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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.
There are many preferences inside of Captivate that control how the application behaves. They also help us to control how default objects and default pages will be created when we make them in Captivate. Let's see how we can adjust those preferences now. On a Macintosh, the Preferences menu is located under the Adobe Captivate menu. On a Windows computer, it's located under the Edit menu. Like the Properties panel the Preferences panel is contextual. This means that some of these categories will refer to the application as a whole, and others are going to refer to the project that we have open at this time.
We're going to focus now on the Global category, which contains general application settings and the defaults for new objects inside of Captivate. When you open the Preferences panel, it will show you the general settings for the application, which is the top of the Global group. By default, Show Welcome Screen is on. The Welcome screen is a handy thing; it provides you quick access to recently opened documents, it also helps you to make new projects based on different starting conditions. We'll see that there is an option called Rescale Imported/Pasted Slide.
This is handy if you're bringing slides from one project to another and they don't happen to have the same physical dimensions. If you do have this enabled, when you copy and paste slides from one project to another, Captivate will automatically make them fit so that you don't have content that's falling off the stage or not fitting on the stage. Your default file and cache Locations are indicated here, and you can browse to new locations if you like. If you have a scratch drive for instance, then you might want to change the location of your project cache by clicking Browse and then choosing a new location.
You can also clear that cache to free up memory on your hard drive by clicking Clear Cache. You can adjust your spelling preferences by clicking on Spelling Preferences here. At the top of the list, you can choose your main dictionary language. There are many languages available inside of Captivate. Now, when you install Captivate, it's localized, so it will automatically choose the dictionary for the location where you've installed Captivate. If you want to change your language while you're working on a project, then you'd do that here. There are also a number of options here that help you to fine-tune how Captivate will catch spelling errors.
All of them are enabled by default, and you of course can adjust them at will. Click OK to close the Spelling Options. Captivate will show you a number of alerts that are going to be based on different activities in the application. We can enable or disable them by choosing Confirmation Messages here. By default, all of the confirmation messages are going to be turned on. You can see that for me this one happens to be grayed out, and that's because I'm on a Macintosh. If I was on a system that was a Vista or Window 7 machine, then that would be enabled for me.
As you become familiar with the application and comfortable with the workflow, many of these alerts will become an annoyance to you, and you'll want to turn them off. For instance, you may not want to be warned every time you delete a slide, and so you'd simply turn that off. I'm going to re-enable this warning because I want to see all of the warnings as we go through our training. Once again, as you become more proficient, you'll want to turn some of these off. We can also control how new slides look and how new objects look inside of Captivate.
We do that from the Defaults section in the Global group. At the top, we have the default slide duration of 3 seconds. If you want your slides to be longer when you create them, then you can change that time. You can change the Background color by clicking on this patch here. Right now, it happens to be white. When you click it, a web color chooser will pop up, which make some sense because most of the time that we're looking at projects that we build in Captivate, we're going to be looking at them through a web browser. You can choose any color you like. You can also adjust the transparency by using the Alpha slider here.
I'm going to leave it solid white. I can also change the number of slides that will be available in my preview menu. By default, it's 5, but I could choose anywhere between 5 and 20. I can change how specific objects look inside of Captivate as well. Click on the menu next to the word Select. Here is a list of all of the object types that we can create inside of Captivate. Let's change what happens when we create a new button. Choose Button from the list. You'll see in the lower left-hand corner that our Styles preview has changed to show what a default button looks like.
This default allows us to change the amount of time that that button persists on the stage. We'll change its appearance using skins later on in the course. Here we can change how long it lives on the stage--in this case it's defaulting to 3 seconds--but I could also have it appear for the rest of the slide after I put it onto the stage. When I choose Rest of Slide, you'll notice that the duration disappears. If you've made some changes to the object defaults and you wanted to restore them, then you can restore all of those changes by clicking Restore All.
If you want to restore the defaults for a specific object type, then you can choose it from the list here and then choose Restore Selected. Now my button is back to its default behavior. Lastly, we see that Autosize Buttons and Autosize Captions is enabled. This means that when we create new buttons and new captions, Captivate will automatically grow or shrink them based on the content of the button or that caption. The rest of the categories in the Preferences panel are related to our specific project. We'll be looking at those settings later on in the course when we're dealing with those specific areas of our projects.
Know that you can change any of these settings at any time simply by returning to the Preferences menu and then making adjustments. Click OK to close the Preferences panel. We're now finished with our tour of Captivate's interface. You can close e-mail_ assessment without saving if you wish.
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