Adobe Captivate 4 Best Practices: What's Yours?

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This morning, in preparation for an “Adobe Captivate 4 Best Practices” presentation, I decided to send out the following Tweet, in an effort to learn from my followers what their own personal best practices were:

I have already received many replies with very useful information, which I would like to share in this post. In fact with every new reply I receive on Twitter, I will come back to this post and continue adding to it. If you have an idea, please send it to me on Twitter by beginning your tweet with @rjacquez.

Here’s the running list, I hope you find these useful:

  1. RT @andyjones1302: write dn, w/ pen & paper, steps U’ll take 4 a demo. Forces U 2 B short & stops mistakes.
  2. RT @Stevehoward999: If gving me images, dont giv compressed images (jpg, gif), they alrdy lost quality. PNG plz
  3. RT @edmarsh: Back up your prefs file when you have it set the way you like. #Captivate
  4. RT @lmardennh LOCK a slide when you are happy with it – I learned that the hard way!
  5. RT @Ricas_gti: Add audio before tweaking the timing of slides.
  6. RT @andyjones1302: Run through the demo on the tool a couple of times before opening #Captivate
  7. RT @kdraper: Try out search examples beforehand to make sure they do what you think they’re going to do.
  8. RT @andyjones1302: In a demo, make 1st 1/2 second of each slide empty, gives user time 2 view & get used 2 screen
  9. RT @spencerbean: When previewing large projects, use Hide Slide on less important slides to cut down on preview render time
  10. RT @macrofireball: Use Captivate to create prototypes and show them to clients as often as possible.
  11. RT @andyjones1302: When recording audio imagine U’re explaining ovr users shoulder. Leave in Ums & Errrs. More natural & engaging #Captivate
  12. RT @andyjones1302: In a demo, make 1st 1/2 second of each slide empty, gives user time 2 view & get used 2 screen
  13. RT @kdraper: Try out search examples beforehand to make sure they do what you think they’re going to do.
  14. RT @jenludwiczak: I always script and storyboard each session b4 beginning in Captivate.
  15. RT @macrofireball: Always include CC text. Not all learners (in office environ) have speakers attached to PCs
  16. RT @jwillensky: Overlay your TOC to add function but conserve real estate. #Captivate
  17. RT @Sue_Taylor: Add audio after doing the screen capture. Allows you to concentrate on 1 thing at a time.
  18. RT @jwillensky: Use “return 2 last slide” fcn & Return button 4 EZ round-trip 2/from help slides/lesson
  19. RT @Sue_Taylor: Use the slide notes area to script what you want to say – they are viewable while recording
  20. RT @cybertext: Long sequence w same caption? Get caption right on beg. slide, copy/paste to others, remove fade in/out = seamless
  21. RT @jenilsson: Take extra screen shots to ensure you have good images, then delete extras before doing any edits.
  22. RT @cre8iveii: Do small trial run, test on student machines – get screen resolution right for target audience
  23. RT @winntshawn: Remember to search through the library for unused items and delete them. saves on the final size!
  24. RT @emcod: Many captured slides can be deleted w/o affecting the flow of a simulation. Test by hiding the slide first.
  25. RT @Captiv8r: Rule of thumb 4 Captivate slide count. Consider 50-65 slides as an upper limit. 100s will cripple projects
  26. RT @Captiv8r: Always work on projects from local C drive. Copy to server only for backup. Don’t edit projects on a server
  27. RT @hypertexas: When creating on SME behalf, let them do a “scratch track” audio recording, then clean up & re-record final
  28. RT @tompsk: Create a separate test module for your course tests, keeps scoring nice and simple
  29. RT @hypertexas: Add an “agent” or guide to your #Captivate scenarios for continuity & more engaging transitions from one section to another
  30. RT @macrofireball: Don’t use spinning or flying text. animations Words and text do not fly or spin in the real world.
  31. RT @rjacquez: Just as a good photographer reviews and enhances their pictures, so should you Preview and go through your simulation after recording.
  32. RT @hypertexas: Avoid temptation to read text captions for narration. Redundancy confuses learners
  33. RT @joe_deegan: Always exit a project by using File > Close. Reduces file size significantly.
  34. RT @rjacquez:
    Use Automatic Recording to keep the file size down. Only use Full Motion to add ‘realism’ to your Simulations.
  35. RT @rjacquez: Create and Use Project Templates, they speed up #eLearning development and enforce consistency
  36. RT @rjacquez:
    [#Captivate Best Practice] Add Realism to Software Simulations by including short Full Motion slides throughout your projects
  37. Voiceover Recording Best Practices

  38. RT @lmardennh: BP for voiceovers: Do them all on the same day for a given course – voice pitch and modulation varies noticeably day2day.
  39. RT @lmardennh: BP for voiceovers: script as much as possible, and PRACTICE. this reduces edits, so narration is even and consistent
  40. RT @macrofireball: Voice Over BP. Relax body, in particular face and tongue. Learn to breathe from your diaphragm. Practice your script!
  41. [Voice Over BP] RT @tompsk: Also avoid drinking coffee before doing a voiceover, drink water to keep a clear voice.
  42. [Voice Over BP] RT @juliov27612: Don’t drink ice water; it strips your vocal chords of lubrication. Water should be room temperature
  43. [Voice Over BP] RT @macrofireball: Avoid dairy products before recording. Avoid lip smacks by eating a green apple. Clear throat gently.
  44. [Voiceover Best Practice] RT @lirons: Record in a standing position.
  45. [Voiceover Best Practice] RT @macrofireball: Use visual images to express different emotions and attitudes through your voice.
  46. [Voiceover BP] RT @ScottSkibell: for me is standing up and not being afraid to move your hands. Creates more energy in your delivery.

More to come…

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  • Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

  • Welcome and thanks for visiting my blog. Let me know if you have any questions and please also consider following me on Twitter @rjacquez for real-time news, tips and tricks and best practices.Sincerely,RJ Jacquez

  • Consider 50-65 slides to be the rule of thumb for upper limit guideline for projects. Captivate doesn’t do well when projects grow way beyond that!

  • Never open Captivate and work on your project while the .CP file is on a server. Always work locally. Copy the .CP to a server for backup, of course, but always work locally!

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