PowerPoint-Based eLearning Tools – Part 1: iSpring Suite 9

This is Part 1 of a 3-part analysis of three PowerPoint-based eLearning tools: iSpring Suite 9, Adobe Presenter 11, and Articulate Studio 360. As an independent consultant, I have the pleasure of owning all three of these tools and have used all of them at one time or another for client projects. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

What Opportunities are there for Instructional Designers  &  Developers?

What Opportunities are Available?

In the context of writing this article, I am focusing on the Irish & UK employment market.

Training is now recognised as not only needed in all industries but in some countries, it is mandatory to provide quality training to your employees.  It is also vital that you provide training that can be accessed by all employees, including employees that may have accessibility impairments such as vision, hearing or motor skills.

In Ireland and the UK, we have a shortage of Instructional Designers, Developers and Trainers to meet demand.  This is good news if you want to follow a carer path in this industry.  So what’s involved in starting a career in this sector?  First, you need to identify what role you wish to take, designer, developer or trainer?  Remember that you can add to your skill set along the way. Next is to decide how you will start your learning path.

Getting your Tuition paid for by the Government

Great news for student s in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK is that the government now subsides college fees for both the unemployed (mature students full tuition paid) and for people currently working in any sector (90% of the college fees are paid).  SO there has never been a better time to start in the learning and training sector or to start to upskill and eventually move to this sector.

Also if you’re a stay at home mom or dad, that has been out of the workforce for a number of years you can return to college for free, regardless of your partner’s income levels.

Your local college or employment centre will have all of the details for the courses and services available.

Who does what?

Many designers don’t develop eLearning and the opposite is also true for developers.  That said you may be required to design, develop and roll out the training for smaller companies and you may be the only person on board. But over time it is best to have a firm knowledge of all the areas of eLearning as either way you will have to deal with stakeholders within the company or organisation.

What skills are useful when entering the eLearning industry:

There are many skills that are useful, but I feel these are the most important ones:

  • Being a creative person (a must have)
  • A passion for helping others to learn (a must have)
  • Knowledge of how students, employees and adults learn
  • Knowledge of following theories and models:
    • Situated Cognition Theory
    • Sociocultural Learning Theory
    • The ADDIE Model
    • Merrill’s Principles Of Instruction
    • Individualized Instruction
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy Of Learning Objectives
    • The SAM Model
  • Knowledge of eLearning authoring tools such as Captivate
  • Knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and other Adobe products
  • Knowledge of a Learner Management System (LMS)

It’s worth noting that all the relevant skills can be acquired through study apart from the passion to help others, you are either born with this or you’re not.

When you enter this sector you do not need to have experience of any particular employment sector such as catering, customer service, etc, you will get all the information of how the company or organisation operates and what their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) are and how these are enforced or used with the various departments.  You will most likely have access to Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) within the company.

If you are starting off in this career, you might find it best to undertake a short course at night school or do a course on Udemy or Lynda.com or LinkedIn.  Linked in is great for getting started with some very excellent courses from Dr. Pooja Jaisingh , where she will take you through all the basics and advanced modes of Captivate.

A word of caution to anyone that intends on becoming a self-employed designer/developer, please keep in mind that it can be a very solitary role where you work for long periods on your own and without the company of others.  This is fine for many, but you may find that it can get a little depressing, I worked from home for five years and then moved into an enterprise incubator service where I have my own space, but also have the pleasure of being around other creators every day.

This is just an introduction to the opportunities that are available, if you would like me to create a more in-depth article then please let me know.

I hope you enjoy this short post and that it helps you in your career.

The post What Opportunities are there for Instructional Designers  &  Developers? appeared first on eLearning.

Jeopardy Widget in Captivate 2017

I am creating a module in Captivate 2017 that includes a jeopardy game. However, when I upload the module to Brightspace LMS (aka D2L) the jeopardy game does not work. Could you please tell me if there is a special way to publish the module so that this game widget works? Everything else is working fine. To publish, I am choosing  Other Standard LMSs and Scorm 1.2.
Thanks for your help with this.


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Responsive Captivate template or ideas?

Hi all, newbie here.  Lots of great discussions on this site and sooo many talented folks!  Maybe someone can help me with a responsive elearning template I’m trying to create.  What I would like to create is a responsive layout that includes a table of contents that can be shown/not shown on the click of a button, that is also conducive to non-embedded streaming video (not using Adobe streaming server, we have our own).  I’ve been working with the fluid boxes but can’t work out how to make the box that contains the TOC optional.

