What is a tool?

A tool is an image you can attach to the cursor to give the hotspot step a more life-like feel. For example, attaching a spanner to the cursor so that they have to put the actual spanner in the correct position. They have many other uses, such as attaching labels to an image, assembly of a machine, using equipment in the correct location - just to name a few!

Tools Menu Overview

1. Change what is displayed as the toolbox title for the learner - This can be useful for when your tools might not be tools, you could rename the title for something like "labels" (shown) or "equipment" etc.

2. Add tools - See below for more

3. Refresh Tools - Sometimes when you add a tool via the Library, it will not show up below. Pressing this button should resolve this.

4. Random Display Order - Tools will show in a random order to the learner each time.

5. Do not autohide toolbox - By default, when the user selects a tool, the toolbar will automatically hide. Selecting this will keep the toolbar static - great for when you have multiple different tools the user needs to select on the same step.

6. Hide/Show - This defines if the tool will be displayed to the learner on this given step. A tool must be shown for it to be correct.

7. Edit Tool - See below for more

8. Select Correct tool - For hotspots with only one answer, this tick defines that this tool is the correct tool. By default, all ticks are grayed out, but one can be set as correct. If none are set as correct, the correct tool is having no tool.

9. Auto-select this Tool - This defines which tool will be auto selected when the learner loads into this step. If none are selected, the user will be loaded in with no tool pre-selected.

Uploading a Tool

Once you have a Hotspot step created (see our basic hotspot step support page), you can add a tool in the hotspot drawing screen. Look for the white "+" as seen below.

Upload the image(s) you would like to use as your tool, for our example we will use a spanner. Your tool should most of the time be clearcut (have a transparent background) giving it a more realistic look, allowing the background to show through on areas of the tool image that isnt specifically the tool.

Once uploaded, you will be presented with a screen with a few options. You can rename the tool using the little text form at the top, and you can choose for the tool to show...

  • Current Step - The tool will be visible by default on this step ONLY, hidden for every other hotspot step.

  • Whole Sim - The tool will be visible in every step in the sim by default. (It can be still be hidden per step level)

Click save once done.

Editing Tools

1. Tool Properties - Here you can add a Label to the tool, displaying a small amount of text below the tool in the learner toolbox. Great for labeling hard to see tools, or for when the user might not know what the tool is from just the image. You can also change the display properties of this tool over multiple steps.

2. Redo - Resets the tool orientation to default.

3. Flip - Flips the tool on the y-axis.

4. Set Control Point - This sets where the tool is attached to the learners cursor (see image on the right). This can also affect where your hotspot must be placed, as you can see the hotspot is placed in a position relative to the control point, rather than on the actual nut of the saw.

5. Save/Reject changes - Ensure you save any changes made to the tool you would like to keep, alternatively, hit the cross and it will remove any changes made in that session.

6. Change tool orientation - Drag the corners to change the size of the tool as it would appear for the learner. You can also change the rotation. The position of the tool does not matter from our editing standpoint, as thats what the learner controls. It's useful to move the tool around so you can put it in the correct position to get the sizing correct.

Multiple Correct Hotspot Tools


When "multiple correct hotspot" has been selected, the tools interact with the step slightly differently. The ability to select the correct tool will disappear. The correct tools to be used will not be defined in the hotspot properties per hotspot. If you now click on the hotspot properties, you will see that there will be a new dropdown to select the "Correct hotspot Tool". Repeat this selection for the rest of your hotspots.

Clear-cutting a Tool

Watch the video below for a quick and easy method to give your images a transparent background within SimTutor!

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