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
  • Anne Schaeffer

    Would you know of any pitfalls concerning narrating in powerpoint and brining the files into captivate? i have heard there is an upper limit file size. Do you have any info on that?

    • http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/ Allen Partridge

      Anne, the recording quality for sound is much better in Captivate. I’d recommend doing the Audio in Captivate rather than PPT. Version 5 is much more robust with size limits – its tested to about 750 slides (compare to about 60 slides for version 4.) I don’t know of an actual PPT size limit, but you would face whatever RAM limitations are on your machine. Sound files can get big quickly. Cp also adds the advantage of letting you optimize the sound file sizes.

  • http://twitter.com/hfts Monette Pangan

    Why does the sound get lost when the PPT project in brought into Captivate?

  • http://crisdaeffler.wix.com/hireme cris

    when I import 2013 Powerpoint into Captivate 7 where is my sound? It is not importing

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