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Adobe Captivate is a program used to create interactive eLearning content and provide custom online training to employees or clients. In this course, author David Rivers walks through the Captivate 6 interface and the process of building an eLearning project from start to finish.
The course shows how to make a presentation from scratch or with built-in themes, import Photoshop images and PowerPoint slides, and add interest with animation, widgets, and video. It also demonstrates how to prepare for and record a software simulation, synchronize video, add audio, and build quizzes into your project.
Although Captivate 6 is not a drawing program per se, you do have the ability to draw certain objects, and that's what we are going to do with our Volunteer Orientation project here that we've been working on, if you have been following along. We are going to click slide number 1 here at the very top of our Filmstrip. Let's say we wanted to add some pizzazz here to the slide; maybe put the word welcome inside a banner. Well, if we move over to the Object toolbar, you won't find an actual button for drawing anything from scratch, although at the very top, there is a button labeled Insert Smart Shape.
Give that a click, and what you'll see are a number of different groups, including the Basic group, you will also see different types of arrows in the Arrows group, buttons that will perform some type of action when clicked, Banners, and there's our Math symbols at the very bottom. Maybe a banner would look nice on this opening slide. So let's go over the Banners. As we hover over them, we see the names. There is Wave, and Scrolls, Ribbons; let's go to that second one labeled Wave, give it a click, and now all we have to do is click and drag on the slide where we want the banner to appear.
I am going to go under the word welcome off to the left, click and drag across, and down until I get a nice sized banner, and release. Now, when you release the mouse button, certain default properties appear. You can see there is a gradient shading on the inside, kind of a gray stroke around the outside, all of which can be adjusted, and we are going to do that now. Let's move over to the right-hand side here in our Properties section. You'll notice this is a Smart Shape, and it's automatically named SmartShape_1.
It is the first smart shape we've added. If you were to add additional, they would be SmartShape 2, 3, and 4. Sometimes difficult to distinguish, so it's a good idea to come in here and name them. We'll click and drag over SmartShape_1, and type in Welcome, leave a space, and type in Banner, and when you hit Enter, look what happens; an underscore is added for you, so you could put that in yourself, or let Captivate take care of it for you. Now, you can see it is checked off as Visible in the output. When we publish this, you will be able to see that.
Notice also, it could also be used as a button; any shape you draw can act like a button, and you would assign the action. We will get to that momentarily. Right now, though, let's change the appearance by going to the Fill and Stroke section, and we are going to start with the Fill. When we click this button, you'll notice that across the top we have Solid Colors, Gradient, which is selected, and Texture. With Gradient selected, you can see the current selection is this, light at the top, and darker at the bottom option. So we have different colors we could choose from if we wanted to, or if you prefer, go to a Solid Color.
Clicking there opens up a dialog. Now, you may lose it if your mouse pointer is not inside. That's okay. Just go back to it. Go back inside, and let's change it to white right at the top. It seems boring right now, and that is because we have that gray, thin stroke along the outside. We will change that too by going back to the Properties, and clicking the Stroke dropdown. In this case, we're going to choose a similar color to our background for some of our text, and the word welcome. And when we select that, you can see it now appears around the outside.
Let's adjust the thickness, or Width; click the slider, and drag it to the right. You can see a live preview of what's happening. Let's go back to the left. I'm thinking maybe 5 or 6 would be a good setting. 5; right there. Perfect. And you could type that in as well if you wanted to. We can also adjust the transparency; I think it's okay at 80. Now all we have to do is get the word welcome inside. Well, double-clicking any Smart Shape allows you to start typing. That's why it's called a Smart Shape, but if you already have the text, why not cut it, and copy it? Let's do that.
We will double-click welcome, and we will click and drag over to select it, and now we'll cut it. You could go to the Edit menu, and choose Cut. On the keyboard, you could use the keyboard shortcut Command+X on the Mac; Control+X on your Windows keyboard cuts it, keeps it in the clipboard temporarily, until we're ready to paste it, which will be inside the banner. So let's double-click there. Now, you can see there is a tiny cursor there waiting for you to start typing text, or you could paste, which is what we are going to do. Let's use the keyboard shortcut again. This time it's Command+V on the Mac, or Control+V on your Windows PC.
Press Escape on the keyboard, so you're no longer editing text. Instead, we can now work with the entire shape as a whole. Click and drag it up, and into position. Let's click in the background to deselect to see the end result. Pretty good. All right, I like that. We might want to tweak it a little more later on, but we will leave it as it is for now. Instead, what we are going to do is add another shape, but it's going to be a button that will take us directly to the quiz. As we scroll down our Filmstrip, the very last slide looks like where we're going to start our quiz.
Notice it is titled Quiz, but if we go over to the Properties, the name of this slide has been left blank. So it's really just slide number 7. Let's click inside the Name field, and type in the word Quiz. This way we know exactly what the slide is, and where it is when we need it. Press Enter or Return, and it's locked in. Back we go up to the very first slide. Scroll right up to the top, click in the Filmstrip, and let's add a button underneath the picture that will take us directly to the Quiz. So we'll go back to that same button in the Object toolbar, Insert Smart Shape, and when we click it, we might be thinking let's choose a button, but these already have actions assigned to them: Return, Forward, Play a movie, Mute, Go Home.
None of these really apply to taking us to our Quiz, so we are going to create our own by going to our Basic shapes. Let's select a Rectangle. We will go underneath the image here. Click and drag across and down, just like we did with the banner to create the button, and now we will zoom in, so we can see what we are doing. Let's go to the Application bar. From Best Fit, let's go to 100. So here's our button, or what will be our button. Right now it's just a rectangle with the default properties. Let's double-click inside.
That allows us to type; Go To Quiz, and we can resize this if we need to. Mine looks pretty good as is. The only thing is, it's not really a button yet. So press Escape on the keyboard, so you're not editing text anymore. Instead, we are going to be working with the button itself. Notice up here it's a Smart Shape; there is SmartShape_2. Let's rename it. We'll call it Quiz Button. I am going to leave a space, and let Captivate put in the underscore for me. I'm also going to use it as a button, so clicking the checkbox turns it into a button, which means now we can assign an action in the Action section of our Properties.
By default it's going to go to the next slide, but we are going to click the dropdown here, and look at some other options. Go to the slide last visited, no, previous, next; lots of different options, including Jump to slide. I like that. Give it a click, and now we get to choose which slide we are going to be jumping to. Click the dropdown, and choose Quiz. Because we named it, we can select it as Quiz, and now this button will take us directly to that slide if we prefer to skip all of the information and take the Quiz.
Time to test this out. Let's change our zoom back to Best Fit. You might want to save your changes at this point. Keep in mind, too, that because we brought all of these slides in from PowerPoint, the entire slide is covered with an object known as a Click Box, which will take us to the next slide. So if we click that, you can see how it's selected, but go to the Quiz button, give it a click, and you will notice, because we created it last, it's on top. So clicking anywhere in the slide will take us to the next slide, but clicking the button will take us directly to our Quiz.
We want to test it out. We will go to the Preview button, we will go down to Project; F4 is your keyboard shortcut. Once it's generated, we will be looking at slide number one in our project, similar to the way we would see it in a browser. So, depending on your resolution, you may need to scroll down, like me, to see the Go To Quiz button. There it is. If we click it, there we go; right directly to the Quiz, skipping over all the other content. To close the Preview, click the little Close button to end it, and we return back to our project.
So we'll click in the background. Nothing is selected. That is the end result. Now you know how to insert certain types of shapes, even assign actions to them, creating buttons out of any shape you create.
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