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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.
Many times we import audio files that are longer than the slide durations that we already have. In this lesson, we're going to see how we can import audio and distribute it across multiple slides. We're going to be using the Chapter 6_d file that we built earlier in this chapter. If you don't have it open, please open it now and go to slide number 1. The first thing we need to do is to remove the background audio. Under Audio, choose Remove and then Background.
Yes, I would like to remove the background audio. I know you like that song, and that's okay. We're going to put it back in, but we're going to put it in starting on slide 2, and then we're going to distribute it across those slides that follow. Select slide number 2 and then choose Audio > Import to > Slide. Choose the MP3 file called 60 second background and then choose Open. Captivate is going to parse this song, and then it's going to present us with some options.
It will have figured out that it's too big to fit on this slide. We now have three options for importing this audio that's too big. I could extend the duration of my one slide. That's the first option. I don't care to do that because I want to distribute that audio over multiple slides. We have two methods of doing that. First, I could distribute the audio file over several slides and allow me to choose the timing. The other option is to retain the current slide durations and then distribute that audio over several slides.
I'm going to choose the second option, because I want to show you how you can synchronize the transitions of the slides with the audio. Choose the second option and then click OK. The audio consists of my speech at the beginning followed by the sound. You can see right now that we're looking at slide number 1. Let's move to slide number 2, which is where our song begins. From here, we want to modify the timings so that the slide transitions correspond to the beats of the music.
First, let's play the music to get a sense of where those beats are. (Music playing.) Playing that music I can hear where the transitions are. If you're not musically inclined, you should still be able to identify the natural changes in the song. What we're going to do now is to use those natural changes in the song to control the transitions that occur on the slides.
If I move my view all the way to the right, I can see that bunched up after this slide are slides 3, 4, 5, and 6. There they are. There is slide 3, 4, 5, and 6. What I want to do is to realign where those slides begin. I could do it manually by dragging the slides around, but there is an easier way to do it. Once again, I'm going to play the music, but this time I'm going to use this button right here, which is the Start next slide at cursor position button.
This is another key command that you should remember. It's the same as saving, which is Command+S or Ctrl+S, but in this case it means synchronize. I'm going to use the button for clarity. The procedure, again, is to begin playing the music, and then when you want the slides to change, you click this button here, or use Command+S or Ctrl+S. Here we go. (Music playing.) Now, I'm out of slides, so I'll stop.
I'll save and close and preview my work. Now, you can see that each of the slides has audio on it. Going down to slide 6 we can see that it's very long. It's over a minute long. Go all the way out to the end, and you can see that there is a lot of empty space there, and this is because initially all of the slides were extended, but then we brought them back in. We'll reduce the duration of slide 6 to match the length of the music, and there you see it.
Now, let's preview. We'll preview our project to see the full results. "Welcome to the Hansel & Petal virtual flower show. Enjoy the flowers and the music." Once we click, we'll hear some barks, and then our songs will play. (Dogs barking.) (Music barking.) So you can see how the transitions in the slides are now corresponding to the music.
This happens because we took the time to play the music while we were synchronizing the transitions using the Command+S, Ctrl+S, or clicking that button. Let's close the preview and save our project. We'll save it as Chapter 6_e. Being able to distribute multiple slides isn't just for slideshows. You can use it when importing any long audio that needs to distribute across multiple slides.
If you happen to be reading a script, you can do the same thing while recording audio. Under Audio, choose Record to, and then Slides. This will allow you to record that audio to multiple slides. We don't have that option right now because I happen to be on slide number 6, which is the last slide in the stack. Having the ability to synchronize the slides with the audio makes it possible for you to use a much more relaxed workflow.
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