PowerPoint to Captivate

I needed to convert my 65 page PowerPoint to into captivate.  I found it was a very challenging task because it simply imported every slide as a flat image with no independent objects to manipulate (like text boxes, images,etc.)

So I did some research and found that Storyline 360 converts the slides into their program and retains the independence of the objects.  Great!  Woo hoo!  Win for team Todd!!!  Well no…  I had to learn a new application, and finesse the objects translated back into the right places.  Shrink text, images, color updates, etc.  So it was a ton of work this way too.  Although Storyline does give you a better start in my opinion.

Then I had an idea!  What if I copy and paste the text from PowerPoint into a text box in Captivate.

IMPORTANT! Never just copy the full text box from PowerPoint or it will paste as an image of text and not the actual text.

Once over in Captivate you can format the text how you like and save as a style for repeated use.  Then you can also convert objects from PowerPoint that I don’t want to create from scratch in captivate by saving the object as an image from PowerPoint.   (in PowerPoint you right click the object you want to convert into a image and select save as image).

Then I set up styles along the way and began to convert the PowerPoint manually page by page into Captivate.  Well this workflow worked really good.  It was better than simply plastering a static images of all my slides into captivate and definitely less time than trying to learn a new tool and finesse their conversion of PowerPoint.

So in 1 day I was able to convert a 65 page PowerPoint into an interactive Captivate project by taking the time to manually handle each slide.  After a little time, you start to reuse your captivate slides and then it makes things even faster!

Once I got the assets over from PowerPoint to Captivate, I was able to add interactivity, use advanced scripts, etc.  so now my PowerPoint is a fully interactive and easily manageable captivate project.

This is just my 2 cents on how I approached this task.  Thought I would share :=)  In case this helps others who are considering how to approach this task.

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Captivate and xAPI

eLearning brothers has been hosting an event and last week was all about xAPI.  They had a great course on Captivate and xAPI.  It would be great to see Captivate make adding custom xAPI statements easier.  I’ve been experimenting with creation, upload to ScormCloud and evaluating the xAPI statements but the ability to get things right into an LRS with analytics capabilities would be great.  I realize Captivate is for creation and the analytics are for me to figure out but xAPI is so powerful and I’d like to see Captivate embrace it more.  Anyone else?

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Should You Work for Less Than Your Normal Fee?

I recently saw an article on LinkedIn by a fellow instructional designer Ralonda Simmons. She posed the question to the community about whether we should work for free when we start in the learning and design industry. I guess I’m not surprised that organisations are doing this, but I’ve also had time to reflect on this discussion, and I thought I would share my thoughts here as well.

When I was starting as a freelance elearning designer, developer, I would get requests from what I thought were potential clients asking for me to work for less or even in some cases work for free. They argued that the experience I would gain from the project they wanted me to work on would be valuable when seeking other work in the future. Another tactic I’ve run into is the false promise of additional future work for the organisation. For example, if I reduce my usual rates, it could lead to more profitable work after the project concludes.

Upon further reflection though, I realised it isn’t so cut and dry. The best example in my world is my YouTube channel. I think that some people assume that because there are so many YouTube millionaires that I must be doing well from the ad revenue from my Adobe Captivate YouTube tutorials. I decided to work out what ad revenue I receive from my videos. I’m sorry to report that it’s about $12 per video for the entire lifetime of my YouTube channel. I typically spend anywhere from an hour to about three hours creating these videos.

I also speak at the Adobe conferences each year. Adobe is very generous in that they pay my expenses to speak at the conference. However, my business isn’t earning while I’m away for these events.

While it doesn’t cost me to speak at a conference or cost me very much to make a YouTube video, the return on the investment is from the influx of potential clients I get from these activities. For example, one of the most significant projects I worked on last year came from a stakeholder watching one of my videos on YouTube. They told me later on that seeing my videos was what convinced them to reach out to me and eventually hire me for a job that represented about 50% of my earnings last year.

So my advice when someone asks me if they should consider working for less than their standard rate, think what the return on investment might be. I enjoy coming to conferences and making my YouTube videos. I probably wouldn’t do these activities if I didn’t enjoy the creative process. I could say with confidence that I wouldn’t be earning as much in other areas of my business if I didn’t do these activities. That said, don’t get sucked into the belief that the experience you gain working for free will be worth it, but consider how you can turn something you love to do into a way to earn some extra income.

