Publishing the project in various formats using Adobe Captivate 6

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by Damien Bruyndonckx | August 2012 | e-Learning Enterprise Articles

In this article by Damien Bruyndonckx, author of Mastering Adobe Captivate 6, we will focus on making the project available to the outside world by publishing it in various formats.

Publishing the movie is the process by which we make our Captivate projects available to the outside world. Most of the time, we'll publish our movies in the Adobe Flash format or in the HTML5 format so that any student can enjoy the content of our online course across devices. However, Captivate can also publish the movie in many other formats

Publishing

So far, we have been working in a .cptx file, which is the default native file type of Captivate. The .cptx file format is great when creating and designing our projects, but it has two major disadvantages:

  • It can become very large. Consequently, it is diffcult for us to upload the file on a website and for the student to download and view it.
  • Opening a .cptx file requires Captivate to be installed on the computer system.

Publishing a Captivate movie is converting (the proper word is Compiling) the .cptx file to a format that can be easily downloaded and viewed by our students. The primary format to publish our projects is the .swf format . swf (pronounced swif) stands for ShockWave Flash. It is the file format used by the free Adobe Flash player plugin installed in more than 98 percent of the computers connected to the Internet. It has two advantages as compared to the .cptx file:

  • A .swf file is usually much lighter than its .cptx counterpart, making it much easier to upload and download across the Internet.
  • Any browser equipped with the free Adobe Flash plugin is able to open and play the .swf file. This makes it incredibly easy to deploy our Captivate courses.

That being said, the .swf format has some major disadvantages:

  • It requires the Adobe Flash Player plugin to be installed. If, for whatever reason, the plugin is not available, the .swf file cannot be played back.
  • There is no more Flash Player plugin available for mobile devices. Consequently, a .swf file cannot be played back on a Smartphone or on a Tablet.

That's why other publishing formats are available in Captivate. In Captivate 6, the most effective alternative to the .swf format is to publish the project in HTML5. When published to HTML5, the project can be played back in any modern browser without the need for an extra plugin. HTML5-enabled projects can also be played back on mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch! HTML5 also has its caveats. At the time of this writing, (June 2012) HTML5 is still under development. Consequently, some features of Captivate are not yet supported in HTML5.

In this article, we will explore and discuss the various publishing options at our disposal in Captivate.

Publishing to Flash

In the history of Captivate, publishing to Flash has always been the primary publishing option. Even though HTML5 publishing is a game changer, publishing to Flash still is an important capability of Captivate. Remember that this publishing format is currently the only one that supports every single feature, animation, and object of Captivate. In the following exercise, we will publish our movie in Flash format using the default options:

  1. Return to the Chapter06/encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the Publish icon situated right next to the Preview icon. Alternatively, you can also use the File | Publish menu.

    The Publish dialog box opens, as shown in the following screenshot:

     

    The Publish dialog box is divided into four main areas:

    • The Publish Format area (1) – This is where we choose the format in which we want to publish our movies. Basically, we can choose between three options: SWF/HTML5, Media, and Print. The other options (E-mail, FTP, and so on) are actually suboptions of the SWF/HTML5, Media, and Print formats.
    • The Output Format Options area (2) – The content of this area depends on the format chosen in the Publish Format (1) area.
    • The Project Information area (3) – This area is a summary of the main project preferences and metadata. Clicking on the links of this area will bring us back to the various project preferences boxes.
    • The Advanced Options area (4) – This area provides some additional advanced publishing options.

    We will now move on to the actual publication of the project in Flash Format.

  3. In the Publish Format area, make sure the chosen format is SWF/HTML5.
  4. In the Flash(.swf) Options area, change the Project Title to encoderDemo_800_flash.
  5. Click on the Browse button situated just below the Folder field and choose to publish your movie in the Chapter06/Publish folder of your exercises folder.
  6. Make sure the Publish to Folder checkbox is selected.
  7. Take a quick look at the remaining options, but leave them all at their current settings.
  8. Click on the Publish button at the bottom-right corner of the Publish dialog box.
  9. When Captivate has finished publishing the movie, an information box appears on the screen asking if you want to view the output.

