Captivate 4: Produce Interactive Simulations and Demonstrations Center for Instructional Technology http://cit.jmu.


Adobe Captivate 4 software allows you to author eLearning content with software and scenario simulations, and other engaging experience – no programming or multimedia skills required. Captivate 4 allows you to record a sequence of events on your computer in order to demonstrate a specific piece of software or other electronic resource. Captivate represents a much better way to think about software demonstrations and screen captures. Traditionally, screen captures are video files that are just an exact linear recording of the actions that took place. Digital video files are not the most Internet friendly distribution method due to their file size and often have to be scaled and compressed so much that they loose their ability to convey the proper information. When Captivate records you, it’s intelligently analyzing your actions and using that information to create a highly detailed recreation of those events in a very small, easily distributed Flash file. This Flash file can be played by around 95% of all Web browsers in use today. And since its Flash based, it can also include interactivity and branching, allowing your presentations to have a greater impact on your viewers. Basic Screen Capture Creating a basic screen capture. 1. Complete a test run of the process you intend to capture on your computer. (This will let you move dialog boxes and find any problems we may not be expecting.) 2. Resize any windows you will be using to smaller dimensions. (The new dimensions will be perfected before you begin recording.) 3. Move any dialog boxes that appear inside the window you will be recording. 4. Open Captivate. 5. Select Software Simulation to start a new project or Open a recent project. See Figure 1. 6. The New Project Options dialog box will appear. See Figure 2.

Figure 1

Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies

In general. Figure 2. Be sure to set the size of the window you would like to record. this is not absolute and can be worked around later. Click OK. A rectangular area with red borders called the recording window indicates the recording area. it is worth looking into these to optimize both the file size and quality of your presentation.Page 2 of 11 7. Record Automatic Recording (recommended) Full Motion Recording Manual Recording Exit back to main menu Figure 3 Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . 9. you should try to keep your window no bigger than 760 x 420 so as to play well in a browser running at 800 x 600. However. Figure 2 8. Choose a recording mode to alter the settings to customize your project Be sure to select Record Narration in your Recording Mode Setting if you wish to narrate while recording! *Note: we will be using the defaults for Automatic Recording but once you have gained some experience with Captivate. See Figure 3. Select the type of project you would like to record choose an application from the dropdown box to record an open application on your computer or choose Screen Area to record everything that happens on your screen. You will see the Recording Settings Icon box appear. * Note .

as well as keep you from going too fast for your viewers.) *Note: Alternatively. To view the project. Demonstrate what you wish to record. When you are finished.Page 3 of 11 10. 15. Captivate is now recording your every move. 11. and then click ok. Figure 4 14. A Save Project Files dialogue box will appear. 12. *Hint . This will let Captivate do a better job analyzing your capture. press the End key on your keyboard to stop the capture. click the Preview button in the toolbar and click on the project option. Type in the project name and specific project directory. 13. (The End key is located above the arrows on your keyboard. just to let things “sink in”. See Figure 5. You should also wait for a few seconds at the beginning and end. See Figure 4. Captivate will generate the frames necessary to recreate your actions and open them in the Storyboard window. click the Record button. After all settings have been made. click the task icon or the system tray icon to stop recording. Figure 5 Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies .Be sure to make your movements slow and deliberate.

Key-frames are specific instances in your project where Captivate records the state of things exactly at that point. Also. This is useful for your own organizational purposes as well being crucial for interactivity. This is how Captivate is able to make such small files. Everything that happens between two key-frames is not actually recorded. See Figure 6. note the accessibility button. Notice that you can also change aspects that are found in the other tools as well (such as Audio). Also. Highlights include:  Audio – There are three ways to add audio to any frame in your project. you should see the Storyboard tools. notice the label area where you can give each frame a name. Properties – Adjust properties of the frame as whole. Captivate also gives you many options for adjusting the timing of the audio at the project level or the frame level. You can also use this to improve the reality of your capture (by adding hour-glass cursors etc). You can customize this here.Page 4 of 11 The Storyboard View The Storyboard window shows you each key-frame in your project.   Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . which will allow you to add subtitles for section 508 compliance. It is possible to record your narration at the time of capture. but instead recreated each time you watch. Figure 6 On the left. you can really have any type of mouse cursor doing the action. Mouse – Since the cursor movement is animated. It is also the key to how you will edit your project. Captivate is filled with crossover in terms of menus. You can also create your narration in a separate session and then add the narration to your project through the import or record feature.

Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . See Figure 7. Modifying Text Captions 1. click on the Show Properties Dialog icon to change the look of the box and the text in the box. Each element has its own space in the timeline and can also been seen in the frame itself above. Follow steps 1-3 to modify other captions in your project. Captions are the text narration to your project. *Some captions have balloon arrows that can “point”. You can adjust the timing of each element by grabbing the right-hand side of the object in the timeline and pulling it right to make it longer and left to make it shorter. At the bottom of your frame you will see a timeline that represents the progress of that particular frame. This is where you will do the bulk of your editing (surprise!). but there will always be at least one that doesn’t quite work. You will use the properties caption.Page 5 of 11 The Edit View The Edit window is a full sized view of the current frame. Additionally. Also. It’s also usually a good idea to give the text more personal details. Notice that you can resize and move the caption box all around the frame. Double-click on it to edit the text of the caption box. To see the properties of the . Find a frame with a text caption. Click on a frame to open it in the Edit window. and Captivate adds them automatically to describe what you are doing. Single-click on it to highlight it. notice the checkbox that allows you to apply changes to all of your caption boxes for consistency. Sometimes it works really well. Figure 7 Enhancing Your Project The first thing you’ll probably want to do is edit the captions. On the left you’ll see a list of all the frames for quick access. 2. Make use of this when you can to show your viewers exactly the area you are referring to in the project. you can change how the box appears and disappears and attach audio to the box. 4. 3.

4. Highlight boxes focus the user’s attention on the required areas of the slide. Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . Captivate will create a Highlight Box of a generic size in the center of the screen. or to add a caption to a frame that does not currently have one. Insert a Blank Slide 1. Click OK. Click on the Insert menu and choose Standard Objects. Click on the Insert menu and choose Standard Objects. Your blank slide will be inserted after your currently selected frame. You will be given a properties menu. Select Blank Slide. To add captions: 1. Adjust the properties and click OK. Select Text Caption. make additional settings and add text. 3. 2.The numbering of your slides will change as you move them around and are therefore not a good way of identifying slides. 4. To add the highlight box: 1. This can either be used to point out a secondary thing in the image. Select Highlight Box. Just resize and drag it to the desired position. * Note . so look at the caption on the timeline to synchronize them. 2. 5. 3. Add a label in the Properties dialog to keep track of your slides. Click on the Insert menu and choose Standard Objects. Insert a Highlight Box Use highlight boxes to spotlight areas within a slide. 2. 3. You will probably want this to appear at the same time as your caption.Page 6 of 11 Insert a Text Caption You can also add captions to frames. The caption will be added to the currently selected frame. Drag it to the beginning of your project.

2. 6. In our case. 5. like Photoshop. Select Image. (You will not be able to alter this image after it is merged. Right click on the image and choose Merge into Background. Navigate to the image you wish to insert. Click Open. 5.) * Note – You can do this more quickly by choosing Image Slide… from the Insert menu and choosing other slides. 6. 3. 7. The New Button dialog box will appear. 4. This will allow the slide time to fade in and out. Click on the Insert menu and choose Standard Objects. but when you do this you can not adjust the image to fit the proportions of your presentation as precisely. To make custom buttons you will need to create the three image files required in a separate program. The important ones are all found on this first tab. Insert a Button 1. Click OK. See Figure 8. We are using the basic text button that looks like a standard Windows XP button. the default “Continue” works well. Make sure the Pause After… box is checked (it should be by default). The first tab defines what happens when someone clicks on the button. * Note: The New Button dialog gives you a great number of options (far too many to discuss here). Make sure the length of the Pause After… is half the length of the slide (normally the default). Choose Insert from the top menu bar. Adjust the text of the button near the top of the dialog box. Select Button. 3. but you can use Jump to Slide along with the frame labels mentioned earlier to create branching presentations that can have different content based on the answers. In the New Button dialog box select the Options tab. If the image is bigger than the size of the frame (it usually is). Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies .Page 7 of 11 Insert an Image 1. 4. The Open dialog window will appear. 2. double click the image to open the Image dialog box to either crop the image (remove the excess area) or resize (make the current image fit).

