Posts in Category "eLearning"

Turning static Adobe Captivate slides into interactive Photoshop Layered files [VIDEO]

One of the reasons why we included Photoshop in the Adobe eLearning Suite and in the Adobe Technical Communication Suite, instead of Illustrator, is because of the tight integration it has with Adobe Captivate, namely the ability to natively import .PSD files and preserve all the layers.  

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With Photoshop for example, it’s really easy to edit a Captivate slide by removing unwanted areas, or moving pixels around and then bring the updated version back to Captivate. This is a fairly simple process.

However, what you may not know is that you can also use Photoshop to turn static Captivate slides into much more interactive “layered” slides.

In this video (00:22:46) I go over how to start with a static Adobe Captivate slide and then turn it into a much more engaging experience by converting various areas of the slide into Photoshop layers. I also show how to sync up audio to each imported layer using the Text-to-Speech feature. Hopefully this demo gives you ideas as to how you can use both applications together.

Click the image below to launch the video in a new window.

 

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Bring PDFs to Life with Adobe Presenter [VIDEO]

In a previous post, I blogged about how to embed an Adobe Captivate simulation in a PDF in order to supplement a static PDF and bring it to life using Rich Media.

Since then many people have asked if it’s possible to do the same using an Adobe Presenter project.

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2010/04/bring_pdfs_to_life_with_adobe.html';

The answer is yes, however the process is a bit more complicated because of the nature of an Adobe Presenter project. In other words, while Captivate publishes a single Flash file, Adobe Presenter publishes multiple files and thus the key to embedding a Presenter project is to consolidate all these files in Adobe Acrobat.

In case you are new to Adobe Presenter, here’s how we define it on adobe.com: “Adobe Presenter enables you to rapidly create high-impact Adobe Flash presentations and eLearning courses from PowerPoint.”

If you want to experience what is like to watch an Adobe Presenter presentation, I recently posted this how-to entitled Using the Acrobat.com plug-in for Outlook for Sharing Large files.

Enough said. In this short video (00:13:10), I go over the steps to properly embed an Adobe Presenter project in a PDF using Adobe Acrobat 9. Click the image below to launch the video in a new window.

 

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Content Aware fill in Photoshop CS5 for eLearning and Technical Documents

In every new software release, there’s always that one feature that is Jaw-Dropping and everyone talks about. I think it’s safe to say that Content-Aware Fill is that feature in Adobe Photoshop CS5.  

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The new Content-Aware Fill enables you to easily remove unwanted areas from an image, by filling in the space left behind using surrounding pixels, it even matches lighting, tone and noise.

The real beauty in all of this is that you don’t have to know a whole lot about Photoshop or graphic design to be able to use it. Simply make a selection, press Shift+Delete and voila.

Having said that, I have recorded two short demonstrations on how I see this feature being used for eLearning and Technical Documentation projects.

I hope you like the new Content-Aware feature and if you think of ways in which you’ll use this feature in your own projects, please share with me sending me a Tweet @rjacquez.

Click the image below to launch the video in a new window.

 

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Creating a Poster image for a Captivate simulation embedded in Acrobat 9

In case you didn’t know, you can now embed Flash-based movies in Adobe Acrobat 9 and anyone with Reader 9 can view them directly inside the PDF.

Undoubtedly, when our customers find out about this new feature, the first thing that comes to mind is embedding Adobe Captivate simulations as a way of supplementing a static PDF document and bringing it to life.

 

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2010/04/creating_a_poster_image_for_an.html';

In a future post, I’ll focus on how to embed simulations in Adobe FrameMaker during the authoring process in order to avoid any post-processing work, but for now, my focus is on customizing the poster image for an embedded Flash movie directly in Acrobat 9.

Embedding Flash content in Acrobat 9 is quite easy, you use the Flash tool from the Tasks toolbar, double-click where you want to insert the SWF, Browse for it and click OK. That’s it.

However, the purpose of the video below is to illustrate how to use one of the slides in Captivate to create a poster image for the embedded simulation, in order to make it obvious to the end user that this is a video simulation and not a simple, static screen shot.

If you are embedding Adobe Captivate simulations in your PDF document, I’d love to check it out. If you are able to share, please send me a tweet @rjacquez.

Click the image below to launch for the video in a new window.


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Using Photoshop Actions to create a Slideshow in Adobe Captivate

If you use Adobe Photoshop and haven’t tried using or creating actions, you are missing out. Actions are perhaps the single most powerful feature in Photoshop because they enable you to automate repetitive tasks by recording each step, and then playing back the entire process on a number of images and say look Ma, no hands.  