  10. Click on No to discard the information box and return to Captivate.
  11. We will now use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Windows) to take a look at the files Captivate has generated.

  12. Use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Window) to browse to the Chapter06/Publish folder of your exercises.
  13. Because we selected the Publish to Folder checkbox in the Publish dialog, Captivate has automatically created the encoderDemo_800_flash subfolder in the Chapter06/ Publish folder.

  14. Open the encoderDemo_800_flash subfolder to inspect its content.
    • encoderDemo_800_flash.swf – This is the main Flash file containing the compiled version of the .cptx project
    • encoderDemo_800_flash.html – This file is an HTML page used to embed the Flash file
    • standard.js – is a JavaScript file used to make the Flash player work well within the HTML page
    • demo_en.flv – is the video file used on slide 2 of the movie
    • captivate.css – provides the necessary style rules to ensure the proper formatting of the HTML page

    If we want to embed the compiled Captivate movie in an existing HTML page, only the .swf file (plus, in this case, the .flv video) is needed. The HTML editor (such as Adobe Dreamweaver) will recreate the necessary HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files.

    Captivate and Dreamweaver Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 is the HTML editor of the Creative Suite and the industry leading solution for authoring professional web pages. Inserting a Captivate file in a Dreamweaver page is dead easy! First, move or copy the main Flash file (.swf) as well as the needed support files (in our case the .flv video file), if any, somewhere in the root folder of the Dreamweaver site. When done, use the Files panel of Dreamweaver to drag-and-drop the main swf file on the HTML page. That's it!

    We will now test the movie in a web browser. This is an important test as it recreates the conditions in which our students will experience our movie once in production.

  15. Double-click on the encoderDemo_800_flash.html file to open it in a web browser.
  16. Enjoy the fnal version of the demonstration that we have created together!

Now that we have experienced the workfow of publishing our project to Flash with the default options, we will add some changes into the mix and create a scalable version of our project.

Scalable HTML content

One of the solutions about choosing the right size for our project is to use the new Scalable HTML content option of Captivate 6. Thanks to this new option, our eLearning content will be automatically resized to fit the screen on which it is viewed. Let's experiment with this option hands-on, using the following steps:

  1. If needed, return to the Chapter06/encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the Publish icon situated right next to the Preview icon. Alternatively, you can also use the File | Publish menu.
  3. In the Publish Format area, make sure the chosen format is Flash(.swf) Options area.
  4. In the Flash(.swf) Options area, change the Project Title to encoderDemo_800_flashScalable.
  5. Click on the Browse button situated just below the Folder field and ensure that the publish folder still is the Chapter06/Publish folder of your exercises.
  6. Make sure the Publish to Folder checkbox is selected.
  7. In the Advanced Options section (lower-right corner of the Publish dialog), select the Scalable HTML content checkbox.
  8. Leave the remaining options at their current value and click on the Publish button at the bottom-right corner of the Publish dialog box.
  9. A message informs you that object refection is not supported in scalable content. We used object refection on slide 3 to enhance the AMELogo image.

  10. Click on Yes to discard the message and start the publishing process.
  11. When Captivate has fnished publishing the movie, an information box appears on the screen asking if you want to view the output.

  12. Click on Yes to discard the information box and open the published movie in the default web browser.

During the playback, use your mouse to resize your browser window and notice how our movie is also resized in order to ft the browser window. Also notice that the refection effect we used on the AMELogo image has been discarded.

Publishing to HTML5

Publishing to HTML5 is the killer new feature of Captivate 6.

One of the main goals of HTML5 is to provide a plugin free paradigm. It means that the interactivity and strong visual experience brought to the Internet by the plugins should now be supported natively by the browsers and their underlying technologies (mainly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) without the need for an extra third-party plugin. Because a plugin is no longer necessary to deliver rich interactive content, any modern browser should be capable of rendering our interactive eLearning courses. And that includes the browsers installed on mobile devices, such as Tablets and Smartphones.

