Converting Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to HTML5 (web pages)

Products used in this example:

  • Adobe Captivate (2017 release)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

In this blog post, you will learn how to easily convert your PowerPoint slides into interactive and engaging web-enabled presentations using HTML5.

If you do not have the 2017 release of Adobe Captivate, download a trial version of Captivate.

To install Captivate, follow the installation instructions here.

Prepare your PowerPoint presentation

Open the presentation that you want to convert into an eLearning course. Make the required changes and remove all unwanted slides from the presentation.

Import the presentation in Captivate

Open Adobe Captivate. If you are on a Mac, you’ll find your installed version of Captivate under Applications. If you are on a Windows computer, you’ll find it under the Start Menu.

To import the PPT, click File > New Project > Project from MS PowerPoint.

File menu

The dialog box Convert Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation appears. Enter the project name and the size of the project in project properties. Select all slides and click OK to continue importing and converting your slide deck.

Convert PPT

Publish the project

Choose the option Publish on the big button bar. In the Publish dialog, select the SWF/HTML5 tab (top left). Then set the output format to HTML5 (you can turn off SWF.) Finally, click Publish.

Publish project

Your published HTML5 web page will now be available. But if you’ve never worked with HTML or HTML5 before it might not look the way you expected. Web pages are stored as individual elements (like graphics etc.) and a set of instructions in a text file that is usually called ‘index.html’

To put your new web slide show online you’ll want to copy the folder with your converted PowerPoint deck into your web server. By Default, Captivate publishes files into a folder called ‘My Adobe Captivate Projects’ in your Documents folder.

I am a newbie in Adobe Captivate. Are there any resources to get me started?

Yes, there are.

The community portal has tons of blogs and videos for a newbie to get started on Adobe Captivate. We have curated some posts and videos and arranged them progressively for you to learn Captivate.

This tutorial/list, by no means, is complete and comprehensive.

We have listed down few high-level topics that span across most of Captivate’s features.

  • Creating projects in Captivate – Learn how to create a responsive and non-responsive project.
  • Creating recording and software simulations – Learn how to record a video demo and product simulation for training.
  • Overview of objects in Captivate – Learn what an interactive or a non-interactive object is.
  • Creating quizzes and assessments – Create quizzes and evaluate your learners’ knowledge.
  • Previewing and publishing your project – Publish your project across devices, form factors, and formats.

For a list of all videos, visit  https://elearning.adobe.com/adobe-captivate-tutorials/

Creating projects in Adobe Captivate

Creating a blank project

Doc: https://helpx.adobe.com/captivate/using/create-projects.html

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi_Yt7DGI3U

Importing from PowerPoint

Doc:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWkkd7doM3w

Creating a responsive project

Doc:

YouTube:

Fluid Box (New in the 2017 release of Captivate)

Doc:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQezSP3-yuA

Create recording and software simulations

Record video demonstrations

Doc:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcrpVMEyS1w

Record software simulations for training and assessment

Doc: https://helpx.adobe.com/captivate/using/record-software-simulations.html

YouTube:

Objects in Adobe Captivate

Interactive objects

Doc:

YouTube:

Non-interactive objects

Doc: https://helpx.adobe.com/captivate/topics/noninteractive-objects-and-media.html

Create quizzes and assessments

Doc:

YouTube:

Previewing and publishing a project

Doc:

YouTube:

These posts and videos should get you up to speed. For more details on new features and queries related to Captivate, ask the community, and get detailed, quality answers.

Happy Captivating!

Message “Your computer is probably offline” upon clicking Assets menu options

When trying to access Adobe Stock assets or eElearning Brothers assets, you may encounter the message, “Your computer is probably offline”. This normally occurs in a restricted computing environment, where an IT administrator controls access to certain URLs.

This usually occurs in a restricted computing environment, where an IT administrator restricts access to certain URLs.

