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March 27, 2008

Stories, Comics, and Manga - Oh My! Making Learning Stick For Your Audience!

Recently, Tom King has hosted a great session in our luminary series:

Stories, Comics, and Manga - Oh My! Making Learning Stick For Your Audience!

This session offers many examples (see links below) that are very compelling and I didn't know that comics used to be created in the past effectively for military training. I really hope that instead of PowerPoints with bulleted lists, we are going to see more and more engaging stories we can actually relate to.

And for non-designers like myself, I liked the tip of staging environments and characters in Second Life so you can easily create stituations and take screenshots for your training. And how about dropping the images into Adobe Captivate where you can engage the learner even further by providing choices and alternate endings using the branching capabilities.

More info and examples:



March 25, 2008

Tips & Tricks session in Seattle

I'll be in Seattle on April 9th and will meet the Adobe Captivate user group. If you are in the area, please stop by. I'll also be presenting tips & tricks. More details to come on the Adobe Captivate user group website.



March 19, 2008

Adobe Flash Player Coming to iPhone

Read more in Bill Perry's blog - Adobe Flash Player Coming to iPhone.  Bill is an Adobe product evangelist in Adobe’s Mobile and Devices group.


eLearning Guild Annual Gathering in April

The eLearning Guild Annual Gathering is coming up soon and we'll be there! I'll be presenting an Adobe Captivate tips and tricks session on 4/15 at 4pm. These sessions usually fill up quickly - you may want to come a few minutes early.

There will also be some members of our team from India and they might even set up some focus groups - it's a great chance to meet them and give them feedback directly.

If you are planning to come to the conference, please add a comment in the blog. Maybe we can meet and chat about Adobe Captivate and eLearning and electric bikes :) See you soon.



March 18, 2008

Providing learners with content offline and online with AIR and Flex

Imagine, you could offer your learners with just in time material that is available in a customizable viewer, can be installed regardless of the operating system, and updates itself as soon as it has internet access ... Well Adobe AIR and Flex make it possible.

Find out how in the article that Karl Matthews has published in our developer center: Building an XML viewer on AIR with Flex.

It's a step by step guide that teaches how to build an XML viewer with Flex.



Tip: Toggling the controller’s visibility using variables

The pipwerks blog has a great Adobe Captivate tip using the variable rdcmndHidePlaybar to toggle the playback controls off/on. The blog entry also includes the link to the online help which contains a list of most variables.



March 14, 2008

Bricscad Tutorials selected for Adobe Site of the Day

Congratulations to BRICSYS - selected for Adobe Site of the Day today for the tutorials created in Adobe Captivate!

On our website:

When Bricsys decided to improve customer service by providing online training for Bricscad, its next-generation CAD product, the company turned to Flash. To highlight new features, provide online training, and decrease support requests, Bricsys created a series of tutorial videos along with a Flash animation that functions like a lightbox to highlight specific tutorials. This site was built with Adobe Captivate, Dreamweaver, Flash, Flash Player, Illustrator, and Photoshop. (Mar. 14, 2008)

If you are interested in seeing your work on the Adobe site, simply submit to the Customer Showcase or Join the Customer Success Program.



March 12, 2008

Tip: Creating a SCORM package from multiple SCOs

A reader of the Tip: Splitting and chaining large projects had a question on how to package all the split files together to enable tracking inside the LMS.

You might want to try the Reload Metadata Tool for SCORM 2004 that is mentioned on Tom King's blog Mobilemind or the newer "Eclipse IDE-based" version.

Thanks B.J. for the tip:
I'd recommend using Trident to create, manage, and publish SCOs. I've had good luck with it...

Social Network for content professionals

There is a new social network available for content professionals - it's called The Content Wrangler Community and is targeted mainly to technical communicators but anyone who writes content, handbooks, manuals or the like will benefit from this. There are some great groups ranging from Writing for Reuse to Component content management and there are some product related groups as well.

Membership is free and it's time to get an Adobe Captivate group started :)



March 11, 2008

Adobe Captivate User Group Brazil Event Mar 25

Talking about events - Adobe is doing a Flex & Air Tour in Brazil where Ben Forta is speaking. The Adobe Captivate Brazil User Group will be there on March 25 in Sao Paulo. Ask for Fabio if you have Adobe Captivate questions :)



European eLearning Summit August 19-21



The European eLearning Summit was just announced - it will take place at Nottingham University in England August 19-21. If you live in Europe and can't attend the US eLearning Guild conferences, this would be the event to go to.

Adobe is a sponsor and there will be sessions on Adobe Captivate (The session schedule for the conference will be updated soon). eLearning Guild members will receive a substantial discount to attend.