This is an enormous change, not only for the industry, but also for us, the Captivate users and eLearning developers. Thanks to HTML5, our students will be able to enjoy our eLearning content across all their devices. The door is open for the next revolution of our industry: the mLearning (for Mobile Learning) revolution.

Blog posts
To get a better idea of what's at stake with HTML5 in eLearning and mLearning, I recommend these two blog posts, available at http://blogs.adobe.com/captivate/2011/11/the-how-why-of-ipads-html5-mobile-devices-in-elearning-training-education.html by Allen Partridge on the official Adobe Captivate blog and http://rjacquez.com/the-m-in-mlearning-means-more/ by RJ Jacquez.

Using the HTML5 Tracker

At the time of this writing (June 2012), HTML5 is still under development. Some parts of the HTML5 specification are already final and well implemented in the browsers while other parts of the specification are still under discussion. Consequently, some features of Captivate that are supported in Flash are not yet supported in HTML5.

In the following exercise, we will use the HTML5 tracker to better understand what features of our Encoder Demonstration are supported in HTML5:

  1. If needed, return to the encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Use the Window | HTML5 Tracker to open the HTML5 Tracker floating panel.
  3. The HTML5 Tracker informs us that some features that we used in this project are not (yet) supported in HTML5, as shown in the following screenshot:

    On slide 1 and slide 22, the Text Animations are not supported in HTML5. Same thing for the three orange arrow animations we inserted on slide 5.

  4. Close the HTML5 Tracker panel.

A comprehensive list of all the objects and features that are not yet supported in the HTML5 output is available in the offcial Captivate Help at http://help.adobe.com/en_US/captivate/cp/using/WS16484b78be4e1542-74219321367c91074e-8000.html. Make sure you read that page before publishing your projects in HTML5.

In the next exercise, we will publish a second version of our Encoder Demonstration using the new HTML5 publishing option.

Publishing the project in HTML5

The process of publishing the project to HTML5 is very similar to the process of publishing the project to Flash. Perform the following steps to publish the project in HTML5:

  1. If needed, return to the encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the Publish icon or use the File | Publish menu item to open the Publish dialog box.
  3. In the left-most column of the Publish dialog, make sure you are using the SWF/HTML5 option.
  4. Change the Project Title to encoderDemo_800_HTML5.
  5. Click on the Browse button and choose the Chapter06/publish folder of the exercises as the publish location.
  6. Make sure the Publish to Folder checkbox is selected.
  7. In the Output Format Option section, select the HTML5 checkbox. Once done, uncheck the SWF checkbox.
  8. This is the single most important setting of the entire procedure. Note that you can select both the SWF and the HTML5 options.

  9. In the Advanced Options area of the Publish dialog, deselect the Scalable HTML content checkbox.
  10. Leave the other options at their current settings and click on the Publish button.
  11. Captivate informs us that some features used in this project are not supported in HTML5.

  12. Click on Yes to discard the message and start the publication to HTML5.
  13. The process of publishing to HTML5 is much longer than the publication to Flash. One of the reasons is that Captivate needs to open the Adobe Media Encoder to convert the .flv video used in slide 2 and the Full Motion Recording of slide 13 to the .mp4 format.

    When the publish process is complete, a second message appears asking if you want to view the output.

  14. Click on No to discard the message and return to the standard Captivate interface.
  15. We will now use the Windows Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (Mac) to take a closer look at the generated files.

  16. Use the Windows Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (Mac) to go to the Chapter06/publish/encoderDemo_800_HTML5 folder of the exercises.

