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Adobe Captivate is a program used to create interactive eLearning content and provide custom online training to employees or clients. In this course, author David Rivers walks through the Captivate 6 interface and the process of building an eLearning project from start to finish.
The course shows how to make a presentation from scratch or with built-in themes, import Photoshop images and PowerPoint slides, and add interest with animation, widgets, and video. It also demonstrates how to prepare for and record a software simulation, synchronize video, add audio, and build quizzes into your project.
As you continue to work with Captivate 6, you are going to notice certain behaviors as you use certain features, and perform certain functions. These are based on global preferences, as well as project specific preferences. We're going to focus on some of the global preferences right now, and we're going to do this, first, by closing up any projects we might have open. Go up to the File menu, and choose Close All. And no need to save anything here; you can decide if you need to save any of your projects that might be open. Now, this does take us back to one of those global preferences called the welcome screen.
By default, every time you launch Captivate, you're going to see this welcome screen, and it does give you an opportunity to access recent items, open other projects you may have been working on, create new projects, and you will notice a number of different types of new projects that can be created. Also notice down on the bottom left-hand corner, if this is something you never use, you have the option to not show it again. By clicking the checkbox, you're actually changing one of the global preferences. So with that checked off, it will never show up again.
How do you get it back? Well, then you would need to go in to those global preferences, which we're going to do right now. Here on the Mac, I go to the Adobe Captivate menu. On a Windows machine, you would go to the Edit menu, and from there, select Preferences. Now, with no projects open, what we're going to see here in the Preferences window under Category are General Settings, Defaults, and the only other category is Recording. Now, if you do have a project open -- depends on the type of project -- you'll see other categories down below.
But we're going to focus on the General Settings which is highlighted or selected by default, as well as the Defaults under our Global Preferences. With General Settings selected, though, notice there is no checkmark next to Show Welcome Screen, because we just turned that off. Here's where we go to turn it back on. If it's something you like, make sure it's checked off. One that I like is Rescaling Imported or Pasted Slides. If you're going to be borrowing slides from another project, and maybe that project uses different dimensions, you can automatically have any slides that you take from that project resized or rescaled to match the slides in your current project.
So by clicking that checkbox, you'll know that your content isn't going to be falling off the stage, or maybe not filling the entire stage properly. You can also Generate Project Backups if you so choose. And then down below, you'll see Default Locations for where your projects will be published. You can change that location using the Browse button. Same thing for your Project Cache, where things will be stored to help you work more efficiently. It will, by default, use up space on your hard drive, so you may want to use the Browse button, and select something like a thumb drive perhaps, if you're using one of those.
At any time, though, you can free up space on your hard drive by clicking Clear Cache, and then clicking Yes. The other thing that we're going to look at here is the Spelling Preferences. By clicking this button, you'll see a separate window open up with a number of Spelling Preferences all checked off by default. Now for me, I've already turned one off, Case-sensitive, but you can go in here and pick the ones you want to turn off or on by selecting their checkboxes. The other thing that happens by default is a Dictionary Language is selected for you, based on your installation; it's localized.
For me, mine is Canadian; I see English (Canada). I might want to use Spelling Options related to United States English. Maybe most the work I do is for people in the States. So I want to make sure that the Spelling Corrections are using the proper English for my audience. We'll click OK, if you make any changes, to save those changes. Confirmation Messages will appear every now and then as you continue to work on your projects. When we click that button, notice that there are a number of Confirmation Messages that are all checked off by default.
The only one I don't have as selectable he is a Startup message in Microsoft Windows Vista, or Windows 7, and that's because I'm on a Mac. Now, if you go to delete an object, or delete a slide, you'll see one of those little messages pop up saying, are you sure? If you get tired of those, you can turn them off from the actual message itself; it will have a checkbox like our welcome screen did, or you can come in here to turn them off as well. You probably won't do this in the very beginning if you're new to Captivate, but once you feel more proficient and confident with the program, you might start to turn some of these off.
I am going to leave all of them turned on, so we see them during our training. We'll click OK. Now let's take a look at some of the defaults. When we go to Defaults, you will see Slide Defaults right at the top. Every time you add a slide to your project, the default duration for that slide in the Timeline is 3 seconds. Now, of course, we can change timings for any of our slides in the project itself; one slide could be 10 seconds, the other one 5, but by default, they'll be created with a Duration of 3 seconds, unless you change that.
I am going to make this a little bit longer at 5. You can also change the Background color of the slides you add, the default being white. Clicking this dropdown allows you to go down and select from a list of Web-friendly colors, because most of our eLearning will be viewed via the Web browser. I am going to leave mine at white. We also have some options up here from Solid Colors, to Gradients, and Textures as well. Let's just click anywhere outside that to leave it at White. When you Preview your project, by default, you'll be previewing 5 slides.
And as we move down a little bit further, you can see there are some object defaults as well; different objects that appear in your projects are on this dropdown. If we click it, for example, let's say every time we work with buttons -- we'll go down to Button and Select it. We'll see a sample button down below. You can see it's displayed for a specific time. Maybe when we put buttons in our projects, we want them to show up for the duration of the slide. So we'll click the dropdown here, and change it to Rest of Slide; doesn't use seconds that way. You can see the Default Button Style can also be changed if we wanted to here.
Now if we go back, and make a change to Rollover Captions, and change the style, for example, and then down below click OK. We can go through all of these objects making changes, and at any time, we can set them back to their original default. We do that by going to it. For example, if we go down to Button, and Restore Selected -- that's what we just selected; Button -- you can see it goes right back to its default. Now, if you've made many changes to many objects in that dropdown, you can also choose to restore them all, and they will all go back to their default settings.
And lastly, we have some checkboxes. When you create things like Buttons and Captions, by default, you can have them automatically resize to fit your content. So if you're typing in lots of content into a button, it will stretch, or it will shrink down to fit smaller captions. So we can do that by clicking those checkbox; that's up to you. We'll leave them turned off to see what happens, and decide later if we need to change this setting. And the last one is Calculate Caption Timing; longer captions should appear longer on the slides than shorter captions.
So by default, if we click this checkbox, Captivate will decide how long a caption should appear. I am going to deselect that one as well, and click OK to close up our Preferences. That's just a look at some of the Global Default Settings and Preferences here in Captivate 6. There are many other preferences that will appear next to specific objects and content in our projects, and we'll take a look at those as we move through the various chapters in this title.
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