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2010/04/using_photoshop_actions_to_cre.html';

In this video (00:26:08), I go over how to create an action in Photoshop and then use it to batch process a series of images for building a slideshow in Adobe Captivate. I then illustrate how to add captions to all the slides and customize the text in MS Word and finally how to add a soundtrack to the slideshow using Adobe Soundbooth. I hope you like it.

Click the image below to launch the video in a new window.


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HOW TO: Use the Acrobat.com plug-in for Outlook to Share Large Files Automatically

(Repost with a how to title in order to highlight the Acrobat.com plug-in for Outlook video)

Remember the old Hair Club for Men commercials where the president
says, “I’m not only the hair club president, I’m also a client“? Well, I
share a similar feeling about the Adobe tools I evangelize. I’m also a
client.

 

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2010/04/how_to_use_the_acrobatcom_plug.html';

In my spare time I often develop eLearning modules — highlighting
ways to use our own Adobe Technologies more effectively — and then
share these with my internal teams.

A couple of weeks ago, I
developed a brief eLeaning module on how to use the Acrobat.com
Outlook plug-in for sharing large files
.

The module was
included in last week’s internal newsletter! I’d like to share it with
you here, since you too have access to this plug-in, and other
Acrobat.com services.

I’d also like to share the specific Adobe eLearning
Suite
tools I used to put the module together:

  • Adobe Soundbooth (SB). I use SB
    all the time for all things audio recording and editing. For this
    particular project I used SB to record the audio files for slides
    1, 2, 4 and 5, which I then imported into Adobe Presenter. For
    the background audio you hear throughout, I used one of the
    included scores in SB. Even though Captivate has audio editing
    capabilities, I prefer to edit Captivate’s audio in SB. To do
    this, I navigate to the Captivate slide that needs editing, select
    the audio in the Library, and then select Edit with Soundbooth.
    There, I do all required editing and select File > Save. Then
    the updated version is sent directly back to Captivate.
  • Adobe Captivate. Captivate is
    my baby! I do all of my software simulations using Adobe Captivate
    and then share them on Twitter and on my blog. I really like
    using Captivate and Adobe Presenter together and I have been
    looking for an opportunity to embed a Captivate simulation in an
    Adobe Presenter slide (which I’ve done here on slide 3).
  • Adobe Flash. I’m by no means a
    Flash expert, but I use Flash as a way to supplement my Captivate
    work with short animations. For this module I only used it briefly
    to add a short animation on the first slide of Captivate to
    display a keyboard shortcut for creating a new email. You can see
    this at the beginning of the Simulation on slide 3.
  • Adobe Presenter. While some
    people might think that Adobe Presenter and Captivate compete,
    they actual complement each other, and I use both tools in most of
    the projects I develop. I really like Presenter because it
    enables me to stay in PowerPoint and add audio to my slides and
    sync the audio to the animations I include. Presenter also enables
    me to easily choose a skin for the navigation, along with a
    picture, bio, outline and a thumbnail view of my slides for easy
    navigation.  What I like the most, however, is how easy it is for
    me to insert Captivate simulations on any slide and then have the
    Presenter playbar control the Captivate simulation. The
    applications are well integrated and the final experience is cohesive
    for end-users. To see this in action, check out slide 3 in the
    presentation below.
  • Adobe Photoshop. For this
    particular project, I didn’t use Photoshop much, but I often use
    it to design any graphics I need to include or to edit Captivate
    slides. The ability to import .PSD files into Captivate and
    preserve the Photoshop layers is one of my favorite features in
    the Suite.
  • Adobe Bridge. Bridge is great
    for managing media assets. I use it all the time. It allows me to
    find images I need in Captivate and then use the File > Place
    command to quickly send to Captivate, Photoshop or other products.

So there you have it! These are just a few ways
that I use my Adobe tools. I’d love to hear how you use these Adobe
tools in your everyday workflows.

Watch this brief eLearning
module on how to use the Acrobat.com plug-in for MS Outlook to share
large files. Just click the image below to display the module in a new
window.

 

Contributing Editor:
Phylise Banner
Phylise is an
instructional designer, educator (AEL), avid angler, and proud owner of a
1967 Amphicar. You can view her LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/phylisebanner

 

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More than an Adobe Evangelist, I’m also a customer

Remember the old Hair Club for Men commercials where the president says, “I’m not only the hair club president, I’m also a client”? Well, I share a similar feeling about the Adobe tools I evangelize. I’m also a client.  

tweetmeme_url = ‘http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez/2010/04/more_than_an_adobe_evangelist.html';

In my spare time I often develop eLearning modules — highlighting ways to use our own Adobe Technologies more effectively — and then share these with my internal teams.

