Before you begin creating eLearning content in Adobe Captivate 5, there are some crucial steps to take so you can be as efficient and organized as possible. In this chapter we'll cover the process of storyboarding, writing your script, organizing your asset files, and more.
Planning an eLearning Project
Welcome to the world of eLearning and Captivate 5! This video is a quick overview of the project we will be working on and a look at some of the features we will be using to create interactive content.
In this chapter you'll learn how to set your preferences for optimal performance in Adobe Captivate 5 and get a basic overview of the interface. Once you have a good idea of how to zoom in and out and what the panels are designed for, you will be ready to create your own content!
Getting Familiar with the Basics
Setting the preferences before you begin a project helps to determine how the project will look and behave when the end-user interacts with it. You'll get an overview of the preferences and tips on setting them for maximum productivity in this lesson.
Organizing your panels and using workspaces are key to working efficiently in Captivate. In this lesson you'll learn how to choose different predefined workspaces as well as how to create your own custom ones.
The zooming features of Captivate allow you to easily see the entire slide or adjust to different levels of magnification so you can examine your project more closely. You'll learn the keyboard shortcuts for zooming, as well as the menu commands, in this video.
This lesson introduces you to the Filmstrip, a key component of the Captivate workspace. Here you can reorder pages, see thumbnails of each slide's content, and use contextual menus for more flexibility.
In this chapter we'll start from a blank project in Adobe Captivate 5 and look at ways to customize your project. We'll also explore the different types of recording modes so you can decide which mode is best for any given situation.
In this lesson you'll learn how to build projects from scratch in Captivate. We'll explore adding custom background colors, incorporating graphics and text, and using the drawing tools to add visual interest to your slides. Finally, we'll add a button that allows the end-user to move to the next slide.
This lesson looks at assessment simulations, which allow the end-user to test their retention of the process they watched in a demonstration. An assessment does not give them hints on where to click, but will offer failure captions to tell them when they clicked incorrectly.
You can use training simulations to help your end-user remember what they learned in a previous movie. Training simulations offer hint captions that allow the user to get a clue to where to click if they hover in the general vicinity, as you'll see in this video.
In this video you'll learn how to set up custom recordings within Captivate 5, allowing you to have control over which features you want in a particular project. For example, you can turn on text captions and failure captions to guide your user through the lesson.
Full motion recording (FMR) allows you to record complex mouse movements as a movie with your Captivate project. In this lesson you'll learn how to set the preferences to get the best quality and see how FMR can add visual appeal to your eLearning movies.
Sometimes action can occur outside the recording window. For this, Captivate includes panning, which allows you to move the recording window to include the action that might otherwise have been missed. This video shows you how to do it.
In this lesson you'll learn to repurpose existing PowerPoint slides by importing them into Adobe Captivate. You can choose which slides you want to import, set options for resizing them, and then add interactive features from right within Captivate.
Once you have a project underway, you'll want to control mouse properties and add elements such as text captions and images. In this chapter we'll explore the art of laying these components out and making them look organized and professional.
Creating a Basic Presentation
In this lesson, you'll learn how to fine-tune your mouse properties by choosing a different mouse pointer, turning off mouse activity for a single slide or across the entire project, and even changing the location of the mouse movement.
Adding text captions to your projects can enable you to provide information that was not in the original slides, and also give your user instructions on how to interact with the slides. You'll learn all about text captions in this video.
In this video you'll see how to add basic shapes like lines, rectangles, ovals, and polygons to your projects, align them to the grid, and set the fill, stroke, and transparency for the objects, all right in your Properties panel.
Not only can you add images to your Captivate projects, you can crop them, rotate them, and apply a host of other settings to add visual impact. In this lesson we'll review the saturation, contrast, alpha, and other settings that can make your images pop (or recede into the background to create a watermark).
The ability to check spelling throughout the entire project, and also to find and replace text, is a great time saver in Captivate. We'll look at spellchecking and the spelling preferences in this video.
