Using Interactive Drag and Drop Widget

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This page explains how to use and configure the Interactive Drag and Drop widget in Adobe Captivate. The examples shown below are from Captivate 5.5 but apply also to Captivate 4 and 5. The widget version shown is always the current latest version.  If your Interactive Drag and Drop widget does not look like the screens below, check your version against this page.

Configuring Widget Preference Options

The Widget Properties dialog allows you to configure widget preferences.

Objects tab

This tab allows you to add drag objects and target objects to the widget by entering their Item Names (as shown in Captivate's own Properties tab when that item is selected on stage).  You can add multiple objects at the same time by separating with a comma.

Correct Answer tab

The Correct Answer tab allows you to match drag objects with their respective targets to set up a match that will trigger a Success criteria for the widget.  Simply drag the objects from the section above into the column for their target.  You can add multiple drag objects per target. However, by default the widget is set up to only accept single objects per target.  So as soon as you drag your second object onto a target a message box will ask you if you want to change the default preference from single to multiple objects per target.

Preferences: General

There are so many Preference options with this widget that this tab requires sub-sections to accommodate all the options.

Multi-Widget Conflict Resolution

If you have multiple interactive widgets on the same slide referencing the same objects, the potential exists for conflicts resulting from widgets having different preference settings. You can specify that a particular widget's preference settings will over-ride all others. This means you only need to see preferences once, regardless of how many drag and drop interactive widgets are on the slide. Alternatively, you can prioritise the widgets to determine which preferences will dominate should a conflict occur.

Reset Success/Failure Criteria

If selected, this option allows the widget interaction to be performed repeatedly with the Success/Failure criteria being automatically reset each time.  Useful if you want to trigger the same Advanced Action again and again, or allow the user multiple opportunities to get the interaction correct.

Initial Hit Testing

If you drag and drop interaction begins with drag objects placed over target objects then you may need to use Initial Hit Testing for the interaction to correctly register success or failure.

Drag Object Limit

You can set to either single objects per target or multiple objects per target.


By default, interactive widgets in Captivate are set to pause the slide one second after they enter the timeline.  This option allows you to Disable Pausing or Disable Continue instead.  When Disable Continue is used along with the Reset Success/Fail Criteria option, you have a situation where the widget can be used repeatedly without advancing the slide.

Preferences: Display

Randomize Initial Drag Object Positions

When set to None, drag objects will just remain where ever you arranged them in Edit mode in Captivate. If set to Swap Places, the drag objects will randomly swap around at runtime.  If set to Anywhere on stage, the drag objects will randomly arrange themselves all over the available stage area. 

Hide Drag Object On Drop

If this option is selected, drag objects dropped on targets at runtime disappear.  This can be used to make it appear as if the targets 'ate' the drag objects!

Hide Target Objects At Runtime

This option makes target objects invisible at runtime.  They are still able to register hits from drag objects, but because they're invisible, you can make it appear as if another object or image in the background is actually the target.

Use Hand Cursor

This option displays a hand cursor over drag objects at mouseover.  Useful if it is not immediately apparent which objects are draggable.

Bring Drag Object To Front

If selected, this option causes drag objects to move up to the top layer when dropped on targets.

Preferences: Evaluate & Buttons

Success/Failure Evaluation

These options allow the Captivate developer to determine the specific circumstances under which the drag and drop interaction will evaluate Success or Failure. Evaluation can be triggered automatically when all drag objects are on targets or when all targets have at least one drag object, when drag objects are all correctly matched, or every time a drag object is moved and then dropped again.

Evaluate Button

Quiz questions typically have Submit buttons that allow the user to trigger evaluation.  This option allows you to do something similar by specifying a screen object that will act as a button to trigger the evaluation when clicked.  This object doesn't need to be a button.  You can use a normal text caption, image or animation as the evaluation object. Just specify the object's Item Name in the field provided.

Reset Button

This is similar to the previous option but this time the object will reset all drag objects back to starting positions when clicked. All you need to do is specify the object's Item Name in the field provided.


Most interactive objects in Captivate have a Hint caption that will appear when the object is rolled over with the mouse cursor.  However in the case of drag and drop interactions, which object would you expect to trigger this caption? This option allows you to use the Item Name of the object that will trigger the Hint caption to appear.

Reset Incorrect Drag Objects on Evaluate

This option (suggested by a customer) will cause any incorrectly matched drag objects to snap back to starting positions when the interaction is evaluated, leaving only correctly matched objects in place.  This is useful if you want to give the user multiple attempts at an interaction but make it easier by indicating which items remained to match correctly.

Preferences: Snapping

This widget now has enormous variety in the way you can configure snapping behaviour.

No Snapping

Drag objects will simply stay where ever you drop them, regardless of whether or not they are placed over targets.  Any drag object intersecting with a target will register a hit.

Snap to Anchor

By default, drag objects will align to the top left corner of targets.  Select this option if you want your drag objects to use a specific anchor point on the target. Click the relevant square in the matrix of anchor points to indicate how you want the snapping to work.

Smart Snapping

By default, drag objects will all sit on top of one another aligned to the same anchor point on the target.  However this will mean only the top drag object will be visible. Use this Smart Snapping option to have drag objects arrange themselves edge to edge on the target.  Click the graphics to change the arrangement method from Across And Then Down to Down And Then Across.


This option is only active for Snap to Anchor or Smart Snapping.  It allows you to configure the amount of padding space between drag objects and the target boundaries.

Snap Back If Not Dropped on Target

Drag objects that are not dropped on a valid target (one the widget knows about) will snap back to their starting position.

Snap Back If Dropped on Incorrect Target

If selected, this option will mean that drag objects will only successfully drop on correct targets.  Use this option if you want to make it almost impossible for the user to get the question wrong.

There are many other ways that one or more Drag and Drop Interactive Widgets can be used to create sophisticated interactions. We feel sure that once you start using this widget, you'll think of even more ways to use it!


Theo1974's picture

Well my initial enthusiasm is quickly fading away into some very unpleasant emotions. I truly expected better. Your documentation seems not to include a listing of error messages and possible solutions to eliminate the cause of the errors. Yes the widget is only 35 American, but the time I have spent trying to get it to work is well into the hundreds. Not Happy.


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