When creating eLearning in TechSmith Camtasia, Adobe Captivate, or Articulate Storyline, one critical consideration is the physical width and height of your project (also known as the canvas size).
The size of the project is measured in pixels and if you don't get this right from the start, changing your mind later could lead to some unintended consequences. (Objects being resized out of proportion is one of the biggest concerns.)
When I teach any of my eLearning courses, I encourage learners to consider their end-users when determining the size of the canvas. These days, most users access eLearning content on anything from a desktop computer to laptops to mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
In my experience, most devices used to view eLearning are shaped more like rectangles than squares. For that reason, I think the eLearning canvas should be set up to use a 16:9 aspect ratio as opposed to 4:3.
The aspect ratio of an eLearning canvas designed to be viewed on its side, or in landscape mode, is the ratio of its longer side to its shorter side. If you go with a 4:3 aspect ratio (4 pixels across for every 3 pixels in height), you're working with a shape that is tending toward a square. If you go with 16:9 (16 pixels across for every 9 high), the shape is very much a rectangle.
Once you decide on the shape of your canvas (again, 16:9 is a strong rectangle shape), the exact size you use depends on your design and/or the needs of your users. Both 1024x576 and 1280x720 are 16:9 ratios. (Here's a handy list of 16:9 aspect ratios.)
So how do you ensure your aspect ratio is a 16:9 aspect ratio as opposed to 4:3. Read on!
Because eLearning often begins in Microsoft PowerPoint, let's start there. Go to the Design tab on the Ribbon and, from the Customize group, change the Slide Size to Widescreen (16:9).
Yes! Aspect ratio is one of the biggest make-or-break quality points on any project.
No matter what tool I'm using to create eLearning, I use two free apps to help me manage aspect ratios so my work is the highest possible quality (no need for resizing):
* Sizer (http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/) -
This tiny app lets you precisely size any window to any size or dimension (preset or saved custom or on the fly). I install it on every new computer, over and over again.
* Aspect Ratio Calculator (https://calculateaspectratio.com/) -
This website does the math for you. Use it to figure out your required dimensions, then use Sizer to set the window size!
Posted by: Tara Aukerman | May 27, 2020 at 01:31 PM