Creating a PowerPoint from your Adobe Captivate slides

Originally I uploaded a PowerPoint presentation into Captivate and started the process of tweaking for the video I was creating. After finishing, I was asked to send a PPT with the video then I found out exporting back out to PowerPoint was a problem. I researched and ran across a limited amount of options…none easy. However, I discovered if you use the “Edit your whole presentation in PPT” feature, you can then copy all of the slides once in the edit mode in PPT and then paste them into a new file. You can’t pull across the Notes connected to each slide, but at least all the images and slides are done super easy. Thought I’d share!

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“Parsing PowerPoint Project” error message when importing PPT

Hi,

When try to import a PPT I am getting the pop-up message “Parsing PowerPoint Project” which is then followed by a pop-up message “Unable to import Microsoft PowerPoint presentation the file maybe damaged”

I get the same message with different PPTs and also new PPTs

I have tried uninstalling Captivate and installing again.

Any ideas?

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Create a 3-D Style Hex Tile Picture In PowerPoint

In this video, I thought I would share something that I always enjoy playing around with… Filling shapes with images and playing around with the 3-D elements to create some fun graphics. I think that graphics like these can be used in Captivate to create some really neat visual appeal.

I am using PowerPoint with an Office 365 subscription here and a picture of a sunflower that I took at my in-laws place. I hope you enjoy the technique.

Have fun with different shape combinations and arrangements and please share some of the ideas you come up with.

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Deck of Cards Graphics

Not long before this post I made a corny joke about doing a magic trick and it inspired me to create some card graphics for use in some projects.

I am a huge PowerPoint user when it comes to creating my own graphics and so that is what I am offering here.
This is a PowerPoint .pptx file that is around 100k in size and contains 13 slides with all four suits Ace thru King, a Captivate Joker, and two standard looking card backs.
It was created using an Office 365 subscription on Windows. The graphics are currently a bunch of grouped objects that can be saved as images and imported into Captivate and are also fully editable if you so choose.

cardSuits

I would love to hear any ideas that you have for using something like this in your projects.

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ADOBE PRESENTER: Sidebar Video

by Kevin Siegel, COTP

Inserting and editing video in Adobe Presenter is as easy as accessing the Adobe Presenter tab on the Ribbon and then clicking the Video tool. Once videos have been added to a PowerPoint slide, they can be manipulated just like any other PowerPoint object.

I received an email recently from a new Presenter developer. He wanted to insert a video, but instead of adding the video to the slide, he wanted it to appear to the left of the slide, above the Table of Contents. He had heard such a thing was possible but had been unable to find the feature.

The feature he was looking for is called Sidebar video and it’s shown in the image below. Adding Sidebar video to a project is simple and I was able to talk him through it with a quick email. If you’d like to learn how, follow these steps.

To begin, select a PowerPoint slide and then, on the Adobe Presenter tab, Insert group, click the Video tool and choose Import. (This will open the Adobe Presenter – Import Video dialog box.)

Select the video you’d like to use in the Sidebar and, from the lower right of the dialog box, select Sidebar video.

By default, the Sidebar video will appear at the left of the Presenter playback window (as shown in the first image above). You can hide the Sidebar or change its location by clicking the Theme tool and deselecting Show Sidebar (to hide it) or selecting Right or Left from the Location drop-down menu.

If you’d like to see the Sidebar video feature in action, check out this sample Adobe Presenter eLearning project. And if you’d like to learn how to use Adobe Presenter, check out our skills and drills workbook.

***

Kevin Siegel, CTT, COTP, is the founder and president of IconLogic. Following a career in Public Affairs with the U.S. Coast Guard and in private industry, Kevin has spent decades as a technical communicator, classroom and online trainer, public speaker, and has written hundreds of computer training books for adult learners. He has been recognized by Adobe as one of the top trainers world-wide.

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Here’s How I Built This 3D Pop-Out in PowerPoint

PowerPoint graphics

In a recent post, I showed how I use PowerPoint to build the graphics for my Rise courses. I had a few questions on how to create the person sticking out of the circle image (apparently that is popular).  So today’s post shows how to do this. It’s pretty easy.

