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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.
Once we get images and other objects onto our stage, oftentimes we want to be able to arrange them or distribute them with some type of precision. This can be difficult to do by eyeball, and so Captivate provides us with some tools to automatically distribute and align and resize our images, so that they can maintain pleasing proportions and pleasing spaces with respect to each other. We're going to be using the Chapter 3_e file that we built in the previous lesson. If you don't have that opened, please open it now. I'd like to make some adjustments to the size and position of the three images on the bottom of Page 2.
Choose Page 2 in the Filmstrip if you're not already on Page 2. I'd like to begin with the images on the left and on the right at the bottom. Let's give them some names, so that they make some sense. This one, we're going to call Freshly Picked. So under Item Name, call it "Freshly Picked." Remember, any spaces are going to automatically get converted to underscores. Let's call the middle one Ready_to_ sell, and the right one On_the_Tree.
This will make it possible for us to address these later when we're looking at interactive content. Now, let's take a look at the size and position of the left- and the right-hand images. I'd like to make them to be the same size, but if you look closely, you can see that they're not quite the same size. Captivate has a method for us to make the two objects to be the same size. Select both objects by holding down the Shift key and then clicking on the left-hand picture. We've already got the right-hand picture selected. We're going to use the Align command right now, and that can be found in one of two ways.
You could right-click and this would expose the menu that includes Align, or you could get at it from the Modify menu at the top of the screen. So here is Modify > Align. I'm interested in the option at the very bottom of the list. It's called Resize to the same size. This is very handy when you've got two objects that are almost the same size, but not quite. This will allow you to make them to be, in fact, the same size. The object on the left has shrunk a little bit, and now the object on the left and the right are indeed the same size.
Captivate uses the object you select first as the basis for all of the image distribution and adjustment commands that we're going to use right now. Let's grab the third image right now, by holding down the Shift key, and clicking on the middle image. You'll notice that the first image that we've picked has white drag handles, and the other two have dark drag handles. This is the reminder that the one with the white handles is going to guide whatever happens next when we choose our alignment tools. Let's align all of these objects vertically, so that their centers are all in a nice horizontal line.
I'll right-click or Ctrl+Click, and choose Align > Align Middle. You can see that the images on the left have moved down to accommodate. The next thing that I'd like to do is to distribute them so that they are evenly distributed across this dimension. Now to make this work even better, I'm going to deselect and grab this middle one and slide it quite a bit over to the right. Release it, but make sure that there is a little bit of space between it and the right-hand image.
Once again, I want to use the right -hand image as my starting point, so I'm going to select it first, then hold down my Shift key and grab the middle image and the left-hand image. Now we'll distribute these images so that the space between them is the same. Right-click, pull down Align, and I'd like to distribute horizontally. What's happened now is that Captive has evenly distributed these images between the left-hand and the right-hand image, leaving exactly the same amount of space on the right-hand and left -hand side of the middle image.
This is more dramatic when you have many images that you're trying to distribute across a line. That line could be horizontal, or it could be vertical. We have other options for alignment. I'll show them to you now, but we're not going to use them. Right-click and go to Align. You can align the left-, center, or right- hand edges of all of these selected images. This has to do with horizontal alignment. For vertical alignment, we use aligning Top, Middle, and Bottom. So don't confuse the Middle and the Center.
They're not the same thing. Center has to do with horizontal motion, and Middle has to do with vertical motion. We've already seen horizontal distribution. You can also achieve that vertically by choosing Distribute Vertically. Let's take advantage of these options now, but I don't want to do it with the images; instead, I want to reposition the text that's in the middle of the page. Go ahead and attempt to select the text by clicking on the text. You'll notice that you don't get the text; instead, you get the rectangle that we drew on top of the text.
I'd like to send this rectangle behind the text. We can do this with our Arrange functions. Right-click or Ctrl+Click, and then choose Arrange > Send Backward. Now click and you'll see that we've selected the text. The text is not centered in the rectangle, so let's center the text in the rectangle now. We can do that by choosing the rectangle first, holding down our Shift key, and selecting the text. This makes it quite obvious that the text and the rectangle are not aligned horizontally or vertically.
Right-click and choose Align > Align Center. Then once more, right-click or Ctrl+ Click, choose Align > Align Middle. Now these two objects are centered with respect to each other. The last thing we want to do here is to get them centered on the slide. It can often be difficult to locate the center of the slide, but we have an automatic way of positioning our objects directly in the center of the slide.
Right-click or Ctrl+Click, choose Align, and you'll see Center horizontally and Center vertically on the slide. Let's choose each in turn. So we'll begin with centering horizontally on the slide, and then we'll center vertically. The last thing I want to do for our layout is to increase the size of the tree in the upper right-hand corner. So select the tree, grab the lower left-hand corner, click, hold down your Shift key, and drag out.
When you're done, click in the pasteboard. We'll save our project as Chapter 3_f. Using Captivate's built-in alignment and distribution functions is a very speedy way to arrange your images quickly and easily inside of Captivate. You've got vertical and horizontal options to make it possible to align and distribute large numbers of images very quickly and easily. Also, you can arrange the stacking order so that if you want objects to be behind other objects, you can do that using the layering functions.
You'll be taking advantage of both the distribution and layering functions with just about every project that you build in Captivate.
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