Review of Some of the Best Features in Adobe Captivate 2019

Do you recall when Adobe Captivate 2017 was released? It set a new development methodology with it’s Fluid Boxes and the things you could do with multi state objects. Other eLearning tools had to play catch up. Well the newest release of Adobe Captivate 2019 will be leading the way again. I won’t go into all the new features here but allow me to highlight some new aspects of Adobe Captivate 2019 that I think will have a big impact on the eLearning community.

Interactive Video

This feature I think should be the most used if you have video. When I taught eLearning Development, my students knew that video is passive. We called it a sofa technology. When you interact with the learning, that’s a chair technology. Learning is not passive, so I was careful how I used video. Now Captivate can make videos interactive by adding overlays or interactions as well as bookmarks.  Also, if your course has limited bandwidth, you can use videos stored on YouTube. This is helpful for some but not for institutions. Many need to keep their content within their firewalls. To keep their content secure, Captivate 2019 allows you to embed the video within your course.

Figure 1 – Overlay icon outlined when an overlay screen is added

Here is a video tutorial by Paul Wilson on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uNc9Yhg2CE

Webcam and Video Demo

I had recorded most of my lessons on video when I was teaching. I have over 700 videos on all aspects of Mobile Application Development. I’ve used a number of tools over the years – however I stopped using Captivate. When I zoomed in using the computer’s OS zoom tool, Captivate wouldn’t also follow the cursor. However, in Captivate 2019 they have made significant improvements to the recording screen demonstrations. They have also added a web cam feature which is good to help you connect better with the audience. There is also an ingenious way for you to mask out the background – even if you don’t have a green screen. It may not be perfect (yet) but it is a good thing for you to experiment with.

I’ll be looking to using the webcam and video demo feature more as I get back to recording some tutorials.

Figure 2 – Preparing to record the screen and web cam

Paul Wilson’s tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWm7IuMqxyA

Virtual Reality

The power of VR is now in the hands of educators. You no longer need programming skills or third party web services. You can create your own interactive 360 panorama. This feature is also compatible with a variety of goggles including Google Cardboard goggles (less than $20). There are apps that can make a photosphere for you but you may find you get better results when using a 360 degree camera for the recording. What is also very nice is that you can insert several different hotspots and interactions.

This is not a feature that all learning can use, but it is very handy to have at your finger tips. It will be worth your while to invest a little time into learning this feature.

Paul Wilson’s tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBLs6jEmIGc

Live Preview

As you develop your course, you may be interested to see what it looks like on an Android and an iPhone as well as a tablet. In the past that meant publishing the app and uploading it so you can preview it on a mobile device. Now, this whole process has been automated. Basically, you click on the Preview button and select Live Preview on Devices. Captivate will generate a QR Code and display it in the default browser. Use your mobile device to scan the QR code and the device will load up your course to give you a hassle free way of previewing your course.

Figure 4 – QR Code to preview your course

Paul Wilson’s tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6vmrlDEfhQ

PowerPoint to Mobile Learning

PowerPoint is not evil. The way we use it may be evil but don’t blame the tool. Many organizations have a lot of content tied up in PowerPoint. With Captivate 2019 you can not only import your PowerPoint but you can make it responsive. I recorded a video a while back show two ways of doing this.

Blog on PowerPoint to Mobile Learning: https://elearning.adobe.com/2018/08/two-methods-making-powerpoint-mobile-friendly/

Conclusion

This is just a short review of some of the new features of Adobe Captivate 2019. Other new features that have also been added for this release and not covered include:

  • Fluid boxes 2.0
  • Automatic chroma key effects
  • CSV question import template (Comma Separated Values).

I think Adobe has done an excellent job with this update and I’m excited to develop more dynamic learning using some of the newest features of Captivate 2019.

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Adobe Captivate 2019 release

Fluid Boxes – Adobe is Listening!

When Fluid Boxes were launched in Captivate 2017 Release, I was pleased with this approach to responsive design. However, I felt like some aspects needed improvement. For me, the main thing was resizing of Fluid Boxes. Resizing Fluid Boxes was done by using the blue selection handles and dragging your mouse. Even using Rulers and Guides this was a difficult task of precisely setting up Fluid Boxes of an exact size. I’m pleased to report that with Captivate 2019 you can select the Fluid Boxes to resize them to a precise number of pixels or percentage by selecting the Fluid Box and navigating over to your Position panel. From there you can type in a percentage or pixel count, and you’re done. This is useful when you have a Fluid Box that serves the same purpose on many different slides in your project. For example, a Fluid Box dedicated to slide titles or navigation controls.

Another improvement that we’ve been asking for is the ability to correct for misaligned or improperly distributed objects within a fluid box, or for that matter wrongly distributed fluid boxes within a parent fluid box. Adobe has provided a simple button to distribute these object equally. This works well when I’ve resized something by accident.