How to Create a 3D Pop-Out Graphic in PowerPoint

PowerPoint graphics Content Library

  • Insert a character and crop it until it is square.
  • Insert a circle.
  • The circle and image should be a similar size.
  • Crop the image to a circle shape.
  • Position the character over the circle.
  • Scale it up to suit your need for the overhanging image.
  • Duplicate the character.
  • Crop the first image to fit in the circle.
  • Crop the second image and place on top of the first image to cover.
  • Group together so you don’t accidentally nudge them out of place.

PowerPoint graphic steps

As you can see, it’s relatively simple to do. Then whatever you build in PowerPoint can be saved as an image. Either right-click it and save as .PNG or save the slide itself as .PNG.

Watch the tutorial below to get more of the specific detail. And here’s a bonus tutorial on how I created the 3D pop-out header image above.

Click here to view the YouTube tutorial.


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A Simple Way to Build PowerPoint Graphics for Mobile Learning

PowerPoint graphics

In a previous post, I shared how I built an interactive scenario in Rise. I’ve gotten lots of emails asking how I built the graphics like the headers and the flashcard interactions for the interactive scenario. So in today’s post, I’m going to show you a simple way to build graphics for your Rise e-learning courses.

PowerPoint graphics headers for Rise blocks

PowerPoint graphics flashcard interaction

Understanding the Image Blocks in Rise

Rise offers a number of blocks that support inserted images (such as image, gallery, and some of the interactions). Most them work perfectly in one of two aspect ratios:

  • 1:1 (square)
  • 16:9 (rectangle)

There are a few blocks that have text overlay where the image is scaled. Those are mostly decorative images so we won’t worry about them.

Understanding PowerPoint Slides

PowerPoint is easy-to-use screen and with some practice, you can build almost any type of visual. Because of this, I build my simple graphics in PowerPoint and save the slides as images.

In PowerPoint, we need to do two things: set slide size and then whatever we build we export as an image.

  • Go to Design>Slide Size and modify the slide size.
  • To save the slide as an image, go to Save As and choose an image format. You can save a single slide or all slides. I usually save in PNG format.

Create PowerPoint Graphics to Use in Rise

Since there are two aspect ratios, I create two PowerPoint files for my Rise graphics. One is 1:1 and the other is 16:9. You can see the PowerPoint files I created for the scenario demo.

PowerPoint graphics example of file

PowerPoint is a freeform slide. I can build virtually anything I need quickly. In the interactive scenario, I created 1:1 images for the flashcards. One side of the flashcard has the question text and the other has the feedback.

I used the various image editing features in PowerPoint to colorize the graphics. I also used the emjoi features to create some simple feedback graphics. While it’s easy enough to build these graphics with other tools I just find PowerPoint to be easy and fast. However you’re not confined to PowerPoint, you can use the tool of your choice.

PowerPoint graphics flashcard questions

PowerPoint graphics flashcard answers

The images above are relatively simple. The images below required a bit more work. I had to build it so the character extends out of the frame. You can see that I created a couple of versions. I opted for the lighter version because it made the Rise screen seem more open with more white space.

PowerPoint graphics header image

When you’re all done building your slides, save the slides as images rather than a .pptx file. Then you’ll have a folder of images that work with your Rise courses.

Bonus PowerPoint Graphics Tip

With Articulate 360, you get Studio 360 that includes Presenter and works with PowerPoint. That means you have access to all of the Content Library characters and templates. So if you want the same Content Library characters in Rise, use PowerPoint slides to build the graphics like I did above.

Here’s another example I mocked up for the blog post using the same techniques.

PowerPoint graphics interactive scenario 2

So there you have it. In the first, post we looked at how to build the interactive scenario in Rise. And in this one, we reviewed how to use PowerPoint to quickly build the graphics you need.


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How I Built This Interactive Scenario

interactive scenarios

What happens when you convert an old PowerPoint course into a Rise course?

The other day I found an older interactive scenario that was built in PowerPoint. I wanted to see what it would take to rebuild something similar in Rise. This isn’t an uncommon situation for those who are trying to convert and update older courses with new technology.

Today, I’ll show what I did to convert the course and a few production tips that helped me.

The Original Interactive Scenario

Back in the day, this was a pretty cool example of what you could do with PowerPoint to create interactive scenarios. By design, PowerPoint is a linear presentation tool. However, with some creativity, one can create interactive content. And that’s exactly what Jeanette did.

interactive scenario demo 1

Click here to view the interactive scenario.

