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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.
Captivate uses what are called Styles to control the appearance of many of the objects that we create inside of Captivate. I'd like to see how we can manage and use those styles now. We're going to be using the Chapter 3_f file that we saved in the previous lesson. If you don't have it opened, please open it now, and go to Page 2. I'd like to choose the text in the middle of the page. Go ahead and select it. You'll see on the right, we have an item called Style at the top of our Properties panel. Next to it, you'll see a Plus sign with Default Caption Style.
This means that the caption was made using the Default Caption Style, but then its appearance was modified. I'd like to save this appearance as an appearance that we can use for new items in the future. We can do that by creating a new style here, by choosing Create New Style. If I wanted to save changes to my Default Caption Style, then I could choose this button, which is Save changes to the Default Caption Style. Instead, however, I'd like to create a new style. So, click on the Create New Style button now.
We'll call this "Two Trees Text," and then click OK. You'll see now that in the Style menu, Two Trees Text has appeared, and there is no Plus sign. That means that this object is using the style Two Trees Text, and there is no overrides. To see how we can use styles, let's choose a different Style from the menu. Because this is a caption, we're only shown styles that relate to captions.
We have the Default Captions at the top of the list, plus the style that we just built at the bottom. Let's see what the Default Failure Caption looks like. Our text caption now has a red outline. We'll go back to Two Trees Text. Using styles makes it possible for you to create a look and feel for objects and then apply it rapidly to other objects within the document. I'd like to be able to do the same with the rectangle; however, the rectangle isn't one of the objects that we can style.
Let's take a look at the objects that we can style. In the Edit menu, you'll see the Object Style Manager. Select it now. The left-hand column shows us all of the types of objects that we can style inside of Captivate. We have Standard Objects. You can see that we can style captions, buttons, text entry boxes and buttons, highlight boxes, rollover areas, rollover slidelets, slidelets themselves, and then zoom areas.
We'll close that up. Under Quizzing options, we can style captions, buttons, our Progress Indicator, our Review area, and HotSpots. Using styles allows us to brand how our projects are going to look. If you're in an HR department, for instance, you often want to make all of your training materials look like your company's brand. This is the way that you can do that quickly and easily. There are a number of built-in styles that come with Captivate, and we'll take a look at some of those right now.
Close up Quizzing options, go back to Standard options, and we're looking at Captions. You can see our captions list is there. Two Trees Text is in this list, because we built it directly using the Properties panel. If you select it, you can see its name, Two Trees Text, and all of its attributes. You can change them here, or go back to the object itself that has the style, apply some changes, and then update the style by clicking on the Disk icon underneath the name of the style in the Properties panel. To create a new style here, I can select an existing style, and then clone it, and then make some changes.
Select Two Trees Text and clone it. Now call it "Two Trees Text Bold." Put a space between "Text" and "Bold." Then under the Character, change the Style to Bold. You can see the change in the lower left. You can also adjust the alignment and indentation. If this is going to be a numbered list, you have bullet and numbering control as well. If you need to increase the line spacing, you'd do that here.
Select and type in a new number, such as 1.5 to get a one and a-half line spacing. These controls look very familiar to those of you who are Office users. You can also control a transition. These are animation effects that will automatically be applied as part of the style. The default transitions include Fade In and Fade Out. We also have just Fade In, just Fade Out, or No Transition. If you're familiar with PowerPoint, these transitions are going to be second nature.
We'll keep Fade In and Out for now. Let's change one of the default captions now. Pick the Default Caption Style, and you'll see that I can't change its name. That's because this is one of the defaults. Under Caption Type, I have a number of choices that I can pick. There are a number of groups that are included with Captivate, and they are grouped by name. The Halo group goes together for instance. There is also an Adobe group, a Glass group, and a Pastel group. You can see them in this list.
There are also appearances that look like Windows for instance, or like a Macintosh. Our default caption right now is chosen to be HaloBlue. I'd like to change our default caption to be transparent. That way, when we create a new text caption in this particular project, it's going to look like we see here. It's important to note that when you make changes to these defaults, it will only apply to this project. It will not apply across the board to everything you do with Captivate.
As a reminder, you can see across the top of the panel it says Object Style Manager, and then the name of the file. Let's take a look at the Button objects. You can see that there are four default button styles, and you can see them indicated here as you click through. Choose the Default Image Button. Right now, the Default Image Button is indicated there. You can see that there are a number of images that are included. This one is called blank_silver. You can also include other image buttons by browsing here.
If you click Browse, you'll be taken to Captivate's Button folder, where you can see all of the preinstalled buttons. Scroll down until you see the folder called More. Select it--maybe change your view, so you can see it better-- and there are a number of other options here. Let's pick the back_bluebullet_embossed_up file, and then choose Open. There it is. The naming convention for each of these images is important. To learn more about that, you can visit the Help System that's included with Captivate for instructions on how to build your own button images.
Once you've chosen that default, that will become the new Default Image button. I'm not sure I want the Default Image button to actually have that Back button look, so let's pick blank_silver, and set it to where it was before. You could also build new styles here. But frankly, the easier way to build new styles is to stylize an object in Captivate directly and then save the Style from the Properties panel. Lastly, you can export styles to transport them to someone else's computer.
You can click the Export button. The style you have selected will be saved wherever you'd like to save it. You can select more than one style and then import them back into another computer. If you've got multiple users, this is a way for you to build the corporate style within the HR department, for instance, and then hand that around to establish your look and feel for all of the trainers in the company. We don't need to save it, so I'll click Cancel for now. Having made my changes to the styles, I'm going to click OK.
Any new objects that I create will now follow those new defaults. When I save this file now, the new defaults are going to be incorporated directly into the files, so that I'll have them available from this point forward. We'll save this as Chapter 3_g. Once again, styles represent a way for you to control the branding of your Captivate projects. It's a good idea to establish your styles before you begin a large project, so that you'll have the appropriate look and feel for all of the new objects that you create.
If you're working in an HR department or in a group, you can create those default styles once and then distribute them to everyone within the group by exporting the styles. Take advantage of styles to ensure that your projects maintain a consistent look and feel across not only the slides, but also across all of the elements of your projects.
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