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My impressions of fluid boxes.

After working on a little project created with fluid boxes I want to share some impressions and maybe present some problems. Correct me if I’m wrong anywhere in my descriptions.

I’m not going to complain about the problems, but just mention what lowered the overall good impression of this approach.


The first thing that I don’t quite understand the purpose of is the inability to use grouped objects or to place png or jpg files on top of each other within a fluid box. I wonder if this is a conscious approach of the programming team or is it just an unsolved issue. This way or another, it limits the usefulness of fluid boxes a lot. For example, imagine I want to have a tank and a target marker in one of the fluid boxes. (If you are curious what kind of e-learning it is, I’m answering: teaching English Vocabulary for military personnel)

In a non-fluid box environment, it is very easy to achieve. I just drag two pngs from the project library and place one on top of another. But with fluid boxes, the only workaround I found is to go to a photoshop and make it one picture. Not a big deal, but if you have, say, 50 pictures it becomes a bit time consuming, and gets you out of a project for a while.  Probably nobody can help me much in this case.


My idea was to use state objects to give the learners feedback after they answer a question. I wanted to make it more lively and inserted an object on custom states and animated  them (ones state as correct one as incorrect).   I wanted to use an advanced action to trigger the desired state (correct or incorrect) but if you insert anything on a state object, it automatically becomes unattached from the fluid box. So it works, but not within a fluid box What a pity !


One of my favorite tricks while using text entry boxes is to apply the system variable cpCmdGoToFrame (going a few frames backward) to clear the text entry box without the necessity of reentering it. This way, as described in a few blogs here on this forum and elsewhere, you can give a user a chance to have a few attempts without leaving the slide. I found out that it doesn’t work in fluid boxes. The only workaround I found is to give feedback on another slide and return to the target slide again. But it is not so smooth as jumping from frame to frame.

So that’s what I think the missing features are. I hope someone will say, ‘hey, I checked this problem and it works on my computer’.  At least it will give me an incentive to start to investigate the proper solution.

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Responsive Project: Why does image get small and text stay large on devices?

Question re Image and Text Size

Can someone help me figure this out please? I have the text caption and image looking good on desktop, but when I switch to a device, like an iPhone 6, the text doesn’t adjust down (so it’s too large) and the image becomes very small.

I am using V2019 (11.01.266) in a responsive project and with fluid boxes. (I made the fluid box with the image STATIC because I have a click box laying on top of it.)

Thank you …


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[Free Webinar]How To Enhance Your Corporate Training With Next Gen Gamification Solutions – Register Today!

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Unable to Install Captivate 2017 – 64 bit

Dear Users,

When I try to install Captivate 2017 – 64 bit in my machine, the setup file runs up to 3% and then stops. It doesnt throw any error messages or alerts but it keeps buffering at 3% with the installation time increasing a minute.

I am using Windows 10 Enterprise Edition. In addition, I am not connected to any client network and my firewall is turned off.

Any suggestions or ideas would be highly appreciated.



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Learning Thursday #5: Overcome Your Blended Learning Phobia

Learning Thursday is a blog series that features a new L&D article every other week along with discussion points.  Read and then share your own ideas by commenting below!  Check out the last Learning Thursday here.

I wrote this week’s article for InSync Training’s “50 Modern Blended Learning Blogs” series.  The discussion questions are: What is the biggest hurdle you’ve faced when implementing blended learning?  How did you rise to the challenge?

Blended learning programs can be a beautiful thing. Need to cover a global workforce? Use virtual classrooms to engage learners everywhere. Can’t get employees to leave their desks? Bring learning opportunities to their desks in the form of short videos, quick reference guides, and fun simulations. Mix learning content together to create interactive training programs.

But wait, you say, it’s not that easy. My organization has expectations. 

Your organization may expect learning to take place in person. In their opinion, if there isn’t a person in front of the classroom, teaching with an apple on their desk, it’s not “real” training. Sometimes the perception comes from your learners – other times it’s from your leaders. Either way, it will take time to change your organization’s collective mindset.

You may ask, “Why would you go to the trouble of moving to blended learning?” Because it helps the learner retain the training. It helps you serve your workforce efficiently. And, it helps your organization reach an increasingly tech savvy employee base that expects learning to be as easy to access as Google.