To access Adobe Stock and other features, the following URLs and domains need to be whitelisted:

  • ims-na1.adobelogin.com:443
  • adobe.com:443
  • adobe.com:443
  • typekit.net:443
  • adobedtm.com:443
  • cloudflare.com:443
  • community-portal-prod-appdata.s3.amazonaws.com:443
  • demandbase.com:443
  • demdex.net:443
  • tt.omtrdc.net:443
  • adobe.com:443
  • adobe.com:443
  • twitter.com:443
  • typekit.net:443
  • adobeid-na1.services.adobe.com:443
  • typekit.net:443
  • *.amazonaws.com
  • *.adobe.com
  • *.brightcove.com
  • *.amazon.com
  • *.adobedtm.com
  • *.typekit.net
  • *.demdex.net
  • *.brightcove.net
  • *.zencdn.net
  • *.cloudflare.com
  • nr-data.net
  • *.akamaihd.net

Also, whitelist the following URLs to access other Captivate services:

Accessing Geolocation http://www.adobe.com/go/cpgeo

https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api

Adobe Stock https://stock.adobe.com
Captivate Prime https://captivateprime.adobe.com/
ELearning Brothers Assets http://www.adobe.com/go/cp9market
Preview in cloud.scorm https://cloud.scorm.com
Adobe Typekit https://cctypekit.adobe.io

https://api.typekit.com

http://www.adobe.com/go/cp_typekit

http://www.adobe.com/go/cp_typekit_help

http://www.adobe.com/go/cp_tk_learn_more

Community https://www.adobe.com/go/ecom

https://www.adobe.com/go/notification

https://www.adobe.com/go/inpupdates

Publish to devices (PhoneGap) https://build.phonegap.com

To access Captivate Prime, whitelist the following:

For more information, download the Adobe_Captivate_Prime_Technical_Guide.

Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) : Smart, Fast & Incredibly Flexible

The latest update to Adobe Captivate, Adobe’s industry leading eLearning authoring tool is packed with solid enhancements that will make virtually any eLearning developer smile, and the team at Adobe brings home another marvel – incredible levels of intuition and automation when it comes to creating fully responsive content for mobile devices.

Adobe is revolutionizing eLearning authoring again with the introduction of Fluid Boxes, a technology that  makes creating eLearning for desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones easier than ever. So what exactly does that mean?

Screen sizes differ. Screen orientations differ. It can be pretty challenging to make the same content fit well and remain interactive and retain its value as training when that content must appear on landscape and portrait oriented pages, realigned and scaled for everything from desktops to smart phones. The 2017 release of Adobe Captivate takes two giant leaps forward in automating this process.

First, it introduces the automated conversion of previously authored courses by adding a ‘Save as responsive’ option, along with a smart sense about screen layout that will anticipate the layouts that are most likely to rearrange well across devices.

Second, it adds a new solution for automatic reconfiguration of screens called Fluid Boxes. To understand Fluid Boxes, you need to first imagine the various items on the screen are each contained in a virtual rectangle. As the screen size changes, the boxes will intelligently rearrange, remove, realign and resize themselves in order to accommodate the different screen sizes and orientations. The Captivate team has taken this even farther, by enabling some elements to maintain static relationships within any box, and other elements to dynamically stretch, scale and rearrange within any given box.

One of my favorite new features – is that you can now preview all of the changes caused by changes to the scale and orientation, live right in the authoring environment. That means that you can simply drag the scale slider at the top of the stage, and watch as the layout you have specified, changes and scales, rearranges and transforms for the varied screen sizes and orientations.

You can also now use the device specific preview menu to rapidly sample the appearance across a wide range of devices. You can even create your own additional device sizes and add them to the list for quick and easy reference to whatever kind of devices you are using.

As you change the scale, you’ll notice right away that text now scales very smoothly from larger to smaller sizes across the various screens. You have more control of this than ever with minimum size limits in the property inspector. You can also tie the size of text elements on the screen together, so that your fonts remain same-sized (or relative same sized) across the entire page, even while scaling. You’ll also find that some of the problems of text overflow have been solved for you by dynamically enabling ‘more’ text within smaller interfaces. The new Adobe Captivate actually lets you lock the size of a text block, and if the text overflows that limit, it will give the learner a ‘more’ button that they can use to see all of the text on an overlay.

