Create fun, engaging, and interactive learning through Captivate's wide variety of learning interactions.

Understand Learning interactions in Adobe Captivate

Learning interactions enable you to provide interactivity to your Adobe Captivate projects without any effort in programming. In Adobe Captivate you can see a wide variety of statically designed interactions. There are several types of interactive experiences that a user come across in e-learning modules. By inserting these learning interactions in your Adobe Captivate projects and adding content around it, you can produce most of the commonly used e-learning interactive experiences to engage your user.


  • In runtime, learning interactions do not get reduced below a certain dimension (320 px X 350 px).
  • It is recommended that you only use one learning interaction per slide.

Changes after Captivate 8.0.1

In Adobe Captivate 8.0.1, the following interactions have been updated to provide better user experience on mobile devices:

  • Accordion
  • Timeline
  • Process Tabs
  • Glossary
  • Process Circle
  • Circle Matrix
  • Pyramid Matrix
  • Pyramid Stack
  • Certificate
  • Checkbox
  • Radio Button

In responsive projects, these interactions autoscale themselves to align for all the views with a fixed ratio. Ensure you cover the whole slide when you use these interactions except for Checkbox and Radio Button. Set the top and left position properties of slide to 0 and 0, and height and width of object size to 100% and 100% respectively. Users can experience seamless alignment of interactions in each view. In Certificate interactions, pinch & zoom features have been added. Mobile view of Glossary interaction has been enhanced. 

Add learning interactions

  1. From the toolbar, click Interactions > Learning Interactions to launch the panel to choose an interaction from.

    Click Interactions, and Learning Interactions.
    Available learning interactions

  2. Click the type of interaction you want click Insert.

    As an example, you will add the Timeline interaction, add timeline events, and then preview the interaction.

    The screenshot below shows the Timeline interaction and the properties using which you can customize the interaction.

    Timeline interaction properties
    Timeline interaction properties

    Id Description
    1 List of themes to choose from.
    2 Customize any particular theme.
    3 Set a title and a description for your Timeline interaction.
    4 Buttons to set timeline events.
    5 Click to add an event on the timeline.
    6 Share on social media.
  3. Click the first button on the timeline. You can edit the text to appear on the timeline as well as assign an audio clip and an image to the event.


    Double-click on a timeline button to modify its label.

    Adding a timeline event
    Adding a timeline event

  4. Add more events on the timeline and click OK to load the interaction to your slide.


    To edit the theme or the content in the widget after inserting, double-click the widget on stage. Adobe Captivate lets you to resize the learning interactions. 

    Your interaction is inserted in to the slide now. To edit the settings for the interaction, double click the interaction.

Demo of the Timeline learning interaction

Example 1 - Use an Accordion interaction

  1. To add an Accordion interaction to your slide, click Interactions > Learning Interactions > Accordion.

    Accordion interaction
    Accordion interaction

  2. To modify the button labels, double-click on the button. You can then edit the text and assign image or audio to the button when clicked.

    You can also modify the interaction title and description.

    Accordion properties
    Accordion properties

  3. To add a new button to the accordion, click +.

    Note: In any accordion interaction, you can include at most five buttons. The + vanishes after the fifth item in the accordion.

  4. Add the required text descriptions to the accordion and click OK to insert the widget in the slide.

Demo of the Accordion learning interaction

Example 2 - Use a Radio-button interaction

  1. To add a Radio-button interaction to your slide, click Interactions > Learning Interactions > Radio Button Widget.

    Radio-button interaction
    Radio-button interaction

  2. On the interaction, you can modify the properties as shown below:

    Radio button interaction properties
    Radio button interaction properties

    Id Description
    1 Specify the number of radio buttons.
    2 Modify the font properties of the radio button text.
    3 Set the placement of the interaction, vertically or horizontally.
    4 Add the radio button text options.
    5 Set a variable for any radio button option.
    6 Add or delete a radio button item.
  3. To set the variable for any option, highlight the option, and enter the name of the variable in the Variable Name field.

