Getting Started with Authorware

Creating a title

Creating text via the Toolbox

Creating Graphics via the Toolbox

Shading, Coloring and Grouping

Setting up the file

Choosing a Monitor size

Displaying a menu bar and title

Adding Icons

Importing Graphics and Erasing

Moving and drawing objects in the Design Window

Erasing a display icon

Erasing the title

Grouping Icons

Glossary of key terms


Welcome to the Authorware Professional 2.01 Tutorial designed for the Fall '95 CIS 3630 class.

The tutorial assumes that you are familiar with operating a PC in the Windows environment. Therefore you should know how to manipulate dialog boxes, make menu selections, use the mouse, and open and save files. If you feel you need help with these fundamentals, you may wish to consider doing a preliminary class in PC operation BEFORE attempting this course.

Authorware is widely recognized as being one of the more efficient multimedia packages available. Its interfaces are friendly, but must be practiced to gain proficiency.

The aim of this tutorial is for you to work with an already existing application, drawing its elements from a variety of sources and combining them into a single project. Among other things, you will be guided on the following:

At the end of the tutorial, you will have built an interactive application that simulates how a 35mm camera works.

The tutorial is divided into six sections, and you are advised to budget about ¾ hour to an hour to complete each section. Although you can do the sections in random order, we strongly suggest that you follow the sequence as this affords you the most efficient learning curve.

Above all else, mastering Authorware or any other multimedia tool is not merely a matter of pasting text, images and sound together on a background. It requires thought, planning and more than a little trial and error. We encourage you to experiment!!

At the end of each section is a mini-glossary of terms which you will begin to rely on as you develop skill in Authorware. You will be responsible for knowing these terms, since many of them may appear in your examination.

After this occurrence, every time you see this icon, it indicates that if you click on it you will open an image that illustrates the concept(s) closest to it. The images were designed as an aid to your understanding the Authorware interface. You will find that as we progress through the tutorial they will become less and less, until they disappear altogether.

The Basics -- Text & Graphics

Getting Started with Authorware

1. Ensure that you have a formatted, 3.5" High density diskette. Please make sure that the diskette is appropriately formatted. If you're using a DOS machine, use a DOS-formatted disk. If you're using a MAC, ensure the disk is MAC-formatted.

It is important that you use the appropriately-formatted medium, since if your format is incorrect, you will not be able to save your work.

2. Insert your disk into the appropriate drive on the computer. If you are using the computers in Room 433, there is only one floppy drive and it is designated drive A.

3. Open the Authorware program group and double-click the icon labeled Authorware.

The main Authorware window opens, and you are offered the choice of either opening an existing file, or creating a new file. Since this is the first project you are undertaking click on "New." The Authorware Design window opens up, with the caption "Untitled."

A few items to note about the Design window:

The pointing hand that you see at the top of the flowline is called the Paste hand. It displays the current position for the purposes of pasting items into the flowline. The Level 1 indicator at the upper right-hand corner of the Design window displays the current level of hierarchical organization that this window is displaying. As you develop in using Authorware, you will see that you can organize your application by grouping and sub-grouping portions of it as a means of maintaining control as it grows larger.

You are now ready to begin your first Authorware application.

The Icon Palette

What do the Icons do?

Creating a title

1. Drag the Display icon from the icon palette to the flowline and release the mouse

The display icon "snaps" into place on the flowline. You should notice the highlighted word "Untitled" to the right of the display icon.

2. Type the word "Title"

Before typing, make sure the display icon is selected. If it isn't, click once on the icon to select it then type "Title."

3. Double-click the Display icon.

This opens up the "Presentation Window" as seen by a viewer. The graphics toolbox contains the tools for creating text and graphics for your presentation Notice the word "Title" that appears at the top of the graphics toolbox.

