Adobe Captivate is an learning module development tool for Microsoft Windows which can be used to author software demonstrations, simulations, and randomized quizzes in Flash format. It can also be used for screencasts, podcasts, and the conversion of Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to flash format for the web, CDs, or a course management system.
The next two sections provide links to pdf documents and movies that will assist you in mastering Captivate. The majority of the tutorials were developed by Adobe designers and consultants. If you have questions about the tutorials or have questions that the tutorials do not address, please feel free to contact the Faculty Technology Center at 786-4646 option 4.
The following Captivate 4 tutorials were developed by Adobe Systems.
Quick Tip: Aligning objects quickly
Roundtripping with MS PowerPoint
Recording and Publishing Software Simulations
Scenario Simulations Using Captivate
Editing Captivate Projects
Adding Audio to Your Projects
Adding Videos to Your Projects
Creating Dynamic Presentations with the new Variables
Using PowerPoint in Captivate 4
The following are links to video tutorials on Captivate 4 basics (some
are included in the product). All videos were produced by Adobe.
Captivate 4 Quick Tip: Configuring the Captivate Playbar
Captivate 4 Quick Tip: Using Transparent Buttons to
Supporting Learners With Slide Notes
You can include extra notes about a slide in your final presentation.
Slide notes are a good location for extra information about a slide
such as numerical details, supporting materials, or to provide
information on the text presented in image files. You can also use slide
notes to communicate with users who do not have any audio equipment or
are hearing impaired.
You can convert slide notes into an audio file using the
text-to-speech converter in Adobe Captivate. You can also convert slide
notes to closed captioned text. Unlike slide notes, closed captioned
text appears on the slide during runtime.
Add slide notes
You can add notes to slides in one of the following ways:
- Type text directly into the Slide Notes panel. Enter your notes in
the Slide Notes column.
Note: If you do not see the panel, click the
arrow icon at the bottom of the slide window.
- Click Notes in the Slide Properties dialog box. Enter the text in
the Slide Notes dialog box that appears.
- You can add slide notes to an audio file using the Record Audio
dialog box. Slide notes are useful in the Record Audio dialog box
because you can read the text directly from the dialog box as you
record. After you insert an audio file into the slide that you have
recorded using slide notes, the slide notes are added to the Slide Notes
- Slide notes are automatically imported when you import slides from
Install text to speech converter
If you have not installed the text-to-speech software during
installation, do one of the following:
- Re-run the installation CD. Click Install Text To Speech Voices in
the autoplay options.
- Run the EXE file for the text-to-speech software. This file is in
the Goodies folder on your installation disc.
If you have problems installing the text to speech software, see Rick
Stone’s movie Installing
Text to Speech.
Convert slide notes to speech or closed captioned text
You can convert text in the slide notes into an audio file using
text-to-speech software from NeoSpeech™. The audio file is inserted into
the corresponding slide. Multiple slide notes are merged into a single
audio file and appear on the Timeline as a single object. You can also
convert slide notes in the panel to closed captions in a single click.
The audio file pauses at locations where you have inserted commas or
periods in the slide notes.
When you edit a slide note, you must click Convert To Speech for the
changes to be applied.
When you play the movie:
- The slide notes are read aloud to the user.
- The closed caption text on the slide is displayed to the user.
- In the Slide Notes section, enter the required text in the Slide
Notes column. To add another row, double-click in the Slide Notes
You can add as many rows of text as slide notes. However,
Adobe Captivate reads text only from the last row. If you want to add a
chunk of text as a slide note, insert the text into a single row.
- Click the green dot in the Speech column. The green dot changes to
a green check mark. To convert text in all the rows to speech, click
the Text To Speech header.
- Click Convert To Speech.
Note: If you
do not have the required software installed on your computer, the
Download Voice button is displayed instead.
- In the Speech Agent dialog box, select the voice that you want to
use for reading the text.
- Click the green dot in the Closed Caption column if you want to
convert the slide notes to closed captioned text. This text is displayed
when the user plays the movie. Click the Closed Caption header to
select all the rows in that column.
To prevent slide notes from being read aloud when the movie is
played, click the check mark.
Resolving the, “unable to decode and import the selected wav
- mp3 file” error
This error might be displayed when you are using Adobe Captivate on
Windows Vista. You must register the Adobe DLL to fix this error.
