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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 talk about libraries in Captivate. Your library in Captivate is the place where all of the assets are stored for your Captivate project. Those assets could include sounds and video and images--all kinds of things that can be part of that. One of the efficiencies of Captivate is the fact that we can use assets over and over again in our projects but only list them once in the library. This comes from Captivate Flash heritage, which makes extensive use of library elements. We are going to begin by making an adjustment to a Photoshop file that's in our library.
All I am going to do to this file is simply turn on all of the visible layers. If you don't have Photoshop, that's okay; just pay attention to what I'm doing and see how we solve the resulting problem. Once again, all I am going to do is enable all of the layers in the document. So from my Layers panel, I have made them all visible, and now I'll save the Photoshop file, and close it. Now we will go back to Captivate. In Captivate, I've opened the Chapter 4 B file that we built in the previous lesson in this chapter. If you don't have it open, please open it now.
The Library panel should be visible next to your Properties panel. If you have hidden the Library panel of it somehow disappeared, you can restore it by simply choosing the Classic workspace. Switch to the Library panel now by clicking its name. The library organizes your content by content type. You can see that currently I have no audio. I also have a bunch of images here, I have some animations, and I have this Photoshop file down here. Let's scroll down to see it. I have no placed presentations.
You will notice that we get some visual indications when we are dealing with external content. We can see that this Photoshop file is in fact out of sync with our Captivate project, and that's why we get that red ball. These SWF animations happen to be in sync, and so they have a green ball. Let's update the Photoshop file now by simply clicking the red ball. This will automatically re-import the relevant parts of that Photoshop file and then put them into the library as updated content.
Remember, we didn't make any pixel changes to the Photoshop file, so we won't see the changes inside of our Captivate project right now. However, Captivate now knows that all of the parts of that Photoshop file that we're using today are in sync with the Photoshop file that's stored on our drive. Everything that you insert into a Captivate project becomes a library element, and up to now we have been inserting content directly onto the stage. Let's see how we can add content to our library without importing it onto the stage.
This will make the content available in advance of our using it in our Captivate project. Let's add some additional animations that we will use in this project later. Up above the list of items, you'll see a few icons. This one allows us to import files directly into the library. Select it now, and let's go back to that SWF gallery that we used earlier. This is located in your Captivate 5 folder, in your Applications folder on a Macintosh, or in your Program Files folder on a Windows computer.
Let's go down to Sound Effects, and we'll import the KeyClick. Select it and open. The sound has now been added to the library, and it's right here under Audio. It's KeyClick. If you would like to hear what it sounds like, you can select it, and you can preview it up here in the Library Preview panel. Once you have selected it, click the Play button in the upper-right corner. (Key click sound) That's a single key click. This key click sound is now going to be available to us when we want to use it later on.
Let's go back there and insert some more content. Let's go back to SWF Animation, which is right here. We will pick Highlights, and we will select the Green Line Left to Right. Choose Open. This has also been successfully imported. Choose it in the Media area, and our Preview area shows the line going across the screen. You can also manage content inside the library.
In the Images, here are our two background images. You can see them in the Preview area at the top. If you have imported an image and you would like to make changes to the image, you can edit the image directly from the library. You don't have to find it in the project to be able to make changes. You can edit by clicking the Edit button here; however, know that this will launch your default image editor as defined by your operating system. If you right-click on the image, you'll see what the default editor is--in this case on his Macintosh its Preview for this type of content.
If I want to Edit with something else other than Preview, then I could choose Edit with, and then browse to the appropriate Editor. There is other information in the Library panel that I would like to look at now. Let's make the Library panel bigger. Click on the left edge of the Library panel and drag it to the left, so click and drag. This will make the Library panel larger and make it easier to read. If you would like to change the width of the columns--for instance, the names are truncated--we can make it wider. Click on the bar in between Name and Type and drag to the right.
Now we can see the whole name listed in the column. You can also sort them by name. You can see this triangle right here. That will allow you to sort by ascending or descending name. And we can begin to get other information about them. One of the things that can happen in your library is that it can get cluttered with content that you're not using. As you add images and sounds and movies etc. to the library, the library is going to grow, even if the content isn't used in the project. One of the ways that we can manage our libraries is to use this button here, which is the Select Unused items in the library.
We know that we have at least two items that aren't used in our project: there is that Green Line Left to Right and that KeyClick sound. Click on the select unused items, and you'll see that we have a selection now: our KeyClick, of course, is selected, and our Green Line Left to Right. But we can see that we have another image that's not used in the document. How much space is that taking up. Well, let's expand our Size column, and we can see that this image is consuming 1 1/2 megabytes of space in our project.
If we would like to free that memory, then we can select the image by itself, and we can remove it from the library by clicking the trashcan. Unless you have turned off your warnings and your preferences, you will get a warning about deleting this library item. Yes, I would like to delete it. I've now freed up 1 1/2 megabytes of space in my project. When I save it, it will be correspondingly smaller. Sometimes when I have got items in my library, I'd like to use them in other projects.
I can do that by selecting an item and then using this button here, which is the Export button. Let's put this file in the Exercise Files folder, in Chapter 4, and leave it loose above Project. Click Save to extract that file from the Captivate project and make it available for use in other applications. You'll notice that the act of exporting a graphic doesn't remove it from the library; it simply makes a copy outside of the project.
This is very handy because if you get a project from somebody and you don't have the source files, this is a way to get the source files out of the library and then use them elsewhere. Now that we have elements in the library, we can use them by simply dragging and dropping them onto the stage. Let's go down to the page number 4, and I would like to use the image of Olives Freshly Picked on this slide, and I would like to put it right on top of this blurry part. Select Olives Freshly Picked and then simply drag it onto the stage.
You can see that I get a visual indicator with that Plus sign that's telling me that I'm inserting this graphic onto the stage here. When I release it, the upper left- hand corner of the picture is right where I released my mouse. This can help you to position content that you're dragging onto the stage from the library. In this case, however, the picture is much too large, so we're going to have to reduce it in size. Click in the upper- left corner, hold on your Shift key, and shrink. You may have to do this several times, and we are almost there.
Great. I will put it there, again click and hold down my Shift key and drag it out, so that it just about fits in the space, and maybe we will move it there. Perfect. So now I have got it where I want it. Now that I've made these changes to my library and to my project, it's time to save it as Chapter 4 C. I haven't decided whether the Properties panel or the Library panel is going to be your best friend in Captivate.
You will have to make that decision for yourself based on what you use more. I'm guessing that as your projects become more and more complex, you are going to be spending a lot of time in the Library panel.
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