Thanks in advance!

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Using Shortcut Keys to Increase Your Productivity

Shortcut keys provide an easier and quicker way to navigate and use Adobe Captivate. They let you use keyboard key combinations instead of a mouse or program menu. The common shortcut keys are listed in the table.  It’s amazing just how much time you can save when you know the shortcut keys to use when using Captivate

Here is a full list of all the shortcut keys available for Captivate.  There are certain ones that you will use over and over and some that you will only use in a while, you decide which ones to learn and use to increase your productivity.

Shortcut key Action
F1 (Win & Mac) Open Adobe Captivate Help (To access dialog-box-level help, click the Help button on individual dialogue boxes.)
F2 (Win & Mac) Rename the selected object
F3 (Win & Mac) Test view the current slide
F4 (Win & Mac) Preview the project
F5 (Win & Mac) Record audio
F6 (Win & Mac) Import audio
F7 (Win & Mac) Perform a spelling and grammar check
F8 (Win only) Preview the project from current slide
F9 (Win only) Show the Advanced Interaction panel
F10 (Win only) Preview the current slide and the following “N” slides
F11 (Win), Command+F11 (Mac) Preview the project in a web browser (HTML)
F12 (Win), Command+F12 (Mac) Preview the project in a web browser (SWF)
Page Up (win & Mac) Scroll to the previous slide
Page Down (win & Mac) Scroll to the next slide
Alt+A (Win), Option+A (Mac) Create a question pool
Alt+Up, Down, Left, Right Arrows (Win), Option+Up, Down, Left, Right Arrows Click the object, click a resize handle, and use these options to resize the object in the selected direction by 1 pixel
Control+A (Win), Command+A (Mac) Select all
Control+B (Win), Command+B (Mac) Find audio in the Library/Change text to Bold
Control+C (Win), Command+C (Mac) Copy (slide in Filmstrip, and selected object on stage)
Control+D (Win) Duplicate (slide in Filmstrip, and selected object on stage)
Control+E (Win), Command+E (Mac) Extend the length of the object display time to the end of the slide on the Timeline
Control+F (Win), Command+F (Mac) Find/replace a particular object in the Project Library
Control+I (Win), Command+I (Mac) Increase the indent (selected object on stage)/Change text to Italics. Indentation is equal to the grid size.
Control+L (Win), Command+L (Mac) Sync the selected object to the playhead
Control+M (Win), Command+M (Mac) Merge the selected object with the background
Control+N (Win), Command+N (Mac) Open new project
Control+O (Win), Command+S (Mac) Open the project
Control+Q (Win), Shift+Option+R (Mac) Insert a random question slide
Control+R (Win), Command + R (Mac) Start/record new capture project
Control+S (Win), Command+S (Mac) Save
Control+T (Win), Command+T(Mac) Open project template
Control+U (Win) Underline the selected text
Control+V (Win), Command+V (Mac) Paste what is on the clipboard (for example, slide, image, object, and so on)
Control+W (Win), Command+W (Mac) Close the project
Control+X (Win), Command+X (Mac) Cut (selected object on stage)
Control+Y (Win), Command+Y (Mac) Redo
Control+Z (Win), Command+Z (Mac) Undo
Control+Enter (Win), Conmmand+Enter (Mac) Preview the project
Control+Alt+A (Win), Command+Option+A (Mac) Export PowerPoint slides as animation
Control+Alt+B (Win), Command+Option+B (Mac) Show or hide Filmstrip
Control+Alt+C (Win), Command+Option+C (Mac) Show the Closed Captioning dialog box
Control+Alt+D (Win), Shift+Option+D (Mac) Update the Library
Control+Alt+E (Win), Command+Option+E (Mac) Edit points of polygon drawing object
Control+Alt+F (Win), Command+Option+F (Mac) Find in the Library
Control+Alt+G (win), Command+Option+G (Mac) Create a slide group and autoadjust the rollover area
Control+Alt+H (Win), Command+Option+H (Mac) Hide the selected object
Control+Alt+I (Win), Command+Options+I (Mac) Find PowerPoint slides in the Library
Control+Alt+J (Win), Command+Option+J (Mac) Edit PowerPoint slides
Control+Alt+K (Win), Command+Option+K (Mac) Lock the selected object
Control+Alt+L (Win), Command+Option+L (Mac) Show or hide the Library
