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In Captivate 5 Essential Training, author James Lockman demonstrates the core features of Captivate 5, the popular tool for authoring e-learning content such as interactive presentations, click-through simulations, and customized assessments. He shows how to import and sync PowerPoint presentations, add interactivity, and incorporate audio, video, and voiceovers. The course also includes tutorials on assessment reporting and integrating with SCORM-compliant learning management systems. Exercise files accompany the course.
Let's see how we can add some shapes to our slides in our Captivate projects. We're going to be using the Chapter 3_c file that we created in the previous lesson. Open it now if you don't have it opened already. Let's return to slide number two. I'd like to draw a box behind this text frame that we drew earlier. There are a number of objects that we can draw in Captivate directly. About two-thirds of the way down the toolbar, you'll see that there are four drawing types of objects that you can add to your projects. Chances are you're looking at the Line.
Click on the Line, and you'll see that there is Line, Rectangle, Oval, and Polygon available. Let's begin by drawing a rectangle. Choose Rectangle from the pop-up. Draw a rectangle that encloses this text caption. Click and drag, and when you've you're your rectangle looking like this, release your mouse. Over in the Properties panel, it's showing us the options for a rectangle. First, we can see its name, and automatically Captivate selects Rectangle_1.
To identify the rectangle in the Timeline later, you may want to give it a different name. Select the entirety of the word Rectangle_1, and type "Statement Frame". Now a space is not allowed in the Item Name, but type it anyway. When you hit Enter to commit that change, Captivate will automatically replace spaces with underlines. It's important that names of things never have spaces, because often, we'll refer to them later programmatically using ActionScript that we might write in Flash.
These objects can also be used for quizzing and other purposes. In order for us to be able to understand those interactions later, it's important that the names make some sense. Let's change the fill & stroke of our Statement_Frame rectangle. I'd like to choose a fill color now. Currently, it's slightly blue. Click on the Fill color selector, and then choose the eyedropper in the upper right-hand corner. Move your cursor over onto the Filmstrip area, and then look at the selector right here.
The tip of the eyedropper represents the color that we're going to be picking up. I want to pick up the dark color of the olive, so I'll move my cursor until I get the dark olive in the lower left-hand corner of the olive, and then click. That's now chosen that color. Let's go back there for a moment, so we can understand why we didn't get the color that we had selected. Right here, we can see the alpha, or transparency, for the fill. Currently, it's set to 20%. Click and drag as far as you can to the right.
You may have to click again to commit the change. Now you can see that we've made it darker. Of course, we didn't pick a new color. All we did was change the transparency. Click on the color selector one more time, click on the number, and type in 100, and then Enter. Now you can see that by making it 100% opaque, we've completely covered up the words. Let's set it back to 20% transparent. Click one more time on the Fill selector, click on the Alpha, and type 20, and then Enter.
Let's change the stroke the same way. Click on Stroke color selector, choose the eyedropper, and again, we'll pick that lower left-hand area of the olive. Let's make the Width to be four points wide. You can drag this slider or type in the number 4. If you want, you can change the Style from a Solid line to a Dashed line. Let's leave it solid for now. Well, lastly, we'll adjust the Corner Radius. So, click and drag to the right to add a corner radius. Let's set it to be about 15%. There we go.
I'd like to close the box up just slightly, and now I've got it the way that I want it. Let's add another element, which would be a line. Click and hold, and then choose Line. We're going to draw a line, but we're not going to keep it. So in the end, we're going to delete this object. But I do want you to see what we can do with the lines. Click and drag to draw a line. Now I haven't let go of my mouse yet, so don't let go. If you move your mouse up and down, you can see that you end up with a line.
Now, if you hold down your Shift key, then the line will snap to horizontal and vertical orientations, or to 45 degrees. So as you go on the compass, you'll see that you'll be at 45-degree increments, and at 90-degree increments. Let's pull it straight across to about here, and release. You'll notice that Captivate preserves the settings from the previous object that we drew. So while we had drawn a rectangle, and set a four-point green stroke, we end up with a four-point green stroke when we drew our line.
This is actually quite handy, because it allows you to continue drawing objects with similar characteristics without having to keep going back and changing those characteristics when you draw. Another aspect of a line is that you can have starting and ending arrows or other treatments. Many times we would like to draw arrows for emphasis. We can do that directly here using the Line tool. Having drawn the line, let's put an arrow at the end. From End, click and choose Arrow. Now you can see that there is an arrow on the end.
We can put another shape at the start of the line. We have squares, circles, and diamonds to choose from. So there is a square, kind of hard to see the round one, and a diamond. Let's set it back to None. Click on the pasteboard to deselect, and then we can see the arrow without the drag handles on either end. Another shape that we can draw is an oval. Click and hold, and pull out Oval. Click and drag to draw the oval.
If you hold down the Shift key, it will limit it to a circle. Now, we have a circle, and you can move it. It obeys the same fill and stroke constraints that we have for the rectangle. The last shape is a polygon. Click once to start drawing the polygon. You'll notice that I end up with a dashed line. Now I haven't clicked anywhere yet. But in order to draw the rest of the polygon, I've got to click. Then I'll click again, and again, and again-- I'll go all the way around here--until I get to the end.
You'll notice as I approach the end of my figure, I'll get a nice indicator that says click here to close the figure. We don't have the ability to draw a regular polygon here in Captivate. It is something that you'll have to draw and then reshape it later. You can reshape the polygon by selecting it, and then right-click on the edge, and you'll see Edit Points. From here, you can click and drag any of the points to reshape the polygon. You can also redraw the shape.
Click and click and click and click and click to redraw the shape. What makes redrawing a shape special is that it maintains the properties of the previous shape. Also, it maintains the original name of that shape when we redraw it. Otherwise, the polygon would be given a new name. Before we save this file, I want to remove the polygon, the circle, and the line. To remove a shape, I can select it, and then delete it. And I'll get this warning: "Are you sure you want to delete?" Yes.
I can select multiple items by clicking on one, holding down the Shift key, selecting another, and then deleting. Yes, of course. Now that those additional objects are gone, we'll save this as Chapter 3_d. Remember, File > Save As to change the name. It may seem like there is not a lot of choices when it comes to drawing objects inside of Captivate. It's true that while we can only draw lines, rectangles, ovals, and regular polygons, there is lot of power there because we can very quickly build objects to either emphasize content, or to create all new content directly.
Of course, many people will use tools like Illustrator or Photoshop to be drawing those objects, and then importing them as images into your Captivate files as well. People who use Captivate a lot will resort to both methods to get effective layout inside of Captivate.
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