Adobe Captivate is a powerful eLearning authoring tool which allows you to create several types of engaging and interactive eLearning courses. To make the most of this tool, here are the top 5 productivity tips I’ve followed over the years. Go ahead and use them if you like. 🙂
1. Take my advice — Always begin with Photoshop
I’m an avid user of stock images from Fotolia.com. They help me bring my courses to life. But these images are huge in size. If you try to import these images as-it-is in Captivate, it will bloat your project. Moreover, if you wish to tweak the image, merge it with another image, crop the pesky background, or apply some wonderful effects to the image, you need to use a specialized photo-editing tool.
Adobe Photoshop being my favorite photo-editing tool, I start creating my course layout in Photoshop using the exact eLearning course dimensions and then start importing and editing the stock images in it.
Once all the interface elements and graphics are ready, I create an Adobe Captivate project and import the PSD file in it. All my layers/layer comps in the PSD file are imported as individual graphics and they are saved in the Captivate project library. I can reuse these graphics as many times in my project. The best part is that the PSD file for my eLearning course is a live document, I can make changes to the PSD file anytime and sync the changes in the Captivate project.
2. Let’s color!
Using the right set of colors is utmost important for creating any artwork, and that stands true for your eLearning courses as well. You need to comply with your company/customer style guide and use the specified colors mentioned in it. Or you might have your favorite color shades that you want to use.
The best way to work with colors in Adobe Captivate is to use the Swatch Manager. This dialog allows you to import color swatches from other applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Color; or add your own color swatch to the Swatch Manager by using the eyedropper or color picker tool. These colors also appear in your Fill and Stroke dialog and makes it easy for you to use them. Icing on the cake is that if you use these colors as a part of your theme color palette, you will get a set of lighter and darker shades of the color swatch you add.
3. Smart shortcuts for my busy friends!
If you’re like me, who loves using keyboard shortcuts, here are some of the most useful shortcut keys to help you be more productive while creating captivate projects.
4. iPad/iPhone simulation
If you need to create a simulation capturing your iPad or iPhone screen, don’t sweat by manually creating it using several screenshots. Use a software to mirror the iDevice on your PC/Mac and capture it using Adobe Captivate. My favorite software for screen mirroring is Reflector.
Here are the simple steps to capture a simulation using Captivate and Reflector:
- Make sure your computer and iPad/iPhone are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- Start Reflector application on your computer.
- Enable Airplay on your iPad/iPhone and select mirroring option for your computer.
- Your iPad/iPhone screen will start projecting on your computer.
- Start Adobe Captivate on your computer.
- Start recording software simulation with iPad/iPhone as the application to be recorded.
- End recording.
Your iPad/iPhone simulation is ready!
5. Share and care!
Advanced actions in Adobe Captivate give you a lot of power and customization options but it’s quite painful to write scripts again and again for creating similar interactions. This New Year make a resolution to save your advanced actions as shared actions and reuse them across objects, slides, and projects. And be generous and share it with you fellow eLearning professionals as well.
Any other Captivate productivity tips crossing your mind? Feel free to share them here by adding a comment.
Happy captivating! 🙂