Adobe TypeKit in Browser

An image of Adobe TypeKit running in a browser.

 

Fonts play a big part in Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) as Adobe TypeKit integration is introduced to Adobe Captivate. This means that now course authors can use all of those gorgeous fonts without fear that they will be lost in the void of the Internet. If you’ve authored courses for HTML5, one of your frustrations is no doubt that you have essentially been limited to 5 basic web safe fonts. No fancy curls or beautiful serifs. All that changes with the introduction of Adobe Captivate 2017 integration with Adobe TypeKit.

Course authors only have to point to the fonts in their TypeKit library to share the joy of hundreds of amazing fonts with their learners, delivering a consistent learning experience.

Configure CC in Captivate

Captivate has always been about customization – it is the sort of thing that becomes really important when your boss or a client wants something changed and your tool doesn’t allow you to do it. That’s why the enhancements to closed captions in Adobe Captivate (2017 Release) have clearly reset the standards for the industry. Now you can fully format those captions, place them anywhere on the screen, customize the colors, fonts, backgrounds, alignment and more. All fully responsive, the new closed caption editing controls are nothing short of fantastic.

Asset Libraries are the toy in my cereal box, and Adobe Captivate now comes stocked with more than 75,000 assets that you can use to go nuts with including games, images, characters, templates, themes and more. These are premium assets from the eLearning Brothers collection of more than a million incredible resources, and they will give any project a jump start. If that isn’t enough, you can easily jump over to the eLearning Brothers site and grab the other million assets to make your library complete.

If you are an advanced user, there is something fantastic in the 2017 Release of Adobe Captivate for you too. Combine Conditional and Standard Advanced actions, and LOOP! Yes, really. Now you can create a ‘while’ loop in your conditional advanced actions. Combined with object states you could create perpetual motion cycling through a set of different states, or you could use it to check for a change in a variable, even monitor a network status.

While you’re tinkering with animation, check out the new group animation ability. Now you can animate groups, in addition to animating individual objects. I was easily able to concoct a propeller from smart shapes and get it grouped and spinning around a center hub. Group based animation should ease the process of creating more complex animated elements in your learning projects.

There are a number of additional fixes, enhancements and benefits packed into the 2017 update to Adobe Captivate. There is a cool enhancement to application capture that lets mobile users swipe and pinch the screen for a better view on mobile responsive projects, and editable states on master slides.

Get your own copy of Adobe Captivate 2017 right now, simply by downloading the trial right here. If you are a Captivate subscriber, the trial will automatically activate with your Adobe ID. Best of all, you can leave your copy of Captivate 9 on your machine in case you need to use both for a while. If you are not yet a subscriber, consider subscribing to the service – at @$29.99/mo US, its a great way to get the updates – even a full version update like this one at no additional expense. Of course you can still purchase a perpetual license if you prefer.

Caveat Auditor: The Role Of Critical Thinking In Modern Business Training

Critical Thinking ImageCritical thinking is a skill that, when absent, contributes to the rise of recent phenomena like runaway fake news stories or hacking of government and corporate computers, and costs companies dearly in law suits, fines, penalties, and failed projects. The skill of critical thinking in modern business is often described as desirable when asking employers what it is that they are looking for in new hires (Hart Research Associates, 2013). Employers lament the inability of new employees to think critically and solve problems creatively – placing the blame firmly on the high school or college training of the incoming employees. In their article “Eight Habits of Effective Critical Thinkers”, Guinn & Williamson identify several qualities that clearly identify why critical thinking skills are so desirable (Guinn & Williamson, 2017). Among the behaviors identified are that critical thinkers are ‘more concerned about getting it right, than being right’ and ‘avoid the rush to judgment’. The trick to cultivating these admirable traits in employees is actually in training and encouraging a solid foundation in critical thinking. Learning how to think more effectively leads to better decision making and job performance.