    In addition, create the same variable in the Project Variables list. For more information on creating a variable, see Creating user-defined variables.

    The variable you have created determines if an option is correct or otherwise in a quizzing scenario.

  4. Add the radio button options and set the variable to the correct option. If you have assigned the variable T_a to the right answer, create T_a in the Project Variables list as well.

    On the slide, insert a button, and assign an advanced action so that if T_a is equal to the correct answer, a success caption appears, else a failure caption appears.

    Advanced action for the variable
    Advanced action for the variable

  5. Preview or publish the project. Depending on the answer you click and clicking the button after, you can see the appropriate caption.

Demo of Radio-button interaction

Example 3 - Use a Checkbox interaction

  1. To add a Checkbox interaction to your slide, click Interactions > Learning Interactions > Checkbox Widget.

    Checkbox interaction
    Checkbox interaction

  2. Similar to the Radio-button interaction, you can add check-boxes, and assign variables to the check-box items. You can also change the font properties of the items and limit the number of check-boxes as well.

  3. Insert a submit button and assign an advanced action that triggers when you click the button. In the Advanced Action, assign the variables to the values as shown below:

    Checkbox values advanced actions
    Checkbox values advanced actions

  4. Preview or publish the project. If you select Lyon, Nice, and Paris, and click Submit, you can see a Success message. If you choose the other option, the Failure message appears.

Demo of Checkbox widget

Example 4 - Use a Certificate interaction

In this example, you will take a quiz. If your quiz score is 100%, you will see a button which when clicked will take you to your certificate with your name printed on it. If you score less than 100%, you will not see any certificate button.

This example illustrates the use of system variables along with the Certificate widget. The variables used are:

  • cpQuizInfoStudentName to store and display your name
  • cpInfoPercentage to determine if the View certificate button is to be displayed
  1. Create a quiz slide and insert some questions.

  2. In the results page, insert a button named View certificate and assign it to go to the next slide, when clicked.

    In the same page, assign the results slide to execute an Advanced Action upon entry, as shown below:

    Advanced action on entry
    Advanced action on entry

  3. Insert a slide and insert a Certificate widget by clicking Interactions > Learning Interactions > Certificate.

    Certificate widget
    Certificate widget

  4. To print the certificate, click Print.

Demo of Certificate learning interaction

Example 6 - Use a Bulletin interaction

  1. This interaction is an interactive widget that gives you the option to add multiple bulletin points that can include images and audio and allows the users to view each bulletin point during runtime.

    To add a Bulletin interaction to your slide, click Interactions > Learning Interactions > Bulletin.

    Bulletin Board interaction
    Bulletin Board interaction

    Id Description
    1 Add text and modify the font properties. The text will appear when you click the icon on runtime.
    2 Enter the slide number where you want the text to be displayed. Also, insert an image or audio for each text.
    3 Click to update the preview of the bulletin text whenever you make any change.
    4 Click to see all bullet text for the project.
    5 Click to see all bullet text for the slide. You can see the text at runtime.
    6 Choose an icon for the bulletin.
  2. To save the changes, click OK. The image below is a representation of the changes to the interaction.

    Bulletin interaction edited
    Bulletin interaction edited

  3. Choose the widget and other objects in the slide, select the Timing Inspector, and choose Rest of Project from the Display For drop-down list. This ensures that the interaction runs the length of the project and you can see the bullet text for the subsequent slides.

  4. Preview or publish the project.

Demo of Bulletin interaction

Features of learning interactions

You can find detailed description of each learning interaction in the following table: 


For some interactions variable provision is available. You can use these variables to store the results and use them in your course slides. Variable controlled interactions enable users to call variables and dynamically control interaction properties from slides.

Variable-controlled interactions are those interactions where you can assign variables to the interaction items and show or modify the values of the items at runtime.

