How to Get the Most Out of Layering in Lectora

Lectora-Layering

Do you ever wish there was a way to get more control over layering in your Lectora titles? Good news, there is!

Understand How to Use Lectora Layers

The trick is to understand how Lectora layers things. There are two parts to the layering, and together, they follow a predictable hierarchy. First — layering. Layers at the top of the explorer are furthest in the background, and things at the bottom are furthest in the foreground. Second — inheritance. As you go from title level into chapters, sections, and pages, layers from higher up in the title explorer can be “inherited” (or show up) in the objects further down in the title. Using the properties tab on the ribbon, you can control what objects get inherited.

 

Remember: Always On Top

Now that you have an idea of how things get layered, and you know that you can control inheritance, there’s one more thing to remember — Always On Top. Every object you add to a Lectora title (on its properties tab) has a check box for Always On Top. By default, this is unchecked on everything, EXCEPT buttons. In my titles, I always uncheck it on buttons and manually move them to a position in the layering hierarchy that forces them to the top of whatever page or group they are in, and here’s why.

 

Layering Example

Let’s say you have a title with a complex set of GUI’s (graphical user interfaces) and background graphics, and one of your persistent GUI buttons opens up an overlay you want to be on top of EVERYTHING in the course when the button is pressed. You have two choices, first is to make a copy of that pop-up and its button on every page in your title.  The second choice is to create one copy of the pop-up and its button at the title level with all the other GUI elements, and mark the pop-up group as “Always On Top.”

Note: this only works if all the other elements in your title do NOT use that check box.

 

The Advantages of Layering

This is the true power of layering, inheritance, and Always On Top. If you use it only as absolutely necessary, it becomes a powerful way to get inherited items at the section, chapter, or title level to float on top of all the elements on any page anywhere in your title. The biggest advantage of this is when you need to make a change to the pop-up or inherited element course-wide, you only do it in one place, and the change is reflected everywhere in the course.

 

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