What's new In Captivate 4?

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Adobe® Captivate® 4 software is packed with new features that help you work faster, collaborate more effectively, and create more realistic and engaging eLearning content with advanced interactivity, software and scenario simulations, quizzes, tables of contents, widgets, and more—all without programming or multimedia skills.

Here are the top new features of Adobe Captivate 4 addressing the release goals mentioned above:

Productivity, Richness, and Robustness

Round-trip PowerPoint workflow

Leverage existing Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2007 (PPTX format) slides in your projects.

Import slides with audio and interactivity, and easily update the imported content from Adobe Captivate, keeping your PowerPoint and Adobe Captivate files in sync. 

The editing of PowerPoint slides in Captivate uses the same interface as the PowerPoint application, lowering the learning curve for new users.

Files are imported as an embedded content as well as a link.

Variables and Advanced Actions

Use Variables to personalize the learning experience by using learner-provided data, such as the learner’s name, throughout a scenario. The system comes with a large set of system variables, and the user is allowed to define any number of user-requested variables.

Use Advanced Actions to further configure and modify the experience by enabling conditional actions, or more than one action in an interaction. 

Text-to-speech functionality

Keep learners tuned in to your content thanks to automatic voice-over functionality that turns text to high-quality speech.

Scratch audio is often incorporated in various stages of the content review process. Modification of this audio as a result of the review is time-consuming and costly. The text-to-speech functionality reduces the effort to retyping the text.

For most content we believe that the quality of the audio is good enough for final delivery, thereby significantly eliminating an important cost/time component from the authoring workflow.

Customizable widgets

Advanced content authors may feel the need to extend the capabilities of Captivate.

Create more compelling learning experiences by including widgets such as games, question types, and more. Create widgets in Adobe Flash® Professional software, easily share them via Adobe Exchange®, and customize them to meet your content needs.

These widgets once created can be used in other projects within the organization. We also expect that over time, people would start to share their widgets either in the paid/freeware/open source model.

Adobe Photoshop layer support

Preserve layers in imported Adobe® Photoshop® (PSD) files.

When you import a PSD file, the layers are imported separately, allowing the graphic designer to easily edit or manipulate individual layers.

Table of Contents and Aggregator

Enable learners to easily navigate through content and track their progress with a multilevel Table of Contents.

Use the Aggregator to combine multiple Captivate content modules to create a complete eLearning course. This allows for modular as well as collaborative development methodologies.

Streamlined workflows and enhanced usability

Use workflow and usability enhancements, including inline editing of text captions, templates to standardize the look and feel of projects, panning to optimize viewing on small screens and devices, support for right-clicking in simulations, drawing tools and image editing, and improved accessibility features.

Expanded output options

Adobe Captivate 4 will allow for publishing to a PDF as well as AVI as well as Adobe® ActionScript® 3.0 in addition to the publish to SWF and Adobe® ActionScript® 2.0

Adobe PDF is fast becoming the default platform for information exchange.  Insertion of Adobe Captivate movies in Adobe PDF files enlivens text-based instructional content.

Expansion of Adobe Captivate’s user base which demands high-fidelity non-interactive content drives the need to deliver the content in AVI format.  The AVI files for streaming on the web, distributing on CD/DVDs or publishing to YouTube™.

You can now embed your movies in Adobe® Flex® content using Adobe® ActionScript® 3.0 publishing.

Improving Efficiency of the ID-SE interaction

SWF commenting

Accelerate content creation cycles with real-time reviews in Adobe Captivate Reviewer, an Adobe AIR™ application.

Reviewers can add comments to your SWF files while playing them without

 having Adobe Captivate installed, and comments will be imported to the appropriate slides in your project.

Comments from multiple reviewers’ would be automatically sync-ed by Captivate, which allows for the author to review all the reviews at once.

Project templates

Use enhanced project templates that make it easy for subject-matter experts to contribute instructionally sound content without compromising structure.