In this article, I’ll explore why critical thinking skills are so important to modern business, and in a series of activities that follow I’ll explore some methods that might prove useful for expanding the critical thinking skills of incoming employees. For the purpose of this discussion, I’m defining critical thinking as the skill(s) required to validate information and ideas based on verifiable evidence and sound logic. Critical thinking involves a well-organized thought process that is focused on solving problems, analyzing and researching relevant research, willing to challenge assumptions, open to new possibilities and approaches, aware of the limitations and scope of analysis, reflective and transparent.

The Difference Between Critical Thinking And Non-Critical Thinking

One interesting example of a critical thinking failure in modern business is when employees fall victim to scams based in logical fallacies, or fail to identify deceptive practices in business. There are many examples of this kind of problem, for example consider common problems with information security. One of the most common is falling victim to phishing scams in email. When employees are unable to discern fact from fiction – or learn to ‘trust their gut’ rather than validate facts, companies generally pay the price. Often the difference between critical thinking and non-critical thinking comes down to the difference between making decisions based on facts and logic, and making decisions based on intuition and emotion.

Logic vs Emotion

Sometimes the problem is not so obviously attributed to emotion. It simply feels natural – ergo logical to the person making the decision. Just as we can make a habit of behaviors like brushing our teeth or pouring a glass of tea, we can and do habitually perform many tasks based solely on past experiences. You might habitually open a door for others to enter a room for example. You also might habitually sit with your legs sprawled open even to the discomfort of another passenger on a plane – not even considering that you are unfairly consuming the space. You might habitually move out of the path of an oncoming pedestrian because they are male and you are female. Note that there is very little logic in the aforementioned examples – but they are derived of past patterns.

We often assume that when two events are related in one way, they must also be related by cause. We confuse coincidence with cause. Just because two things connect or coincide, doesn’t mean that one caused the other.

Gambler's Fallacy in Captivate

At other times you might find that emotion plays a subtle role. Most of us use phrases like “my luck ran out” and “I’m due for a win” when usually there is no ultimate relationship between your odds of success in the current venture than in the prior. We call this the gambler’s fallacy. One example of the influence of the gambler’s fallacy interfering with decision making was documented in a recent publication from the National Bureau of Economic Research (Chen, Moskowitz, & Shue, 2016). The article identifies a pattern of behavior among professionals that demonstrates application of the gambler’s fallacy to successive decision making patterns. In essence, when a professional makes a series of topically or conceptually similar decisions (on independent cases), they are more likely to invert positive or negative recommendations in the wake of a series of prior recommendations. If they made a series of positive loan recommendations, the likelihood of a negative recommendation increases, even when a negative recommendation is not warranted by the data. The team found the same pattern in baseball umpires calling strikes, and immigration workers recommending asylum. Just as people falsely believe that if they’ve flipped a coin twice, and got heads both times, they are more likely to get tails on the next flip. Of course that is the whole point of the gambler’s fallacy. The odds remain 50/50 no matter how many times you flip the coin. But the fallacy is deeply ingrained in the ‘beliefs’ and emotional reality of most people. The research team also found that the more experienced employees were less likely to suffer the effects of the gambler’s fallacy – suggesting that less experienced employees were more likely to include emotion and instinct in their decision making than more experienced employees (Chen, Moskowitz, & Shue, 2016).

Learning, Behavior, And Precaution

I recently attended a conference on behavior and learning. A major theme of the conference was the role of emotion of visceral reactions in the decision making process of learners. Michelle Segar (Segar, 2016) argued persuasively that recent research from the Journal of Consumer Research (Chang & Pham, 2013), the British Journal of Health Psychology (Sirriyeh, Lawton, & Ward, 2010) & the Annual Review of Psychology (Lerner, Li, Valdesolo, & Kassam, 2015) all provide evidence that emotion is more influential than logic in decision making.