    You should find a bunch of files and folders in the publish/encoderDemo_800_ HTML5 folder, as follows:

    • index.html – is the main HTML file. This is the file to load in the web browser to play the course.
    • The /ar folder – contains all the needed sound clips in .mp3 format.
    • The /dr folder – contains all the needed images. Notice that the mouse pointers, the slide backgrounds, as well as all the Text Captions are exported as .png images.
    • The /vr folder – contains the needed video files in .mp4 format.
    • The /assets folders – contains the needed CSS and JavaScript files.

    We will now test this version of the project in a web browser.

    Supported browsers and OS for HTML5 On the desktop, the HTML5 version of our eLearning project requires Internet Explorer 9 or later versions, Safari 5.1 or later versions, or Google Chrome 17 or later versions. For mobile devices, HTML5 is supported on iPads with iOS 5 or later versions. Make sure you use one of the browsers mentioned for the testing phase of this exercise.

  17. Open the .index.html. file in one of the supported browsers.

When testing the HTML5 version of the project in a web browser, notice that the unsupported Text Animations of slide 1 and 22 have been replaced by a standard Text Caption with a Fade In effect.

  • On slide 3, the effect we added on the AMELogo image is not reproduced in the HTML5 output. Surprisingly, this was not mentioned in the HTML5 tracker panel.
  • On slide 5, the unsupported orange arrows Animations have been replaced by static images.
  • On slide 16, the zooming animation is supported, but Text Captions that should be invisible are showing in the Zoom Destination area.

Apart from the few problems mentioned in the previous list, Captivate 6 does a pretty good job in converting our demonstration to HTML5.

That being said, HTML5 publishing is still an emerging technology. The room for improvement is enormous. In the coming years more parts of the HTML5 specifcation will be finalized and new techniques, tools, and framework will emerge. We will then be able to better implement HTML5 across devices, both in Captivate and throughout the entire Internet

Publishing to PDF

Another publishing option available in Captivate is to publish our project as an Adobe PDF document. This process is very close to the Flash publishing process we covered previously. When converting to PDF, Captivate first converts the project to Flash and then embeds the resulting .swf file in a PDF document. To read the Flash file embedded in the PDF document, the free Adobe Acrobat Reader simply contains a copy of the Flash player.

Publishing the Captivate project to PDF is a great way to make the eLearning course available offline. The students can, for example, download the PDF file from a website and take the course in a train or in an airplane where no Internet connection is available. On the other hand, as the Captivate movie can be viewed offline, any Captivate feature that requires an Internet connection (such as reporting the scores to an LMS (Learning Management System)) will not work!

In the following exercise, we will publish the Encoder Demonstration to PDF:

  1. Return to the Chapter06/encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the Publish icon situated right next to the Preview icon. Alternatively, you can use the File | Publish menu item.
  3. In the Publish Format area, make sure the chosen format is SWF/HTML5. If needed, deselect the HTML5 checkbox and make sure the .SWF checkbox is the only one selected.
  4. In the Flash(.swf) Options area, change the Project Title to encoderDemo_800_pdf.
  5. Make sure the publish Folder still is the Chapter06/Publish folder of the exercises.
  6. Make sure the Publish to Folder checkbox is still selected.
  7. At the end of the Output Format Options area, select the Export PDF checkbox.
  8. Click on the Publish button situated in the lower-right corner of the Publish dialog.
  9. When the publishing process is complete, a message tells you that Acrobat 9 or higher is required to read the generated PDF file.

  10. Click on OK to acknowledge the message. A second information box opens.
  11. Click on No to discard the second message and close the Publish dialog.
  12. Use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Windows) to browse to the Chapter06/publish/encoderDemo_800_pdf folder.
  13. There should be six additional files in the Chapter06/publish/encoderDemo_800_ pdf folder. Actually, publishing to PDF is an extra option of the standard publishing to Flash feature.

  14. Delete all but the PDF file from the Chapter06/publish/encoderDemo_800_ pdf folder.
  15. Double-click on the encoderDemo_800_pdf.pdf file to open it in Adobe Acrobat.
  16. Notice that the file plays normally in Adobe Acrobat. This proves that all the necessary files and assets have been correctly embedded into the PDF file.

