Whenever software is updated I know I’m always eager to learn what is new and what is improved. I imagine that is the case for many people, so in that spirit I’ve compiled a list of the new and improved items included in the Adobe Captivate 7.0.1 update and I’ve added some context to help make sense of it all.
Mobile is one of the fastest growing areas in eLearning. If you missed my eSeminar on mobile learning last week, here’s a link to the Slideshare. The gist of my presentation: about half of all web access today is from a mobile device. More and more, mobile access to our eLearning content is becoming an expectation. In response to these accelerating demands for mobile support, Adobe Captivate 7.0.1 adds support for iOS 7.03 to keep apace with the enhancements to Apple’s mobile Operating System for mobile devices. Support for Android 4.2 and later.
In addition to the support for additional mobile operating systems, this update adds optimizations to HTML5 publishing. What does that mean? Simply put, smaller published file sizes. The engineering team has been hard at work looking for every available bit that can be replaced, compressed or otherwise removed in order to minimize the size of published HTML5 learning content. The amount of savings will vary pretty wildly depending on what type of project you are publishing – but suffice it to say that the content will be smaller, and will load faster when published to HTML5 using the new Captivate 7.0.1.
Likewise, it is now possible to publish HTML5 content using the ‘Scalable HTML Content’ option without worrying about the quirky playback and other issues that sometimes appeared in earlier versions. There is also a new skin to support playback control for event videos in HTML5 content. New themes and play bar specifically intended for mobile devices are also included in this update.
Additional Platform support
Supported Operating systems have been expanded to allow users to run Captivate 7.0.1 on the latest Mac and Windows operating systems.
Support for Mac OS 10.9
Support for Windows 8.1
You asked for it, you got it! There is now a ‘Star’ smart shape. Adding to the list of cool editable shapes that can instantly convert to interactive buttons and that have become more and more a mainstay of development, the team has added a star. A popular request since the creation of the smart shape, you’re bound to find the star a valuable addition. You can also now flip smart shapes through the Properties Panel.
One of my favorite new features is Color Swatches. You can now import swatches from Adobe Photoshop and Kuler, or create custom swatches, and apply them to Adobe Captivate objects with a single click. If you aren’t familiar with Adobe Kuler – do yourself a favor and spend some time on https://kuler.adobe.com/create/color-wheel/ It’s an amazing tool for developing a color palette and now you can grab those palettes and pull them right into your Captivate projects.
A couple of long time asks are granted in this update. First, many people have wanted to be able to further optimize their workflow by locking the position and size of an object, without locking the entire object. This is now possible in Captivate 7.0.1. Locks now come in two flavors (Blue and classic Black.) You can lock the position of an item on the stage (blue lock) or lock the whole item down so that no editorial changes can be made (black lock.) To chose, just click the lock on the timeline. The lock turns blue first, then black if you click again. Click one more time to unlock it.
Captivate 7.0.1 also marks the end of a pet peeve era for me. I’ve long complained that once a graphical button was created in Captivate, there was no way to remove or update it. Captivate 7.0.1 adds a simple method to delete unused image buttons. At last my overwhelming need to rid myself of those unwanted buttons can be satisfied.
Something Special For the More Advanced Captivate Users
Advanced and Intermediate users of Adobe Captivate have been watching closely as very cool new tools and tricks have been finding their way into Captivate for the last few updates. This one is no different. Now when you Copy/Paste slides or objects both within a single project and across different projects, your actions, Advanced Actions and Shared Actions will all be copied across the projects and slides automatically. This should prove an amazing timesaver for authors as they’ll now be able to very quickly replicate even very advanced customer behaviors and interactions. You can also open an external library containing shared Actions and drag and drop them in current project and reuse them.
You might also enjoy these updates to Conditional Actions:
All of these enhancements share a common theme. Expedite the process of creating and duplicating complex custom interactions. Captivate has a long tradition of providing the power professional eLearning developers need – when and where they need it. With these enhancements, it’s easier than ever to create these customizations, share them among your team, and easily use them over and over in all of your projects.
Captivate 7.0.1 users will also find new Actions in the Advanced Actions Dialog box – Pause / Exit / Increment / Decrement.
While Increment and Decrement have been available options in the past, they are now more easily accessible wherever you need them. You can use these simple commands to perform some basic math – by adding or subtracting by 1. The new Pause Advanced Action will allow you to pause playback of the project. It’s a simple way to control the playback from an Advanced Action. The exit command will stop the project playback and cleanly close the player. If it’s on a web page it will even close the tab.
There are also some great new Actions available in both Advanced Actions menu and the Property Inspector. Now you can use Actions to Lock or Unlock the Table of Contents (TOC). You can also use actions to Show or Hide the Table of Contents(TOC). The Toggle command lets you control the visibility or state of 1. the playbar, 2. the table of contents, 3. the closed captions, 4. the mute and 5. the lock state of the TOC. Living up to it’s name, toggle is an instant way to just switch to the opposite. If it’s visible, it becomes invisible, if it’s invisible it becomes visible. If it’s on it turns it off. Toggle will be a crazy cool timesaver for developers.
Check out this list of new Variables added in 7.0.1:
On the Smart Learning Interaction front, there are some very nice updates as well. By popular request, there is now support for Print and Save in Notes Interactions. Your learners can now easily save their notes, and even print them. There is also a new smart learning interaction – a simple quiz game called Millionaire.
Another common request among intermediate and advance users has been the ability to track how often a variable is used in a project. Captivate 7.0.1 adds the ability to report variable usage.
This free update is really a wonderful one and I’m confident that eLearning creators will find the many new features and enhancements terrific timesavers. If you’re itchy to learn more, here’s the complete release notes. To download and install the update, just open Captivate and choose Help: Updates. This release does require you to rename your Layouts folder, so be sure to read over the release notes before you install.
(If you’re using Apple OS X Mavericks, you’ll want to check out the companion blog I published earlier this morning to get the instructions for installation on Mavericks.)