A couple of weeks ago, I developed a brief eLeaning module on how to use the Acrobat.com Outlook plug-in for sharing large files.

The module was included in last week’s internal newsletter! I’d like to share it with you here, since you too have access to this plug-in, and other Acrobat.com services.

I’d also like to share the specific Adobe eLearning Suite tools I used to put the module together:

  • Adobe Soundbooth (SB). I use SB all the time for all things audio recording and editing. For this particular project I used SB to record the audio files for slides 1, 2, 4 and 5, which I then imported into Adobe Presenter. For the background audio you hear throughout, I used one of the included scores in SB. Even though Captivate has audio editing capabilities, I prefer to edit Captivate’s audio in SB. To do this, I navigate to the Captivate slide that needs editing, select the audio in the Library, and then select Edit with Soundbooth. There, I do all required editing and select File > Save. Then the updated version is sent directly back to Captivate.
  • Adobe Captivate. Captivate is my baby! I do all of my software simulations using Adobe Captivate and then share them on Twitter and on my blog. I really like using Captivate and Adobe Presenter together and I have been looking for an opportunity to embed a Captivate simulation in an Adobe Presenter slide (which I’ve done here on slide 3).
  • Adobe Flash. I’m by no means a Flash expert, but I use Flash as a way to supplement my Captivate work with short animations. For this module I only used it briefly to add a short animation on the first slide of Captivate to display a keyboard shortcut for creating a new email. You can see this at the beginning of the Simulation on slide 3.
  • Adobe Presenter. While some people might think that Adobe Presenter and Captivate compete, they actual complement each other, and I use both tools in most of the projects I develop. I really like Presenter because it enables me to stay in PowerPoint and add audio to my slides and sync the audio to the animations I include. Presenter also enables me to easily choose a skin for the navigation, along with a picture, bio, outline and a thumbnail view of my slides for easy navigation.  What I like the most, however, is how easy it is for me to insert Captivate simulations on any slide and then have the Presenter playbar control the Captivate simulation. The applications are well integrated and the final experience is cohesive for end-users. To see this in action, check out slide 3 in the presentation below.
  • Adobe Photoshop. For this particular project, I didn’t use Photoshop much, but I often use it to design any graphics I need to include or to edit Captivate slides. The ability to import .PSD files into Captivate and preserve the Photoshop layers is one of my favorite features in the Suite.
  • Adobe Bridge. Bridge is great for managing media assets. I use it all the time. It allows me to find images I need in Captivate and then use the File > Place command to quickly send to Captivate, Photoshop or other products.

So there you have it! These are just a few ways that I use my Adobe tools. I’d love to hear how you use these Adobe tools in your everyday workflows.

Watch this brief eLearning module on how to use the Acrobat.com plug-in for MS Outlook to share large files. Just click the image below to display the module in a new window.


Contributing Editor:
Phylise Banner

Phylise is an
instructional designer, educator (AEL), avid angler, and proud owner of a
1967 Amphicar. You can view her LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/phylisebanner

 

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Adobe Captivate 4 for New Users: Recording

If you are just getting started with Adobe Captivate 4, here’s a recording from an eSeminar I hosted awhile back for brand new users.  

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The recording is 01:45:37 long and it covers different ways of creating new projects, as well as recording software simulations, the basics of editing, previewing and publishing projects.

Click HERE to watch the recording of Adobe Captivate 4 for New Users.

Please user your Adobe ID and password to sign in.

 

Related Posts:

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What Flash Player 10.1 means for eLearning and mLearning

You may have heard that today (11/17/09) Adobe launched public betas of Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.0 on Adobe Labs.
I wanted to share my excitement about the launches, and my thoughts regarding
what these two technology milestones mean for Technical Communicators and eLearning Professionals.
 

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tweetmeme_source = ‘rjacquez';

Why is Flash Player 10.1 unlike any previous version?

You are probably wondering why is this release such as big deal? Two reasons, namely: 1) This is the first time the same version of the Flash Player will be available across Windows, Mac, Linux, Netbooks, as well as Mobile devices.

You may recall the earlier, less powerful Flash Lite for mobile devices, Flash Player 10.1 is the next generation.

