2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 23, 2008 8:00 AM by M K B

    Can Director Interact With Other Applications?

    M K B Level 1
      I am a CBT/E-Learning Developer looking for a way to author Guided Help. I am thinking of how to develop interactive tutorials that, instead of using screenshots of an application, interact with the application itself.

      For instance, let's imagine that a person is working in MS Word and doesn't know how to save a file. He can click the icon for the "Saving A File" lesson, and a caption displays on top of MS Word that reads something like "Click FILE", along with some type of indicator of the FILE button, such as an outline, highlight, arrow, etc. The user clicks FILE, the File Menu drops down in MS Word, and the next step of instructions is displayed. In this way, the usre is guided through the steps of saving a file as he actually performs the task in the software.

      Can Director create this type of thing?

      Thanks a lot,
        • 1. Re: Can Director Interact With Other Applications?
          Chunick Level 3
          There's a slim chance with one or more 3rd party Xtras that it could be done with Director - not sure if it's worth the difficulty, though.... the specific Xtra I'm thinking about is the Hook Xtra by Valentin Schmidt... you can google his name and find the Xtra that way. But, by the way you've posed the question I would be more concerned with your programming skill level as this would be no easy task, to say the least.

          Personally, I would take a simpler route - the one everyone else takes, by capturing screenshots or the screen as a video and doing it that way... you could even do screen captures of the actual lessons using MS Word and use Director's timeline, markers or even cue points built into the video to jump to the correct parts of the video/screen captures and include interactive components where needed to make it feel to the user like they're actually working with MS Word.
          • 2. Can Director Interact With Other Applications?
            M K B Level 1
            Hi Chunick,
            Thanks for replying. I used MS Word as just an example; the type of software I'm wanting to use this for is police records management software. I've been doing the interactive simulation tutorials for them since 1999, using multimedia authoring tools Demoshield and Opus Pro, and demo authoring tools RoboDemo and Demo Builder. However, I wanted to get away from interactive tutorials for 3 reasons:

            (1) My client's software is frequently updated, and keeping up with taking new screenshots is a hassle.
            (2) I'm of the opinion that "at the moment of need", process embedded "guided help" in the actual application is a much more useful form of training than working through a simulation.
            (3) It will greatly help my client's support staff and training staff

            I've been researching process embedded e-learning and guided help for almost a year now. I've looked at everything from multimedia authoring to macro software. I even found two programs that do exactly what I want, but they are very very expensive, much more expensive than Director.

            Thanks for the tip on Hook Xtra; I'll check that out. Last night I found an xtra called MasterApp, which may also do what I need. I appreciate the concern about the difficulty of programming, and I'm not a programmer (except HTML, and we all know how easy that is). But I'm in this for the long haul, and would be using it for potential new clients, not just my current client. I love learning new software, and I have a membership to the IEEE Computer Society, which gives me over 1300 online e-learning courses I can take, including Director.
            Thanks again for the lead!