New in Adobe Captivate 8: Sort of

There’s lots of buzz in the e-learning world over the release of Adobe Captivate 8, and rightly so. Responsive design, geolocation, and enhanced mobile support are significant new features that give e-learning designers power and flexibility they didn’t previously have. Plus, you’ll read a lot about the redesigned interface, color themes, rollover and down states on shapes, removing pop-up messages in a video demo, and better parameterization in shared actions. (You can find some great tutorials on these features in Adobe’s Rapid eLearning blog.)

If you are jumping from 7.0 to 8.0, there are also some useful change that came out previously in mid-year updates.

Lock object vs. lock size and position. In previous versions of Captivate, you could lock an object, meaning you can’t move it, change it, or even select it. Now there is a second version of locking that simply locks its size and position. That’s great if all you want to do is make sure you don’t accidentally move an object while working on something else.

Lock

Actions for controlling the playbar and table of contents. In previous versions of Captivate, if you wanted to hide the playbar or table of contents on a given slide, you had to go in and find an obscure variable. Now there are actions that let you show/hide the playbar or TOC, as well as lock/unlock the TOC more easily. There’s also a Toggle action that makes it easy to mute and unmute audio, show/hide closed captioning, or toggle variables back and forth between 0 and 1.

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Enhancements to conditional actions. When you set up an if/then conditional action, you can’t see all the elements at once. Some items are in collapsed sections, and you can set up multiple decisions that are on different tabs. Now there is a Preview action button that brings up a dialog box showing all the elements of your action, making it easier to document or troubleshoot what you are doing. And if you do have multiple decisions, you can now duplicate them and rearrange the order.

Conditional

Tracking variable usage. Now in the Variables dialog box, you can see where variables are being used and can quickly see which ones are not being used at all.

Usage

Swatches. Captivate 8 now has custom color themes, similar to Microsoft PowerPoint, which let you create a custom color palette of 8 colors. If you want a save a more extensive palette, you can use the new Swatches panel. You can create your own palette, save and share palettes, and even import palettes from other sources such as Photoshop.

Swatch

What features are you most excited about?

Special thanks to Leive Weymeis for clarifications on 7.1 vs. 8.

Diane Elkins
Diane Elkins leads Artisan E-Learning, a custom eLearning development company specializing in the use of rapid- development tools. Diane has been in the eLearning industry since 2001, speaks regularly at national conferences about eLearning, and is co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series.

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