Format and type text in the New Rollover caption dialog box. When the viewer rolls over the toolbar. Insert a Rollover Caption 1. Add a hint caption and click OK.Page 8 of 11 Figure 8 7. Click on the Insert menu and choose Standard Objects 2. You can also add captions to the button that give instructions about the button. See Figure 9. The button and the hint caption will now appear on the slide. A highlight box that goes with the caption will appear. Wherever the highlight box is placed will activate the rollover caption. 8. Remember that the hint caption will only appear when your mouse is over the button on the finished product. 4. which may be resized. Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . 5. This is the rollover area. Click OK. the caption will 2. Select Rollover Caption. 3. Click Preview to test the interactivity in your project. Figure 9 * Note: The highlight box was placed around the animations toolbar.

 Saving Your File Let’s assume you have been saving your file this whole time (you have. you can delete frames by clicking on the frame and pressing the Delete key on your keyboard. You can also rearrange frames by dragging them around in the menu on the left. Click Audio from the top menu bar and select Record. Highlights include:  Flash (. A Record Audio window will appear. To import a sound file that has been pre-recorded.Page 9 of 11 Insert Audio 1. Choose a frame in which you wish to add audio. The Publish function takes care of that and will guide you through each step. See Figure 10. Figure 10 Other Options A few other things you can do in Captivate that might be useful. 2. but is not the file you will distribute to viewers. Click Record to record narration to this frame. select Audio from the top menu bar. right?). the slide displays both before and after.cp) which is perfect for picking up where you left off while creating your presentation. Captivate will also create the HTML web page with the presentation already embedded and will zip the two together for you. 1.ppt file and then use Captivate to create a more web-friendly version with narrations and such. See Figure 11.swf) – This is the best choice most of the time and the clear choice for distributing your project on the Internet. This gives the audio a little “visual padding”. This is necessary to Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . What you have been saving is a Captivate file (.  Deleting and Rearranging Frames – If there is any part of your project that you don’t want in the finished product (say moving a dialog into view). Just choose a format to get its particular options. *Note: Don’t forget to adjust the duration and position of the slide components so that when the audio plays. Just make sure that your project still makes sense when you do this. then choose Import. Import PowerPoint Files – You can import a . These are generally preferred to the HTML export option in PowerPoint.

5. Just upload as a package and choose the html file as the entry point.Page 10 of 11 use the files directly in Blackboard. Locate a destination to save your movie file. I find this one most useful as a backup for you and less as a distribution method. Word – The Word option is a way to look at the contents of the project away from computer.  Standalone– Standalone presents you with three options (Executable. This is a good option for distributing on a CD. Linux Projector or Macintosh Projector). Enter a project title. but requires you export all three versions if you want everyone to be able to watch. which turns your project into programs that can be run just by double clicking. Make additional settings with the Preferences… button. 1. Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . Choose a format. Figure 11  2. 6. It exports each frame as an image and adds the frame notes (added manually using the Frame Properties dialog). If desired. choose additional output options. 3. Click Publish. 4.

Select Browse. then right-click on the Link option. follow the steps below.Page 11 of 11 Uploading a Captivate Presentation to JMUtube and Blackboard Your project can now be uploaded and delivered from any You may also want to add a description of the presentation in the Text field. You also have the option of checking out a portable recording studio from either the East Campus Library (ECL). Find your presentation in the list. 12. find the zipped file on the computer. For more information about recording online presentations. then log into JMUtube using your JMU e-id and password. or the Dean’s office in Zane-Showker. Center for Instructional Technology ♦ Carrier Library (87061) & East Campus Library (84836) a Division of Libraries and Educational Technologies . then right-click and Paste the link into the URL field. Facilities Adobe Captivate is available at JMU in several different ways. In JMUtube. There is also a recording studio in the Center for Instructional Technology’s East Campus Library (ECL) or by calling 540-568-6578 or Joshua Mathews-Ailsworth at ailswojl@jmu. 10. Make sure you made use of the Zip option when publishing your project in Captivate and then do the following. 1. you can contact: Jamie Calcagno-Roach at calcagjm@jmu. 2. When you are ready to post the project to Blackboard after uploading it to JMUtube. 9. Click Submit. Using JMUtube to post the presentation on Blackboard is a great choice for delivering your project as or by calling 540-568-4840. 11.cit. 4. Click Submit. 7. 8. 5.jmu. 3. Enter the Name. select the Presentations tab. In the Center for Instructional Technology’s Carrier Library location there is a mini recording studio with everything you need to make a Captivate project including a high-quality video camera and microphone in a sound controlled environment. select Add External Link in any content area from the Control Panel. In Blackboard. Click the Sign In button. then select Open. The first step is to upload the project to JMUtube. 6. Select the Upload tab. Go to the following web address: http://jmutube. Select the Copy Shortcut or Copy Link option.

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