Interaction name   Purpose Variable provision Variable controlled? Features
Accordion Enables you to provide information in the form of clickable buttons, audio and images.  No No You can use this interaction in content heavy slides in the form of collapsible and expandable content, using buttons. 
Tabs Used to demonstrate content in multiple tabs No No Enables to spread the content across multiple tabs instead of cluttering in one slide. 
Process Circle Enables you to define any business process or procedure for learners.  No No Clicking elements on process circle shows a panel at which you can provide descriptions for each of those elements. 
Pyramid Stack Similar to process circle except that you can put elements in hierarchy based on importance.   No No Clicking elements on pyramid stack shows a panel at which you can provide descriptions for each of those elements.
Timeline Enables you to express data varied over a time sequence.  No No Clicking button labels on time sequence arrow shows up the content in the panel. You can change appearance of all these buttons using Buttons>Color in configure interaction dialog. 
Circle Matrix Similar to process circle except that it enables you to show data in a more complex form No No Clicking numbered elements in the circle shows up content in side tabs.
Pyramid Matrix Similar to Pyramid Stack except that it enables you to use a complex hierarchical structure No No Clicking label elements on pyramid matrix shows a side panel at which you can provide descriptions for each of those elements.
Glossary Enables learners to view unfamiliar terms from inside a course.  No No Modify themes and color schemes. You can import an xml file with a set of pre-defined glossary terms. Refer to sample xml file. 
Certificate Enables you insert certificates in your courses Yes
No You can edit default variables and add
other variables.
Checkbox  Similar to radio button interaction except that users can choose multiple answers.  Yes Yes Multiple variables are available in this interaction for each checkbox item. 
Timer Handy to use this timer interaction in your slides to jump to other slides based on time out feature.  Yes No Follow the instructions in configure interaction dialog to design your interaction. 
Option to count up or count down time. 
Drop Down Enables you to provide quick options to your learners inside course slides so they can select the correct option from the drop down list of choices. Yes Yes Users selected choice is stored in the form of a variable which can be used to trigger actions in slides. 
Hourglass Enables you to use it inside slides of your courses so you can trigger some actions based on time out feature.  Yes No

Variable value is 1 if timed out else it is 0. 

Follow the detailed instructions in configure interaction dialog. 

Image Zoom You can insert an image in your course slide to enable user to zoom and have a better view  No No You can import only .png and .jpg image files. 
Notes You can add it in the slide so you can type notes at run time.  No No User can change background color, modify content, save and print the contents at run time. 
Radio Button Enables you to provide quick questions to your learners inside your slides so they can choose the correct option.  Yes Yes

Option to choose the placement as vertical or horizontal. 

Answer can be stored in the variable so you can use it in your courses. 

Table Enables you to represent content of your slides in the form of tables.  No No Option to import an existing table in the form of .csv file. 
Scrolling Text Enables you to add content in the form of scrolling text area inside your slides. Text beyond the text area dimensions will be shown with the help of scroll bar.  Yes Yes Option to make the content of scrolling text as read only. 
Web Object Enables to insert live website url content in slides  No No Useful in compliance and policy based courses.
Note: Clickjacking websites is not allowed. 

Adobe Captivate update for subscription and Adobe Software Assurance customers provides dynamic updates to learning interactions by polling the Adobe interaction store at regular intervals. The collection of interactions installed on your machine is compared with the one in the interaction store to determine the new or updated interactions.

When you open the Select Interaction dialog box, you find that some of the interactions are labelled as:

  • New: New interactions that are available for you to use. The label disappears when you click the interaction.
Interaction tagged as new
Interaction tagged as new

  • Updated: Interactions for which updates are available since you last viewed the Select Interaction dialog box. If you have the project open for a long period of time, you have to close and reopen the project to view the latest updates.
Interaction tagged as Updated
Interaction tagged as Updated

Updates to such interactions are dependent on the project data. So, irrespective of whether you have used the interaction in the project or not, you get to see the interactions that are tagged as Updated. If you have used the interaction in the project, you have to insert the upated one and reenter your data.

  • Update: Interactions that you can update retaining your data intact. You can quickly update the interaction by clicking the Update button under the interaction in the Select Interaction dialog box.
Updating learning interactions
Updating learning interactions

Sample files


Download sample projects

To learn more about Captivate and how you can create engaging learning content, download the following projects: