Edit points. Now you can adjust each point to your liking. Finally you need to enable Use as button in order to be able to use the Smart Shape as a button.
Hope this little tip will save you some grief.