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Assigning a User Variable in Adobe Captivate 4

by Joe Ganci

November 15, 2009


by Joe Ganci

November 15, 2009

Variables make maintenance of Captivate lessons much simpler. Here’s how to use variables – be sure to watch the movie!

The latest version of Adobe Captivate allows for much more flexibility than prior versions. Part of this new capability involves the use of advanced actions and variables. This tip will show you how to set up a new user variable and assign it. There is a link at the end of the text to a Captivate movie that will walk you through all the steps.


A variable is simply a repository for data you want to remember. Let’s say that we will determine how well the learner does by comparing the number of questions answered correctly to the total number of questions. It would be convenient to store the number of questions in a variable at the start of our Captivate lesson so that if we ever need add or remove questions from our file, we need to change this information only once in our file.

Creating our user variable

We start by choosing Project → Actions to open the Actions Dialog. (See Figure 1.)


Figure 1 The Actions Dialog


The first tab is Variables. Choose User from the Type dropdown list and click the Add New button. Once you’ve done that, type the new variable name in the Name field. Let’s call it NumQuestions. Once you’ve typed the name, the Add New button becomes Save. Click it and now you can use the variable.

Assigning a value to our user variable

Now that you’ve created your variables, let’s assign our NumQuestions variable to the number of questions in our file.

On our first slide, we choose Properties and then change what happens on Slide Enter. (See Figure 2.)


Figure 2 The Slide Properties dialogue


As you can see, we chose Assign from the On slide enter drop down menu and then chose our NumQuestions example from the Assign drop down. Finally, we typed the value we wish to have NumQuestions hold in the with field, 3.

We can now use NumQuestions whenever we want to create an action that needs to determine what to do next based at least in part with how many questions are in our file. This is an age-old technique for making your file much easier to maintain because if there are several places in your file where you need to remember this information, you need only change one place in your file (the dialog above) when you need to modify the number of questions in your file.

The Captivate movie will walk you through all the steps above.




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Appreciate this!
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Love the use of Captivate "in" the article itself!
Interesting, but it's look like many other post I saw on the subject.

As a non specialist, what could help me more it's some explenations on how the use of variables in Captivate could give me more flexibility (how to use it in my elearning development).

I realise my comment is not especialy destinate to this article, but for all of them who give us a great example of how to use it without giving us more infos on how it could be interesting to use it.
Adobe has a great Captivate channel on YouTube and has a thorough Captivate training tutorial!
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