Join Anastasia McCune for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing the right type of project, part of Adobe Captivate for Systems Training.
- [Instructor] One of Captivate's real strengths is capturing your actions on screen and turning that into training. To give you a sense of the different types of things Captivate can create for you we're going to record a quick little throw away project that shows something very simple in an Excel spreadsheet. Basically, we're going to show how to change the zoom settings so you can see more or less of the spreadsheet. So from the start folder in the exercise files for this lesson, I'm going to open up Globe Bank Mortgage Calculator. If you get this message about update or don't update, just go ahead and click Don't update.
Now I'm also going to open up Captivate. So here's the Captivate start screen. You can see it has two tabs on the top. Recent. And so you can see I have some recent projects. And also new. So we're going to click to new. And the choice here in the top middle of software simulation is what we want to select. The thing is, right off, there are several types of Captivate projects that you can create once you click this. But the name of software simulation doesn't inherently tell you what those choices are.
Captivate projects fall into two main categories. Demonstrations, and simulations. I think of these as view it projects and do it projects. You can think of demonstrations as view it movies. Basically, you expect the user to watch what you're demonstrating on the screen without actually interacting with it. What Captivate calls software simulations are do it types of projects where you expect the user to actually perform some steps. You can then keep track of if they've done things correctly, or not.
From there, there are actually two types of simulations. Training simulations, and assessment simulations. Training simulations are a chance for the user to practice actually performing the steps. But to help them along you can give them hints and feedback as they progress. Assessment simulations are more like really testing the person. You're assessing their ability to perform the correct steps. So being, you don't give them hints. You, as the developer, also have the option to give them feedback if they've done something incorrectly along the way, or not.
So let's take a look at how these take shape in a Captivate project. Now the steps I'm about to show will work only in Excel. So if you're using a Google Docs version of this spreadsheet you might want to just watch this part. But don't worry, it won't put you behind if you don't actually perform these steps. So on the start screen of Captivate to begin a new project, I'm going to click that software simulation choice. And choose create. Now two things show up right away. One is this dialog box in the middle where we set our Captivate settings. And the second is the red recording outline.
You probably can't see that because it's all the way on the edges of my screen. And I actually have two screens so I'm going to have to try and resize that here so you can see it. There we go. So everything that's within that red box is going to show up in our Captivate recording. Now since this is just a quick demo to give you an idea of how Captivate works, this time, I'm going to gloss over the settings here in the dialog box, and we'll go over them in more depth in another lesson. So in this first radio button I'm going to make sure I have application selected. And for select window to record I'm going to choose Globe Bank Mortgage Calculator.
Basically, my Excel sheet. And you can see that the red bounding box jumped to the edges of the screen again. Basically, to go around the Excel. If I minimize my Excel you can see that the red bounding box again follows it, so that's cool. Here in snap two, we're going to leave it at application window. Here under this area with automatic versus manual we're going to stick with automatic. We're going to make sure that we have demo, assessment, and training check boxes selected. Custom should be deselected.
Panning, there's no panning. Audio, there is no narration. We don't need system audio either. Basically, we're ready to record. So I'm going to click record and you can see that Captivate counts down three, two, one. And now we're recording. So in Excel I'm going to click to the view menu. (camera flash) You heard Captivate make that camera sound and that's an indicator for us that every time we click or press Enter Captivate takes a screenshot. So from here, I'm going to click zoom. (camera flashes) And now I'll click 50%.
(camera flash) And Okay. (camera flash) Now to change it back, I'm going to go back up to view. (camera flash) I'll click zoom again. (camera flashes) And I'll change it back to 100% and click Okay. (camera flashes) So that's it. That's all we're going to do. I'm going to hit the End button on my keyboard to have Captivate take one final screenshot and quit recording. If you're on a Mac you probably don't have an end key on your keyboard so you can use Command Enter to end your recording.
(camera flash) So if you still can't get Captivate to quit recording via keyboard shortcut you could click the Captivate icon in the system tray on a PC, or in the dock on a Mac. So now we've got three projects entitled, untitled demo one. Untitled assessment one. And untitled training one. So we're going to watch each one. And if you've been following along on your computer and your projects look a little different than mine in terms of color, or other little things, probably it's just some of your Captivate style settings re different than mine.
And that's okay. Later on, we'll fix it so everything matches. For now, it's sufficient to just watch what we've recorded. So, for now, I'm just going to click to untitled demo one. And I'm going to preview this demonstration by going to the preview menu here and choosing project. So this is the demonstration, or the view it project where the user's meant to simply watch what's going on on the screen. And you can see that Captivate has inserted these little text captions that tells us the next thing to click at each step.