It is an argument that rings true for me. I remember an experience in a classroom as a young boy that echoed this life-lesson. Our fifth grade teacher used a simulation game to teach a critical thinking concept. Essentially we were to assume the role of town leaders, making decisions about whether or not to allow a new factory to be built within our imagined city.

Some students argued that a factory would provide jobs, and some that it would encourage the economy. Some argued that it simply felt like the right thing to do, struggling to give any reasons for their inclination. Others said that it would promote more revenue in taxes, and it would encourage growth. I was concerned that there must be a catch. Life had already taught me that people would often present limited information or simply lie to make an ‘offer’ seem more beneficial than it actually was. The proposal sounded ‘too good to be true’ to my cynical ears. Eventually we learned that the project was in fact rife with problems. Pollution, competing tax break incentives, competition for local resources, and a host of other issues made the project a huge net loss for the imagined community. But the group –predictably– voted to support the project. In fact no amount of logic could persuade them that the proposal was in fact ‘too good to be true’.

TrueOrNot

This simple aphorism ‘too good to be true’ dates back at least to the 1800s and is similar to other warnings that essentially suggest the same idea. People throughout history have always used deception and misdirection to manipulate other people.

A similar phrase, caveat emptor, is well known in legal circles. Essentially this means buyer beware. (Caveat translates to “may he beware” and emptor represents the consumer in the expression.) The same form has been applied to the consumption of any message – caveat auditor. You’ll recognize the phrase from the title of this article. “Beware the receiver of any message” could easily be a modern battle cry for those inundated with advertisements, mass marketing, internet memes, deliberately deceptive fake news reports, the growing practice of social manipulation through push polling, and similar forms of agenda promotion via online discussion and sharing communities.

It’s worth noting that to a marketer, many of these techniques are tools – often employed to inspire emotional attachment to goods and services. Learning to spot these techniques, and in some cases to utilize them, plays a tremendous role in modern business.

While these warnings serve as a reminder of the universality of attempts to persuade individuals or systems, they also exist as aphorisms because the art of deception and manipulation with the intent to win a goal through manipulation has continued to grow at an alarming rate. Our improved methods of communication have democratized mass communication making it cheaper and easier than ever for anyone to reach the masses with well-targeted messages. While it once required enormous sums of money and elaborate infrastructure to push messages (both accurate and inaccurate) to the masses, the promotion of an agenda, false idea, con, or other manipulation of truth now requires little more than a clever meme and an internet connected computer. It is also worth noting that the reasons for the promotion of incorrect information don’t have to be deliberately devious to be destructive, or problematic.

So Why Does This Matter To My Training Department?

A growing number of businesses are relying more and more on publically available resources to inform, educate and update their personnel. You will see this trend reflected in articles touting the ‘end of organizational training’ or ‘end of the Learning Management System’. Why not? Using a search engine at the point of need has become the most common first inquiry in learning virtually anything (Wang-Audia & Tauber, 2014). As research, education, and training move rapidly to a self-serve delivery model, the onus is ever-increasingly on the individual to use a solid background in critical thinking in order to discern facts, uncover undisclosed specifics, verify sources of information, and clarify the specifics of a given proposal or narrative.

If we further analyze the problem, it is possible to see that the underlying logic – specifically the ability to recognize logical fallacies, is very often one source of problems in critical thinking. Spotting logical fallacies like emotional appeal and reacting appropriately can prevent a significant proportion of security-related problems like the email phishing scam discussed earlier. They can also improve performance among managers and decision makers. Ensuring a solid foundation in logical thinking, especially the identification of logical fallacy, can dramatically improve employees’ abilities to make good decisions and contribute more effectively to organizational and project goals.

In practice this means that people in a business are able to discern good ideas from ones that are likely to fail. They are much more likely to spot fraud, to quickly discover innovative approaches that have a likelihood of success. Critical thinking skills are essential to the success of both individuals and organizations. Without adequate critical thinking skills it will be easy for your employees to fall into traps. They will be easy targets for anyone who wants to game the system and cheat them. And if they can be cheated, your organization can be cheated.

