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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 the chapter, we're going to investigate the Timeline. We will see how we can use the Timeline to control how objects appear and disappear, how long they persist on the stage, and whether or not they exist for the entire presentation or whether they exist for a single slide. We'll begin down in the Timeline itself. Now if you don't see the Timeline, that's okay. We can recover it by switching to the Classic workspace. Switch to the Classic workspace now by choosing the Classic workspace from the Workspace menu up here.
The Timeline is along the bottom. When you start to add more and more content to the Timeline, however, it can get quite crowded. For this reason, we can expand the Timeline by grabbing on the top of the Timeline and dragging up. Position your mouse right here between the Timeline and your slide, click and hold and drag it up, and you can see that the Timeline will get bigger. This will allow us to see more of the content in the Timeline at once. We can control the width of the Timeline as well.
You may not be able to read the names of the objects in the Timeline, and so you can expand that area. Put your cursor in between the names and the Timeline itself, click and hold, and drag to the right. Now we can better read the names of the objects on our Timeline. There are some features here that I'll point out as well. You can scrub through time in the Timeline. It makes perfect sense. We do that up here along the time ruler. You can click anywhere on the time ruler to advance your playhead.
That's two and a half seconds in my Timeline. There is four seconds in my Timeline. If you click and hold, you can drag in either direction and see the changes in your project. So note the differences in behavior. If I simply click to position my playhead, my project area doesn't change. If I want to preview what the project looks like in time, I've got to actually click and drag the playhead, and that will show me what the project will look like at that point in the Timeline.
All of the objects that are on the stage are visible on the Timeline, with the exception of the background. The backgrounds will be accessible from the library. I would like to focus on the objects that are on the stage right now, and see how we can take advantage of the Timeline to manipulate them. Let's go to slide number 2 in the Filmstrip. There are more objects on this slide than they were on the first one. Select this Text_Caption here. You'll see it get selected automatically in the Timeline.
I would like to move it to the very top of the stack of objects. The object stacking order is something that is important when we start to have content that overlaps other content, or when we are layering other content in animations. But if I have got one object that's going to move from one place to another, I want to make sure that doesn't get obscured by existing objects on the stage. I want to move this text caption to the top of my stacking order. Afterwards, I'll also move the Statement_ Frame to the top of the stacking order.
To change the stacking order, select an object. You can select an object either by clicking it directly like we've already done, or you can click it in the Timeline, and that will select it. For instance, I'll select the Statement_Frame, and let's drag that up. You can see that since I clicked there, the fist closed, and now I am holding on to the Statement_Frame. Click and drag to put the Statement_Frame at the top of the stack. So I will drag it all the way to the top and release it.
Now I will do the same thing with Text_Caption. Click and drag it up. Great! Now it's on the top of the stacking order. As we dig more into the Timeline panel, we will be interacting with these objects pretty extensively. There is another way that we can adjust timing, and that's to use the Properties. If I have an object that has timing associated with it, I can see that timing in the Properties panel. Right now, we have our Text_Caption selected, and if we scroll down in our Properties panel, you can see that there is a Timing panel.
If you open it, you can see that it displays for the rest of the slide, and it will appear after a slight delay, 0.1 seconds. I can interact directly with these controls right here in the Timing panel. If I want something to display for specific amount of time, then I can change how it displays. Click and hold and choose specific time or rest of project. If I choose rest of project, then the caption will be present on every slide in my project.
If I want to be able to adjust the timing precisely, then I can change to specific time and then adjust the amount of time that that object will remain on the stage. Having made our layering changes, let's save this as Chapter 5_a. We are going to save it in our exercise files, in the Chapter 05, Project Files folder. The Timeline is an extremely powerful tool.
We will be looking at the details of the Timeline in the remainder of this chapter, but we will be using it for the rest of the course.
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