In the next section, we will explore the third publishing option of Captivate: publishing as a standalone application.

Publishing as a standalone application

When publishing as a standalone application, Captivate generates an .exe file for playback on Windows or an .app file for playback on Macintosh. The .exe (Windows) or .app (Mac) file contains the compiled .swf file plus the Flash player.

The advantages and disadvantages of a standalone application are similar to those of a PDF file. That is, the file can be viewed offline in a train, in an airplane, or elsewhere, but the features requiring an Internet connection will not work.

In the following exercise, we will publish the Captivate file as a standalone application using the following steps:

  1. If needed, return to the Chapter06/encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the Publish icon situated right next to the Preview icon. Alternatively, you can use the File | Publish menu item.
  3. Click on the Media icon situated on the left-most column of the Publish dialog box. The middle area is updated.
  4. Open the Select Type drop-down list. If you are on a Windows PC, choose Windows Executable (*.exe) and if you are using a Mac, choose MAC Executable (*.app).
  5. If needed, change the Project Title to encoderDemo_800.
  6. In the Folder field, make sure that the Chapter06/Publish folder still is the chosen value.
  7. Take some time to inspect the other options of the Publish dialog. One of them allows us to choose a custom icon for the generated .exe (Win) or .app (Mac) file.

  8. Leave the other options at their current value and click on the Publish button.
  9. When the publish process is complete, an information box will ask you if you want to see the generated output.

  10. Click on No to clear the information message and to close the Publish dialog.
  11. Now that the standalone application has been generated, we will use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Win) to take a look at the Chapter06/Publish folder.

  12. Use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Windows) to browse to the Chapter06/Publish folder of the exercises.
  13. Double-click on the encoderDemo_800.exe (Win) or on the encoderDemo_800.app (Mac) to open the generated application.

Our Captivate movie opens as a standalone application in its own window. Notice that no browser is necessary to play the movie.

This publish format is particularly useful when we want to burn the movie on a CD-ROM. When generating a Windows executable (.exe), Captivate can even generate an autorun.ini file so that the movie automatically plays when the CD-ROM is inserted in the computer.

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Publishing as a video file

When publishing a project as a video file, Captivate 6 generates an .mp4 video file and proposes various video presets for the conversion. Actually, Captivate first generates a .swf file and then converts it to a video file.

After the video conversion, the video file will play on any media player that is capable to play the .mp4 format. It is an ideal solution if we want to upload our movie on YouTube or if we want to make it available to non-Flash devices. On the other hand, the generated video file proposes a linear experience to the learner. That is, no more interaction and no more branching is possible. The student experiences the video from the beginning to the end in a linear fashion, as it is the case while watching a motion picture in a movie theatre or on TV. Consequently, converting a Captivate project to a video file is well suited for a Demonstration, but does not work well in case of a Simulation.

In the following exercise, we will convert our Encoder demonstration into an .mp4 video using the following steps:

  1. If needed, return to the Chapter06/encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the Publish icon situated right next to the Preview icon. Alternatively, you can also use the File | Publish menu.
  3. If needed, click on the Media icon situated on the left-most column of the Publish dialog box.
  4. Open the Select Type drop-down list and choose MP4 video (*.mp4).
  5. If needed, change the project title to encoderDemo_800.
  6. Open the Select Preset drop-down list. Take some time to inspect the available options and choose YouTube Widescreen HD.
  7. Make sure the Folder field still points to the Chapter06/Publish folder.
  8. Click on the Publish button at the bottom-right corner of the Publish dialog.
  9. Publishing to a video file can be quite a lengthy process, so be patient! First, you will see that Captivate converts the project to a .swf file. When that first conversion is over, Captivate opens a second box named Adobe Captivate Video Publisher and converts the .swf file to video. At the end of the whole process, the Adobe Captivate Video Publisher proposes to publish the generated video to YouTube or to open it.