Of course fundamental training in how to think critically remains essential, but given an audience that has some foundation in critical thought, augmenting such training with an overview of logical fallacies could play an important role in reducing problems. These skills could only be strengthened by a solid understanding of logic and logical fallacies. By training personnel in the aspects of critical thinking and the fundamentals of logical reasoning, employees will be much more prepared to handle the rapid fire influx of new ideas and concepts migrating into your organization from a myriad of outside sources.

During his closing keynote for the 2016 Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas, Tridib Roy Chowdhury described these sources of learning. Whether it’s YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or most commonly Google, people are increasingly likely to consult public sources for answers about the tasks that they perform in your organization. As Chowdhury explained, this ‘Google first’ modality of learning is already the norm, and our most common support architectures simply do not compete with the search ability and completeness of Google’s latest snapshot of the sum of human knowledge.

Unfortunately, that snapshot is increasingly likely to produce results that have virtually no information for the consumer about the critical qualifications of the content on the other end of a search. At this point, the individual learner is generally the only line of defense between your organization and false information, an attempted fraud, or any other source of faulty information which can potentially cost your organization time, money, and resources.

How Can Organizational Training Address This Need?

When I speak with employers, one of the most common concerns expressed about new hires is the general lack the ability to think critically and solve problems with creativity and innovation. Our education systems generally do not include a lot of training in these areas. One of the few strong instructional approaches tied to critical thinking skills historically has been training in information literacy. This skill is most often relegated to librarians, and as we have witnessed the digitization of modern libraries – the opportunities for training in information literacy has rapidly declined.

For the most part, educators use lecture and other didactic methods of instruction. This approach can be effective in some instances, but in general approaches to learning that encourage use of the information, and questioning of ideas and concepts are more lasting, and offer far more potential for meaningful use of the content. We see such methods employed in the sciences, and in the scientific method, which inherently aligns better to critical thinking. Perhaps the oldest method of teaching critical thinking is the use of Socratic Questioning rather than lecture and drill based training. In this approach, students are challenged with questions, rather than presented with information. Questions encourage the learners to consider a problem in much greater detail, to compare and contextualize new information to things they already know, and to consider the veracity of new ideas. These are all skills that employers highly value – and all methods that have been employed by effective classroom teachers for centuries.

Using a Socratic approach to deliver content, learners do not passively consume information. They are challenged to answer questions about a topic, and guided by those questions to examine all of the information, ideas, and concepts that relate. This approach encourages learners to question the sources, debate the merit and logic of responses and form their own critical conclusions about the content. The trainer is able to evaluate the results based on the accuracy, specificity, complexity and relevance. But a Socratic approach is inherently expensive. It requires substantial investment in 1:1 training, or very effective group training. If training as a remedy to poor critical thinking skills is going to make an impact, it must scale well and be relatively inexpensive.

Educational institutions should recognize the deficiencies in educational methods and begin significantly improving those methods in order to encourage substantially better critical thinking skills in young adults. But there is absolutely no reason to expect that educational institutions will accept or adopt that challenge. Therefore it is fundamentally necessary for organizations to provide supplemental education in critical thinking and logic in order to prevent the losses owed to the accidental introduction of false, misrepresented, fraudulent, or deceptive information that is propagated within their organizations.

Final Thoughts

The world around us is rapidly changing. The availability of information and immediacy of communication enables us to adapt and learn at unprecedented speeds. But those who will excel in this environment of constant innovation will be the ones who are capable of discerning quickly the difference between sound information and ideas and those which are fraudulent, deceptive, or simply not founded in solid evidence. Likewise companies that thrive will be those that recognize, celebrate and cultivate critical thinkers – capable of questioning convention, exploring new ideas critically, and ready to uncover facts to guide their projects and decisions.