Become the training equivalent of Google. Give your learners options, and they will take advantage of those options.

Start small. If you encounter resistance from the top, don’t start there. Start at the bottom, with one little group of learners.

Converting your learning program is a major change. Resistance to change is driven by fear – often fear of failure, or fear of the unknown. To ensure your organization accepts blended learning, address both fears up front by trying out your program ideas on a small group of learners. Get their feedback and incorporate it into the program. If a course element isn’t effective according to your learners, ask why. Refine instead of removing. Tweak instead of making sweeping changes.

Know that one round of revisions will not be enough. Like any training product, a blended learning campaign is a work in progress.

What happens if something doesn’t work? You take it out. You try something else. Don’t give up.

Like any part of training, blended learning programs require a willingness to add, delete, and refine. Edit before you roll your program. Collect feedback from learners. Refine more.

Is your current program delivered entirely in the classroom? Look for ways to replace small pieces of classroom content with videos, documents, or simulations. In the beginning, spend as little as possible. Use free or affordable content until you build up your organization’s confidence in blended learning.

Other ways to replace small pieces of classroom content include:

  1. Start with the obvious, the easy, and the accessible. How much do YouTube videos cost? Nothing. Add them to your classroom experiences to give the learner variety. Are there quick reference guides or internal communications you can repurpose into learning? Into the LMS they go. Free compliance training from government agencies make perfect, ready-made material.
  2. Look for the little victories. Include activities where learners do research online or do scavenger hunts around the office, before returning to class to share their findings. Rather than accomplishing it all in the classroom, find ways to deliver content in other ways, before and after class. Look for ways to cut material out of classroom training and replace with other resources.
  3. Add mentoring elements to your learning program. Look for existing resources in your organization – supervisors, SMEs, and experienced employees, especially those seeking a promotion. Look for topics in your program that can be reinforced through coaching and one-on-one interactions. Reward those who teach others by making mentoring a line item on job performance reviews.

Sometimes it isn’t the organization as a whole that fears blended learning. It’s the trainers themselves.

“You’re getting rid of my job!” they scream. “Classroom training is what the learners want!” (If all your organization has ever delivered is classroom training… how would learners know that’s what they prefer over everything else?)

It’s natural to fear change. Blended learning necessitates a change in the trainers’ role. Those who only know classroom training will be required to learn new skills, such as e-learning development, LMS administration, and technical editing. Those on your team who see change as exciting will dance. Those who fear technology will hide. But change is real and necessary. Change happens regardless of whether we ask for it. And the change to blended learning is spreading across the entire learning and development industry.

Duncan Welder IV, Director of Client Services for RISC, Inc., shared a personal experience in Corporate Training Tips & Tricks. It is a great example of the new role of the learning professional in this modern approach:

When I was in grad school, we had to complete a group class project.  (This was for instructional video if that places an age on me.)  We produced a recruiting film for the High School for the Human Sciences, a new magnet school for people with an interest in health care professions.  Again, it was student developed and overseen by a professor, but it rendered a final piece for the school that would have normally been a capital expense if it was something they could have done at all.  It’s not a bad idea to reach out to an educational or instructional technology program nearby and see if they can assist.”

Building the acceptance of change starts with your own team. Introduce your team to blended learning elements, and give them time to embrace it. Give them time to become good at it. Remember that trainers are learners too, and they have to be given time to adapt to new responsibilities. Give them time not just to become competent, but confident. Enthusiastic even. Get the buy-in of your immediate team, and let their love of blended learning motivate change in your organization.

What is the biggest hurdle you’ve faced when implementing blended learning?  How did you rise to the challenge?  Comment below.

Try Adobe’s learning management system, Captivate Prime, for free.  Assembling a blended learning catalog has never been easier!

Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn

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Comparison between “Break point mode” & “Fluid Boxes”

There are mainly two different approaches in making any responsive project. One is “Breakpoint mode” and other is using “Fluid boxes”. And the biggest problem is that we can use ONLY any one feature in our project.

I know Fluid box is the latest feature and everyone use it. But I would like to know Pro and Cons of both features.

Example, “Break point mode” gives us control for mainly there screen sizes(although we can add more), while “Fluid box” gives seamless output for all sized devices.