Creating text via the Toolbox

1. Select the text tool from the toolbox

2. Choose "Font" from the Text menu, and select Arial from the offered sub-menu.

Note: If you choose a font with the text tool selected but with no text selected, this changes the "default font" and all text you create from this time on will use this font.

3. Place the I-Beam cursor (insertion point) where you want the text to begin in the drawing space. Click the left mouse button once, then type "Welcome to 35mm Camera Operation" or some similar title of your choice.

The line that shows up above your text indicates the width of your margins, Like with a good word processor, if the words you type don't fit on a line they "wrap" to the next line. You do not need to press the carriage return (Enter) key at the end of each line. However, you should click on the pointing tool in the toolbox to exit text-entry mode.

4. Change the size of the text. Using the left mouse button, select the text you just typed. Choose size from the Text menu, then select 14 from the Size sub-menu.

5. You can also alter the Style (appearance) of the text. Choose Style from the Text menu and choose Bold from the Style sub-menu.

Mix and match fonts, styles and sizes to create the effects you want. Don't go overboard!! The project still has to adhere to the rules of good screen design.

6. Make the text margin narrower. Move the I-beam cursor to one of the margin handles at any end of the margin line. (The cursor will change to an arrow.) Click the handle and drag it towards the other end of the text. Release the mouse button when the line is about half its original length.

This may require a few tries before you get the text margin just right. But remember, this is your project, and the aesthetics are entirely up to you.


Since this is the first time you are saving your application, observe the following procedure carefully.

FYI: The extension .apw indicates that the file is being designed in Authorware Professional for Windows.

Creating Graphics via the Toolbox

1. To draw a rectangle around the text title, select the rectangle tool from the toolbox and position the cursor at the top, left hand corner of the text.

2. Holding the left mouse button down, drag diagonally across the text until a rectangle surrounds it. Release the mouse button.

To fill the newly-created rectangle with color, you will have to select a "fill" pattern and color.

3. From the Attributes menu, choose Fills. Select a pattern from the palette. (Gray recommended).

The rectangle on the screen changes pattern to reflect your choice.

4. Close the Fills Palette

5. From the Attributes menu choose color. Select a color from the color palette that appears. (Light color recommended). Close the color palette.

You will notice that the words are invisible - the shaded and colored rectangle has literally been superimposed on the words.

6. To move the rectangle behind the text object, make sure that the rectangle (not the text) is selected, and, from the Attributes menu, choose 'Send to Back.'

Now the text appears superimposed on top of the shaded and colored rectangle, obscuring the color behind it. This can be resolved by making the text object transparent.

7. Select the text object by clicking on it. (When the text object is selected, the 'handles' immediately surrounding it are shown. Be careful to select the text object and not the rectangle. This may take a few tries to get it right.) Choose Modes from the Attributes menu, then select Transparent from the palette that appears. Close the palette.

As long as you have done this correctly, the color of the rectangle will now show through the text - which has become transparent.

If you try to move either the text object or the rectangle, you will notice that they can each move independently. To make it easier to resize and reposition these objects, you will now group them so that they behave like a single object.

8. Position the pointer outside the top left corner of the rectangle. Holding down the left mouse button, drag a selection rectangle diagonally across the objects until they are completely enclosed. Release the button.

You will notice that both the rectangle and the text are enclosed with handles.

9. From the Edit menu, choose Group.

Notice that there is now only ONE set of handles - around the rectangle. The rectangle and the text objects are now grouped as a single object

10. Run the file

Choose Run from the Try It menu. You should see all of the changes you made reflected in the presentation.

11. To return to 'Author' mode, choose Jump to Icons from the Try It menu.


Shading, Coloring and Grouping

In the illustration:

A: shows the text box obscured with the "filled" rectangle;

B: shows the rectangle after color has been added;

C: shows the image after the rectangle has been "sent behind" the text;

D: shows the image after the text has been made transparent; and before they have been grouped; and

E: shows the image after the text and rectangle have been grouped.

