Sneak Peek at Lectora 12
Trivantis had its 10th annual Lectora User Conference just last week, where they previewed some of the new features of Lectora version 12 to be released later this year. The features are a mix of things we’ve all come to expect in a robust authoring tool with at least one feature that will even excite the power users. Either way, it’s an update Lectora users will undoubtedly look forward to! Here are some of the features coming in Lectora version 12:
Image Effects and Manipulation Options
Want to rotate, reflect, or crop your images in Lectora? With version 12, you’ll FINALLY be able to! Lectora currently relies on SnagIt (bundled with Lectora Inspire) for many of these functions, but with this feature addition, you won’t ever need to leave Lectora to perform some of your smaller image manipulation tasks. The features coming in version 12 will include the ability to:
- Add a stroke to your image (with stroke weight and type options).
- Apply an effect to your image such as a drop shadow, reflection, or outer glow.
- Set the opacity for your image (to allow-semi-transparency).
- Crop your image.
The shapes in Lectora version 12 will be greatly improved to support the same kind of options we’ve come to know and love in PowerPoint shapes. You’ll be able to type text directly within your shapes, fill your shapes with gradients and patterns, and manipulate a shape using its adjustment handles.
Improved Buttons and Set Button State Action
Lectora version 12 will include a greatly enhanced button tool for creating visually appealing custom text buttons. The new button tool will let you customize each state of the button with color, text, font, and style options, and provide access to a new disabled state. In addition, buttons will support the same manipulation options that shapes will have. A new action will also allow you to set the state of a button. For example, you’ll have the ability to set the next button to disabled until the learner has completed an activity on the page.
Objects Off the Canvas
When working in Lectora’s Edit Mode, you are currently only allowed to have objects positioned entirely on the canvas or work area. That is, you can’t have an image positioned partially off the canvas. Combine this with the current lack of a cropping tool, and it’s easy to get frustrated trying to design pages in Lectora. With version 12, you’ll have this ability to position objects so they are only partially on the canvas. This alone will certainly help, but let’s hope that Lectora will also support the ability to move objects on and off the canvas with the Move action. That ability, combined with your favorite transitions (updated in v11.3) and you’ll have some powerful tools for creating movement and eye-catching content.
When compared to other e-Learning authoring tools, the above features don’t necessarily propel Lectora ahead of the competition. But, they do bridge the gaps that have been present in Lectora’s native graphics capabilities to date. Without these features, it would be increasingly difficult for Lectora to stay competitive in the e-Learning authoring tools marketplace. That said, not all of the new features due out in Lectora version 12 are about catching up. Here are few others that will help set Lectora apart from the rest.
Improved Tables and Lists
If you’ve ever looked into the HTML code that Lectora produces during publishing, you’ve quickly realized that the way Lectora generates bulleted and numbered lists is not exactly in line with current HTML standards. In version 12, an update to how lists and tables are output to HTML will add to an already robust feature set for creating 508-compliant content. The improvement of the back-end HTML code will not only improve the accuracy of the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) nature of the application, but it will also allow screen readers to better identify lists and tables and will provide a more accurate experience for those with disabilities relying on them.
Run Mode in HTML
Testing and previewing your content is about to get a whole lot easier. In version 12, Run Mode will display and run your title in an HTML preview. No more having to test in both Run Mode AND the browser. If you’re incorporating Social objects, Web Windows, or custom scripting in your content, you’ll be able to preview these elements as well. The HTML-based Run Mode will give you an accurate first look at how your content will appear and function when you publish your final title.
There was no official release date announced for version 12, but if history is any indicator, it will likely be sometime this fall. We’re looking forward to it already!