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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're going to see how we can publish our Captivate projects. We'll be using a file called Chapter 14 quiz. This is located in your Project folder, in your Chapter 14 folder, in your Exercise Files folder. Please open it now. Most people publish their Captivate projects to SWF. But having been said, there are several other methods that you can use to publish your Captivate projects. We'll look at a few of those right now. From the File menu, choose Publish Settings.
We need to establish some information about the project before we publish it. First of all, we need to determine what exactly we're going to publish. Secondly, we need to determine whether we want to externalize some of those resources. If we Externalize Resources, it allows a programmer after the fact to change those resources, so that the project can be modified without having to open the project again in Captivate. It's a very interesting workflow that's used by a lot of companies. If you're publishing to Connect Pro, you'll probably want to enable the Acrobat Connect Pro metadata.
If you're not publishing to Connect Pro, then you can leave this unchecked. For the most part, we want to include all of these are options. If you have stereo audio and it's important that it remains stereo audio, then you may want to disable this option here. I don't want to externalize any of the resources, so I'm not going to enable any of these options. You may want to talk to your IT department to figure out which if any of these options that like to have set. Let's look at the Project > Information next. By default, there is nothing in here.
You need to fill this in with information about you. You need to do this, so that you can be properly identified in a Table of Contents panel or in any metadata that resides in the project. I've entered three pieces of information to identify me. The author's name, the company, and the email address where you can reach me. The Website, I'm going to remove. Copyright I'm going to set at 2010. The Project Name is the Amaryllis Training.
Under the Description, I'm going to type hansel and petal Amaryllis Training. Of course, your information is going to be different than this. You may want a longer more descriptive description. In many cases, content management systems will scrub through this information to help categorize the projects that you're publishing. Let's look at the SWF Size and Quality settings now. If there was Full Motion Recording in this presentation, then you could compress it here.
Full Motion Recording happens automatically when Captivate is doing simulation recording. In this case, we don't have any simulation recording so it doesn't matter. There are adjustments that you can make here to control the quality of your output. In the Properties panel, I'm looking at slide number one. Here is slide number 1, and there is my Properties panel. Look at the quality of the slide. It says Low (8-bit). Each slide in the project can have different quality settings. I can override the quality settings for each individual slide by deselecting this option here.
Now I can consistently control the quality of the entire project. I can choose Low or High quality output. I can control how the bitmap files are going to be built, and I can also control the JPEG compression. Alternatively, I could use this slider to pick Low, Medium, and High quality output. The higher the quality of the output the larger the size of the project. Do be considerate of bandwidth. If you have a lot of people downloading and you don't have a lot of bandwidth on your server, you probably don't want to set this at High quality.
Let's look at Start and End. You can choose a preloader file that might have been provided by your IT department, or you could create one in Flash. I don't have one so I am going to turn that off. I am going to allow my project to Auto Play however. We could password protect our project here. This is different than the password protection that we built in an earlier lesson. In that case, we built some logic to protect the project. This password protection is different in that once the user enters the correct password, they'll have access to the entirety of the project.
You can also establish an expiration date for the project. If the project tries to open after that expiration date, then you display a message and the project won't open. The default behavior is to Fade In on the First Slide and Fade Out on the Last Slide. If you'd like to disable these options, this is where you do that. Lastly, what happens when the project ends? The normal behavior is to stop. If this were at a kiosk, you may want to loop it. In other situations, you may choose to close it or maybe open a URL and go to a website.
You can set those options here. Once you've set those options, we'll click OK so that we can proceed to actually publishing the project. From the File menu, choose Publish. You can see down the left-hand side, there are a number of methods that can be used to publish your project. By far, the most common is to use SWF. You can enter a project title, and then browse to a folder where you want this project to go. You can determine exactly what's going to be published at the same time.
You can create a PDF file to write along with the SWF. You can also export an HTML file that can be viewed in a web browser to display the content. An important thing to know is that if you publish to HTML and then try to view your content in a web browser from that folder, you're likely to run into security considerations with Flash. For best results, you'll want to publish to a Web folder, which could be on a Web server outside of your computer, or it could be on the internal Web server in your computer.
You could also create an Autorun file For a CD. If you put this file on a CD for instance and you want it to run when you put the CD in, that would do that for you. You can select Acrobat.com, and enter your server information. Here, you'd add the URL to the server where you'd want to publish the content. We're not actually going to show how to publish to Connect. Just know that your options are here, and in order to connect to a server, you need to enter the URL. Once you do that, you'll be taken into the wizard and you can follow the instructions there.
Other people might choose to use FTP to produce their projects. Using FTP is almost the same as publishing to SWF. In this case, however, the expectation is that you'll be publishing to a server that's external to your computer. That server may also be a web server. In this case, you'll need to set up the destination servers, which you can do here. You can add the details of the FTP server by entering its name, the directory where you want to publish it, and the login credentials.
You'll need to get that information from your system administrator. Once you enter it, you can choose it in the Server menu, and then test your settings to ensure that you'll be able to publish. The last method we'll look at right now is the Media method. Using the Media method, we can create several different kinds of files that are very useful. We can create a Macintosh or a Windows Executable file. You can see those here. We're actually used a Mac or Windows Executable when we were looking at reviewing with Acrobat.com.
You can also publish to Flash Video. A Flash Video files certainly won't be appropriate when you're producing quizzes, because a video file won't have any interactivity. If you're building a presentation that's more like a kiosk presentation, then perhaps that video might be a good idea. If you're building an executable file, then you could choose a custom icon as well. From all of these options, I am going to choose the SWF output for this demonstration. Once again, SWF output is the most common output that we see.
Choose SWF output and we'll browse to the Chapter 14 folder. Select the Project folder and you'll see this option to Publish to Folder. This will build a new folder inside of our Project folder, so that all of the files that Captivate is about to collect won't clutter up that folder. I'd like to choose to Export to HTML and a PDF. At this point, I could set my Flash Player version as well. Captivate 5 only supports Flash Player 9 and 10.
This is because ActionScript 3 is the basis for all Captivate 5 content. Having made these choices, let's publish. Because we generated a PDF, Captivate will warn us that we need to have Adobe Reader version 9 or any version of Acrobat 9 or later to be able to view that content. I could view the output now, but I care not to do that. Instead, I'd like to look at the folder structure. Captivate built this folder called Chapter 14 quiz.
When we open it, you'll see that there is a video file. There is an HTM file, which is an HTML file that will display the SWF here. There is also a SWF that's called Pool1. This is that pool of questions in our quiz. When the user takes the quiz, the Pool SWF will kick out one of those three questions and inject it into the presentation correctly. This PDF file requires Reader 9 or Acrobat 9 to view. It includes all of the interactivity that's inside of the Captivate file in the PDF.
It represents a very interesting way for you to move your content from Captivate to your users. Do be warned that sometimes your quiz reporting won't function correctly if it's in a PDF file. If you're publishing a quiz like we've just done, then you're certainly going to want to do that to a SWF with an HTML loader. Having made changes to our publish settings and then published our file, let's save our project now.
We'll call it Chapter 14 quiz_a. Captivate provides a lot of flexibility when publishing your projects. Whether publishing to SWF, PDF or a self-running application, you're going to be able to maintain the interactivity that your users expect from your Captivate projects. Publishing to video will not maintain the interactivity, but it can be an effective way to get your kiosk type presentations out and running. Regardless, at the end of every project, you're going to need to publish.
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