I think my favourite improvement to fluid boxes in Captivate 2019 is the ability to align Static Fluid Boxes. Regular Fluid Boxes are great when your content is side by side. However, if you need your content to overlap, or require additional state objects, you need a Static Fluid Box. As we now know, Static Fluid Boxes have to maintain their aspect ratio. This means that as you shrink from one screen size to another, the content in a Static Fluid Box always shrinks with it. In Captivate 2017 the Static Fluid Box would always remain centered within the area for that Fluid Box. It wasn’t always what I had in mind with my design. Fortunately, with Captivate 2019 you can now choose a custom alignment for Static fluid boxes. You can align the Static Fluid Box any number of ways both horizontally and vertically.

This next improvement isn’t an improvement to fluid boxes, but I sure could have used it earlier this year when designing a series of modules for a client whose target device was iPads. This organisation doesn’t use computers, but each location has several iPads for a variety of purposes including training. No problem for me because I have an iPad. There was just one problem. Every time I wanted to test a version of one of the modules, I needed to publish it for HTML5, upload the published course to my web server, email myself the URL so I could pick it up on my iPad and then launch the course. With all the iterations of each module and a total of about two dozen modules, this was time-consuming. Thankfully now I will have access to Live Preview on Devices, a new preview method in Captivate 2019 that displays a QR code on your computer screen. With a mobile device on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, you point your camera at your screen, and the course magically launches on your device.

I know that some eLearning designer-developers downplay the importance of responsive design, but look around at some of the remote workers and see what equipment they are using. In the early 2000s when the price of laptops came down, we started seeing remote workers using laptops. For example, you might see appliance repair persons, telecom installers and various others using laptops for managing what was traditionally done with pen, paper and clipboards. I’ve been observing these workers using a variety of different tablets and in some cases even larger smartphones. I’ve also seen a restaurant using tablets for the servers to take guest orders. This tells me that responsive design will be the way we all design some day. I predict that if in 5 years time if you’re not designing responsive elearning, you will not have a competitive edge. When you look at the improvements to fluid boxes in Captivate 2019, it is clear that Adobe is preparing for that eventuality.

New Features for Experiential Learning

As you start to work with the new features in Adobe Captivate 2019, you start to see a theme with many of the features. For me, that theme is experiential learning. Of course, some of you would argue that you cannot have experiential eLearning. eLearning isn’t close enough to real life. While we may not be able to immerse learners entirely in reality, this version of Captivate takes a few big steps toward that direction.

For a few years, I’ve been listening to other Captivate developers talk about virtual reality and the dream to design 3D eLearning. That dream is now a reality with Captivate 2019. You can now create a virtual reality eLearning project that learners can view on their computer screen, mobile device and even using a VR headset. Learners can turn in all directions and view whatever environment you wish to display to them. You can make it truly interactive by adding hotspots to perform a variety of different actions. You can play additional audio, display additional images, show the learner a text passage and much more. I’m very interested in seeing how other developers use this feature. If eLearning was a video game, we’ve just gone from Donkey Kong to World of Warcraft.

VR is cool, and everything but I predict that the breakthrough feature of Adobe Captivate 2019 will be the new Interactive Video feature. An interactive video gives you the ability to design video-based learning interactions for your learners that are truly engaging and immersive.  You can insert bookmarks on the video timeline and jump to those bookmarks from anywhere in your eLearning project. You can also add overlay slides that will hover over the paused video for learners to gain additional information. You can also add question slides as overlays. You can have the outcome of the question determine where you navigate your learners to depending on how they answer. So for example, if the learner gets a question wrong you can navigate to a portion of the video where the video instructor provides remediation to the learner, or alternatively offer praise to the learner for getting the answer correct.

I’m really excited to not only see what other developers will use these features for, but I’m excited to start telling my clients about what we can now do in eLearning that we couldn’t do today. I’d love to hear what your ideas are. Feel free to put your own suggestions in the comments below and please share this article with your fellow eLearning designer-developers.

Virtual Reality Projects

In this video tutorial, I show you the new Virtual Reality Projects in Adobe Captivate 2019.

Interactive Video

In this video tutorial, I show you what I predict will be the standout feature of Adobe Captivate 2019, Interactive Video. I will show you how to add overlay slides to your videos, and interactive items like knowledge check questions. In addition, you will be able to easily add really cool remediation to your interactive videos.

YouTube Streaming

In this video tutorial, I will show you the changes in the Insert Video window in Captivate 2019. You will also learn about the new way to insert YouTube videos into your eLearning project and how to make YouTube videos interactive.

Live Preview on Devices

Before Captivate 2019, if I wanted to preview my designs on a mobile device, I had to publish the whole project, upload it to my web server, email myself a hyperlink and then launch the course from my mobile device. In this video tutorial, I show you how easy it is to do the same thing just by using a simple QR Code reader in iOS or Android devices. No web server required.

Webcam Video Demo

In this video tutorial, I show you how you can record and insert clips from your webcam into your video demo tutorials recorded in Adobe Captivate 2018 Release.

