Quick Tip: How do you pause a slide in Adobe Captivate

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I can see from my site statistics that quite a lot of people are searching for how to pause slides in Adobe Captivate so therefore I have create this quick tip to show you how.

The default behaviour in Adobe Captivate is that it will play all slides from start to beginning without pausing at all. While this might be desireable in some projects I would venture a guess that 90% of projects do not use this behaviour.

In general there are three different things you can do to pause a slide in Adobe Captivate.

  1. Use a click box to pause slides in Adobe Captivate.
  2. Use a button to pause slides in Adobe Captivate.
  3. Use an Adobe Captivate Widget to pause your slides.

 

Using a Click Box to pause a slide in Adobe Captivate:

This approach is usually used when you use one of the stock Adobe Captivate Playbars in your project. The click box is a way to place a pause on a Captivate slide by using the functionality that a click box provides.

A click box on an Adobe Captivate Slide

Basically you insert a click box on your slide – disable the captions (success, failure and hint) – disable the “hand over cursor” and make sure that “Pause project until user clicks” is enabled. The final thing you need to do is to resize the click box and make it as small as possible and place it in an area of your slide where your user doesn’t click.

Click box options in Adobe Captivate

A couple of things to keep in mind with this approach.

1. You will need to place a click box on every slide. However you can copy / paste the click box from one slide to another.

2. Make sure that you have at least 0.5 seconds from the pause point until the slide ends. If not then you risk that your assets (slide objects) or the slide itself starts fading out when the slide is paused.

3. Depending on your preference you might want to change the click box “On Success” action from “Continue” to “Go to next slide”.

Using a buttons to pause a slide in Adobe Captivate:

This approach is typically used if you don’t use the stock Adobe Captivate Playbars. In that case you would want to build your own navigation using buttons in Adobe Captivate. The buttons can be the stock buttons provided by Adobe or your own custom made buttons.

A button on the timeline in Adobe Captivate

The procedure is basically the same as with the click box. Insert a button on your slide – modify the properties of the button to suit your needs and that’s all there is to it.

Button options in Adobe Captivate

More Button options in Adobe Captivate

Using an Adobe Captivate Widget to pause your slides:

If you are using Adobe Captivate 5 or Adobe Captivate 5.5 you can use the PauseMeNow Widget from James. http://wheatblog.com/2010/08/pausemenow-version-3/ to pause your slides. Visit James’ page to find out more about the functionality of the widget.

If you are using Adobe Captivate 4 (AS2) then you can use this free Pause Widget from my site to automatically pause your slides 1.5 seconds before the timeline runs out.

/Michael

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17 Comments

  1. Thanks for this quick tip, Michael. Just wanted to add that CP5.0 has a static Button widget that pauses. And since it is static it can be added to the master slide which is not possible for interactive objects and can save some time. However you cannot control the pause (at 1.5secs) and the possible actions are limited (navigation / open URL). Blogged about its functionalities in http://lilybiri.posterous.com/using-the-button-widget-some-ideas
    In CP5.5 this widget was replaced by a Static and an Interactive version. I was disappointed that the Static widget lost its pausing, so the team created a new version for me that does pause at half its duration this time. It is not included in the CP-box, but can be downloaded freely from my blog post:
    http://lilybiri.posterous.com/what-i-dislike-in-captivate-55

    • Excellent info Lieve! Thanks for adding this – it will be useful to a lot of other people and I didn’t know that the Adobe team had mofified the Cp5.5 widget.

      /Michael

  2. I also use advanced actions to help pause the project when I’m using certain interactions. For instance, if you had a scenario with three click boxes that reveal information each time the user clicks them. If you leave it as it is, they program advances each time they click until the last click when the user won’t have time to read the revealed text before the program proceeds to the next page. I use rdcmndGotoFrame = rdinfoCurrentFrame. This way they can click as many times as they want and use the navigation to move the next page when they are ready.