  10. Close the Adobe Captivate Video Publisher window.
  11. As usual, use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Windows) to take a look at the Chapter06/Publish folder.
  12. Double-click on the encoderDemo_800.mp4 file. The video opens in the appropriate media player.

The generated video file can be uploaded to YouTube, DailyMotion, or any other video hosting service. You can also host the video on your own internal video-streaming server (such as a Flash Media server) if you have one available.

Publishing to YouTube

Captivate 6 includes a workflow that allows you to publish your Captivate movie to a video file and upload it on your YouTube account without even leaving Captivate. In the following exercise, we will convert our Captivate file to a video and upload it to YouTube.

This exercise requires a YouTube account and the creation of a new channel on your account. If you do not have a YouTube account, you can create one for free or read through the steps of the exercise.

Perform the following steps to upload the video on YouTube:

  1. Return to the Chapter06/encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the YouTube icon situated in the main toolbar.
  3. When clicking on the YouTube icon, Captivate generates the slides as if we were publishing the movie in Flash format. When that frst conversion is completed, Captivate opens the Adobe Captivate Video Publisher and converts the .swf file to .mp4. So far the process is exactly the same as the one we used in the previous section. At the end of the process, however, Captivate opens another window.

  4. Enter your Username and Password to log on to your YouTube Account.
  5. Once logged in, enter the relevant project information.
    • Enter the Title of the movie. This is the only required field.
    • Enter a Description. By default, the description entered in the Project Info preferences pane (if any) is used.
    • Enter a list of comma-separated Tags. These tags will help YouTube reference your video so that other YouTube users can find it easily.
    • Choose the best Category for your video.
    • Choose the level of Privacy (private or public).
  6. Select the I have read the terms & conditions checkbox and click on the Upload button.
  7. Captivate uploads the video to YouTube. When the process is complete, the Adobe Captivate Video Publisher shows the direct link of our video on YouTube.

  8. Click on the Close button to close the Adobe Captivate Video Publisher.

As you can see, Captivate makes it easy to publish a project to YouTube!

YouTube best practices for Adobe Captivate 5.5 and higher version
Here is an interesting blog post by R.J. Jacquez, a former Adobe Evangelist and a well-know blogger in the eLearning community. RJ describes the upload to YouTube feature and gives some very interesting tips and tricks to convert a Captivate project to a YouTube video, available at http://rjacquez.com/best-practices-for-publishing-to-youtube-in-the-new-adobe-captivate-5-5/.

Publishing a Video Demo project

Due to its very nature, a Video Demo project can only be published as an .mp4 video file. Of course, this video file can be uploaded to YouTube using the very same Publish to YouTube feature than the one we used in the previous section.

In the following exercise, we will return to our encoderVideo.cpvc file and explore the available publishing options:

  1. Return to the Chapter06/encoderVideo.cpvc file.
  2. Make sure the file opens in Edit mode.
  3. If you are not in Edit mode, click on the Edit button at the lower-right corner of the screen. (If the Edit button is not displayed on the screen, it simply means that you already are in Edit mode).
  4. When the file is open in Edit mode, take a look at the main toolbar at the top of the interface. Notice the same YouTube icon as the one we used when in a standard Captivate project. For this exercise, we won't use that YouTube icon, but the standard Publish icon instead.

  5. Click on the Publish icon or use the File | Publish menu item.
  6. The Publish Video Demo dialog opens. Unlike the Publish dialog that we used in a standard Captivate demonstration, the Publish Video Demo dialog does not let us publish our project in a wide variety of formats.

  7. In the Publish Video Demo dialog, make sure the Name of the project is encoderVideo.
  8. Click on the button and choose the Chapter06/publish folder as the destination of the published video file.
  9. Open the Preset drop-down. Take some time to inspect the available presets. When done, choose the Video - Apple iPad preset.
  10. Make sure the Publish Video Demo dialog looks like the following screenshot and click on the Publish button:
  11. Publishing a Video Demo project can be quite a lengthy process, so be patient! When the process is complete, a message asks you what to do next. Notice that one of the options enables you to upload your newly created video to YouTube directly.

