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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 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.
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