Adobe Captivate 6...More Captiviting than before!By: Mary Lacroix
In short, there’s a lot that’s new! I’ve described some of the most powerful new features in some detail, but to learn more, download the free 30 day trial and give it a test ride.
HD screen recording: real time video with advanced editing functions
Older versions of Captivate allowed us to create solid demos and simulations, but they had limitations. You couldn’t capture frames of video and edit them easily.
Now you can get true HD recording with the new Video Demo option which includes a new, easy to use integrated editor with a real timeline. You can add in highlights, text captions, and other Captivate objects at any point you want, but now you can add picture in picture video in MP4 format, too. Finally, you can add transitions, panning and zooming. To learn more, watch this Adobe tutorial: http://youtu.be/DcrpVMEyS1w
Better Publishing Options
1. HTML5 for mobile devices: You can publish to Flash and HTML5 at the same time. Students will load the same starting page, but the project will check what they’re using and will direct them to the appropriate version seamlessly. The new HTML5 Tracker will let you easily check that your project includes only features that can work in HTML5 before you publish.
2. Improved SCORM LMS performance: Captivate developers have worked with a variety of LMS companies (such as SABA, Moodle and SumTotal) to ensure that output works smoothly in all tested products.
3. Publish to YouTube: One click publishing creates an MP4 file that you can upload directly to YouTube by logging into your account right inside Captivate.
New Learning Interactions
You don’t have to import Flash or write your own code inside Captivate to get a level of interactivity. You can now embed engaging, customized Interactions in any slide, including tabs, a pyramid stack, a pyramid matrix, an accordion list, a process circle, and many more. Two of my favourites are the Glossary and the Timeline, which can include not just text but audio and images.
1. Submit All button option: Turning on this option prevents students from completing a quiz without answering every question, but it also blocks the display of feedback as each question is answered.
2. Branch aware quizzing: Create a pre-test question that will send students to the appropriate portion of the course.
3. Remediation quizzing: If a student answers a question incorrectly, they can be sent back to the appropriate slide before returning to answer the question again.
4. Partial and negative scoring: For example, if a question is worth ten points and has two correct answers, each answer can be set to 5 points. Alternatively, if you want to discourage guessing, you can set a negative score value.
Improved Integration of PowerPoint (Windows only)
You can still build a project from all or part of a PowerPoint file and keep it linked to the original to perform round trip editing, but the new High Fidelity option allows you to preserve many of the PowerPoint 2007/2010 features such as text effects and (some) animation.
New Objects and Layout Options
There are at least 5 new ways to make your Captivate project more attractive, versatile and easy to edit.
1. Themes and improved Master Slides: Captivate has included Master Slides since the last version, but now they also offer Themes, collections of Master Slides that can be applied to your project instantly. Once you apply a Theme, you can edit any Master Slide inside it, add new Master Slides, and change colour and font choices across the Theme. You can even save your own new Themes and apply to them to any other project.
Even better, while old Master Slides held literal content only, such as a specific image or specific piece of text, they can now include various placeholders so that each slide using that Master Slide can have that content customized for each screen. There is even a new “content wheel” placeholder that allows you to choose from several different objects when working on a slide.
2. Characters: Adding images of people used to be expensive, time consuming and frustrating. Captivate 6 now includes a free, extensive library of expressive people images, prepared with transparent backgrounds so that they are easily slotted into any slide. These Characters vary in dress, age, and ethnicity, and can be cropped and resized as needed.
3. Smart Shapes: Captivate has finally caught up with PowerPoint! It has expanded the small number of scalable vector drawing objects to a full complement of useful choices. These shapes can have solid colours, gradients and textures applied to them.
But a Smart Shape isn’t just something pretty: it gives you a lot more functionality in a single object. You can add text directly to it with a double click, and it can be transformed into a button just by clicking the “Use as Button” choice in the properties panel.
4. Hyperlink text: When you enter text in any text caption, you can select any part of it and click the new link button to create a hyperlink to another slide in your project or to external resources such as PDFs, email or web pages. Other buttons let you modify or delete the link. And because you can put a text caption (or Smart Shape with text that has been set to “Use as Button”) on a Master Slide, this gets around the current exclusion of buttons from Master Slides.
5. Object grouping: This is another way to organize your timeline so multiple objects don’t overwhelm you. Select two or more objects on any slide, right click and choose Group. The objects will now be nested inside a new group folder on the timeline which can be opened or closed to save space. You can now apply some effects to the group as a whole, such as transitions and drop shadows, but you can right click and Ungroup at any time to work with each object individually.