Sunday, January 14, 2007

Project: DB Cooper

Having just got back from my holiday break, I’m straight into creating Captivate content. One of the really exciting projects I am currently working on for WebAssist is a project which goes under the code name of “DB Cooper”. Unlike many of the other work projects I worked on last year, DB Cooper is an interactive simulation. Whilst I cannot go into the specifics of this particular piece of work, I must say that it feels great to be creating simulations again. There is just something about interactive simulations that really resonates with me;in particular the fact the interactive simulations enable learners to “exercise their mental muscles". Oh and if like me you haven't heard of DB Cooper before then visit this web address.

Adobe Captivate 2 includes a variety of new tools that make creating interactive simulations much easier that in previous versions these include:

  1. The Advanced Interaction dialog box
  2. The ability to automatically add text entry boxes for text fields

The fact that Captivate 2 will automatically insert text entry boxes during “capture time” is a good feature; though I have to be honest and say that I always find that I need to adjust any text entry boxes Captivate adds; plus, the program does not always capture the characters I have typed (during capture) correctly so there is still so additional steps to perform but at least now you have a better starting point than before.

However, the most exciting features for interactive projects are the Advanced Interaction dialog box. Historically, trying to recall the various settings you have applied to your interactive objects was a right royal pain as you had to inspection these individually. What the Advanced Interactive dialog brings to the table is the ability to review (and if required print) all your interactive project information from one centralized location. You can filter the list by clicking on the button that corresponds to the object type you want to review; one of things about the filtering I find particularly useful is the ability to remove any hidden slides from the list.

If like me you are spending much of your working life using this program then anything that improves you workflow and cuts down the overall duration of your Captivate projects is always something we will welcome with open arms.


Melissa said...

Hey macro

Thanks for your great captivate posts, I often refer to them when trying to solve a problem I have.

I wanted to pick your brain in something. What is the best way that you have found to instruct the learner on what text they need to enter into a text entry box? I thought captivate might create these automatically, but can't seem to get it to work regardless of the setting.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide !!



macrofireball said...

Hi Melissa,

Good question. What I tend to do (even though most of my Captivate projects include voice-over) is include the instructions in a text caption, which I will fade in at the appropriate time in the narration.

Another option would be use hint captions which Captivate will automatically insert when you are creating your Text entry boxes.

Let me know if you have any other questions.