This summer just got a lot hotter! The latest update to Adobe Captivate is out now, it is free to Captivate users who either own Adobe Captivate 2019 or are on a subscription plan, and it is chock full of fresh, sensational new features and resources. The clear headliner is the new built in Assets and the associated search tool. Adobe has found a delightful way to accommodate the needs of developers who are new to eLearning while simultaneously including a serious speed and performance upgrade for more experienced users.
The Adobe Captivate 2019 Free Update Announcement Video – includes a short overview.
Quick Start Projects
At the heart of the improvements are a set of beautiful, professionally designed Quick Start Projects. These ready to go slide collections remove the traditional barriers to entry for eLearning developers by providing easy to modify, simple to edit slides that align to virtually every form of online instruction, interaction, quiz, scenario & more. The new search tools in the asset panel make it easy to go shopping for sample slides of virtually every time. But the jaw dropper here is the way Adobe has improved the simplest aspects of working with slides in Captivate 2019.
You just drag and drop – and image replacement is a reality. You can grab those images from your system folders, or from the Captivate library. All of the text elements and shapes are instantly editable, and new copy/paste appearance tools make it a breeze to clone new formatting. The new system is smart enough to allow multiple themes – so you can mix and match themes within a single course / project. And it even anticipates your most likely preference with shortcut menus to let you quickly specify whether to adopt a new theme for a pasted / inserted slide or to stick with the original.
Check out the getting started video for a more visual introduction to the enhancements and new features.
Getting Started with Adobe Captivate 2019: The incredible Free Update
Hot Swap Images
I’m completely obsessed with the new image swap feature and I’m guessing that you will be too. It’s cool to be able to quickly swap an image for something else, but the bit that blew my mind was that Captivate 2019 Update 2 let’s me do this virtually anywhere there is an image. I’ll explain… I use images as backgrounds all of the time. I honestly didn’t think image swap would work for things like that. Imagine my delight the first time I dragged to replace the background of a fluid box and ‘BOOM’ instant background swap. It works with shapes too! You just drag and hover, when you see the powder blue glow, let go – Captivate will do the rest.
Here’s my video overview of the image swap feature for those who prefer it in images rather than words.
Image Swap Feature Explained
Theme Enhancements Galore
Themes have had some major overhauls in this update. Now you can mix and match slides with different themes – using multiple themes within the same course. As you add each new slide you can easily decide whether to retain its source theme or to adopt one of the themes of the new project. This really expands what you can do with themes, and it doesn’t stop there. The Captivate engineers have also added fantastic new tools to make the day-to-day work of an eLearning developer – a lot easier. Now themes include shortcuts to the fonts that you used. So it is easier than ever to identify the themes used in a course, and to replace them all at once if you like.
There is even a new tool to identify when a font used in a project is missing on your computer. This can help you sort out font problems with legacy content, and even makes suggestions about fonts that you can use to replace the missing ones, with a simple click.
Theme fonts help you speed your course creation process
Yeah, sure, that’s a button
We’ve all heard it – the boss comes around the corner, glances at a layout for 2 seconds and solves all of the worlds problems by saying – well can’t you just make that thing a button? Not everything is a button, we would typically reply. Well – now it’s really just as simple as checking a box. Shapes have been enormously popular thanks to their ability to be converted to buttons with the tick of a checkbox in Adobe Captivate. Now the same multi-state, rollover aware smart button solution can be applied to any image in Adobe Captivate 2019. Just select your image, and check the ‘Use As Button’ option in the properties inspector. It even works with SVG images!
This great video summary demonstrates how simple it is to make a button from an image.
Yes, Icons! Yes, right there in the Assets Panel. Why yes they can be recolored right on the stage. I’m probably a little to excited about this, but Icons are an incredible time saver for me. A nice big library of icons has been included in this update, and Adobe provides the bonus tools that we’ve all come to expect. Just drop your icon in, double click and voila’ the icon is now ready for color swapping. You don’t even need Adobe Illustrator, just select the shape are that you want to recolor, and use the color picker from the property inspector to swap those colors in an instant. (And if you really wanted to do something more, round trip editing with Adobe Illustrator is just a checkbox away too.
Adding icons to your course is easy with Adobe Captivate 2019: The incredible Free Update
Copy – Paste Appearance
Think format painter, but more powerful. This nifty little productivity enhancement allows you to copy/paste the visual formatting of text and shape elements, INCLUDING all of the states of those objects. Just right click (control click) on the object with the right appearance and select copy appearance. Then select all of those pesky future twins and find ‘paste appearance’ in the context menu. That’s it – you get instant formatting across groups and sets. This one new tool saves me incredible time formatting buttons and text elements.
Copy / Paste appearance saves valuable time – giving you a powerful tool to quickly format your text and shapes
Virtual Reality VR Gets another boost
Creating 360 Virtual Reality courses keeps getting easier. In this update several enhancements have been added that make it even easier to create virtual reality courses. A new action trigger allows you to launch videos from a hotspot in a a VR / 360 project. In addition, the popups, including text areas, images and videos now all have close boxes – so your learners can control how long the popup item is visible in the project. There are hint and rollover enhancements for the hotspots, and you can now edit the hotspot SVG images by double clicking. It is also now possible to adjust the size of a hotspot – using control handles that appear upon selection.
VR text elements got a substantial makeover in this update as well. Now you can see the text elements on screen while editing, and you can alter the font, the formatting, color and even the opacity of the background. This let’s you really polish the look and feel of your VR courses. Perhaps my favorite VR enhancement is the option to include hotspot interactions as reported quiz interactions. You can now set the score, name the interaction ID, and chose whether to report the interaction as part of a quiz.
An overview of the VR/360 feature.
Branching without Advanced Actions or programming
Yes, you better believe it. Now the most common branching workflows, including forced navigation and in-course branching are easier than ever to accomplish. You can download examples from the Asset panel and simply swap the images and content to use your own, or by following a simple naming convention – Captivate 2019 will do the work for you. The most common course navigation pattern is to provide a menu page for your learners, where they can select from several available topics. Usually you want to give learners the freedom to decide the order of learning, but also want to verify that each section of content has been visited. This workflow can now be accomplished without programming. You just name the menu slide ‘branching’ and ensure that the buttons on the menu slide follow a simple naming convention, and Captivate will figure out the branching logic for you.
Overview of the automatic navigation and branching feature
Similarly, Captivate can now automate navigation of multi-state objects on a single slide – creating a forced navigation workflow that will hide the button to navigate to the next slide until all of the buttons on the slide have been explored. The method for both the course branching and the forced navigation of multi-state objects on a single slide handle all of the common interactions and can save you a lot of time while completely bypassing the need for advanced actions. (If you are a power user – don’t worry – you can still use advanced actions, and as a special bonus – you can even combine them.)
There are so many incredible enhancements and new features in this major free update you absolutely won’t want to miss it. If you are already a Captivate 2019 user, you can get the update right now, simply by following these steps:
In Adobe Captivate 2019,
- Select Help Menu: Check for Updates.
- The Adobe Captivate Updater dialog will appear and guide you through the remaining update process.
If you aren’t a Captivate customer yet, you can download the free trial here.
If you just want to learn more, check out these additional resources:
- What’s new in Adobe Captivate
- Adobe Captivate 2019: Update 2 Release Notes
- Feature Videos (Including tutorials and brand new How To Videos)