Enhanced Fluid Boxes

In this video tutorial, I show you how fluid boxes have been enhanced and improved in Adobe Captivate 2019 Release

CSV Import for Questions

In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to import a variety of question types into your Adobe Captivate project using CSV files that you can edit or create using spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers.

PowerPoint in Responsive Projects

In this video tutorial, I show you the new ability to import PowerPoint slides into your Adobe Captivate 2019 responsive design project. I probably won’t use this feature, but I see the value in having this feature available to new Captivate users.

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Narration for video in Captivate 2017

Hi,

I captured a video and want to put narration over the top but the audio dialogue box sits on top of the screen in the way of my preview. I can’t see a way to minimise it. I’ve tried all help files and settings I can find but no mention of this issue. Can anyone please advise?

Thanks

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Congratulations! – Prerelease Experience

Today the Adobe team has a well-deserved celebration day: Captivate version 2019 (11) has been released! Congratulations to all of you from your most stubborn tester.

Since 10 years I have participated in every prerelease of Captivate, my favourite eLearning tool. Lot of memories and emotions! I have seen many people from the Adobe team, come and go.   Captivate has grown  in all these years from an application mainly meant to create (good) software simulations to an all-round tool suitable for all possible eLearning assets. Look at this release: easy workflow for Interactive Video, stepping into the VR world, integration of the cool features of Video Xpress in  Video Demo, CSV import as alternative to GIFT import….

My first memory of a very warm welcome from the Adobe team in my first prelease experience, has never been deceived!  Captivate developers are very open-minded, they welcome any positive criticism which can lead to a better product or user experience. Due to my experiences with other prelease groups, I want to testify that this is outstanding! It was  and is always a great pleasure to meet some of you ‘in real life’ on Adobe events.  We both experienced the same big problem: is this name linked to a woman or to a man? You had issues with my Flemish name, I have problems with your names, but …. found a workaround 

Congratulations for CP2019, and thanks to you all!

After exploring the final release version, more in depth, will post an overview of the new features in a future blog.

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Captivate 2017 Video demo Trim and “Offset timing”

Hello! I’m pretty new to Captivate and brand new to Video Demo. I’m using it to create training videos for an iOS app.

Hope the Community can help. Thanks in advance.

Here’s the weirdness: I work on a particular segment of the video: I add the iOS gesture and then I back up a bit to add a callout with instruction such as “Tap X”; then, I might back up a bit more and enter a text caption explaining to the learner what she’s about to do or to mention important screen elements. I do this for a series of steps…and then I move closer to the start of the video to find the next screen change — and more or less repeat the steps. I’ve been working backwards in the video because I have already experienced trimming out a segment of video — only to have all the “later” objects lose their timing on the video stream. And it’s not as simple as removing 30 sec of video — and all the objects are “out” by 30 seconds. It’s so random I can’t figure out the pattern. I’ve also had a scenario where I did the previous, aligning the objects to display when a certain screen appears on the video…and then trimming out earlier video — and then discovering that the objects I just created/added/ timed now don’t have the right screen image behind them — and sometimes that screen image is gone — lost when I trimmed.

If someone would explain how video “Offset timing” works, that too, would be helpful. I’ve taken to locking the video track while working on tracks, but if I’m going to trim I’m pretty certain I need to remove that lock. I don’t know if my timing issues are due to some position offset that I’ve caused inadvertently and not noticed.

Hope you can help. I’ve spent hours on minutes of video…and then had that weird situation where I no longer had the right background image behind my objects…

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CPVC File will not load inside the Captivate Project

I saw other questions related to this but no real solutions.  Since January 2018 I’ve been creating Captivate 2017 Responsive courses with video simulations captured first as CPVC files and then inserted into the bigger Captivate course.  Up through April, I had no problem with the slides loading or playing at HTML 5 on my desktop.  Suddenly in June this stopped working on a new project I created. Then I realized all of my old projects no longer work.

What could have changed to cause this problem?

Any ideas are welcome.

Again, it worked before…not it doesn’t work.

Thanks

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Captivate kompakt: Fokussieren mittels Smartformen

In diesem Video zeige ich Ihnen, wie Sie mithilfe von Smartformen einen Bereich auf einer Folie fokussieren können.

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How to reduce demo recording bloat?

What is the best way to reduce periods of inactivitywait in demo recordings?  This stuff often gets recorded in my demos, which causes extra editing and file size bloat. I just want the recording to contain the user’s actual actions and any processing activity by the system.  Having a script helps, but there has to be option to optimize the content of my recordings.

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Captivate kompakt: Fokussieren mittels Markierungsfeldern

In diesem Video erfahren Sie, wie Sie mithilfe von Markierungsfeldern eine Stelle auf einer Folie fokussieren können.

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Captivate 9 will not record slides

I have been using Captivate since Captivate 2 and never had this issue before.  My program will not record slides.  I checked my preferences over and over again and can’t figure out if I clicked something on/off by accident.  Is there a way to set my Captivate back to original default settings?

I can’t even get my full-motion recording to work.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.  I am totally baffled by this.

Jeff

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