Setting up the file

A large part of the effectiveness of any multimedia presentation is screen design. In addition to content, the success of most presentations depends on the aesthetic appeal of the screens. In the next few steps, you will learn how to control the way that the Presentation window will appear to a user who is running your finished product.

NOTE: It is probably best to select these options right at the start of creating your file. One of the most important considerations is the type of monitor on which the user will run the application. Clearly if it's not a color monitor, then color selection does not arise as a major criterion. In general, however, the application looks more attractive if it is designed with the monitor's characteristics in mind.

There are two elements to this part of our exercise: 1) choosing the monitor size; and 2) Displaying a Menu bar and title.

Choosing a monitor size

1. From the File menu, choose File Setup

The File Setup dialog box appears

2. From the Presentation Window Size pop-up menu, select Variable.

To do this, click on the downward-pointing arrow in the drop-down combo box in the Presentation Window Size pop-up menu. You may need to experiment a little to determine the best presentation size of various projects. For this project however, we recommend that you use Variable.

Displaying a menu bar and title

Like many other Windows-based applications, Authorware has the flexibility to provide users with menu bars. The settings in the User Menu Bar and Title Bar options of the File Setup dialog box determine whether a menu bar and/or a title bar appear in the application.

If the entire File Setup dialog box is not visible, you may have to move it to a more convenient screen location to get to it in its entirety. In case you have to do this, point into the title bar, click and hold the left mouse button, and drag the box to the desired location. Release the mouse button and proceed with your work.

1. Turn off the User Menu Bar and then click OK.

To do this, you should un-check the User Menu checkbox in the displayed window. NOTE: An 'X' or a check-mark in a checkbox usually indicates that the item is 'ON' or selected.)

2. From the Try It Menu, choose Run.

This is the way the file will look to the user. Notice that no menu appears in the presentation. However, since the Title Bar option was left On, the title bar appears. While in 'Author' mode, the title "Presentation Window" appears in the title bar. In your final presentation, however, the title that you enter in the File Setup dialog box will appear in the title bar.

4. From the File menu, choose File Setup once again. In the File Setup dialog box, turn the User Menu bar On, turn the Title Bar Off, then click OK.

5. From the Try It menu, choose Run.

Note that with the settings switched the author menus appear, but the title bar in the Presentation window is no longer visible. You may choose to reset the title bar, so that it appears in your presentation. That's entirely up to you - it is, after all, your presentation.

6. To return to Author mode, from the Try It menu, choose Jump to Icons.


Adding Icons

1. From the Try It menu, choose Jump to Icons.

This opens the Design window. The Design window is the work area in which you plan your presentation, while the Presentation Window is the area in which you display it. (FYI: It is possible that with a large enough monitor you can display these windows (Design and Presentation) side by side, so that you can jump between them at will.

2. Place a display icon on the flowline below the "Title" display icon which you had created earlier. Name this new display icon "Camera."

3. Place an erase icon below the two display icons.

The function of the erase icon is to remove the contents of one or more display icons from the screen.

4. Insert a wait icon between the second display icon and the erase icon.

(Notice that you do not have to manually position this icon. It automatically snaps into place, and the other icons are adjusted on the flowline.)

A wait icon suspends execution of a file until one of three events takes place:

5. Select the erase icon and title it "Erase Camera."


Importing Graphics and Erasing

1. Run the file.

Authorware runs along the flowline, carrying out in sequential fashion the instructions denoted by the icons. The first display icon ("Title") is encountered, and its contents are displayed. When the second icon ("Camera) is encountered, the system pauses and presents you with the graphics toolbox, since you have not yet attached an instruction body to this display icon (Notice that the toolbox is titled "Camera.")

2. To import an image into the display icon, choose Import Graphics from the File menu.

This command allows you to preview graphics before importing them into your presentation.