And 2) This is the first Flash Player version that comes out of the collaborative efforts of the Open Screen Project, which is an industry-wide effort, led by Adobe and which also includes close to 50 partners, including ARM, Cisco, Google, HTC, Intel, Motorola, Nokia, nVidia, OpenTV, Palm, Qualcomm, Verizon Wireless and others.

Singular experience, multiple devices

The vision shared by members of the Open Screen Project is simple: Enable consumers to engage with rich Internet experiences seamlessly across any device, anywhere.

Partners in the Open Screen Project are working together to provide a consistent runtime environment for open web browsing and standalone applications — taking advantage of Adobe® Flash® Player and, in the future, Adobe® AIR®. This consistent runtime environment will remove barriers to publishing content and applications across desktops, mobile phones, televisions, and other consumer electronics.

With the explosion in the number of mobile devices, the eLearning industry has been actively exploring Mobile Learning (mLearning) and the challenges are well documented, namely the lack of a consistent runtime across multiple devices, which eLearning developers can rely on.

This is why I’m personally excited about today’s announcement and the reason I Tweeted the following:

In case you missed it, at Adobe MAX, Kevin Lynch demonstrated Flash Player 10.1 running on various mobile devices. Here’s a short version of his demo:

Additional Resources:

 

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10 Reasons To Attend Adobe Learning Summit 09

Our entire Adobe eLearning team is very much looking forward to this year’s Adobe Learning Summit 09 and I wanted to share with you why we are so excited, and my personal 10 reasons why you should consider joining us on November 9th in San Jose, CA.  

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  1. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, will open the conference

This year, we are delighted to have Shantanu welcome attendees to our conference and provide the opening comments and in general, set the tone for the day. Among other things, Shantanu will speak about Adobe’s commitment to the field of eLearning.

  1. Clay Shirky will deliver the Keynote

We are fortunate to have Clay Shirkly, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, especially because of the impact Social Media and Informal Learning is having on eLearning today.

  1. Learn Best Practices from top eLearning Customers

    We have a “Best Practices” track where the following customers will share eLearning best practices and lessons learned: Xerox, Rexi Media, Franklin Covey, Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, Thomson Reuters, Constellation Wines, Brookwood

  2. Be the first to see a sneak peek of Adobe Captivate for MAC

I will personally be delivering a sneak peek session at the conference, where I will showcase our development progress of Adobe Captivate for MAC. Furthermore, I will also be showing an eLearning project we are working on, which has to do with offline eLearning and it’s based on Adobe AIR.

  1. Meet the fine people at Adobe who work on your favorite software

Throughout the conference, you will have the opportunity to meet Adobe employees who work specifically on the Adobe eLearning Suite, Captivate, Acrobat and Acrobat Connect Pro. Furthermore, during the closing general session, attendees will have an opportunity to pose their questions to the Adobe experts. This is an opportunity to hear about new technologies and get a better understanding about learning innovation in virtual classrooms, interactive content, simulations and games.

  1. Network with other eLearning Professionals

This is your opportunity to meet and network with other eLearning Professionals who use the same eLearning toolbox that you do, and who are likely thinking about the same things you are, Social Media, Informal Learning, Virtual Classrooms, Rapid eLearning, Twitter, Mobile Learning, etc.  Speaking of Twitter, if you haven’t done so, please consider signing up and be ready to tweet your view of the conference by using the #als09 hashtag.

  1. Adobe Captivate Beginner and Advanced sessions

Regardless of your level of expertise with Adobe Captivate, there are plenty of session to take your knowledge to the next level.

  1. Learn more about the Adobe eLearning Suite

This conference is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the benefits of the Adobe eLearning Suite and how all the tools in the Suite are well-integrated and provide
everything you need to create rich eLearning experiences.

  1. Learn about Connect Pro as a Learning Management System and as a Virtual Classroom Solution

Both Peter Ryce and
Randah McKinnie, from the Adobe Connect Pro team, will be on hand at the conference and will also deliver presentations on why Acrobat Connect Pro Training is a great LMS solution and Tips and Tricks for delivering Virtual classrooms respectively.

  1. Check out what participants have to say about last year’s Adobe Learning Summit

Last year’s conference was a smashing success. Check out what participant’s said about last year’s conference.  Click HERE and the video at the top of the page will begin playing automatically.

  1. Adobe Learning Summit 09 is co-located with DevLearn 09

I know I said 10 reasons, but here’s an extra one. This year’s ALS conference takes place on November 9th and is co-located with DevLearn 09, which begins the very next day, 09/10, so if you are going to DevLearn, please consider also attending the Adobe Learning Summit.

Hope to see you there!

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