I'll leave the playbar modification questions to someone else (hint: I think you're going to be disappointed at the hassle, unless something has improved in Cp6, then modifying the stock playbars is a hassle....the fla files are likely available in the Gallery folder installed during Captivate install, but the nested timelines/clips and frame scripts are just a wretched, disorganized, illogical mess as of Cp5, when I last bothered to look). Not saying it can't be done - it can. It's just a bigger pain than it should be.
In regards to your question #3: sounds like you want the slide to pause at the end, and force the user to click the play/forward button to advance to next slide, correct? If so, the best way I've found to do that is to create an Advanced Action. I named mine "pauseSlide", and in it I just set the pause variable to true (I forget the variable's exact name but you'll find it). Then, for each slide you want to pause, you'll need to set it's "On Exit" action to execute the "pauseSlide" action you setup.
As much as I love Captivate's flexibility, this is just one other area where Articulate's stock functionality is so much more sensible/easier. And in their player, the play/advance button 'highlights'/pulses to give the learner a visual cue that the slide has ended. This doesn't happen in Captivate.
1. Changing the Transparency in the playbar: you can click on the Project/Skin Editor and then click on the check box for Playback Colors then click on the color and change the transparency.
2. There are the default symbols for the playback control. If you don't want to use any of the default symbols then I suggest creating your own buttons, adding them to the Master slides and not using the Playback control bar at all. To make your own buttons.
- Create 3 images of the variation in color
- Name the images any name you want but then use:
- Add them to the same folder, then insert just one of them as a button into your project.
3. You can turn off (hide) the play bar control on a certain slides by checking on Slide Enter Action/Assign/cpCmnd/ShowPlaybar with 0 see
If you are NOT using the playbar at all and using your own buttons, then you can use advanced actions to make the button show up only after the user has clicked everything on your slide. I created a blog on this at: http://captivatecrazy.blogspot.com/2012/05/make-elearning-engaging-with-advanced.html
Hopefully this helps you a bit?
I think what you truly want/need is the same as I do:
Basically, the same well-designed user interface that Articulate provides as part of their Presenter app:
1. A truly scalable HTML wrapper, out of the box
2. Each slide has it's own "timeline", in terms of the progress bar in the UI
3. At the end of the slide, the project pauses and the user is given a visual indicator to move on to the next slide by clicking the pulsing/highlighted play button
Not to mention all the skinning, etc. For example:
While it's nice that you can disable a lot of the useless buttons (fast forward, the 2X button, etc.), say all you want is the next, back, and play/pause butons. Easy enough - just uncheck everything else. And then say you wanted the buttons in the bottom-right corner. Easy enough. But, logic/UI standards would put the play/pause button larger and to the right. There's no way to reposition buttons easily.
And don't get me started on the "TOC" or "Skin" mess.
While developing a custom loader/wrapper UI in Flash for Captivate projects is one thing (I used to do it all the time), no one does it right because it breaks the tracking/reporting. And even if someone has, Adobe constantly seems to change the API so it doesn't make sense to spend the time when you know it won't work long term.
All the griping aside, I'm not saying Articulate Presenter is a better product. It's not. But the user interface for the learner, in the end product, is WAY better. It just makes more sense, not to mention visually is way more appealing.
There are 'workarounds' and hacks for this stuff. One example would be custom image buttons. They are a fail because they are static - no visual highlight/indicator to let the user know they've reached the end of the slide. Lest we have that awful "Click continue to proceed." at the end of every slide's voiceover : ( And custom swf buttons are hit or miss I've found, and won't trigger things like the checkmark in the TOC for slide complete, etc.
It's all just a hassle and shouldn't be. Adobe had to play major catch-up with Cp 6, and they kinda sorta did catch up with Storyline but not where it counts (usability). And they effectively killed off Camtasia as any sort of competitor, not that they ever really were for true e-learning. But I'd love to see a .5 release where they truly make the published UI FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE.
Yesterday during the Cp 6 features overview webcast, at the end when they asked what other topics people wanted to learn about, a large number of requests came in for this very thing.
I have different colors for background, button face, button icon and button glow in my playback control. Now I want my timebare to be "more" purple, so the user more clearly can see how far she has come in the course. Unfortunately I don't understand how to change the transparency of the timebare by clicking the colors like you said. Can you please guide me through the different settings?
I am not sure what you mean when you say "timebare" Do you mean the Progress Bar? If that is what you mean the Progress Bar color is tied to the Button Face color. Typically, I make the background and button face darker colors and the glow and the Icon lighter colors. See image below:
If you want to change the Transparency of each color you can click on the color and another window will pop up and you can change the transparency from there. See image below
Maybe the images will help describe what I do. Let me know if you need more details.
The problem with the transparency of the colors is that I just see the color palette. The yellow "box" in your second picture doesn't exist in my captivate 5,5.
Yes, I mean the progress bar.
My customer has already decided what colors I have to use: different shades of gray and purple. I have made the playback control in different shades of gray and just want the progress bar to be purple. Is it possible to have different colors for the button face and the progress bar?
Anita showed you the options for CP6, where indeed the Alpha setting is available within the color dialog for individual buttons, whereas this was not the case in previous versions. She must have overlooked your mention in the original question that you are using CP5.5. There you can only change the Alpha for the background of the playbar.
If you ever do upgrade, to change the transparency of the progress bar, you need (strangely) to change the Button Glow color, not the Button Face as she shows in the screenshot. Button Face color will change the background (non-moving part) of the progress bar, Button Glow changes the color of the dynamic, growing part. Button Face will always change the colors of the buttons themselves as well.
Thank you very much for your answer - now I know what I have to abide by!
Maybe you can answer my question about changing symbols in the playback control as well?
My customer have symbols that I must use. The playback control should lay in the bottom of the frame (in the "skin"). Can I replace the symbols from one already existing playback control or do I have to create one by myself? I have read something about Flash...?
I really appreciate an answer!