ADOBE CAPTIVATE: Tips for Importing PowerPoint Slides
by Jennie Ruby, COTP
Many organizations use PowerPoint templates to ensure that lessons are consistent and correctly branded. By importing PowerPoint into Captivate, you can retain that formatting and branding in your eLearning lessons as well. But sometimes Captivate needs a little extra help in communicating with PowerPoint on your computer in order to import slides. Here are some tips.
1. Open your copy of PowerPoint, and open the file you want to import into Captivate.
2. Use Save As to re-save the file. This makes your copy of PowerPoint the last program to "touch" the file. (This helps prevent "permissions" errors.)
3. Close the file, but keep PowerPoint open, with no PowerPoint files open. Just the program.
4. In Captivate, from the Welcome Screen’s New tab, click From PowerPoint and click Create.
5. Select the PowerPoint file you earlier saved.
6. In the Convert Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations dialog box, select the specific slides you want to import.
7. To be able to update the slides in PowerPoint if needed and have them synchronize with the Captivate project, ensure that the Link checkbox is selected. Keep the other default settings (Advance slide on Mouse click).
Note: On Windows computers, you may want to select High Fidelity as well. This gives you higher quality images and may help with any PowerPoint animations, which, by the way, should work in Captivate.
8. Click OK.
The import process can take a while. If it truly freezes, you may need to close both programs and start again. But even if you have to do that, we have typically seen it work on the second try.
Once the PowerPoint deck is imported, it is listed in Captivate’s Library. A red or green dot appears next to the slides, letting you know whether they are synchronized with the original PowerPoint. If that dot is red, you can click it to update the slides in Captivate.
If you need to make a change to text or images on the slides, you’ll need to return to PowerPoint to do so. But Captivate makes this easy through the Edit > Edit with Microsoft PowerPoint command. You can choose to edit just one slide or the whole presentation. You are taken to PowerPoint, where you can make the needed edits. Then, on Windows computers, you can just hit the Save button at the upper left to save the changes and return to Captivate. On Mac computers, you just save the file in PowerPoint, re-open Captivate, and say yes to a dialog box to Update your Captivate slides.
Importing your PowerPoint slides can be the fastest route to a fully formatted, branded Captivate project. If you have any other tips on working with PowerPoint and Captivate, I would love to hear from you via comments below.
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Jennie Ruby, CTT, COTP, is a veteran eLearning developer, trainer, and author. Jennie has an M.A. from George Washington University and is a Certified Technical Trainer and Certified Online Training Professional. She teaches both classroom and online courses, and has authored courseware, published training books, and developed content for countless eLearning projects. She is also a publishing professional with more than 30 years of experience in writing, editing, print publishing, and eLearning.