Lab: Adobe Captivate

Captivate Controller JavaScript Utility

Read the journal entry introducing the Captivate Controller JavaScript utility.



The JavaScript file can be downloaded from the downloads page. The utility is currently at version 1.0 and weighs 1.8kb.

The utility function

The pipwerks.captivate.control utility takes the following arguments, wraped in a JavaScript object.

Argument name Type Notes Required?
id string The ID of the <object> or <embed> element containing your Captivate SWF. yes
command string The command you'd like to invoke. See list of available commands at the bottom of this page. yes
usesSkin boolean Defaults to false. Only when Captivate SWF is published with a skin file.
frameNumber number   Only when gotoFrameAndStop or gotoFrameAndPlay is used.
slideNumber number   Only when gotoSlideAndStop or gotoSlideAndPlay is used.


There are many ways to write JavaScript. Here are two ways to specify the arguments when using pipwerks.captivate.control.

Inline object syntax

//Example for Captivate SWF using a skin
  id: "captivateSample",
  usesSkin: true,
  command: "gotoSlideAndPlay",
  slideNumber: 7

External object syntax

//Example for Captivate SWF using a skin
var mysettings = {}; = "captivateSample";
mysettings.usesSkin = true;
mysettings.command = "gotoSlideAndPlay";
mysettings.slideNumber = 7;


Simple text link example

Here is a simple example of how you can create text-based links that can control a Captivate SWF.

1. Add the pipwerks.captivate.control.js to the <head> of your document.

<script type="text/javascript" src="pipwerks.captivate.control.js"></script>

2. Add an empty JavaScript onclick event to your code where appropriate. For this example, we'll just use a plain text link. Note that "return false" prevents the browser from following the dummy text link ("#").

<a href="#" onclick="return false;">Click here to pause the SWF</a>

3. Add the pipwerks.captivate.control statement to the onclick event, passing the ID of the embedded Captivate SWF and the name of the command you wish to use. If your Captivate file uses a skin, be sure to set usesSkin to true. As mentioned in the syntax section, there are multiple ways to handle this code; the first method is completely inline code, which can be very long and dificult to read.

<a href="#" onclick="pipwerks.captivate.control({id: "captivateSample", command: 'pause'}); return false;">Click here to pause the SWF</a>

If you plan to use multiple commands, you might want to wrap the pipwerks.captivate.control function in a smaller function contained in the <head> of the document, like so:

<script type="text/javascript">

function control(cmnd, num){

    id: "captivateSample",
    usesSkin: false,
    command: cmnd,
    frameNumber: num,
    slideNumber: num
  return false;


This wrapper function has several benefits: it contains a 'return false' statement, allowing you to call the Captivate controller from links much more easily, and makes your code easier to maintain by eliminating repetition -- the ID of your SWF and the usesSkin boolean are specified just once. You can now use something as simple as:

<a href="#" onclick="return control('pause');">Click here to pause the SWF</a>
<a href="#" onclick="return control('gotoSlideAndPlay', 5);">Click here to go to slide 5</a>

See the examples (linked above) to see this code in action.

Available commands

Command name Original rdcmnd equivalent Arguments
pause rdcmndPause = 1 none
resume rdcmndResume = 1 none
next rdcmndNextSlide = 1 none
previous rdcmndPrevious = 1 none
rewindAndStop rdcmndRewindAndStop = 1 none
rewindAndPlay rdcmndRewindAndPlay = 1 none
gotoSlideAndStop rdcmndGotoSlide = n slide number
gotoSlideAndPlay rdcmndGotoSlide = n & rdcmndResume = 1 slide number
gotoFrameAndStop rdcmndGotoFrame = n frame number
gotoFrameAndPlay rdcmndPause = 1 & rdcmndGotoFrameAndResume = n frame number
mute rdcmndMute = 1 none
unmute rdcmndMute = 0 none
showCaptions rdcmndCC = 1 none
hideCaptions rdcmndCC = 0 none
muteWithCaptions rdcmndMute = 1 & rdcmndCC = 1 none
unmuteWithCaptions rdcmndMute = 0 & rdcmndCC = 0 none
hidePlaybar rdcmndHidePlaybar = 1 none
(note: doesn't seem to work with JavaScript)
rdcmndHidePlaybar = 0 none
(note: doesn't seem to work with JavaScript)
rdcmndExit = 1 none
info rdcmndInfo = 1 none