PauseMeNow (AS3) widget for Adobe Captivate, Version 1

PauseMeNow is a simple static widget for Adobe Captivate developers which allows you to insert an arbitrary pause at any point in a slide. It’s coded in ActionScript 3, which means it will only work in Captivate projects which use the AS3 format. It was developed and tested in Captivate 4. I’ll be testing it in Captivate 5 as soon as I get a copy.

Update (7/22/2010): This post links to an outdated version of the widget. Check the software page for a link to the most recent version.

Update (3/10/2011): I’ve released a new widget called PropertySetter which can be used to pause presentations, in addition to controlling many other Captivate settings.

Installation

  1. Download PauseMeNow_AS3.zip.
  2. Unzip the archive (in WinXP, right-click → Extract All…)
  3. Copy PauseMeNow_AS3.swf to Captivate’s Gallery (C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Captivate 4\Gallery\Widgets)
  4. Open or create a new project in Captivate. Be sure the ActionScript version is set to AS3. In Captivate 4, you can set the ActionScript version of your project by choosing File → Preferences. Then select Project → Publish Settings in the Category pane.
  5. Select a slide in Edit View and insert an instance of the PauseMeNow_AS3.swf from the Widget window (Window → Widget).
  6. Adjust the start time via the widget’s Options → Appear After setting or by adjusting its starting position on the timeline.
  7. Publish or Preview → Project (F4) to test.

Thanks

Thanks to Michael Lund, Jim Leichliter, and Whyves for inspiration. Thanks to Infosemantics for the Widget Factory API, which I used to develop this widget.

12 comments

  1. Wheat,

    Great to see you making widgets! Very nice blog as well! I added you to my blogrole and I”m glad you were inspired. I listened to some of your bass playing and you’ve got some serious talent! Keep up the great work! What made you decide to jump from developer to teacher?

    Jim

  2. Thanks Jim, and thanks for the retweet, too. Watching you and Michael and Whyves made me really want to get into this. I used to do some Flash work long ago, but the possibility of extending Captivate via Flash pushed me into AS3, and I’m enjoying it. Coding and teaching have both interested me for a long time. I move back and forth between them and, for a while now, I’ve been lucky enough to have a job that allows me to do a bit of both. As for my freelance work, it’s just easier for me to fit teaching into my life (no meetings with clients, fewer hard deadlines), and I enjoy the subject matter (I teach American Lit. II).

  3. Hi Wheat,

    Glad to see you jumping on the Widget bandwagon and congrats on your widget. A pause widget is always handy. I wonder why Adobe doesn’t have this native to Captivate.

    Whyves

  4. Thanks, Whyves. I admire your work, and it’s great that you stopped by. I, too, wonder why some of these basic things aren’t native in Captivate, though I’m also grateful that Adobe has provided such a rich mechanism for extending Captivate’s native functionality. I’m curious to see what sorts of widgets ship with Cp5. I really can’t wait to delve into that.

  5. Hi there,

    I just tried this under Captivate 5 and it doesn’t seem to be working properly – no matter where you put it on the timeline, the timeline pauses on frame 1, and worse still, before anything else is rendered for that slide.

    I’ve been wrestling with getting a widget working, and strangely the first thing I tried was a pause widget!… and guess what, I’m getting similar results i.e. always pauses on frame one regardless of where the widget appears on the timeline.

    Either something’s broken in Cp5 or it works differently (or I’n just not getting something!)

  6. I haven’t released Captivate 5 versions of any of my widgets yet. I’m still putting the finishing touches on a Captivate 5 version of PauseMeNow_AS3. I should be releasing that early next week, though I can shoot you a pre-release version if you’re in dire need of it. By the way, there is already a Version 2 release of PauseMeNow_AS3, but it, too, is for Captivate 4.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for the offer, but I’ve now sorted out what I was doing wrong and managed to get my widget working. If you’re not already aware of it (i’ve only just come across it), Infosemantics Widgetfactory API looks how the Adobe Widget API should have been all along. Cp5 version is imminent, but a trawl through the current Beta version shows it’s some pretty useful code…check it out, well worth it

  8. I use WidgetFactory in all my widgets (they’re even linked in this original post, above). It’s a wonderful thing. I’m on the beta team for the next version of WidgetFactory. It is a wonderful thing. The main reason I haven’t written Cp5 versions of my widgets yet is that the current versions of the WidgetFactory only support Cp4. But that will change in the next version, which will support both versions.

    (I took a stab at writing them with the widget template in Cp5, but it’s no fun at all compared to the WidgetFactory.)

  9. Any chance you can use this in button format instead of automatically pausing the page? I’m trying to use an optional pause/play button without using the standard playbar.

  10. I could. For situations like that, I generally just use a button set to “continue” when the user presses it, since buttons pause the timeline. But I think you have in mind something like a pause/play toggle button. And that would indeed be useful, though it would be a different project. There’s also a way to create widgets that are, in effect, custom playbars. So it would be possible to create a playbar with only a play button. I’ve been meaning to create a show/hide playbar widget (for which I could recycle all but one line of code from my ClosedCaptionsOn and ClosedCaptionsOff widgets:

    http://wheatblog.com/software/closedcaptionson-closedcaptionsoff/

  11. So this Widget is very useful for Cp versions prior to 5. I don’t find it useful for 5 since Master slides are now used but maybe I am overlooking something. Currently I have to add click boxes to every slide and adjust it on the timeline to pause. I need a widget that can be added to a master slide and the timing edited in the widget properties. Every slide could then be paused at the same time on the timeline by only addding the widget to one master slide. Unless I’m missing something, it might be useful to add this functionality for the Cp 5 version.

  12. I use the latest version of it in my Cp5 projects. I haven’t really explored master pages yet, or using widgets in the context of them. The design goal for this widget was to provide pauses at arbitrary places in a slide’s timeline, not to put a pause at the same place on every slide (though that’s certainly something I’ll consider in the next iteration).

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