Captivate 5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Using widgets


Captivate 5 Essential Training

with James Lockman

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Video: Using widgets

In this lesson, we are going to make use of what are called widgets in Captivate. Widgets are SWF files that allow you to configure what they do when they're used in Captivate. Because of that configuration aspect, they are treated differently than typical SWFs that you might use in Captivate. We are going to be using the Chapter 4_c file that we have built in an earlier lesson in this chapter. If you don't have it open, go ahead and open it now, and then go to slide number 1. I am going to use a widget to number the slides in this presentation.
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  1. 2m 15s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Updates for Captivate 5.5
  2. 10m 18s
    1. Captivate 101
      5m 4s
    2. Understanding presentation basics
      2m 45s
    3. E-learning in a nutshell
      2m 29s
  3. 16m 34s
    1. Exploring Captivate's interface
      3m 59s
    2. Using the Classic workspace
      3m 31s
    3. Using the Navigation workspace
      3m 13s
    4. Setting application preferences
      5m 51s
  4. 1h 6m
    1. Starting from scratch
      2m 51s
    2. Creating a master page
      3m 47s
    3. Adding slide text
      8m 29s
    4. Checking spelling
      3m 10s
    5. Adding shapes
      8m 25s
    6. Adding images
      7m 31s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      7m 42s
    8. Using object styles
      9m 2s
    9. Finishing and previewing the project
      6m 7s
    10. Using Free Rotation in Captivate 5.5
      1m 57s
    11. Building with gradients
      4m 43s
    12. Adding shadows
      2m 56s
  5. 53m 39s
    1. Importing Photoshop files
      9m 33s
    2. Importing animations
      9m 0s
    3. Creating slideshows
      6m 10s
    4. Taking advantage of libraries
      9m 32s
    5. Using widgets
      7m 0s
    6. Importing PowerPoint presentations on a Mac
      8m 5s
    7. Importing PowerPoint presentations on a Windows computer
      2m 18s
    8. Understanding the Captivate exchange
      2m 1s
  6. 31m 14s
    1. Touring the Timeline
      5m 19s
    2. Adjusting timing
      4m 36s
    3. Adding transitions to objects
      3m 46s
    4. Animating using effects
      7m 55s
    5. Animating text
      3m 50s
    6. Zooming for emphasis
      5m 48s
  7. 53m 44s
    1. The recording environment
    2. Adding background audio
      4m 25s
    3. Adding audio to an object
      4m 23s
    4. Recording and adding voice-overs
      5m 1s
    5. Editing audio in Captivate
      7m 6s
    6. Splitting audio among slides
      6m 22s
    7. Adding video to a slide
      7m 9s
    8. Importing slide video
      4m 33s
    9. Synchronizing video
      7m 36s
    10. Creating closed captions
      6m 36s
  8. 49m 6s
    1. Adding buttons
      7m 56s
    2. Adding click areas
      4m 59s
    3. Adding rollover images
      5m 20s
    4. Highlighting objects
      6m 44s
    5. Adding rollover slidelets
      8m 2s
    6. Adding pop-up captions
      4m 38s
    7. Adding text areas
      7m 40s
    8. Creating branching presentations
      3m 47s
  9. 15m 11s
    1. Revisiting libraries
      1m 38s
    2. Sharing assets
      2m 41s
    3. Creating project templates
      6m 50s
    4. Using project templates
      4m 2s
  10. 31m 57s
    1. Preparing simulations
      3m 35s
    2. Preparing to record
      5m 35s
    3. Recording simulations
      4m 46s
    4. Editing simulations
      8m 55s
    5. Adjusting click-through trainings
      9m 6s
  11. 39m 6s
    1. Understanding assessment basics
      1m 53s
    2. Setting up a quiz
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding question types
      8m 22s
    4. Creating custom short-answer questions
      3m 28s
    5. Assessing software simulations
      5m 25s
    6. Pooling and randomizing questions
      6m 55s
    7. Using the new quiz features
      2m 46s
    8. Utilizing the new quiz templates
      3m 21s
  12. 22m 32s
    1. Managing quizzes
      1m 28s
    2. Reporting results
      4m 43s
    3. Using as a learning management system
      3m 48s
    4. Getting reports from
      7m 26s
    5. Generating SCORM-compliant output
      2m 4s
    6. Creating assessment templates
      3m 3s
  13. 9m 12s
    1. Introducing skins
    2. Editing playback controls
      4m 1s
    3. Creating a table of contents
      4m 18s
  14. 15m 3s
    1. Initiating a project review
      3m 59s
    2. Reviewing a project
      5m 58s
    3. Collecting reviewer comments
      5m 6s
  15. 35m 55s
    1. Securing a project
      6m 28s
    2. Rescaling a project
      3m 11s
    3. Sharing a project
      3m 13s
    4. Publishing a project
      10m 57s
    5. Setting up Flash player security
      3m 28s
    6. Exporting to Flash CS5
      3m 7s
    7. Exporting to video for YouTube and iOS
      5m 31s
  16. 29s
    1. Parting thoughts and goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Captivate 5 Essential Training
7h 32m Beginner Dec 21, 2010 Updated Aug 05, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Touring the interface and workspaces
  • Building a basic project with shapes, objects, and text
  • Branding a presentation using master slides and object styles
  • Exploring user-based content at Captivate Exchange
  • Animating with the Timeline
  • Adding buttons, rollover images, and captions
  • Creating branching presentations
  • Working with templates
  • Recording a simulation
  • Creating assessments with customized questions
  • Setting up quiz reporting on
  • Exporting and sharing a project
Education + Elearning
James Lockman

Using widgets

In this lesson, we are going to make use of what are called widgets in Captivate. Widgets are SWF files that allow you to configure what they do when they're used in Captivate. Because of that configuration aspect, they are treated differently than typical SWFs that you might use in Captivate. We are going to be using the Chapter 4_c file that we have built in an earlier lesson in this chapter. If you don't have it open, go ahead and open it now, and then go to slide number 1. I am going to use a widget to number the slides in this presentation.