    • Dear Noelle
      Could you please elaborate how to use rdcmndGotoFrame = rdinfoCurrentFrame by advanced action. I have failed to pause at the frame with multiple interactive button in the frame. All technique mentioned above do not work for me.
      Thank you very much

      • For each of the click boxes or buttons on the slide, instead of having just a simple action (go to URL, go to specific slide etc), create an Advanced Action that has the simple action as the first line, and the command Assign rdcmndGotoFrame = rdinfoCurrentFrame as the second line.

        In my case, it was a slide containing half a dozen buttons which allow the user to open and read PDF files. Instead of a standard action (Open URL or file), I’ve replaced each with an Advanced Action as described. Now, the project waits indefinitely until another button elsewhere on the slide is pressed which takes the user to the next slide.

        I’ve had similar problems in many other projects before, and never found a satisfactory solution before. It seems a simple problem – just forcing the project to wait until a specific button is pressed (NOT just any button). But this solution seems to work – thanks !

  3. Hi Michael

    Thanks for these tips (and Lieve and noelle) – really appreciate them.

    I do have another scenario that I’m struggling to find the solution to – if I don’t want to use the playbar, but I want the user to be able to pause the project at any time – I can’t seem to find a way to give them a pause button without using the playbar.

    Has anyone resolved this do you know?

    Thanks
    Amanda

    • True Daniel, but if you have assets on your screen that has a Fade Out property set then they will all fade out and you will be left with a blank paused slide ;o(

      If you don’t use objects that are set to Fade Out then that is actually a very easy approach that I hadn’t thought of myself so thanks for posting it Daniel.

      /Michael

      • Michelle,

        I think Daniel placed that action on the “On Exit Slide” parameter for the slide itself. However his original reply is 3 years old so he would probably have been using Captivate 4 or 5. I doubt that this will work for Captivate 6 or above since Adobe made some rather radical changes in these versions.

        /Michael

        • You read my mind! My first reaction was to place it on the exit, but that didn’t work. That’s when I decided to try it on a button. But that didn’t work either. I am extremely frustrated with what I thought should be a simple thing to do. Basically the slide has text and some narration. Then there is a button that when clicked, shows a group of images and a next button. The next button has an advanced action that hides that group of images, hides that button, and then shows another group of images, another next button, etc. etc. For 8 different groups of images. The idea is that the user can click next or back at their leisure to “scroll through” the different images, When they are done, they click the forward button on the navigation bar to move to the next slide. But obviously I need the slide to pause indefinitely until the person is done and decides to move on. But no matter what I do, I can’t get this to work. The effect of letting the user move through each group is so nice, but I am thinking I’ll have to give up and just do rollover images or something. I didn’t want to do that.

          • How about placing a small click box on the slide which pauses it and then the “Next” and “Previous” buttons you have you set to execute an advanced action which will show / hide your images.

            That should be possible as I see it.

  4. I dont’ know why Captivate makes it so hard to pause a slide. If you want the experience to be interactive, they should be able to sit there until they are ready to move on.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Michelle. I am pulling out my hair right now trying to present a simple click and show of various descriptions, and only once all descriptions have been shown, then to let the user click the Continue button to advance to the next slide. The workaround is to use a rollover, but I’m not keen on that because the description automatically disappears when the mouse rolls off. And I want all descriptions showing eventually. Frustrating!!!!!!!

      • Hi Marylin,

        The trick here is to use Advanced Actions and a variable which you can increment each time a user clicks on the “buttons”. The main continue button should be set as “not visible” and each time a user clicks a button you increment it with 1 and checks if the variable is equal to the total number of click boxes. If that is the case you “show” the continue button.

        If you want to be 100% sure that they have seen all the info boxes you can make a variable for each box and assign it with 1 when it has been clicked/viewed. You would then check if all your variables are equal to 1 and if so show the “Continue” button.

        /Michael

  5. I’m having some frustrating issues with Captivate 4 and question slides. When I click the back button on the question slide it takes me to the slide AFTER the question slide, not the one before. I have no clue how to fix this. I’ve played around with every setting possible. Help please. 🙂

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