In order to explore some of these ideas more fully, I have created the first of several learning activities focused on rapidly improving the identification and rejection of logical fallacies. The first one focuses on the fallacy commonly known as the gambler’s fallacy. This is an activity designed to explain the fallacy, and encourage the trainee to learn to identify examples of the fallacy in work related settings.

I’ll demonstrated how the aforementioned sample was created in Adobe Captivate 9, in an eSeminar on Gamification and Adobe Captivate.  (NOTE: The seminar contains the download files for source of the Captivate project shown in this article.) Or if gamification seems a bit advanced, you are also invited to join me for an eSeminar for Captivate beginners, during which I’ll introduce the basic principles of course development.

One of the most common problems that HR and eLearning professionals are facing is implementing modern, engaging Learning solutions. This is exactly the sort of thing that critical thinking can help solve. Whether you are trying to better understand your training needs or evaluating a Learning Management System, like Adobe’s amazing new LMS, the problem will be much easier to solve with critical thinking process in place.

Still hungry for more? Consider reading ‘Engage the Fox’ by Jennifer Lawrence and Larry Chester.’ It is an absolutely enjoyable and engaging read on a subject that you might expect to be terribly dry.

References:

  • Chang, H. H., & Pham, M. T. (2013). Affect as a Decision-Making System of the Present. Journal of Consumer Research, 40: 42-46.
  • Chen, D., Moskowitz, T. J., & Shue, K. (2016). Decision-Making Under The Gambler’s Fallacy. Cambridge, MA: NBER Working Paper Series.
  • Guinn, S. L., & Williamson, G. A. (2017, January 6). Eight Habits of Effective Critical Thinkers. Retrieved from American Management Association.
  • Hart Research Associates. (2013). It takes more than a major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges & Universities & Hart Research Associates.
  • Lerner, J. S., Li, Y., Valdesolo, P., & Kassam, K. S. (2015). Emotion and Decision Making. Annual Review of Psychology, 799-823.
  • Segar, M. (2016). The Surprising Science Behind Creating Sustainable Behavior. Science of Behavior Change Summit (p. Opening Keynote). Online: eLearning Guild.
  • Sirriyeh, R., Lawton, R., & Ward, J. (2010). Physical activity and adolescents: An exploratory randomized controlled trial investigating the influence of affective and instrumental text messages. British Journal of Health Psychology, 825-840.
  • Wang-Audia, W., & Tauber, T. (2014). Meet the Modern Learner: Engaging the Overwhelmed, Distracted, and Impatient Employee. Bersin by Deloitte.

Secrets of Video Demo Timeline (cpvc project)

Intro

In a first article about timelines, I described the common features: timeline ruler, playhead, eye button, lock button, control panel and the tiny icons at the bottom of the second column of the Timeline panel. This post will explain the more specific features of the Timeline panel in a Video Demo project (cpvc file).

The other posts are for cptx projects:

There will be a bonus article for those who want more: color coding and shortcut keys for the Timelines.

Timeline in a CPVC or Video Demo Project

CPVC-files are created with the Video Demo application packed with Captivate. Those projects are pure video files, they can only be published to a video format (MP4 – H264 codec).  It has a dedicated video editor, which has some panels similar to those in a cptx-project. One of those panels is the Timeline panel, which is not hidden when entering the Video editor, contrary to the newbie UI for cptx-projects.. Here is a screenshot of a typical timeline of a video demo in the Video editor:

CPVCTimeline1

Similar to other video applications, you’ll see one continuous timeline for the whole movie. I will use the word ‘track’ for each horizontal line in the Timeline panel. Immediately after creating a video demo only one track will be visible in the panel, the bottom track labeled as ‘Video/Audio’. This label is automatically attributed to the first track.

The bottom track in the screenshot pointed at with the name ‘Video/Audio’ because contrary to a cptx project, the audio has no separate timeline, but is included in the video track. Another difference is that the bottom track can have several video clips. In the screenshot you see two full video clips and the start of a third clip.