3. Using the offered dialog box, locate the file named camside.bmp from the 'tutorial' sub-directory of the directory 'apw.' Click View to see a preview of the graphic. While you're at it, you may want to browse through the other graphics files in the directory so that you will later be able to associate a graphic with a name.

4. Click on 'Paste'

This brings the camside.bmp graphic directly into your presentation window. The graphic appears with handles that allow you to resize it and reposition it anywhere in your presentation window as desired.

Moving and drawing objects in the Design window

1. Move the camera to the lower right hand corner of the display. Leave about 1½ - 2 inches clearance on the bottom and on the right side.

2. Double-click the text item you had previously created ("Welcome to 35mm Camera Operation"). This opens the title for editing. You will see the rectangle bracketed with handles. (You cannot move the text box without this step.)

3. Move the "Title" display beside the camera.

4. From the Try It menu, choose Proceed.

The next item encountered on the flowline is the wait icon. When Authorware senses a wait icon, it automatically places a "Continue" button on the screen. (See diagram on following page.) This default method is provided so that the user can continue running the file.

5. Choose Pause from the Try It menu, and if it is not already there, drag the "Continue" button to the lower right corner of the window. You should have enough space to place the button if you positioned the camera graphic correctly. Notice that if you pause the application while it is running, you can manipulate objects in the presentation window.

Erasing a display icon

1. From the Try It menu, choose Proceed, and then click the continue button.

This tells Authorware to move on the next item on the flowline, which in this case is the "Erase Camera" erase icon. A dialog box appears so that you can specify which of the two objects in your presentation (the Title Display, of the Camera Display) you wish to erase. At this time, you want to erase the camera display.

2. Begin by clicking on any part of the camera.

Notice that the camera disappears from the Presentation window, and the icon and title "Camera" now appear in the lower portion of the dialog box.

3. From the Effect pop-up menu, choose an appropriate effect you would like to see as the camera is disappearing from the screen. Be adventurous..... Try as many as you like.

Every time you choose an effect, the camera reappears and then disappears from the screen in the manner you have chosen.

4. Click OK in the dialog box


Erasing the title

1. From the Try It menu, choose Jump to Icons.

2. Drag an erase icon from the icon palette, insert it below the "Camera" icon and title it "Erase Title."

This erase icon will erase the title from the screen.

3. From the Try It menu, choose Run

Authorware now encounters the "Erase Title" erase icon, and once again you are offered the Erase Options dialog box so that you can choose which display to erase.

4. To choose which display to erase, click the Title text.

The text is erased from the screen, and its icon and title appear in the lower portion of the Erase Options dialog box.

5. From the Effect pop-up menu, choose an appropriate effect (e.g. Mosaic).

Once again you will see a preview of the effect you have chosen.

6. Click OK in the Erase Title dialog box.

7. Save your file

8. From the Try It menu, choose Run. When the "continue" button appears on the screen, click it. Like the results?

Grouping Icons

1. From the Try It menu, choose Jump to Icons.

2. To select all icons, place the cursor in the upper left-hand corner of the Design window, hold down the left mouse button and drag diagonally until the selection rectangle surrounds all of the icons. Release the mouse button.

Notice that all of the icons are now highlighted, but the text is not.

3. From the edit menu, choose Group.

This groups all of the selected icons and places them within a 'map' icon.

4. Type "Introduction" as the title of this map icon.

5. Double click the map icon to open it.

The entire flowline you have created so far now is contained within this single icon.

6. To close the "Introduction" map, click on the graphic in the top left-hand corner of the window titled "Introduction" and choose Close from the pull-down menu. (Alternatively, you may double-click on the graphic, and the window will close.)

7. Run the file.

The title and camera appear, then the title fades out in the mosaic pattern. The continue button appears on the screen. When you click it. the camera is erased using the effect you specified.


Glossary of key terms

application           graphic               palette               

author                grid                  Paste hand            

Display icon          icon                  Presentation Window   

flowline              level                 title                 

font                  Menu bar              Toolbox