Creating a course using Microsoft PowerPoint and importing and enhancing it using Adobe Captivate is a very popular and useful workflow. There are cases where we can achieve smooth results if we follow some best practices when creating the eLearning course using PowerPoint. Of course there are best practices after importing it inside Captivate as well… 🙂 Let’s discuss how these can make a difference.
Decide the dimensions…
The dimensions of a PowerPoint file is usually calculated in inches and Adobe Captivate works in pixels. For an existing PowerPoint file, you need to figure out the dimensions in pixels. I usually do a simple math, most of the Windows systems have 96dpi and most of the Macs have 131 dpi. How do I find it out that? Very simple, create a one slide PPT and set the dimension of the slide to be 10×10 inches. Create a new project using this PowerPoint file in Adobe Captivate and in the ‘Select Slides dialog’ which pops up, it would show you the dimensions in pixels… I’m sure you can do the math now about the dpi… 🙂
Now that you know the dpi and based on your planning for the Captivate’s project, you set the slide dimension in PowerPoint accordingly. For example, my Captivate project dimension is 1024×768 and my system’s dpi is 96dpi, then my PowerPoint slides should be 10.6×8 inches… Simple, right?
What about the audio?
Many times we see people having issues with getting the audio from PowerPoint to Captivate. If there is a narration you have recorded inside PowerPoint and import that PPT in Captivate, it works fine. But, if you have imported an audio file in PowerPoint slides, make sure that the audio file you are importing is in the same location as the PPT file. Why do we need to do this? Because, as you all know, every slide is a SWF in Captivate and it looks for the audio file at the same location as the source PPT file, so next time when you have issues with imported audio inside a PPT, just check for this little trick and see if it helps 🙂
File size… File size…
As most of you are aware, when we import the PowerPoint file, we can either link it or embed it in Adobe Captivate. We can also selectively import the slides instead of importing all of them. In cases where you are selectively importing and embedding the PowerPoint content, you have an option to reduce the Captivate file size by compacting the PowerPoint file. How do we do that? Very simple, right-click on the PPT item in Captivate Library and select Compact. It removes all the slides which were excluded during import. Be careful when you do this step, as it cannot be undone.
Hope these tips help…