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June 30, 2008

Presenter 7 detailed new feature list

I keep receiving questions about the detailed feature list for Presenter 7. The product manager Paresh (Thank you!) just sent me the release notes, which contain the info you are looking for: >> Open PDF



Trivia learning game on saving energy

Flash GameFlex Your Power, California's outreach campaign for energy efficiency, has a Flash-based trivia game on energy savings facts online.

I think it was completely created in Flash.

It would be cool to see games like this created in Adobe Captivate. This one is fairly simple since it's question based, has a game show background, and uses an animated character - all these pieces could be done in Adobe Captivate. Not sure though how to display the running score ...



June 26, 2008

Tip: Highlights, gray outs, and quick cover ups

Highlight boxes by default simply highlight a selected area. However, you can do more with them:

  • Create gray-out effects
  • Make quick fixes
  • Design basic backgrounds


Gray-Out Effect

Simply select Fill outer area to make your content pop and basically create a gray-out that helps your learners focus on a specific area on your screen. Ensure in the timeline that your caption is in a layer above your highlight box.


Quick Fixes

Adobe CaptivateYou can also successfully use highlight boxes to fix any problem areas. For example, I forgot to prep the presentation I captured and it shows the presenter names (see red box in image left). Instead of fixing the original content and recapturing or editing the image, I simply used a highlight box to cover up the area.

Frame width and transparency are set to 0 and using the color picker I get a perfect match of the background color.



To finish it up, I merge the highlight box into the background, which updates the image. If you think you might possibly need the original background, simply set the fade in/out to 0 instead of merging. That way, you always easily revert back by deleting the highlight box.


Basic Design

You can use highlight boxes for quick mock-ups and basic background designs. Simply play around with the colors and transparency settings.



June 18, 2008

Adobe Captivate Tips & Tricks eBook

Captivate Tips ebookHow cool is that! Our Community Expert Rick Stone has created an ebook filled with Adobe Captivate tricks. You can get it via the Adobe Captivate Exchange ($14.95).


Many of the tips are accompanied by - guess what - a demonstration :)

And yes, the ebook includes some tips I didn't even know!


By the way - if you have cool content to share or sell, you can upload it there too.



June 16, 2008

Adobe Captivate Masters Class Review

Lodestone Adobe Certified Training Partner Logo

Last week I attended several sessions of the Adobe Masters Class by our certified training partner Lodestone Digital .

Lodestone master class posterI was very impressed with the agenda, the organization, the instruction and the class in general. Attendees came from all types of organizations including pharmaceutical, software training, entertainment, and a sporting goods store chain. The class size was kept small so every attendee could get their questions answered and receive individual attention when necessary.

Student files were developed for every lesson and Lodestone Digital even developed a fictional grocery store chain for all the sample content including templates, logo, images, and videos. The comprehensive training manual provides detailed step-by-step procedures with screenshots and many explanations, shortcuts, and tips.

Unlike most software instruction, this hands-on class is not simply feature-by-feature instruction but provides the foundation for creating effective eLearning with Adobe Captivate. It covers best practices for styles and templates, general workflows and even the ADDIE process for Adobe Captivate development. Greenscreen setup for video shootingIt also goes above and beyond when it comes to workflows - I enjoyed how Josh had a green screen setup arranged to learn about shooting video with transparent backgrounds to then use inside Adobe Captivate. Attendees then could work with video and create their own using Visual Communicator. Take a closer look at the sessions.

In addition to the class, Lodestone offered a full and memorable experience with organized evening events throughout the week. Other than the receptions and the musical, the highlight of the week was the Captivate after Dark event, where Captain CaptivateCaptain Captivate appeared in person to provide a sneak peek of some of the new features in Adobe Captivate 4 (NDA was required). The oohhhs and aaaahs showed we are moving into the right direction with the next version.

The secret of the Captain can't be revealed but Captain Captivate is starting a blog with tips & tricks. It was recommended I show up as "FlashGirl" next time ... hmmmm ... I'll think about it.

I highly recommend this class for anyone new to Adobe Captivate or with basic experience. This class will help you master Adobe Captivate and I am sure you'll be well prepared for the Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) exam. Other attendees also said "This class is great" "I learned so much" "Fantastic".

"I really enjoyed the Captivate Masters Week that Josh taught. Josh is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Captivate and Adobe in general - which was great!" - Scott

Please check the Lodestone website for new class times and locations. I believe the next one will be in Charlotte, NC.


Thank you Josh, Mark, and Aimee! You have been wonderful and have done a great job setting up a well organized class.



June 10, 2008

Free OnDemand Seminars (now also in Spanish)

We offer several free live eseminars each quarter. These eseminars are being recorded and are then available as free OnDemand sessions.

RJ Jacquez, our Sr. Product Evangelist, speaks Spanish so we were recently able to conduct an Adobe Captivate in Spanish! You can access it through the Latin America events site. Enjoy!



June 9, 2008

New Adobe Captivate 3 Book available

Adobe Captivate 3 new book - the definitive guideBrenda Huettner has published a new version of her book Adobe Captivate 3 The Definitive Guide (looks like it's not yet in stock on Amazon - you might be able to get it through Brenda's blog entry too).

Brenda's books are well organized and easy to follow along. If you are just beginning to use Adobe Captivate, this book will get you started quickly. It covers features from creating a new project to editing/rearranging slides, audio, questions, branching, templates and more.


Congratulations Brenda!


Update: You can order the Adobe Captivate 3 Definitive Guide online and get 35% off with this coupon code: capt0497



V-Learning: The Skills Needed for Success in Today's Real World

My co-worker Ellen Wagner has given a session V-Learning: The Skills Needed for Success in Today's Real World at the Innovations in eLearning Symposium last week. There is a great summary on this blog: In the Middle of the Curve.



June 6, 2008

Tip: Integrating FMR slides to publish a single .SWF

Here is a simple workaround to integrate external full motion recording (FMR) .SWF files and publish a single .SWF:

  1. Publish your project to FlashPlayer 7 and call it, let's say, FMR
  2. In Edit mode, replace the full motion slide with a blank slide:
    1. insert a blank slide before or after the full motion slide
    2. match the slide time of the blank slide with the full motion slide
    3. delete the full motion slide
  3. Your published folder contains a file called FMR_Fullmotion1.swf. Insert this file in your blank slide
  4. Remove fade in/out effects
  5. Complete steps 2-4 for all other full motion slides
  6. Republish

It's a workaround for now. The team is aware and we are looking into better options for Adobe Captivate 4.


PS: I try to avoid FMR altogether. Instead of scrolling, simply click on the scroll bar or use the page down key. Editing becomes much easier and your file size is smaller.



Adobe Captivate 3 Update available

In support of the Acrobat Connect Pro launch, we have published a patch for Adobe Captivate 3. To find out what's in this update, take a look at our Developer Center article Integrating Adobe Captivate more tightly with Acrobat Connect Pro using the new Adobe Captivate patch.


You can install the patch automatically via the Adobe Update Manager. Simply go to Help > Updates ...