With that said, PowerPoint’s not the best authoring tool if you want to create interactive content. Once you add the interactive capabilities the slide count goes up quite a bit and it becomes a mess to manage. I highlighted this in the post on why PowerPoint isn’t the right tool for interactive e-learning.

The New & Improved Interactive Scenario

We looked at different types of authoring tools in this post. PowerPoint and Rise offer two different types of authoring. PowerPoint is freeform with a blank screen that allows placement of objects. Whereas, Rise is form-based where you assemble content blocks and build the course that way. Freeform gives you more freedom in where you place content, but a tool like Rise offers a better mobile experience because it’s fully responsive. And as you see, it’s a lot easier to work with, as well.

interactive scenario demo 2

Click here to view the interactive scenario.

Production Tips to Build the Interactive Scenario

I had three goals with this conversion:

  • How long would it take to move content from PowerPoint to Rise?
  • What are some production considerations?
  • How to work around constraints?

Design the Interaction

The first thing is to determine how you want to design the interaction. When it comes to interactive scenarios, I always follow my 3C model of challenge, choice, and consequence. If I can click on something, then I can make it part of a 3C interaction.

In this case, I used the Flashcards block as a way to show choices and consequences. The user is presented with a challenge and clicks on a card to get feedback. Since I’m not grading it, I can keep the other options available so that the learner can see what is shared if they had clicked something else. This gives them more control over the learning experience.

  • Mission: identify the different interactive blocks that allow for 3C type interactivity. For starters, there are tabs and accordions. But those are obvious choices. Look for other interactive elements.

Build a Branched Scenario

Branched scenarios are possible in Rise with some considerations. Here are a few production tips:

  • Build your branched interaction with the Button Stack block. The button stack lets you jumps from lesson to lesson.
  • Don’t let them see what’s under the hood. Turn off the Sidebar view so that users don’t see the menu and how the course jumps around between lessons.

interactive scenario tip 1

  • Create a faux navigational cul-de-sac. Since Rise is designed to follow a lesson-to-lesson flow I want to prevent the learner from advancing past the end of a scenario or the button stack. To do so, I added a lot of padding on the bottom and an extra Spacer block as a buffer.

interactive scenario tip 2

  • Create duplicate menus to deal with revisits. The introductory lesson has some initial content and below it are the choices to view the scenarios. When they complete a scenario and come back to the other choices, I didn’t want all of that introductory content visible. I just want them to go to a list of other buttons. So I made a duplicate menu lesson with just the button menu. That’s where they end up after they complete a lesson. They never go back to the original introductory lesson.

interactive scenario tip 3

  • Control how much they see. This makes the content smaller to consume. You don’t need to show everything at once. Keep people from scrolling by adding an interactive Continue button. This holds all the content below it until the learner clicks on the button. In a sense, they are affirming that they are ready and when they click, they get more info.

interactive scenario tip 4

  • Play around with the imagery. Rise courses don’t need to look the same. You can insert images in all sorts of ways. An image doesn’t need to be a picture. It could be a white box that fills in an area to create more white space. Be creative in how you use the blocks. Also, don’t stick with the defaults. Play around with filling the blocks with color. The key is to learn to see them in a different way.

interactive scenario tip 5

How long did it take?

Once I planned how to build the interaction, it only took about 15 minutes to copy and paste the content from PowerPoint to Rise.  I used different images, so I had to create those. And I had to play around with ideas to see what worked best. All-in-all it took about 2 hours to build the module as it is.

The nice thing is that once I build an interactive lesson, I can save it as a template an re-use it again. And to add additional modules is just a matter of duplicating a single lesson. To do so in PowerPoint would require another 20+ slides per module.

As you can see, working with Rise is so much easier than working with PowerPoint.


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ADOBE PRESENTER 11: Creating Packages

by Kevin Siegel, CTT+, COTP

If you need to share an Adobe Presenter presentation with another developer, you’ll find the Presenter’s Package tool very useful.

