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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.
Well, before we start using Captivate to create our eLearning project, we should get familiar with the user interface, which has changed slightly from previous versions, and if you're brand new to Captivate, you will definitely want to get comfortable in your surroundings before you start working. When you launch Captivate, the very first thing you're going to see is this welcome screen, by default. And on the welcome screen, you have an opportunity to quickly access recent projects that you've worked on; you can open existing projects from here as well. And you'll notice over here on the right-hand side, you get a head start creating new projects as well; could be a blank project from scratch.
But if you're creating video demos, or software simulations, you get a nice head start by selecting from this list on the right-hand side. You can choose From Template, or even create your own project templates from here as well. There is some help down at the bottom left-hand corner; there are Tutorials, New Features are covered, as well as a Getting Started section. If you don't like this welcome screen, you can turn it off from here by clicking the checkbox; Don't Show Again. And if you happen to want it back, you can do so through the Adobe Captivate Preferences.
I am going to leave it unchecked. So for our purposes, getting comfortable in our UI surroundings, let's choose Blank Project. And as for the size, you will notice that we have an opportunity to select from some resolutions here, including a whole slew of new ones that you would never have seen in previous versions of Captivate. I am going to go to the highest one here at 1280 by 720; that's 16 by 9 ratio, and click OK. So it just takes a moment then to create our new blank project, and in the past, creating a blank project, you really did start from scratch, but there are some new features here that will help you get started, and right away, if you're familiar with previous versions of Captivate, you're noticing some changes here on the UI.
First of all, there's a little bit of color here now; it's not just strictly black and white. Well, let's start up at the very top. I'm running Captivate on a Mac, so what I'm going to see up here at the very top is my Menu bar, and then what we call right below that here in Captivate, our Application bar. In Windows, your Application bar contains all of your menu items as well, so they're kind of combined in Windows, whereas here on the Mac, they're separated. Part of the Application bar is what we would call context-sensitive. So what you see here will change depending on what you're doing.
Right now, we're looking at a new blank project, so we see some things like some navigation buttons here for moving from slide to slide. We can also change our View. You can see 100 is the current selection, so we're looking at actual size, but if we want to change our project size to best fit our stage, for example, choosing Best Fit, you can see, changes the size of our first slide here. Also on the Application bar over here on the right-hand side is what we call our Workspace Picker. So just to make sure you're seeing what I'm seeing, make sure Classic is selected; this is the Classic workspace.
And of course, you can rearrange your panels, your toolbars, etcetera, depending on the type of work you're doing. There are some presets here as well. We'll be talking about workspaces in the next lesson in greater detail. But with Classic selected, you should be seeing what I see here. Let's move down now to the next row. Here is what we call our Control Panel. Now, the Control Panel most people often call a toolbar, contains shortcuts that you would find up in the various menu headings. For example, if you wanted to save your project, it's a good idea as you're making changes along the way to hit Save often; you would find Save under the File menu.
Let's go to the left-hand side now, where it looks like we have some additional tools, and we call this the Object toolbar, and basically you are working with a number of different objects that can be placed into a project here. For example, as we hover over these, you can see we can insert Text Captions; how about images? As we go a little further down, you'll see other options like Highlight Boxes, and Rollover Slidelets, and so on. And you may not be seeing all of the tools here, and there's a little button here on the very top left-hand corner that will allow you to expand that, so it's double width.
Now you can see all of the tools that appear by default in the Object toolbar. If you want to bring that back, you can collapse it, clicking the same button, and there we go. Next to that is our Filmstrip. This is where we will see the individual slides in our project. Right now, with a new blank project, we have one single slide up here. But eventually, as we start adding content, we'll see them listed down the Filmstrip here on the left-hand side of our screen. Now let's move over to the right a little bit. And right at the top, you're going to see our new blank project is called untitled 1, and you can see the extension is CPTX; that is the extension for the default format here in Captivate.
Now, you will see multiple tabs if you're working on multiple projects at a time. Down below with the selected tab is where you're going to see what we call our Document Window, so the documents display down below according to what document tab is selected at the top. But there's something kind of in the way here, and this is new. This is what we call our Themes pane or panel. And as we move across, we can actually get started by choosing a theme. By default, we're looking at this one that's checked off called White, and it is the default selection in here, as we start a blank new project, so what we're seeing in behind is that theme.
So a theme is being used, and we can scroll through the various themes here; you will notice navigation buttons. So this will actually help you get started with the formatting of your project before you even start adding any content. Let's just leave White selected. You can click it again, and you'll see a little message pops up that all overrides to object styles and properties are lost when you select a theme. So if you've added any of your own properties already, you would lose those. We haven't, so that's okay. In fact, we can choose not to be asked this ever again by clicking the checkbox.
I am going to leave it unchecked. And to the question, do I want to continue, I am going to click Yes, and now I'm really starting my new blank project using the White theme. Now, if you don't like this Theme bar in the way, you can go up to the very top, in the right-hand corner; click that little button. You can see All is selected here, but you can choose Recently Used themes, you can Browse for other themes, and when you're done with this, just click anywhere in your document area, and it disappears. So we're ready to continue now working on our new blank project, but there are more pieces to this user interface.
For example, as we move over to the right now, you're going to see a number of tabs across the top representing various panels with the Properties panel displayed by default. And depending on what is selected on your slide in your project, you will see the Properties show up for that object, and here's where we go to make changes to those properties. And there are a number of different panels that you can select the tabs for. If you're working on quizzes, you can go to Quiz Properties. If you haven't started a quiz, obviously there's nothing to see here. Project Info is displayed in the Project Info tab.
Let's go back to Properties. Now let's go over here to the top right, where you will see the double arrows again, where we can collapse this down to icons, and it's a great way to give yourself more real estate to work on your project. Need a little extra space, collapse that down; we still have access to them. So, we can click Properties; you can see it just pops out/ Click Properties again, and it closes up. If you prefer the old-fashioned view, go ahead and click that same button to expand it. Down below, we also have some information here on what we call our Timeline. So Timeline will affect the various slides in your project, as well as the objects on those slides; how long they appear, the timing of your entire project is controlled from the timeline.
We'll be working in this area quite extensively as we move through the chapters in this title. And lastly, down at the very bottom is what we would call our Status bar, showing the name of the project you're working on, also the View that you're in over here, you can see we're in Filmstrip View, and you can see the resolution or size of our project; 1280 by 720 in my case. So that's a quick look at the user interface here in Captivate 6. You should now be feeling a little more comfortable in your surroundings, and ready to continue on.
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