Control+Alt+M (Win), Command+Option+M (Mac) Insert master slide
Control+Alt+N (Win), Command+Option+N (Mac) Show slide notes
Control+Alt+O (Win), Command+Option+O (Mac) Record additional slides
Control+Alt+P (Win), Command+Option+P (Mac) Remove a slide group.
Control+Alt+Q (Win), Option+Shift+Q (Mac) Show the Question Pools Manager
Control+Alt+S (Win only) Edit PowerPoint slide
Control+Alt+T (Win), Command+Option+T (Mac) Show or hide the Timeline
Control+Alt+U (Win), Command+Option+U (Mac) Library usage
Control+Alt+V (Win), Command+Option+V (Mac) Import video file
Control+Alt+X (Win), Command+Options X (Mac) Show/hide the SWF-Commenting pane
Control+Alt+Z (Win), Command+Option+Z (Mac) Show/hide the Widget panel
Shift+F7 (Win & Mac) Show objects style manager
Shift+F8 (Win), Command + , (Mac) Preferences dialog box
Shift+F9 (Win), Shift+Command+F9 (Mac) Actions dialog box
Shift+F10 (Win), Shift+Command+F10 (Mac) Table of contents
Shift+F11 (Win), Shift+ Command+F11 (Mac) Skin Editor panel
Shift+F12 (Win), Shift+Option+F12 (Mac) Publish the file
Shift+A (Win & Mac) Insert Animation placeholder
Shift+F (Win & Mac) Insert Flash video placeholder
Shift+R (Win & Mac) Insert rollover caption placeholder
Shift+O (Win & Mac) Insert rollover image placeholder
Shift+C (Win & Mac) Insert Text Caption placeholder
Shift+V (Win & Mac) Insert video place holder
Shift+M (Win & Mac) Insert Image placeholder
Shift+Q (Win), Option + Q (Mac) Insert Question slide placeholder
Shift+X (Win & Mac) Insert Text Animation placeholder
Shift+Alt+A (Win), Shift+Option+A (Mac) Show Audio Management panel
Shift+Alt+W (Win), Shift+Option+W (Mac) Close all the open projects
Shift+Alt+O (Win), Shift+Option+O (Mac) Insert recording slide placeholder
Shift+Alt+P (Win), Shift+Option+P (Mac) Import Photoshop file
Shift+Alt+S (Win), Shift+Option+A (Mac) Show Speech Management panel
Shift+Alt+V (Win), Shift+Option+V (Mac) Paste as Background
Shift+Alt+Up, Down, Left, Right Arrows (Win), Shift+Option+Up, Down, Left, Right Arrows Click the object, click a resize handle, and use these options to resize the object in the selected direction by 10 pixel
Shift+Control+A (Win), Shift+ Command+A (Mac) Add an animation object
Shift+Control+B (Win), Shift+Command+B (Mac) Add a new button
Shift+Control+C (Win), Shift+ Control+C (Mac) Add a new text caption
Shift+Control+D (Win), Command+Shift+D (Mac) View slide properties
Shift+Control+E (Win), Shift+Command+E (Mac) Insert a new zoom area
Shift+Control+F (Win), Shift+Command+F (Mac) Insert an FLV file
Shift+Control+H (Win), Shift+Command+H (Mac) Hide/show slide
Shift+Control+I (Win), Shift+Command+I (Mac) Decrease the indent
Shift+Control+J (win), Shift+Command+J (Mac) Insert a blank slide
Shift+Control+K (Win), Shift+Command+K (Mac) Add a new click box
Shift+Control+L (Win), Shift+Command+L (Mac) Insert a highlight box
Shift+Control+M (Win), Shift+Command+M (Mac) Add a new image
Shift+Control+N (Win), Shift+Command+N (Mac) Add a new animation slide
Shift+Control+O (Win), Shift+Command+O (Mac) Add a new rollover image
Shift+Control+P (Win), Shift+Command+P (Mac) Import PPT
Shift+Control+Q (Win), Shift+Q (Mac) Insert a question slide
Shift+Control+R (Win), Shift+Command+R (Mac) Insert a rollover caption
Shift+Control+S (Win), Shift+Command+S (Mac) Save the project with different name
Shift+Control+T (Win), Shift+Command+T (Mac) Insert a text entry box
Shift+Control+U (Win), Shift+Command+U (Mac) Insert the mouse
Shift+Control+W (Win), Shift+Command+W (Mac) Insert a widget
Shift+Control+X (Win), Shift+Command+X (Mac) Insert a text animation
Shift+Control+Y (Win), Shift+Command+Y (Mac) Copy the background
Shift+Control+Z (Win), Shift+Command+Z (Mac) Insert Slidelet
Shift + Control + Alt + B (Win), Shift+Command+Option+B (Mac) Show Branching View
Shift+Control+Alt+S (Win), Shift+Command+Option+S (Mac) Insert an image slide
Shift+Control+Alt+E (Win), Shift+Command+Option+E (Mac) Show/Hide effects panel
Shift+Control+V (Win), Shift+Command+V (Mac) Insert stencil slides
Shift+Control+G (Win), Shift +Command+G (Mac) Edit gradient