March 10, 2008

Tip: Splitting and chaining large projects

Check out this great guide on splitting large projects and linking them together.

March 7, 2008

Tip: Changing multiple choice answer numbering



A user recently emailed me about this one:

How do you change the numbering for the answers in quiz slides?

A relatively simple workaround is mentioned in the online forum - add a space and change the size to 0 or add a slim character like a . or i and change the text color to the background color of your slide.

Read the entire forum entry on changing quiz answer numbering.

Thanks Andrea H. for sending me the link.

Free Getting Started Training for Technical Communication Started

Adobe Technical Communication Suite box shotRJ Jacquez, our evangelist for Adobe Captivate and the Technical Communication Suite, has just finished creating two Getting Started training sessions for the Technical Communication Suite:


NEW Training Video! Getting Started with the Technical Communication Suite: Part 1

NEW Training Video! Getting Started with the Technical Communication Suite: Part 2

PS: The tool he used to create the recording was Acrobat Connect Pro, which has really neat virtual classroom features like:

  • instant on (it uses the Flash player - no need to install a plugin)
  • interactivity within the room for every participant - you can insert Adobe Captivate simulations or games and they are fully interactive for all the participants (so they don't just watch one person do something, they all actually do it!)
  • interactivity in the recording, so students get the same experience as students attending live
  • interactive file download and link pods
  • of course whiteboard, screen sharing, PPT presentation upload/playback
  • presenter only areas with options to prepare areas in the meeting room while another presenter is already presenting
  • Chat setup so students can enter questions which are only shown to presenters (private chat disabled)
  • participant and score tracking
  • polls
  • and a lot more!

March 6, 2008

Tip: Using the new automatic Re-Recording



The new re-recording feature in Adobe Captivate enables you to automatically recapture web applications and is usually used for applications that

  • undergo a lot of changes (for example an enterprise wide system during the implementation)
  • have different language UIs.

This feature was very tricky to implement and is in its first version only available for IE6 and limited to HTML-based web applications. It basically creates a script, like a macro in Word, of what you are doing in the web application.

Here are the steps on how to use it:

  1. Select Software Simulation - Application when starting to record.
  2. Check these options and don't forget to check Re-Recording Information in the Advanced Settings:
  3. Record your steps normally and end the recording.
  4. Save all files where you can find them again. The Re-recording Script is one of the files that will be saved with your demo, training, and assessment project:

Now imagine, your engineers have renamed a field in the application or added new features, you can simply rerecord automatically. This also works great for web apps that can change the language on the fly (like some SAP apps). Simply start a new project and let Adobe Captivate do the work:

  1. Set up your browser window exactly where you started recording last time.
  2. Start a new Adobe Captivate project but now browse to your script in the Advanced Settings:
  3. Hit Record and grab a coffee :) When you come back, 3 new projects should be ready - in my case, with French captions.

PS: To set up your browser at exactly the same size every time, do this:

  1. Create a new project > Software Simulation > Custom Size > OK
  2. Enter your ideal size (I always recommend 720x540).
  3. Select your browser window and Snap to fit (This sizes the application window to your ideal size).
  4. Hit Cancel and start your project as described in the beginning of the blog.

Jolt Awards: Adobe Captivate is Productivity Winner



Last night, Adobe Captivate was announced a Jolt Awards Productivity Winner in the Utilities Category. The Jolt Product Excellence Award in Web Development went to ColdFusion. With 5 finalists total and several winners, it was a big night for Adobe.

Working hard on these products every day, those kind of awards are wonderful for the teams since they show the value of our products in the market.

Thank you users and judges :)

All Jolt Award Winners

March 5, 2008

ASTD TechKnowledge Notes



Last week I spent in San Antonio to attend the ASTD TechKnowledge 2008 conference. I really enjoyed the opening session by David Pogue (I was really impressed how he handled a keynote speaker's biggest nightmare - fried hard drive before a presentation) - it was quite entertaining.

We offered several hands-on sessions on Adobe Presenter, Technical Communication Suite, and of course Adobe Captivate. (comment/blog from an attendee)

The Adobe Captivate sessions were packed every time - if you weren't able to attend or had trouble following along, you can download the basic step-by-step document I created and simply try creating a project 'at home'. Just play with it and have fun.

Download free 30-day trial of Adobe Captivate

The easiest way to start learning Adobe Captivate are the built in tutorials on the start page and you can always check out our online recorded sessions and live eseminars: Rapid eLearning Made Easy .

PS: If you tried to attend today's eseminar, please re-register for the next - I made a scheduling mistake and we are working to make up for it.