It would be great if Captivate users give their real-life experience and practically which approach they use(i.e. “Break point mode” or Fluid boxes…)

Kindly share your experience with these two features of Captivate 2019.

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Digitization, individualization and self-determined learning belong together

Digitizing at school is much more than just putting a few computers in the classroom, putting a cell phone, tablet or laptop in each student’s hand, but continuing teaching as before. Digitization is a completely different way of teaching and learning, because when individualization and self-determined learning do not belong together, you don’t use 90% of the benefits of digital technology. In several previous articles (see below) I already discussed how digital education might look like, but instead of seeing the enormous opportunities, I am repeatedly confronted with various prejudices. That’s why I start with the most common and try to refute them as good as possible. The prejudices actually only confirm what digitization is certainly not:

1. Prejudice: The digital classroom is full of electronic devices

Even if no smartboard hangs in front, you can teach digitally. The amount of electronic aids says nothing about how digital the classroom is already. In an emergency, a handful of smartphones, a laptop, and the Internet are enough to produce digital content. Devices are like tools that you have to master, but if they don’t serve, then they have nothing to do in the classroom.

2. Prejudice: The computer replaces real encounters

A major criticism is always that students have no or less real encounters when using the computer. But if that is true, we wouldn’t be able to teach in a classroom anymore. Securely 90% of our teaching is not real, it’s abstract! With digitization we would even have the chance to make more real encounters because individualized digital exercises take less time and are more efficient.

3. Prejudice: The students only sit in front of the screen the entire day

The computer is a tool and not the content. The learners will do exercises on the computer, but most of the time they will spend designing and producing their own exercises. They create, dialogues, texts, audios, videos, texts with gaps, etc., which are only digitized in the last step.

4. Prejudice: Digitization in school is traditional instruction with a computer

Exactly not, the opportunities offered by digitization can only be exploited if we make the teaching individual and self-determined. With traditional teaching we have reached a deadlock: the good students are bored and the weaker ones are overwhelmed.

5. Prejudice: In digitized lessons everyone does what he wants

At first glance, it may be true to see students working in different groups on different projects. It is also desirable for learners to be able to focus in part on their own interests. However, there are always individual goals for each student that the teachers coach, control and review.

Self-determined learning

In alternative learning models such as those of Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner and others, self-determined learning has always been important for school success, therefor it’s nothing new. Today, however, this ability is more important than ever, because we are facing a fundamental change in the world of work: the classic career from a simple employee to a department head to CEO is becoming increasingly rare. The reality today is that companies emerge and disappear, as employees you sometimes work in different companies, sometimes perhaps in two places at the same time, perhaps even as a founder of a start-up. Skills are required where official training is not existing yet, flexibility and creativity are necessary. These qualities don’t fall from the sky, if we don’t promote and develop them at school, today’s students will have difficulty finding their way in the world of work. Of course, there is a need for common standards, such as good expression and comprehension in your own language, numerical comprehension, a basic understanding of countries, cultures and religions, foreign languages, etc. However, learners should gain more and more autonomy to reach those standards. In the future, AI will help students to improve low results and show what they already know well. However, as teachers we won’t run out of work in the future: in addition to our job as a knowledge transmitter, we become a consultant and coach for each individual. We need to know and promote the potential of each student, and hopefully soon assess them individually, let’s prepare learners for a rapidly changing work life!

Individual learning

Individualization isn’t a new topic, since I started my teacher career more than twenty years ago, they already talked about it. But individualization is very difficult to implement in daily school life: It does not mean that you just make a few groups and say, “Well, the fast ones do that, the others finish the exercise and those who have not understood it yet, will come to me”. While this example distinguishes between different abilities, it is not real individualization, this would be true if each child really had a program tailored to his needs. With 20-30 students probably a project of impossibility. Thanks to digitization, we can compile individual programs, evaluate the results automatically and discuss them with the students. Individualization also means more efficient learning: I am convinced that the exercise phases will be decisively shortened because everyone can work on their own weaknesses. The gained time, we can use to allow real encounters, to devote to personal interests or simply to play more again.

This article was first published on LinkedIn under: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digitization-individualization-self-determined-learning-walder/

What do you think? Which prejudices of digital education are you confronted with? I look forward to your comments.

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