Magnification shortcuts

Shortcut key Magnification level
Control+1 (Win), Command + 1 (Mac) 100%
Control+2 (Win), Command + 2 (Mac) 200%
Control+3(Win), Command + 3 (Mac) 300%
Control+4 (Win), Command + 4 (Mac) 400%
Control+ – (Win), Command + – (Mac) Zoom out
Control++ (Win), Command + + (Mac) Zoom in
Control + 0 (win), Command + 0 (Mac) Best Fit Zoom / Center Align Workspace

Shortcut keys for recording

The following table lists the default shortcut keys used during recording. These shortcuts should be used only after you start the recording process. The same keys function differently when you are editing a project.

Shortcut key Action
Control+R (Win), Command + R (Mac) Start/record new capture project
Control+Alt+O (Win), Command+Option+O (Mac) Record additional slides
End (Win), Command+Enter (Mac) Stop recording
Delete (Win & Mac) Delete the current selection
Pause (Win), Command+F2 (Mac) Pause or resume recording
Print Screen (Win), Command +F6 (Mac) Capture a screenshot manually
F4 (Win & Mac) Preview project
F3 (Win & Mac) Preview single slide
F2 (Win & Mac) Edit caption text
F12 (Win & Mac) Preview project in the browser
F4 (Win), Command+F4 (Mac) Auto panning
F3 (Win), Command+F3(Mac) Manual panning
F7 (Win), Command+F7(Mac) Stop panning
F9 (Win), Command+F9 (Mac) Start Full Motion Recording
F10 (Win), Command+F10 (Mac) Stop Full Motion Recording
F11 (Win), Command+F11 (Mac) Snap recording window to mouse
F12 (Win), Command+F12 (Mac) Toggle mouse capture

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Using The Alignment Panel in Captivate

I really appreciate the align options in Captivate.

Have you ever wondered how some designers get all their objects lined up nicely?  The answer is the alignment settings in Captivate.  With the alignment settings you can do the following:

  • Align objects to Top, Bottom, Left and Right.
  • Align many objects at the same time.
  • Space objects evenly both vertically and horizontally.
  • Resize to the same height
  • Resize to the same width
  • Resize to same height and width
  • Make all objects the same size

This is another major time saver for you as a designer/developer as it will take away all the frustration that you encounter when you are trying to align objects on the stage. Try playing around with this and see what it can do for you?

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Issues concerning text alignment and formatting in Quizzes


I’ve been reviewing Adobe Captivate as a learning content development tool for the company I work in. I’ve used Adobe Captivate (2019 release), the Trail version. This the issues I face when I create quizzes using Captivate:

  1. The radio buttons / check boxes for Multiple Choice/Multiple Response quizzes can’t be aligned with their corresponding texts. The overall aspect of the resulting quiz is untidy and would not pass client validation in an actual e-learning project. I can’t find any formatting or design editing commands which can help me solve this alignment problem.
  2. In the Result Slide, even if I use the default format, with no altering whatsoever, after publishing the project, the text in the left column (variables) is offset from the text in the right column (values).
  3. The icons for correct (green) / incorrect (red) which are displayed next to the radio buttons / check boxes during the Quiz Review are not aligned with their corresponding answers. The resulting feedback is hard to understand for the trainee and thus not useful.
  4. During the Quiz Review, in the case of hotspot quizzes, the green check box indicating the correct answer is positioned in the centre of the hit area. Would it be possible to place this particular icon in another position in the hit area so that it doesn’t cover important text displayed there?

Could you please indicate any solutions for the issues presented above? We need to chose a content development tool for our next e-learning project and your advice could help us decide if Captivate is the product we should go for.

Looking forward to you answer,


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