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1016 - How can I control if a button is active or not?

by - Joseph Ganci

I have a question concerning button states. I've got a button that I want to appear in it's "inactive" state after the user has clicked on it. In other words, as the user navigates within the map icon, I want the button that lead them into that map to be inactive (as already defined in the button's properties box).

In other words, the big picture is that I'm building training manual on a CD-ROM and if you click on Chapter 3, that button turns purple while you are in that chapter. If you then click on Chapter 5, the Chapter 3 button would return to it's active (green) state and the Chapter 5 button would be inactive (purple). I'm pretty new to this software, so walk me through it if possible.

In the button response options, you will see a field called "Active IF:" which is blank until you put something in it. You can place in that field a variable that will make the button inactive when you wish. This variable can be a "system" variable, meaning it's one of the ones provided to you by Authorware, or a "user" variable, one that you create yourself.

Be sure to make the button's inactive state the purple color you wish. If you want to use a user variable, type "chapter3button" in the field (without the quotes). When you close the response options dialog box, it will pop up a New Variable dialog box. Set the initial value field to TRUE. This will ensure that the button will start out active.

Inside the Map icon that is attached to the button, drag a Calculation icon and type inside the Calculation the script:

chapter3button := FALSE

This will turn off the button as soon as it's clicked. At the end of the Map icon, before the user is returned to the menu, set:

chapter3button := TRUE

Now, this is an approach that can work well as long as you're not allowing users to jump around to other menu options while in Chapter 3. It sounds, though, as if you may be allowing that since you are afraid of them clicking the Chapter 3 button again.

Having said that, and to save yourself from creating a user variable that may not be needed, you should consider using a system variable. In the Interaction category of the variables dialog box you will see a list of variables that are available to you. You should consider several of them, including ChoiceNumber and MatchedIconTitle. The more you learn them, the more power you will have at your disposal. Each one comes with a description that should help.

Good luck!

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