Let's select the view tab. And now I'll click the zoom button, and so on. And I also notice that every place that the mouse clicks there's these little highlight boxes right here, like this blue one, or this blue one here over the Okay button. That kind of highlight where the user is supposed to click. So I'm going to go ahead and close out of this preview. So now that we're back in Captivate you can see that it uses slides much like PowerPoint does. Each time while we clicked while recording Captivate takes a screenshot and then each one of those shots ends up being its own slide.
As you move through the slides, you can see the little text boxes that it inserted for us. Like this one that says, select the view tab. On slide two we have, click the zoom button. And you can also see those little highlight boxes like there's one right here the zoom has the blue outline and the gray fill. And you can also see the path that the mouse travels on on each slide. So let's move on to the untitled training one project. And we'll preview that, as well by going to preview. And, project.
So at first, it might look like nothing is happening. But remember this is a training simulation. It's a do it project. So we're meant to actually be performing the steps ourselves. So the first thing we're meant to do is click on the view tab. Now notice as I approach it with my mouse this little caption comes up. Technically it's called a hint caption. And it tells me to click on the view tab. So I will do that. Now the next thing to click is zoom. And again, as I approach it I get that little hint caption that says click the zoom button.
So I'll do that. So the next thing is to click 50%. And so I get my hint caption. I'm going to do the wrong thing on purpose and click in the wrong spot. And we get this other caption that's called a failure caption. Because I failed to do the right thing. And it gives me an idea of what I'm supposed to do. Select the 50% radio button. So I will do that and I'll click Okay. I clicked in the wrong spot there so it tells me to select the view tab. And I'll move through the rest of the steps of the project. And we see hint captions along the whole way.
Click Okay. So honestly, I don't like hint captions very much. I think it's kind of silly to show a hint when the user has almost clicked the correct thing anyway. But worry not, going forward we're going to do something better than hint captions. You may have also noticed a little lag sometimes especially if you're doing this at home. Sometimes after you click and you wait for the next step to come up. And that timing can be adjusted down the line. So with that, I'm going to close the preview. And let's look at slide one for this training simulation.
You can see on the screen here this little click box, right here. That's just hanging out listening waiting for us to click on it. And once we do, the project moves on. You can see the hint caption, here as well. And of course, the failure caption that shows up if we click in the wrong spot. And it's a similar set up for each of the other slides, as we move through the project. There's click boxes waiting for us to click on it, it pauses the project until we click on it. And the failure captions and the hint captions.
So now I'm going to move over to the assessment simulation and preview that project. Again, this is a do it project but it's an assessment. We're being tested on our ability to do the steps correctly. So when I go to click the view tab there is no hint caption. So I'll click view and now I'll click the zoom button. Next we're meant to click 50%. Again, I'll click in the wrong spot. And we do still get failure captions. But there's not those hint captions.
So I'm going to go ahead and click Okay. Again, if I click in the wrong spot I get a failure caption. I'll go now through the rest of the steps. Zoom, 100. A little lag there. And Okay. And again, we can adjust that lag. So that's really the biggest difference between the way Captivate records training versus assessment projects using the default settings. Training projects have hint captions. Assessments, where you're being a little more difficult for your user, don't.
You can change the default settings, of course, to include or exclude the different types of captions if you want. So for some situations it might make a lot of sense to have your users watch the demonstration first so they can see what they're meant to do. And then later, complete either an assessment or a training simulation to practice actually doing their steps. However, there also are many times where it might make more sense to have kind of a hybrid project of view it and do it together. For instance, tell the person to click on view. And then actually have them click.
Then tell them to click on zoom and then have them do it. And then tell them the next step and then let them do it, and so on. Well Adobe thought of this, so you have the option of creating your own custom types of projects. You can take the best of demonstrations assessment or training simulations and Captivate will put those all together in one project for you. We'll do that in a future lesson. For now, I'm going to save all three of these projects in the end folder of the exercise files for this lesson. That way you can have them to open them and look at them, if you wish.
But, we won't need these later on in the course. So you've seen how recording a training in Captivate means you have to make a decision. You have to choose what kind of project you want. If you want a view it project or a do it project. Again, demonstrations are view it projects where what's happening on the screen is narrated by text captions and the user just watches the action going on on the screen. Software simulations, using the default settings of Captivate, are do it projects. And they can be training simulations or assessment simulations.
In trainings, users have the chance to perform the steps with hint captions. For assessment simulations, users simply have to perform the steps on their own.
- Recording software simulations
- Choosing the right type of project
- Configuring settings
- Recording a simulation
- Utilizing efficient formatting
- Manipulating styles for visual objects
- Refining transitions and timing
- Configuring text entry boxes
- Positioning objects in responsive projects
- Tracking user progress
- Using question slides and knowledge check slides