  12. Click on the Close button to discard the message.
  13. Use Windows Explorer (Windows) or the Finder (Mac) to go to the Chapter06/publish folder.
  14. Double-click on the encoderDemo.mp4 file to open the video in the default video player of the system.

Publishing a Video Demo project is nothing more than publishing a standard project to video. Remember that a Video Demo project can only be published as a video file. No other publishing options are available for a Video Demo.

Publishing to Word

The last important publishing option to cover is the publication of the Captivate movie as a Microsoft Word document. There are four formats available: Handout, Lesson, Step by Step guide, and storyboard.

This publication option requires both Captivate and Microsoft Word to be installed on the same system. If you do not have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, just read through the steps of this exercise.

In the following exercise, we will publish our Captivate movie as a Microsoft Word file using the Handout template:

  1. Return to the Chapter06/encoderDemo_800.cptx file.
  2. Click on the Publish icon situated right next to the Preview icon. Alternatively, you can also use the File | Publish menu.
  3. Click on the Print icon situated at the end of the left-most column of the Publish dialog box.
  4. Change the Project Title to encoderDemo_800_handout.
  5. Make sure the Folder field still points to the Chapter06/Publish folder of the exercises.
  6. In the Export Range section, make sure that All is selected. We could publish a smaller selection of slides if needed.
  7. That's it for the usual options. Before clicking on the Publish button, we have a few more options available in the right-most column of the Publish dialog.

  8. In the right-most area of the Publish dialog, open the Type drop-down list. Inspect the available options and choose the Handouts type.
  9. In the Handout Layout Options section, leave the Use table in the output option selected.
  10. Open the Slides Per Page drop-down and choose to have 2 slides on each Word page.
  11. Select the Caption Text, the Slide Notes, and the Include mouse Path checkboxes.
  12. Take some time to inspect the remaining options, but leave them all at their current value.
  13. When ready, click on the Publish button.
  14. Captivate generates the Word document according to the options set in the Publish dialog. When done, an information box appears asking if you want to view the generated file.

  15. Click on No to discard the information box and close the Publish dialog.
  16. Use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Windows) to browse to the Chapter06/Publish folder.
  17. Double-click on the newly created encoderDemo_800_handout.doc file.

The file opens in Microsoft Word. Take some time to inspect the generated Word document. Can you find the effect of each of the boxes we selected in the Publish dialog?

Extra credit

In this extra credit section, you will test the remaining Microsoft Word publish options by generating a Lesson, a Step by Step guide, and a storyboard. These are the general steps to follow:

  • Open the Publish dialog box.
  • In the left-most column, ensure that the Print option is selected.
  • Give the project a meaningful Project Title.
  • In the right-most area of the Publish dialog, change the Type to Lesson, Step by Step, or storyboard.
  • Experiment with the other options. Each Type has a specifc set of options available, which are, for the most part, self-explanatory.
  • When ready, click on the Publish button.
  • Use the Finder (Mac) or the Windows Explorer (Windows) to browse to the Chapter06/Publish folder and test your files.
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    Other publishing options

    When we open the Publish dialog box, there are three options in the left-most column that we did not cover in the previous sections. We will now briefly describe these remaining options:

  • Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro – Adobe Connect pro is a server product from Adobe. One of the services offered by this enterprise solution is an LMS that integrates nicely with Captivate. If an Acrobat Adobe Connect pro server is available in your network, you can use this publishing option to convert the Captivate file to Flash (.swf) and upload the resulting file to the Acrobat Adobe Connect pro server.
  • E-Mail – This option converts the Captivate file to Flash or as a standalone application and attaches the resulting file in an e-mail message. The message can be further customized in your e-mail client software.
  • FTP – This option converts the Captivate file to Flash or as a standalone application and uploads the resulting file(s) to an FTP server.
    • Publishing is the third and last step of the Captivate workfow. The idea is to make our eLearning content available to the outside world.
    • Captivate proposes four main publishing formats: publishing to Flash or HTML5, publishing as a standalone application, publishing as a video file, and publishing as a Microsoft Word document.
    • When publishing in a Flash format, Captivate generates a .swf file that can be played back by the free Adobe Flash Player plugin.
    • The generated .swf file can be embedded in a PDF document for offline viewing. This option requires Adobe Acrobat, or Adobe Reader 9, or later versions.
    • Publishing in HTML5 is a new capability of Captivate 6. A project published in HTML5 can be played back on virtually any mobile device, including iOS devices such as the iPhone and the iPad.
    • Not every feature of Captivate is supported in HTML5. Use the HTML5 Tracker to find out what slides/objects of your project is not supported.
    • When publishing as a standalone application, Captivate produces either an .exe file for playback on Windows or an .app file for playback on a Mac.
    • Captivate 6 can produce .mp4 video that can be optimized for YouTube and for playback on a mobile device.
    • When publishing as a video or as a standalone application, the published project can no longer connect to the Internet. Consequently, some features that require an Internet connection (such as communicating with an LMS) will not work.
    • When the project is published as a video file, it can only be experienced as a linear video that plays from the beginning to the end. Consequently, interactivity and branching are not supported.
    • A Video Demo project can only be published as a .mp4 video file.

    Extra credit

    In this extra credit section, you will open the Encoder Simulation and publish it in various formats.

    These are the general steps to follow:

    • Open the encoderSim_800.cptx file.
    • Open the Publish dialog and publish the movie in Adobe Flash format.
    • Reopen the Publish dialog and ask Captivate to generate a HTML5 output of our project. Don't forget to use the Window | HTML5 Tracker panel prior to publishing in HTML5 in order to find out whether all the features used in the project are supported in HTML5.
    • Return to the Publish dialog to create a Mac or a Windows executable depending on the OS you work on.
    • Don't forget to test each and every generated file as soon as the publication process is finished.

    Summary

    In this article, we concentrated on the Publish dialog box where we covered the main publishing features of Captivate. Publishing is the process by which the movie is made available to the outside world. Publishing to Flash is the main publishing option of Captivate. The Flash format supports every single feature of Captivate. HTML5 publishing is a new capability of Captivate 6. Even though it still needs to improve, HTML5 publishing opens the door of mLearning, which is the next revolution of our industry. Other publishing formats of Captivate include publishing as a standalone application, publishing as an .mp4 video file, and publishing as a Microsoft Word document. The .mp4 video files produced by Captivate can easily be uploaded on YouTube without even leaving the application.


    Further resources on this subject:


    About the Author :


    Damien Bruyndonckx

    Damien Bruyndonckx  is a trained elementary school teacher and began his career teaching French as a foreign language in two elementary public schools of Louisiana, USA. In 2001, he returned to his home country, Belgium, and began working as an IT trainer. He soon acquired the title of Adobe Certified Instructor on Dreamweaver, Coldfusion, Acrobat, and Captivate, which allowed him to work for various Adobe-authorized training centers in Europe and participate in many web- and eLearning-related projects for countless customers. In 2009, he went back to teaching in a school. He now works at IHECS, a higher education school of communications, based in Brussels, where he teaches Multimedia and serves as the eLearning Coordinator of the school. Thanks to his work at IHECS, Damien became an Adobe Education Leader in November 2011. Damien also owns a company that provides Adobe Training and eLearning consultancy. He authored Mastering Adobe Captivate 6 and Adobe Captivate 7 for Mobile learning , published in August 2012 and August 2013, respectively, by Packt Publishing. He lives in Thuin (Belgium) with his fiancée and his two children. Damien is a big music lover and occasionally works as a sound and light technician in the entertainment industry. You can follow him on Twitter at @damienbkx  and contact him by visiting his website at http://www.dbr-training.eu.

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