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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.
In this lesson, we are going to see how we can use Captivate to build an image slideshow from images that we've got collected in a folder. You don't need to have any documents open, and in fact if you want to see this Welcome screen, then you need to have all of your documents closed anyway. You can create a new image slideshow right here from the Welcome screen, or you can do it from the File menu. Under File, choose New Project > Image Slideshow. We want to create a project with slides, and we need to tell it how big we want the slides to be.
Captivate will take the images that we are going to import and make them fit onto the stage that we define right now. We can leave this at 640 x 480 for these purposes; however, if you like to choose a different size, you can do that as well based on the needs of your project. If the size you need isn't in this list, of course you can customize the list and create a new size that you can save, or you can simply type in pixel dimensions here. Well let's stick with 640 x 480 for this project. Click OK to continue.
Now, we need to load in all of the images for the slideshow. I have a folder called Slideshow that's in your Images folder, in the Project folder, in the Chapter 04 exercise files. Open that and select all of these images. You can do this by holding down your Shift key, clicking on the top, and then clicking on the bottom. Once you have them all selected, click Open. You will get no indication that Captivate is working. But rest assured, it is working. Now, we're taking a look at the Import functionality that we see inside of Captivate.
Captivate is telling us about the image here. This is the first image in the list. It's 1800 x 1200, but remember our stage is 640 x 480. Right now, this doesn't fit at all. So what we'd like to do is to adjust it to fit the stage. Thankfully, Captivate provides us with a tool to help us to do that automatically. If you leave Fit to Stage selected, then your images will automatically be adjusted to fit onto that 640 x 480 stage. Alternatively, you could crop the image. So if you select Crop, then you'll see your 640 x 480 crop area right there, and you can move it around to pick a particular portion of your image.
I'm going to go back to Fit to Stage, however. What we can do is to scroll through the images and apply different settings to each one. Let's go to the next image now. You can make adjustments at this point to the images using these adjustment tools here. I would like this image to be partially transparent. Select the Alpha slider and slide it back to 70%. You don't get immediate feedback with Captivate, so sometimes it's best to simply type the number. We'll go to the next one.
This one I'd like to desaturate and make it look grayscale. I could do that by clicking the Gray Scale button here, or I could pull the Saturation down. Let's use the Gray Scale button. Go to the next. This one I will crop and then slide this in the lower left-hand corner to get a closer view of those olives. That one we'll leave alone, and that one we'll leave alone. This is our last image in the stack, and it's very tall.
When it gets placed onto the stage, it's going to end up being shrunk, and there will be quite a bit of area to either side of it. I am using this image to illustrate that not all images are appropriate for our slideshows, and so you've got to think about your original source. In this case, because it's so tall and thin, if I've got a background that I put in later, that background is going to be visible on the left and right of the slide. We're going to leave it in the project, however, and we'll just continue. So now I have set up all of my images, and I can click OK. Of course, if you want to make an adjustment or no adjustments and then apply to all, you could click here as well.
Captivate will now import all of the images as separate slides. If I scroll down through the Filmstrip, you can see all of my slides there, and there is that last one that's very tall. Something you'll notice here first is that we have a 3-second duration for all of the slides in the slideshow. If you look over on the right under the General settings, you're going to see that what we are looking at is the default behavior for our Captivate projects. You can adjust this default behavior by using the Preferences, or you can adjust the specific behavior for these slides here.
Let's select all of the slides. Select the first one, hold down your Shift key, select the last one. We now have all of the slides selected, and I'd like to change the duration to 5 seconds. I can drag, or I can type in a number there. And I'd also like to change our Transition to Fade. What will happen is that the images will fade from one to the other like we expect when we see a slideshow. By default, Captivate puts in No Transition, and it can be quite abrupt.
You have other transitions that you can choose as well, and you can make them different on each slide. Let's preview what our slideshow looks like now. Under Preview, choose Project. You can see it going through the different slides. If I were to publish this as a SWF, I could post it on a web site, and it would become a rolling slideshow. Additionally, you could go back and edit the slides and add captions or any other types of content that you'd want to put in after the fact. That's enough for this. We'll go back to our editing, and we will save this file.
We'll save it as "Chapter 4 slideshow" and put it in your Project folder, in the Chapter 04 folder. Creating slideshows with Captivate is easy. All you need is a folder full of images, and you're good to go. Many of us use slideshows to help sell our products and services. So if you're using slideshows today from other sources, try a Captivate slideshow. It's easy and effective.
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