In order to see the Widget panel, let's switch to the Widget Workspace. Click on your Workspace selector and pull down to Widget. The Widget panel has a large preview area at the top and then a list of all of the available widgets at the bottom. Because of this configuration, we don't get to see very many of the widgets by themselves. I would like to move the Widget panel up next to the Library panel. Click and hold on the name Widget and then drag it up to the right of the Library panel here.

When you see the blue outline around this entire panel, then you can release the Widget panel. Now, you can see much more of the list at the bottom of the panel. The Preview panel shows you what some of the widgets will look like when they're used in your project. At the bottom, we have the ability to filter the list to highlight specific types of widgets. You can see that we can show all of the widgets, widgets that are self- identified as being interactive, and those that are self-identified as being questions. This is included in the description of the widgets that have been provided by the widget authors.

Let's show all the widgets, if you're not showing all the widgets now. At the very top, you will see an ArrowWidget, so select it, and you can see the preview here. You can see from the preview that we can enter a caption for the widget in the controls. I am not going to use this ArrowWidget right now, but it is one of many that you can take advantage of as you're building your projects. Let's go down to find a specific widget. The widget that I'm looking for is called a SlideNumbering.swf. You will notice that the widget is a SWF; in fact, all of the widgets are SWFs.

So why don't I insert them by inserting an animation. It turns out that the widget has some special coding that allows Captivate to present a menu to control certain aspects of the widget. This means that I can configure how the widget is going to behave in my application. Let's use the SlideNumbering widget now. You can select it, and there is a little bit of a preview. Now the preview just says X and Y, so it's not giving us a whole lot of feedback. But it turns out that there's more that we can do. I'm going to use the SlideNumbering widget to put a number on my slide that looks like slide X of Y, or slide 3 of 11.

And I am sure that you have seen this type of numbering in printed and online documentation before. Click the Insert button to insert this widget. When you insert a widget, you'll see the properties for the widget. This widget has several different formats, including Page X of Y, X of Y, Page X and just plain old X, where X is the number of the slide that the widget happens to be on and Y is the total number of slides in the presentation. Let's stick with Page X of Y format because this gives us two areas where we can type in custom text.

This is the first of the custom text areas, and this is the phrase that appears before the current slide number. Type the word "Slide" here. To the right of that, type the word "of". This will now display the phrase "Slide X of Y," where X is the slide we are on, and Y is the total number of slides wherever we happen to place the widget. We can also configure the font. On the Family menu, click and choose Myriad Pro Bold. There it is.

Let's change the size to 9 points. We will change the color to white. We also need to change the highlight color. In the case of this widget, it automatically creates a box that sits behind the type to help highlight it in places where you happen to have other copy. What I would like to do then is to choose a color that's close to this green in this portion of the slide. Click on the highlight color picker and switch to the Rainbow mode. I am just going to click down in this area, and I end up with some colors that look pretty close to the green I am looking for. Of course it's hard to be precise; this widget doesn't happen to have an eyedropper.

That's hard enough for these purposes. Click OK to create the widget. It can take a little bit of time for the widgets to get completed. Now that it's done, you can see that I have a widget object that has appeared on my Timeline, and it's centered right here on the slide. Let's move it down to the lower left- hand corner of the slide, and we can zoom in on it to see a little better. Great! Looking at the Timeline, we can see that this widget exists for only 3 seconds.

I would like it to be present for the entire slide. In fact, I would like it to be present on every slide in my project. Switch to the Properties panel. At the very top in Animation, you see a button called Widget Properties. If you click Widget Properties, you will be able to adjust the properties of the widget. This is great. You can't do this with regular SWFs that you place as animations. Once they are there, they are there. With a widget, you can go back and make adjustments. Right now, I am interested in changing the timing for this object.

By default, it displays for a specific amount of time, which turns out to be 3 seconds. Let's change that. From the dropdown, choose rest of project. If you look at the Timeline, you'll see it says widget and then display for the rest of the project. This means that this widget will appear on every page when we publish the project. Let's test that theory, shall we? Let's preview our entire project. Pay attention to the lower left-hand corner.

There is slide 1, there is slide 2, and so it goes. Even though we've placed this widget on slide number 1, it persists for the entire project because we've made an adjustment to the Timing panel. Let's save our project now as Chapter 4_d. There are many more widgets in the Widget panel that you can explore.

We will be returning to the Widget panel to use other widgets later on in this course. In the meantime, go ahead and explore in the Widget panel. There is a lot of power in there, and because they are configurable, they are a lot more flexible than simple SWFs that we might place as animations.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Captivate 5 Essential Training .

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Q: I am having some problems with Captivate reviewer permissions and was directed to the following solution of James' blog, but I'm having trouble implementing it. Is there a simpler solution or has Adobe released a patch?

In order to execute the step entitled "Assign write permission to owners and groups", you need to enable the root user. In addition, you need to add the "sudo" command before the following steps in this section:

sudo chmod -R o+w Adobe\ Captivate\ Reviewer\
sudo chmod -R g+w Adobe\ Captivate\ Reviewer\

You can disable the root user when you're done with updating permissions.
A: Unfortunately, there is no patch. This is not an Adobe issue, but rather an issue with the way that Apple allows UNIX permissions within its file systems. For most cases, this is a good thing, but for this one case, it backfires. Just so you're aware, the issue persists in Captivate 5.5 as well.

This is the Adobe tech note on the problem:

My solution is a bit easier to follow, frankly.

Here is how to enable the root user on a Mac:
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