Adobe recently announced a upgrade to Adobe Captivate, its popular eLearning development tool.
According to Adobe's Allen Partridge, Captivate version 2017, includes several new features including something 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," said Partridge. "As the screen size changes, the boxes will intelligently rearrange, remove, realign and resize themselves to accommodate multiple 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."
Beyond Fluid Boxes, there are additional new features I'll be writing about in the coming weeks. For instance, there's integration with Adobe Typekit that will ensure the awesome (but not Web Safe) fonts your designer wants to use in your eLearning project actually display correctly for your learners. And there's an Asset Library that includes more than 75,000 images, characters, templates, and themes that are free to use in your Captivate projects.
If Advanced Actions are your thing, you'll be happy to learn that standard and conditional actions have been combined, a long-awaited enhancement that will streamline your development efforts.
The first question I always get when someone is upgrading from an older version of Captivate to a new version is this: "Will my legacy Captivate projects open in the new version?" The answer is a resounding yes. Simply choose File > Open, find existing projects, and open them. The project will open in Captivate 2017 without fanfare. When you save the project the first time, you'll be alerted that it's being converted to version 2017.
Note: Once you convert your project to version 2017, there's no going back (it will not open in an older version of Captivate).
Fluid Boxes are Great, But What's the Coolest Thing About Captivate 2017?
As I mentioned above, I'll be covering the coolest new features in Captivate 2017 over the next few weeks. However, I do want to cut to the chase here and tell you about what is possibly the most exciting enhancement in Captivate 2017 (no offense to Fluid Boxes): the ability to save a standard Captivate project as a responsive project.
When I teach students how to create responsive eLearning with Captivate using Captivate 8 or 9, learners tend to get bummed out when they learn that they can either create standard projects or responsive projects, but there's no going back and forth. This is a significant limitation. If the boss or customer asks for a non-responsive to be responsive, the only way to make a standard project responsive is to create a new project and then copy/paste assets from the standard project to the responsive project.
That was so yesterday...
With Captivate 2017, all you need to do is choose FIle > Save as Responsive. You'll be alerted that some items in a standard project might not work well in a responsive project (you can click the Show Unsupported Items button and find out for sure). Clicking the Save button converts your project to a responsive project quicker than you can blink. (Note that you can save a standard project as responsive, but you cannot save a responsive project as a standard project.)
Kevin Siegel, CTT, COTP, is the founder and president of IconLogic. Following a career in Public Affairs with the US 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.