To create truly rich and engaging eLearning content, you'll want to add interactive elements. In this chapter you'll learn to add rollovers, clickboxes, and buttons. You'll also get some tips on adding visual appeal with highlight boxes.
Incorporating Interactive Elements
In this lesson you'll learn to add rollover images to your projects so users can hover over a "hot spot" and see an image appear.
You can incorporate highlight boxes into your projects to draw attention to items or detract attention from other items. In this video you'll see how to use highlight boxes to lead your user to a particular spot on a slide while a caption or sound is playing.
In this video you'll see how to use buttons and clickboxes to add more interactivity to your projects. Clickboxes can have different types of captions attached to them, and we'll cover changing the styles of these as well. Buttons trigger an action when the user clicks on them and are a great way to allow someone to open a web page or send an email.
You have total control over the timing of every object on each slide, and this series of lessons on the Timeline will help you understand and manipulate the beginnings, ends, and transitions of all your components.
Understanding the Timeline
This lesson explores the basics of working with the Timeline. We'll talk about how each item appears as its own line item on the Timeline, how different elements can be staggered on the Timeline, and how to change transitions between elements. You'll also learn how to reorder items, turn them on or off, and lock or unlock them.
Once you've got the basics, it's time to explore some more advanced features. In this chapter you'll learn to streamline your projects by adding master slides, repurposing your layered PSD files, and building project templates.
Not only can you can bring layered Photoshop (PSD) files directly into Captivate, you can manipulate the layers and show/hide them as well. Integration with Photoshop allows you even more flexibility with your projects, as you'll see in this video.
Master slides help streamline the process of creating content for multiple pages. In this lesson you'll learn to create, edit, and apply master slides for added efficiency with your eLearning projects.
In this lesson you'll learn how to build a project template and reuse it many times. Project templates contain placeholders for text, images, and other elements, and enable you to reuse the same formatting for a more consistent look and feel in your projects.
Adding audio to your Captivate movies gives them an added dimension and allows users to follow along with the narrator or receive additional information. In this chapter we'll cover recording directly in Captivate, importing and editing audio, and adding Flash content to your projects.
Incorporating Audio into Your Projects
In this video you'll see how audio that was recorded in another application, such as Adobe Soundbooth, can be brought into your Captivate project.
You can edit audio within Captivate, whether you recorded it yourself or imported it from a sound file. In this video you'll see how to insert silence, cut out noises and distractions, and create crisp, clean audio for your projects.
Now that you have successfully created eLearning content with Captivate 5, let's look at the different options available for publishing your content. Topics covered in this chapter include Skin Editor basics, adding accessibility, and closed captioning.
Publishing Your Project
The table of contents (TOC) can be an essential part of any Captivate movie by giving your user the ability to view content nonsequentially. This video will help you set up your TOC for best results.
Section 508 compliance - making your projects accessible to people with disabilities - is a key part of Captivate. In this video you'll see how to add shortcuts to buttons, enter project information, and use slide notes and captions for added accessibility.
Adding closed captioning is easy with Captivate 5: just copy and paste your text to the appropriate closed caption number and set your markers to control where the captions begin and end. This video shows you how it's done.
Publish settings determine how the final output will be handled. You can set it to Auto Play, apply a password, or Externalize Resources for your development team to edit without having to use Captivate. In this lesson we will explore all this and more.
Publishing to a SWF file is the most common way to export a Captivate project. In this video we'll explore the options for this output, such as embedding in a PDF or HTML document, creating AutoRun CDs, and more.
Captivate lets you publish your content to Word documents quickly and easily. You can include or exclude images, captions, and slides, and even create storyboards, which give you a detailed summary of all the settings used in the project.
Here we will wrap up this workshop with some closing comments on eLearning and the importance of Adobe Captivate in creating engaging learning materials.
In this video we'll review the project we have been creating in this workshop and discuss how we used Captivate's features to add interactivity to the project. We'll also review the workspace and panels.