These short movies play back via Adobe Flash and are only one to five minutes in length.
Today, I posted four new training movies:
- Find and Search: Understanding the differences
Simple Find commands and full Search offer different capabilities. See how to search multiple PDF files
- Creating a Full-Text Index for faster searching
Learn how to create a ful-text index to search across many PDFs in multiple directories
- Accelerating Search in a PDF Portfolio for faster searching
Create a full-text index which “lives” inside a PDF Portfolio to accelerate search
- Making Edits to PDFs with the Touchup Text Tool
Change text on both PDF Normal (e.g. converted from an electronic source) and Scanned PDF document
How I make the Movies
I use Adobe Captivate to record and edit the movies. Adobe Captivate is a screen capture and simulation tool which allows you to edit the demonstration movie, add captions, etc.
Adobe Captivate outputs Flash files which can be hosted anywhere. Follow this link to learn more and to download a free trial of Adobe Captivate.
The first thing I do is to set my screen to 1024 by 768. Almost everybody has a monitor that offers higher resolution than this, so my recording window will display nicely for the majority of folks.
Next, I open up Acrobat and practice my demo. I don’t create a script for these short movies, but occasionally I will make a few notes to follow.
You do need a microphone to record audio. I use a Plantronics USB headset, but just about any computer headset will work fine.
Captivate Records Differently
Compared to a tool like Camtasia, Captivate works quite a bit differently. Captivate captures differences between "slides" to keep file size small. When needed, Captivate enters full-motion recording mode. For some actions, you may want to manually force full-motion recording.
Before starting, I change some of Captivates default preferences. In particular, I change the standard Full Motion start/stop keys from F9 and F10 to Shift-F9 and Shift-F10. These Fkeys are already used by Acrobat.
In Captivate, I start a new project and choose the Software Simulation style. I tend to record very short segments of about 30 seconds each that naturally segment the demo.
After recording, I go into each "slide" and edit the audio. I use the Insert Silence command to remove noticeable breath intakes and lip smacking (gross!). I also delete unnecessary "ramp" where no audio occurs. I adjust the slide length as needed if I delete any audio.
If someone else hosts your site for you, you can output a ZIP file and send that to them.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a nice new bonus in Captivate 4 . . . the ability to output a Flash Embedded PDF file. I tried it and it works great!
This is perfect for when you want to email someone a screen recording instead of a link.