The video clips can be in sequence (clip 1 and 2) without a gap, or separated by one or more static objects. Clip 2 and 3 have a text and an image inserted between them. Those objects were added manually, and they appear in new tracks. Only non-interactive, static objects can be added to a video demo. Similar to the multiple video clips for the Video/Audio track, the other tracks can have multiple objects (which is not possible in a cptx project). New tracks are only added when necessary, when two or more objects overlap in time. In the screenshot you see multiple objects in three tracks. This explains the generic name ‘Objects’ for the tracks (first column). The names of the tracks cannot be changed, customized which is another difference with the object/style timelines in a cptx project. The Properties panel has not field ‘Name’.

Due to the possible presence of multiple items on a track, clicking a dot linked to the Eye and Lock button will affect all the objects on that track. It is not possible to lock or hide one object timeline (or one video clip). That is another big difference with the Timeline in cptx projects.

More specific features are:

  •  Just below the time ruler in seconds, you’ll see diamond icons (and a half icon at the start). Those diamonds indicate the start/end of a video clip. Their color is grey by default. You can click such a diamond, and the color will be green. You can add a transition from the Video Effects panel that will appear automatically in the right docking station.After adding a transition the diamond’s color changes to orange. You can add a transition to the start of the first clip, hence the half-diamond appearing at the start of the Video/Audio Track.
    Diamonds

 

 

  • The orange In/out markers are the same vertical position as the playhead. You’ll find them at the beginning and the end of the Video/audio track. If you want to focus on one video clip, you can drag the In marker to the start of that video clip, and the Out marker to its end. When you use the Play button from the Control panel (or the shortcut key Space bar), the playhead will move only within that video clip. You can also use the Trim command to delete the darkened part by dragging the In/Out markers. If I did that for the situation in this screenshot, only the second video clip would be preserved
    InOut
  • In the Pan/Zoom status (which is the default status of the timeline, visible in the Screenshot images so far) the track with the video clips can have Zoom indicators (loupe icon). They appear when you add a zoom and/or pan effect. The duration of the zoom/pan transition is visualized by the width of the shadow triangle before the zoom indicator.
    In this Pan/zoom status you’ll find under the timeline tracks the buttons ‘Split’, ‘Pan and Zoom’ and ‘Trim’ to be active.
  • The second status, Mouse status can be made active with Edit, Edit Mouse points (use the same work flow to return to the Pan/Zoom status). The ‘Pan and Zoom’ button will be dimmed, inactive but ‘Split’ and ‘Trim’ buttons remain available. In this status the start of mouse trails are visible on the video/audio track as mouse icons(screenshot below): you can select them individually and edit or delete the mouse object.
    CPVCTimeline2
  • To trim away part of a video clip, you have to position the playhead near the location that you want to delete. When clicking the Trim button two black triangles, the Trim markers (In and Out) will appear. The gap between them will be greyed out and will be deleted when you click on the Trim button again. You can drag both Trim In and Trim out markers to select precisely the part to be trimmed. You’ll end up after the trim action with two video clips, and a transition point (diamond marker) separating them.

Trim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color codes?
The objects in the CPVC timeline have no real color coding (for cptx projects, this will be explained in a later blog post): everything is blue, the Video/Audio track is bit different but still blue. A selected video clip or object will be in a more saturated blue.

CPVC or Video Demo slide

You can embed a Video Demo in a normal cptx-project. This can be done either by recording directly from within the cptx-project with the big button, Slides, Video Demo or by inserting an exisiting (raw) cpvc project using the menu Insert, CPVC-slide. The look of such a slide, in the filmstrip and in the Timeline panel is identical to the look of the (old) FMR-slides (Full Motion Recording) that are created in a software simulation for movements that cannot be captured in static slides (like dragging, moving objects). The only way to recognize a cpvc slide is by the presence of the button ‘Edit Video Demo’ in the Properties panel.

cpvcslide

Next post?

Soon I’ll publish a longer article about the ins and outs of the Timeline(s) in a cptx-project: master slides, normal slides, effects….

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