Adobe Captivate tips
We used Captivate to build a suite of learning courses for innocent drinks. Here are some tips we learned along the journey.
May the font be with you
Some brands have very strong identities. We recognise them instantly when we reach for their products on the shelves. innocent drinks are one of those brands, with cool custom fonts and an illustration library that would rival the Natural History Museum. However, custom fonts can be tricky for an LMS and can look really different to your project file.
If you have custom fonts in your Captivate project, here’s a way you can ensure they’ll look like they should in your LMS:
- In Adobe Illustrator create the text in the custom font at the point size you’ll need.
- Export your text or image as an SVG and in Format Settings, set the Styling to Internal CSS, and for Font, select Convert to Outlines.
- Import the SVG into Captivate.
A Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) is the best image format to use as it has the smallest file size. It’s also good practice to resize any images to the dimensions you need prior to importing to Captivate.
Drop it like its hot
Captivate’s Interactions – Drag and Drop interaction wizard is magic for creating engaging drag and drop quizzes in your courses. We learned a neat little trick when creating these types of quizzes that adds an extra bit of sparkle and gives instant feedback to the learner. We wanted the colours of the drag objects to change if the learner dropped them onto the correct spot. It’s simple but effective.
Here’s how we did it:
- In Adobe Illustrator, we created images of the drop shapes importing them into Captivate as SVGs.
- Then, we created two sets of each drag image in the colour combinations we wanted. The first set had a coloured background with dark text, and the second had transparent backgrounds with white text. Each drag image was exported as a PNG with Scale set to 4x (to maintain transparency and size).
- In Captivate, we imported the images and used the Interactions – Drag and Drop interaction wizard to create the quiz.
- Once you have the quiz behaving as you’d like, you’ll need to add a couple of extra states to each drag image. To do this, click on a drag asset, then click State View from the Properties menu. Click +NewState and add a DragOver, and a DropAccept state.
- For the DropAccept state, click on the PNG image file (in the Properties menu), navigate to your transparent version of the image, and replace. If you like, you can also adjust your DragOver state to make it even more dynamic too.
Who shall remain nameless
You can go through the desert on a horse with no name, but you won’t get far in Captivate without naming your layers. You’ll find your own approach to naming conventions in time, but when we first got started we found our animation experience useful. Our senior animators were all over organising and naming layers. It may seem like a small thing, but it can save a lot of time down the track, especially when you’re sharing your file and you need everyone to hit the ground running.
There’s no right or wrong way, but here are some helpful tips we’ve learned:
- Name your slide objects with slidenumber_type_description. This really helps if you’re adding advanced actions later on, as you can quickly search by slide number. Keep your descriptions as short as possible.
- Name your variables with var_slidenumber_type_description. Good naming practices can also show you where you might be going wrong, e.g. you’ve used the wrong object in an advanced action.
- Make sure your back and next buttons are at the top of your timeline, that way they’ll always be accessible to your learners and not behind other objects.
- It can be helpful to note down your naming conventions in a document when sharing your project files – it speeds up the process of handover.
If you need to change your slide order later, don’t forget to keep your objects updated too.
Let us know your best tips – we’re always on the lookout for great ideas!