Round-trip PowerPoint workflow

eLearning authoring workflows often start with PowerPoint. This feature significantly improves the “getting-out-of-the-block” time, as well as reduces content “data-entry” timeframes.

Already detailed above.

Listening to our customers

Single SWF Output

Previous versions of Adobe® Captivate® generated outputs which were spread across multiple SWF files. This prevented easy uploading, embedding and sharing of Captivate content. There were some customers who preferred to have it this way, but a large percentage of customers would prefer to be given a choice as to whether they wanted one SWF file or have multiple SWF files.

Adobe Captivate 4 delivers on this specific request. By default, Adobe captivate 4 will try and generate a single SWF file in almost all cases.

There are a few exceptions. Multiple SWFs are generated when Flash Video content is embedded or if SWF animations of mixed Flash/ActionScript versions are used in the project. Question Pools are always kept outside the main SWF by design.

If the user chooses to use multiple SWF option that is also available as in the previous versions.

Right-Click Functionality

Applications which needed to capture right-click functionality had to use various work around to provide this, as Flash player used to capture this keyboard action.

In Adobe Captivate 4 , projects published using Adobe® ActionScript® 2.0 will be able to have access to right-click functionality, provided we turn off the accessibility option of the content.  Similarly, for projects using Adobe® ActionScript® 3.0 this functionality is available only for content being played in the browser, and not in standalone application.

Panning while screen recordings

Automatic and manual panning of the capture window while screen recording is taking place has been a long standing request from the user community.

In Adobe Captivate 4 provides this functionality, where not only are these options provided, but capability to switch between these options through shortcut keys are possible during recording.

Performance and Robustness

As rapid eLearning gains traction and as more complex and larger projects are managed and authored using rapid technologies, it is important that authoring tools also provide scalability in performance and robustness.

Users of Adobe Captivate 4 will be surprised by the significant improvement made in some common workflows and the ability to author and manage large modular projects.

Care has also been taken to improve output fidelity to address the needs of authoring of some professional courses.

9 Responses

  1. LOVE Captivate!! I’m doing a free trial on Captivate 4. Is there anyway to adjust the pronunciation in text to speech? Also, how do you change the reviewer window to administrator?

  2. I’m testing Captivate 4 and really liking it so far. The new panning feature is nice, but for some reason the Automatic Recording panel only gives me the Automatic Panning option. According to the online help, there’s supposed to be a Manual Panning option, too. Unfortunately, the help doesn’t go beyond explaining what the two versions of panning do. There’s no troubleshooting information. Any idea why Manual Panning doesn’t show up in the drop-down menu?

  3. Hi Eddie, glad you are enjoying the product. When you start a new project- software simulation> screen area > 640×480> click the camera icon in the red rectangle (second icon on the left)> panning (drop down)> manual panning. Is this option not present for you?You probably chose a full screen application region for recording… hence the panning option is disabled.Regards,Shameer Ayyappan

  4. Hi Eddie,To address your problem please try following steps:1. Launch Captivate and press Shift +F8.This should launch the preference dialog.2. Here goto Recording->Settings: here please make sure that the Hide:Recording window is unchecked.-Manish

  5. I just upgraded from Captivate 3 to 4. I am recording a dimulation with the right-click but when I try to publish I am receiving a message stating that I need Flash player or else it will publish as a left click. I have flash player 10 on my pc. What am I doing wrong? Please Advise!

  6. Hi,i am using Captivate 4 and have recently started using Text-to-speech option. However i am facing a problem. When i publish the file in SWF it works OK, but when i publish the output as AVI, the audio gets out of sync incrementally. Need Advise!Regards,ubaid

  7. I’m testing Captivate 4. I am interesting in seeing how the panning works, but no matter what screen size/region recording option I select, I cannot select a panning option — in all recording modes, all I have is “No Panning” with the dropdown disabled.

  8. Just tried using text to speech conversion but when I playback the project – I got some scrambled audio. I then removed the conversion and recorded myself. On playback, I’m getting scrambled again. How can I fix this?

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