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Archive for July, 2009


Recently, a couple of different people asked me about Short Answer questions in Captivate 4. Apparently, when you create and publish a Short Answer question, the text entry box that your learner types into has small, 8-point text by default. That’s fine, you might think, but there is no way to edit the properties of this text entry box, so you are stuck with 8 point text.

Short Answer questions in Captivate 4 have tiny text in the answer box

Short Answer questions in Captivate 4 have tiny text in the answer box

I contacted ‘RJ’ Jacquez via Twitter and asked him about it. RJ is the Adobe Evangelist for eLearning and Technical Communication, which means he is a great go-to guy for all things to do with the eLearning Suite and the Technical Communication Suite from Adobe.

Quick as a flash, RJ confirmed that it was indeed true, there is no way to format the answer text in a Short Answer question in Captivate 4.

Now, here is where things get interesting. Most of the time, when an issue like this is raised, it must be reported as a bug and a fix may not appear until the next release of a product. But the Adobe Captivate engineers are special bunch – they rustled up a fix for this issue that requires no formal patch to Captivate 4.

Those of you who are familiar with Captivate 4 will know that a new feature called Widgets. Widgets can be devised that extend Captivate’s features and functionality way beyond the original intent of the Captivate engineers. Those same engineers have realised that they can also fix some issues with the product by using Widgets.

This Short Answer Input Text Formatting widget is a simple and quick fix

This Short Answer Input Text Formatting widget is a simple and quick fix

… and so they made a widget that can be used to customise the font settings for the Short Answer question. This Widget is a 50k download, so it’s quick and easy to get and ind install. The only caveat, so far as I can see, is that the Captivate file must be published as ActionScript 3.0. The fix will not work if you publish your file as AS 2.0 compatible.

Here's the same question with the answer text reformatted

Here's the same question with the answer text reformatted

So where can you get this fix? RJ has a simple demonstration o fthe problem, which you can view here https://admin.adobe.acrobat.com/_a295153/p84127193/. At the end of the demo, there is a link to the download of the Widget file, and instructions on where to install it.

You should follow RJ on Twitter if you want to get the best and latest eLearning and Technical Communication Suite tips and info @rjacquez

Thanks RJ and the Captivate team!

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