Posts in Category "Content Migration"

February 24, 2009

Best practices for handling PowerPoint audio in Captivate

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This post will give you all the details on how Captivate handles audio in imported PowerPoint slides. PowerPoint presentations usually have two kinds of sound support – Narration and Object Sounds. Narration is the voice-over which you record with the slide (say, reading out bullet points). Object sounds are the event sounds (say, an applause sound when user does a correct action).

Captivate 4 handles these sounds differently:

  • Narrations – are extracted from PowerPoint slides and then added in Captivate as “Slide Audio”. Once imported, these sounds can as well be edited in Captivate just like any other audio.
  • Object  sounds – are made integral part of the animation when imported, and not visible as separate objects in captivate (you will have to go back to PowerPoint to edit them).

Another important thing to notice about Narration. Consider the following workflow:

  • Import a PowerPoint slide with narration. (Notice the narration now present as slide audio in Captivate)
  • Later, edit this PowerPoint slide (from captivate using edit with PowerPoint options). In the PowerPoint, make changes to the narration as well. Then save and bring the changes to Captivate.
  • You will notice that your slide audio is still the old one !

This is designed to work this way to prevent any loss of sound edits, which you might have done in Captivate. So, after initial import, if you wish to make changes to narration, remember to do it from Captivate and not from PowerPoint.

[ However, in any case, if you need to bring the new narration in PowerPoint to Captivate, extract the same from PowerPoint and then add to Captivate just like any other audio ]

Posted by Sony Kadavan11:20 AM Permalink
February 11, 2009

Correct dimensions for Power Point Import

Captivate 3 (and now 4) supports importing a Microsoft Power Point file.

Captivate slide dimensions are defined in pixels, while Power Point defines slide size in inches. Many of you might have faced problems with stretched / shrunken objects because of a mismatch in the dimensions of the imported Power Point slides and your Captivate project. Below are a couple of tips that will help you avoid this issue in future.

You can create a new project “From MS Power Point” – Here you don’t have to worry about the dimensions, as Captivate creates a project of same dimension as your Power Point (yes it calculates correctly!). You can see this dimension while importing.

You might need to just consider whether this is the required dimension for your target audience.

No problems so far !

You might also want to Import a Power Point presentation to an existing project. Captivate’s behavior in such a scenario is to resize the Power Point presentation to the dimension of your project. In many cases this resizing is undesirable due to (possible but not always) loss of quality. So, Captivate gives a warning (which you can of course ignore).

One option is to resize the original Power Point presentation, so that it matches your existing Captivate project dimensions.

Now, how you do it …

Firstly, you need to convert pixels to inches. You might consider using some of the free tools available on the web and avoid the number crunching. I used this tool with the DPI value of 96. I will list down some popular values as well here:

Pixels

Inches

960 x 720

Default Power Point (10 x 7.5)

640 x 480

6.67 x 5

800 x 600

8.33 x 6.25

Second, you need to change your Power Point presentation to this dimension. For Power Point 2003, this is possible in “File > Page Setup” and in 2007, you can do this in “Design > Page Setup”. Key in your custom values here. It would be a good idea to check whether your font sizes, objects etc are appropriate for the new dimension.

Now, you can Import this into your Captivate project without any dimension warning.

OK… Go ahead and Captivate your Power Points !

Posted by Sony Kadavan9:30 AM Permalink
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