Okay, here's the situation. I'm creating a simulation of a form on which there are several text input boxes, 7 of which are mandatory fields. I know I can use a conditional to check whether the box has nothing in it by creating a null variable with no value and doing "if [box variable] is equal to [null variable] then", but the problem is that the validation captions I need to show need to be shown in order, that is to say that the caption for entering a value for the first box will always be shown if that box is null regardless of the contents of other boxes, the second will be shown if that one is null and the first one isn't etc.
When I was investigating this I noticed a post by Lilybiri saying that comparison with a null variable doesn't work for "not equal to" so I'm having a hard time figuring out how to show the captions based on priority. For example, to show the second caption I need to not only check whether the second box variable is null, but also whether the first one isn't.
It gets pretty crazy further along the line where I get to the 7th mandatory field and need to check whether the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth boxes are NOT null and whether the 7th one IS. Help!
I did come up with one potential solution to this prior to posting: if I set a different advanced action for each input box losing focus which checks whether the variable is null and if so sets a "flag" variable to 0, and in the else set it to 1, I imagine I can then replace the "not equal to" with a check to that flag variable being equal to 1 (which means there is text in the box). I think this will work but I thought I'd check to see if there's an easier way first.
Are you trying to do this all on one slide? Why not have one slide per input box and use captions to display variable text?
Then you can use OnSlideEnter actions to check values as needed. Also, this strategy allows you to jump back and forth between slides if necessary.
If you do it right, the user will be none the wiser about how the effect is achieved.
No it DOESN'T require everything to be on one slide. It just has to LOOK as if that's what it is.
I would suggest that it doesn't really matter how many Captivate slides are involved in the final solution, as long as it works the same way (or as close as possible) to the original software that you are simulating. Your users don't frankly know or care how you achieved the simulation. I guarantee they won't be thinking of you or Captivate.
In my experience, you can make creating elearning a lot more difficult than it needs to be in Captivate by trying to rebuild the app, rather than just simulating how it works. For example, thinking that if everything happened on one web page or screen in the app then it must also happen on a single slide in Captivate. The fact of the matter is IT DOESN'T need to work this way. And in some cases it might even be impossible to reproduce in Captivate this way.
So the quickest path to a solution is often to use multiple slides, which has the advantage of allowing you to "fix" certain things on screen (e.g. the contents of fields already visited) by using READ ONLY variable output in transparent captions, focusing only on one element of the interface that the user can interact with on that slide. It doesn't necessarily prevent you from moving back and forth between elements, just as you can in the original app. But it is far easier to create and maintain.
I'm not saying you wouldn't be able to pull this off on one slide in Captivate, but it is going to require a LOT of variables and Advanced Actions to build and debug. So the term Rapid Elearning becomes something of a misnomer if it takes you a long time to complete one slide.
As you probably know I like challenges with advanced actions, but agree mostly with Rod in this case that it would be far too much work to achieve on one slide. Just wanted to add one more tip, that could be useful: while working with different slides, perhaps the possibility to have some objects visible for several slides which causes them to have only one ID could help too? I blogged with some use cases about it:
The thing is, even if I do split it over multiple slides I still need to figure out how to check whether one text box is null AND whether the others contain text. Ignoring the context for a moment, my real question was how to check whether a text input box is -not- null.
Sorry for the late answer, have been too busy.
Having double-checked and can confirm that you cannot use a variable that is empty with the operator 'not equal to'.
But have a workaround (forgot about it - used it already long time ago):
This can of course also be done with a literal instead of a value.
@Lilybiri, Don't know whether it helped the original poster but thanks for that Tip. It helped me and even though you might have published this elsewhere I appreciate you (and Rod) taking the time to reply here, where most people will find it.