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Top Five Adobe Captivate Productivity Tips

Adobe Captivate is a robust eLearning development tool. When utilized correctly, developers can create a variety of engaging and interactive eLearning courses.  To make the most of this tool, here are five Adobe Captivate productivity tips to get started.

Top Five Adobe Captivate Productivity Tips

​1. Customize Your Workspace

Similar to most Adobe products, Captivate comes with a default workspace with most of the panels logged. The more you use Captivate you will find that you may use some of these panels more frequently than others. One great feature of Adobe Captivate is being able to customize the workspace and save it as a new workspace.
Follow these steps to save your workspace:

  • Go to the ‘Edit’ menu then select ‘Preferences’. 
  • In General Settings, you will find the ‘Enable custom workspace/panel undocking’ option
  • Save your new workspace with a name so that every time you open Captivate you start with it instead of the default workspace

Take advantage of this feature and save yourself time and effort by creating a custom workspace.

adobe captivate workspace

2. Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are useful for repetitive tasks and to speed up your workflow. They save time and help eLearning developers be more productive while developing Captivate projects. Adobe has an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts that can be found here. But here is a short list of some of our favorites that will be sure to increase your productivity.

  1. Control+Shift+C : Create new text caption
  2. Control+ D : Duplicate object
  3. Control+Shift+V : Insert video
  4. Control+Shift M : Insert Image
  5. Control+Alt+T : Show or hide the timeline
  6. Control+S : Save Project

3. Photoshop Round Tripping

One of the many benefits of Adobe Captivate is its ability to work well with other Adobe software especially Adobe Photoshop.  Photoshop round tripping in Adobe Captivate is a real time-saver and reduces the time spent on working with images. You can directly import Photoshop files to Captivate and use them as images, layers, backgrounds, layer comps, and image collages. This workflow provides ways to easily maintain the imported PS content in sync with the source document. Captivate detects changes and updates the affected layers automatically. Check out this short video tutorial on Captivate Software Simulation Roundtripping with Photoshop to learn more about this productivity tip.
Adobe Captivate and Photoshop

4. Asset Sizing

Importing oversized photos, animations, audio clips, and video files will diminish loading speed and the performance of your project. To avoid this follow these best practices for each asset: 

Photos: Stock images downloaded from websites such as UnSplash or Fotolia are typically huge files. If you try to import these images as-it-is in Captivate, it will bloat your project. So, it’s better to use a photo editing tool such as Adobe Photoshop to edit the image size first.

Audio: Importing audio files in the MP3 format is the preferred format to decrease the size of the audio file compared to the WAV format.

Videos: Use video editing tools to optimize videos before importing them to your Captivate project. This avoids resizing the video after importing, quality issues, and loading issues. Adobe Media Encoder is a popular tool used to optimize learning videos for Captivate but there are many out there. Streaming videos from an external server and embedding them in the course also reduces course loading time. 

It’s a Captivate best practice to keep assets as small as possible to optimize file sizes before uploading them in your projects.

5. Color Swatch

To make your eLearning visually attractive and appealing, it’s important to use the right combination of colors. While you may have to use specific colors to comply with the company branding and style guide, using the Swatch Manager can help you choose colors and get the right color combinations for your online courses. Swatch Manager allows you to import color swatches from other applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or Adobe Color; or add your own color swatch using the eyedropper/color picker tool. These colors will appear in your ‘Fill and Stroke’ dialog box. Then the picked colors will be integrated with your theme color palette. Swatch Manager automatically shows you the lighter and darker shades in the color swatch. Making it easy to create seamless color combinations for your online courses.
Adobe Captivate Color Swatch

Summary

Incorporating these five Adobe Captivate productivity tips will help increase your efficiency and improve your workflow when you are building eLearning courses. If you would like to learn more about Adobe Captivate or other eLearning development tools, DWC offers various classes and certifications to help you get started.  Talk to a student advisor to learn more.

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