Presenter projects begin as a single, self-contained PowerPoint presentation. You can transfer them from one computer to another without worrying about leaving a part of the presentation behind. However, once you add audio or videos assets to a PowerPoint slide via the Presenter tab on the PowerPoint Ribbon, those assets aren’t embedded into the presentation. Instead, Presenter creates a folder that houses those assets every time you save. Should you forget to include the assets folder when you send the PowerPoint presentation to a colleague, the person opening the presentation will receive alert messages about missing files as Presenter attempts to load the assets.

When you package a Presenter project, everything a developer needs to open the project is included in the package (except for the actual Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Presenter software). A developer simply needs to double-click the prpkg file they receive from you to extract all of the project assets into a self-contained folder.

To create a Package, from the Adobe Presenter tab, Presentation group, click the Package tool.

Click the Browse button (the three dots) and select a folder for the package.

Click the Pack button and you’re done. As mentioned above, the prpkg file contains everything a fellow developer needs to make changes to the project (assuming they have both PowerPoint and Presenter installed).

***
My “Adobe Presenter 11: The Essentials” skills & drills workbook is available now on amazon.com. And if you are looking to learn all things eLearning, check out these live, online and awesomely interactive classes

***

Kevin Siegel, CTT, COTP, is the founder and president of IconLogic. Following a career in Public Affairs with the U.S. Coast Guard and in private industry, Kevin has spent decades as a technical communicator, classroom and online trainer, public speaker, and has written hundreds of computer training books for adult learners. He has been recognized by Adobe as one of the top trainers world-wide.

The post ADOBE PRESENTER 11: Creating Packages appeared first on eLearning.

5 Ways to Use PowerPoint as an Image Editor

Use PowerPoint to edit images

Over the years, I’ve posted hundreds of tutorials using PowerPoint. Some of them to be updated. Today I am going to cover five ways to use PowerPoint as an image editor. This is great for quick image editing or for those who don’t have other image editors on hand.

Save PowerPoint Content as an Image

Since we’re talking about PowerPoint as an image editor, the first tip is that whatever you create in PowerPoint can be saved as an image.

I usually group the objects so it’s one group. And then I right-click and save as picture. I like to save as a .PNG so that the transparent areas of the image are still transparent. If you save as .JPEG, the transparent areas will become white.

In the image below, I used PowerPoint to create the sandwich stack and then right-clicked to save as picture.

PowerPoint as illustrator

Create Custom-Sized PowerPoint Slides

You can make a PowerPoint slide any size you want. By default, they’re 16:9. That and 4:3 are the most common aspect ratios. However, by going to the Design Tab you can set the slides to any size. That means they can be tall and skinny or short and wide.

PowerPoint as illustrator slide size

Why would someone want to do that? Check out the tip below.

Export PowerPoint Slides as Images

PowerPoint slides can be saved as images. That means you can add whatever you want to a slide, layer content, etc and then save that slide as an image. I do this quite a bit when I need to quickly build graphics for my e-learning courses.

For example, the flashcard interaction in Rise is a 1:1 aspect ratio. So I make a PowerPoint slide that is 1:1 and add my content to the slide. It’s a great way to add titles and images to the flashcards to make them visually richer.

Once I’ve completed the slide, I save the PowerPoint slides as images and insert them into the Rise interaction.

PowerPoint as illustrator

The images above were all created in PowerPoint as slides and inserted into the Rise course. You can see an example of the PowerPoint slide images in this demo course.

Using PowerPoint slides to create images is easy and it gives me more control over the images I use in my e-learning courses.

How to Extend a Photo’s Background

Sometimes you have images where the object is centered which makes it challenging to place other content on the screen. An easy way to fix this is to cut a slice from the image and stretch it. This lets you move the main object over and get some empty space for text or other content.

PowerPoint as illustrator to extend images

I also use this technique to quickly build slide layouts which I showed in this previous blog post on how to create a template from a single image.

Create PowerPoint or e-learning template from image

How to Remove the Backgrounds of Images in PowerPoint

Since PowerPoint 2010, you can use PowerPoint to remove backgrounds from your images. For the most part, it works well. Select your image and the remove background. You can select areas to keep and areas to remove. Once you’ve removed the background, you can play around with softening the edges to get rid of any obvious jaggedness.

How to remove background in PowerPoint

As you can see, PowerPoint is a great tool for building simple illustrations or using it for quick graphics editing.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

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2018
 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

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