Keep inital text in text entry

Oct 24, 2013


I'm wondering if it's possible to keep the initial text "type your text here" in the text entry when the user clicks in the text filed to start typing, instead of having it erased. I'd like to keep a sample of a letter and have the learners use it and rewrite to make it their's.



9 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Catrin,

I have to say that's a new one, normally people just want to change the text or not have it there at all. I don't believe there is a way to keep this text available to your users once they click in the text entry field, as the trigger that's associated with the text entry is automatically adjusting "when the control loses focus."

Nancy Woinoski

Hi Catrin - this is very possible and I have done it for a writing course that I recently developed.

Here is how you do it.

1. Add the text entry field to the screen.

2. Double click text entry trigger and click on the ... button.

3. Type or copy and past the text you want the user to edit in the Value field.

Notice how this has created a variable called "Variable 1"

This variable contains the text you added. When you preview the slide you will now see that the text displays in the text entry field and can be edited. You can't see this when working in the story file - it will still show as "type your text here"

4. The text is a little fussy to edit and it is easy for the user to accidently delete all the text from the field so I always create a Reset button.

Which has a trigger to adjust Variable 1 back to the original value (you have to copy and paste the original text in the value field to do this)

I have attached a simple story file to

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi All,

Nancy, I just now saw this. Very clever! I didn't look at your sample, simply followed your very good directions, and was good to go. Thank you.

1 comment:

For some reason, when creating the Reset button, I couldn't copy/paste directly from the default value of Variable 1 in the Manage project variables dialog box. That is, I could Copy, but when I was adding the trigger to the Reset button, "paste" was not available in the Value field (either using the right mouse button or Ctrl+V). Instead I had to paste directly onto the slide and then copy/paste from the text box on the slide into the value field. Did you experience that? If not, what did I do wrong? If so, why would that be? I got it to work, I'm just curious.

Catrin, thank you for posting the question.

1 question:

Catrin and Nancy, can you describe a little more about how you're using this?

Catrin, you said you're using a sample letter. So, do you have a large text entry field that contains an entire letter, and Learners are using it like a template...making changes to fit their needs? What exactly are they learning during this process? Do they then have to go a step further and create a letter on their own? I'm (again) curious.

Nancy, how did you use this in the course you developed?

TIA to you both!

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