Captivate Text Entry Box Tips

Text entry boxes (TEB) can be useful tools to assess learners’ progress or to simulate web forms or other applications. Here are some tips for a smooth experience with Captivate’s TEBs.

Text Entry Boxes and the Timeline

the Captivate timeline showing a text entry box offset by a tenth of a second from the front of the timeline

In you are navigating through the module by keyboard, it’s possible to trigger text entry boxes on slide enter. (This may be true of anything with a keyboard shortcut of Enter.)

To avoid this problem, move the TEB 0.10 seconds from the beginning of the slide’s timeline (see Figure 1).

Checking Against a Variable

Captivate’s built-in validation for text entry boxes can be problematic for accessibility. To account for this, create a custom button and assign an action to it that checks against the variable associated with the given TEB. This will allow you to create and navigate to a dedicated slide for feedback rather than Captivate’s built-in feedback, which will be invisible to a screen reader. You can also make other elements dependent on a correct TEB answer in this way.


Text_Entry_Box_1 is equal to John OR
Text_Entry_Box_1 is equal to john OR
Text_Entry_Box_1 is equal to JOHN
Jump to Slide 34
Go to Next Slide

Important: Be sure to account for alternate spellings and answer formats.

Disabling the Text Entry Box Button

If you are using a custom button for your text entry box, you can hide the default button.

  1. Select the TEB on the slide or in the timeline.
  2. In the Properties tab, assign it a keyboard shortcut. Since I want the learner to interact with the button instead of just hitting Enter, I usually make is something complicated, so it can’t be triggered by accident.
  3. Once you have the keyboard shortcut assigned, you can uncheck Show Button in the Properties tab
text entry box properties showing a complex keyboard shortcut and the show button checkbox unchecked


Text entry boxes are a great tool, and Captivate’s built-in features are a good place to get you started. If you want to start taking your text entry box use to new levels of interactivity and accessibility, I hope these tips give you a good start.