March 19, 2009

PowerPoint Linked vs Embedded Import


Captivate 4 supports editing Powerpoint presentations once imported into Captivate. Captivate achieves this by maintaining the original powerpoint presentation within the Captivate project. Whenever you need to edit, this original presentation is edited and then the new powerpoint slides are used to replace the existing backgrounds in Captivate.  Captivate maintains this original presentation in two possible ways:

Embedded – User’s original presentation is copied into the captivate project (and visible in the library).

This increases the project size, but you no longer have to bother about any outside files when sending the project to someone. Note that, from here on, when you edit the slides from Captivate, it is Captivate’s copy being edited (not your original PowerPoint copy on the disk). If by any chance you need the edited PowerPoint version from Captivate, you can export the same from library

Linked – Here, Captivate just maintains the path to the original (See the 1kb size in library). Whenever you edit from Captivate, the original is also changed.  Unless you have a need to send your Captivate project to someone, this is the recommended mode (as project size is under control).

But this opens another possibility – you can edit the presentation outside captivate using Powerpoint. Here again, Captivate allows you to get the changes into your captivate project – Choose Update from the library – Yes, you need to explicitly tell Captivate to Update (we don’t do it automatically).

Captivate also allows you to change between these embedded and linked modes from the library – Change to embedded and Change to linked options are available.

Posted by Sony Kadavan10:31 AM
  • I am trying to import a PowerPoint presentation that has Flash animation embedded into Captivate 4.0, but when I do, the animation comes in as a blank screen. What do I need to do to make the conversion work properly?

  • It is better to get the animation in Captivate separately – Take the animation out of the PPT, then import PPT and later from witin Captivate you can import this animation. This way Captivate handles the animation with all the effects intact and this animation can be shown over the PPT slidesThe same applies for Video present in the PPTs as well.

  • Andrew Budwill

    In Captivate 4 while using the update button in the Library to update Power Point slides I noticed only the slides are updated – not the presenter notes. Is there a way to update the presenter notes and the slide contents at the same time?

  • Sony Kadavan

    You are right. Captivate doesnt read back the slide notes when updated. Same is the case with narration audio.Once imported, these two items are not updated on further round trips. This is but intentional for the following reason – As you are aware users can make changes to slide notes and narration-audio from within Captivate (not PowerPoint) after importing. If we update them later automatically during round-trip, the changes from Captivate gets lost.Since we have lot of workflows defined in Captivate around slide notes and audio, we decided to keep the feature this way to avoid any data loss for the user. The workaround is obviously to update these manually later as and when user needs (a bit cumbersome but this helps in preventing any accidental work loss)

  • Michael Jahn

    The notes are crucial for a complete workflow from PowerPoint. We want to use this in conjunction with the Text to speech functionality and maintaining that separately pretty much kills this.I don’t see why changing the notes in Captivate is any different than changing any other aspect of the presentation.

  • Sony Kadavan

    Other aspects of the presentation cannot be changed natively by Captivate – it uses powerpoint and any such changes affect only the presentation and not any other aspects of the Captivate projects. On the contrary user would have used the slide notes for many other workflows like text to speech or even edited the notes within Captivate.We dont want user to lose all these changes by update from PowerPoint – hence the notes are dropped on further updates (except the first import)

  • Jodi

    I used PPT to create my initial storyboard and now I’m designing it in Captivate. I’ve imported (and embedded) PPT slides and they look really bad.But … I don’t really care. All I really want is to import the notes so I don’t have to copy/paste them individually. I was thinking after importing, I could then change the PPT background to blank or whatever I wanted but it seems this is not the case.Any advice?

  • Sony Kadavan

    After importing the PPT slides in Captivate, they might seem to be inferior quality (mainly when the dimensions are different). This quality problem is mostly only during authoring time – They will regain the quality when published.As for slide notes, they gets imported automatically when you import the ppt for first time. Then if you edit the same ppt from Captivate, the all the changes except the slide notes are brought back into Captivate – Slide notes are retained as it is currently in Captivate

  • I have a 13 slide PP presentation. When recorded to Captivate, the entire content is contained in only 2 slides. Is there a way to have slides appear individually in CP4?

  • In Captivate 3 I could import .ppt files as a background instead of an animation, but I can’t find how to do this in 4. There doesn’t seem to be any way to merge the .ppt into the background so its not an animation. We have a number of templates based off the way 3 worked. Is there any way at all to get this same functionality out of 4?

  • Sony Kadavan

    Captivate 4 imports all PPT slides as animation slides (you dont see merge to background option, these animations are integral part of slides). All the functionalities which you used to get using the previous background options should be available here as well – I mean, the published output will look the same !. Can you elaborate the specific lost functionality you are looking for ? Do you see any content degrade etc ?

    • Jim

      Captivate 5 for Mac doesn’t seem to preserve slide timings (when bullets appear) with or without prerecorded narration. Is there any way to import a pre-recorded, narrated PowerPoint presentation with the timings for when bullets appear on individual slides? Can’t make it work. Also tried dropping the sound files out of the PP, but slide builds still don’t work in Captivate–for example, when I preview a slide, none of the build timings are there. Even though I’ve chosen “automatic” on how I want the slides to advance, the animated or pretimed bullets only appear with a mouse click.

  • robin

    I’m trying to import a PowerPoint done in Adobe Presenter into Captivate 4 without much luck – any advice???

  • Pingback: Collaborative authoring using Captivate and PowerPoint « Rapid eLearning | Adobe Captivate Blog()

  • Kavi

    I imported a pptx presentation into Captivate 8. But when I publish the project, the text on some screens seems to appear in a different font type/size compared to the one in the original ppt presentation. Further, the text in some slides is also overflowing and getting truncated. I am using PowerPoint 2013. The screen text looks good in the original ppt, as well as in the CP authoring mode. Please suggest how to troubleshoot these issues.

    • Dr. Pooja Jaisingh

      Hi Kavi, please share your PPT and Captivate project with us to investigate the issue.

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