Adobe Captivate Tips for Success

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1 Adobe Captivate Tips for Success Before you begin editing your Captivate project, make sure you create a back up copy of your.cp file in case you delete something you need later. 1 Before You Record Your Movie: Environment and Settings Desktop: If you plan to create a movie project that will display your background, set it to a solid color instead of a picture or pattern. Place most icons into a folder. Do This Not This Turn off your instant messenger programs. You don t want a message popping up in the middle of your movie. File > Exit or Right click on icon in system tray and choose Exit Close any extra applications that are not involved in your movie project. Be especially sure to close any applications that might pop up such as GroupWise Notify or a timekeeper program. To exit GroupWise Notify: right click on icon in system tray and choose Exit

2 Use a Windows Classic color scheme with no gradients in active title bar Right click on your desktop and choose Properties 2. Click on the Appearance tab 3. Click on the Advanced button 4. Choose Active Title Bar from the list of items or click on the Active Window title bar in the image. 5. Change color 2 to be the same as color 1 to achieve no gradient in active title bar 1 This theme choice will reduce the final project file size and prevent banding when you set a slide properties to standard instead of high quality. This theme would not be an appropriate choice if your tutorial was about using Windows XP.

3 Browser Display: If your project involves a web application or web site, you might want to turn off extra toolbars in your web browser. Here I am choosing to display only the main menu bar in Internet Explorer 6. 3 In IE6, go to View > Toolbars and uncheck items. I also choose to not display the Status Bar in my browser for captivate projects. Full Motion Recording: I recommend not recording full motion unless it is required to demonstrate a concept. For instance, if you are just scrolling down a web page, it does not contribute to the content you are conveying. I take a screen shot just before I scroll with a manually inserted caption near the scroll bar that says scroll down. If they would be scrolling down a long page or list of items, I might include an intermediate shot and insert a caption that says keep scrolling. A single full motion slide when converted to Flash will create 30 screen shot slides for every second of recording. To make it the default to NOT record full motion, go to Edit > Preferences from your main Captivate window. Under Recording > Full Motion Recording, uncheck all boxes. Choose 16 bit video color mode although it probably doesn t matter if you are not using full motion recording.

4 Slide Properties Slide Quality: Unless the slide has a photographic image, edit the slide properties and change the quality from high to standard. This will reduce the file size of your final Flash swf file that you plan to share online. Click on the Slide Properties button or right click on a slide under the Edit tab and choose Properties or press Shift Ctrl D or click on the slide in storyboard view and choose Properties 4 Change the quality to Standard Accessibility: If you will not be recording narration for this project, then include the slide notes and caption text under the Accessibility button on Slide Properties. You can edit this text. When you are done, click on OK. Slide Naming: While you are editing Slide Properties, you might also want to give each slide a meaningful label, especially if you think you might add branching or navigation from one slide to another (instead of the person viewing the slides sequentially)

5 Add an Image Whiteout: Sometimes you will want to obscure some portion of a screen in your project. For instance a list of file or folder names or a student name or id number 5 1. Using an image program, create a small image file. To obscure file names or the like, I use a small solid white image (I prefer to save it as a png file although gif also works). To obscure id numbers or names, I create a small image file with a fake name or fake number series or with a string of xxx s. 2. Insert > Image you will see a list of files. Navigate to the file you created, select it, and click on Open. 3. You will then see: Click on OK.

6 Your image will appear on the screen, roughly in the middle of the slide. You can reposition it and resize it to hide the unwanted material: 6 Right click on the image and choose Merge into Background (or press Ctrl M). You will get a warning: If you are confident that you have sized and positioned the image correctly, click on Yes. By making an image part of the background, you will reduce the final Flash file size. If you choose not to do this, you should edit the image s properties to appear for the entire slide. Double click on the image or right click and choose Properties: Change the timing to rest of slide and make sure it appears after 0 seconds. Captions Font Choices: Verdana 11pt or 12pt was recommended by one Captivate trainer, Kevin Siegel. I recommend a sans serif font such as Verdana or Arial and at least 12 points. Check Spelling: select the slide and then choose Project > Check Spelling (or press F7). It will display words that it cannot find in the dictionary and give you some suggestions and the opportunity to make a correction.

7 Other ways to reduce Flash movie file size Your goal is to keep your published Flash movies to less than 10M. 7 Delete unwanted slides. Keep the total number of slides as low as possible. Sometimes the same slide will be repeated perhaps you had manually taken an extra screen shot for insurance or some action triggered an extra screen shot. Other times, you can combine objects onto a single slide and extend its playing time deleting one of the slides will reduce the final movie size. To delete a slide, click on it under the Storyboard tab or the Edit tab and press the Delete key on your keyboard. Delete Full Motion Slides. If you forgot to turn off full motion recording, delete any slides that include full motion if it does not contribute to your content. These slides can be easily detected in the Storyboard tab with a movie camera icon in the lower right corner. Delete unwanted objects on a slide. If there are extra captions generated that you are not interested in keeping, delete them. Delete unused items from the Library. As you delete slides or merge images into the background, those items remain in your Captive Project Library. These unused items can be brought back into your project so do not perform the steps listed below until you are close to finishing the tutorial movie. 1. View > Show Library (make sure it is checked library pane now visible on right). 2. On the Library toolbar, click on Select Unused Items button All items that have a zero in the Use Count column are now selected. 3. Press the Delete key on your keyboard or click on the Delete button (trashcan)

8 Reduce the Recording Area. The larger the screen area that you record, the larger your final movie will be (more pixels = more data = bigger file). Consider recording at 800x600pixels if your content will fit there. Definitely do not record full screen. 8 Be Careful with Imported Media: Inserting large images and PowerPoint slides with gradients or a large color depth will increase your movie size. Inserting any type of animation into a Captivate project will increase your movie size. Audio Settings: Recording narration or inserting music will increase your file size considerably. However, several professional instructional designers recommend presenting the content with narration to improve learning. See if setting your Audio Options to FM Radio bitrate (64 kbps) or Medium creates an acceptable file when published to Flash. Go to Edit > Preferences Click on the Settings button. The settings listed below might work well for narration:

9 In an open project file, go to Edit > Preferences. Click on Project (or Settings under Project): 9 Uncheck Publish Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro metadata if it is checked. This item is for integration with Adobe Connect, not used at WVU. You can choose to decrease the JPEG image quality from 100% to a lower number such as 50% if your slides have photographic images. For slides that have a background color (e.g. text on a blank slide): choosing a bright background color will increase the file size. More Tips:

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