- Close Adobe Captivate.
- Run Command Prompt in the admin mode.
- Enter the location of the directory where you have installed Adobe
- Run regsvr32 NSAudio.dll. The message, “Registration of DLL
successful” is displayed.
- Right-click Adobe Captivate in the Program Files menu, and select
Run As Administrator.
Add speech text to multiple slides
You can add speech text to multiple slides using the Speech
Management dialog box. To add variety to the movie, you can choose
different speech agents for different slides. For example you could use a
male voice and a female voice for alternate slides.
- Select Audio > Speech Management.
- In the Speech Text column of the Speech Management dialog box,
click Browse (...)
- In the Slide Text To Audio dialog box, enter the text that you
want to convert to speech.
- From the Speech Agent column, select a speech agent for the slide.
- Repeat the procedure for other slides.
Disable closed captions in a slide
You can prevent closed captions from appearing when the movie is
played. Click the check mark icon in the corresponding row of the Closed
Delete closed captions/slide notes from a slide
To delete closed captions/slide notes from a slide, click X in their corresponding rows.
Text-to-speech functionality - Keep learners tuned
in to your content thanks to automatic voice-over functionality that
turns text to high-quality speech.(Plugin can be downloaded from http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=captivate)
Scratch audio is often incorporated in various stages of the content
review process. Modification of this audio as a result of the review is
time-consuming and costly. The text-to-speech functionality reduces the
effort to retyping the text.
The tool also allows you to control the generated speech by adding
pause, changing pitch etc. All you need to do is insert the appropriate
VTML tags into the slide notes. You can type in (or copy paste) the tags
just like you do any other text. For example:
- Hello I am here <vtml_pause time="1000"/> for a break:
Introduces a pause of 1 sec in between.
- <vtml_speed value="50"> This is my text </vtml_speed>:
Helps you control the speed of the text.
Click on the below listed pdf for the complete listing of VTML tags
and additional examples.
VTML tags and samples
Customizing Text to Speech Pronunciations
includes a male voice and a female voice which provide a fairly natural
speech, but on occasion they do not pronounce words as you may like. For
these instances you may want to use the "Text to Speech Dictionary"
that come with the Captivate 4 Text to Speech Utility. To access the
- navigate to \Program Files\adobe\Adobe Captivate 4\VT\M16\bin on
your local computer.
- Click on the UserDicEng.exe file to launch the 'English User
- Next follow the steps below to change the pronunciation of a
- Click File Open and point it to the dictionary file. It is
located at -
\Program Files\adobe\Adobe Captivate 4\VT\\M16\data-common\userdict\
- This directory will store the word you enter along
with its new pronunciation
- Click "Add word" and enter the 'original word'.
- Now enter the 'target word', i.e. the corrected
pronunciation using the alphabets or the Pronunciation Symbol.
- At any point of time, you can click 'Read Word'
and listen to your pronunciation of the new word (target word). If not
satisfied, you can edit the target word and listen to it once again.
- Once the word is ready with the new pronunciation,
just click 'File Save' and the new word along with its pronunciation is
saved. It will be used by the particular speech Agent inside Captivate.
More Tips & Tricks
The new custom variables in Adobe Captivate 4 make it fairly easy to
capture, store and display your users name. Once stored you can also add
the name to the Certificate widget and use it in many other ways.
Click here to view
step-by-step directions developed by Adobe (flash file) on storing and displaying user names.
Flash Disability Support Tools
While older versions of the Flash authoring environment provided
limited support for developing accessible content, Flash CS3, Adobe's
latest developer environment, provides significantly improved support
for authoring accessible content. In particular, Flash CS3 allows
developers to assign text equivalents for Flash elements, control the
reading order for elements, provides the status of elements to assistive
technology devices, enable full keyboard navigation, and provide
captions for video materials.
End-users who wish to utilize these accessibility features should
update their Adobe Flash Player version to version 9.0.115 (released
December, 2007) or later. This version is also the first to provide full
accessibility support for Firefox browsers as well as the first to
support video encoded in the H.264 format increasingly used by
video-oriented web sites.
Tips, Techniques & Tutorials
Captivate 4 Quick
Tip: Creating Question Pools
An introduction to
Variables in Captivate 4