Archive for January, 2009

Gulf Coast Adobe User Group

I’ve just been approved as manager for the Gulf Coast Adobe User Group. Watch this space for information about meetings and events.

If you are interested in coming to meetings and joining our group, go ahead and make contact on the Gulf Coast User Group web site.

If you are interested in joining an Adobe User Group in your area, do a search on groups.adobe.com to find out where your nearest group is.


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mattockenfels asked in feedback to the Captivate 4 Community Help:-

Can I assign rdInfoCurrentSlide to a custom variable, the use it later in a Jump to Page anywhere else in a course? I have content pages that are shared by different topics, and I need to return back to where I navigated away from.

I tried to find a way to do this, but discovered I could not find a way within Captivate 4 to assign anything to rdInfoCurrentSlide .

After some exploration, I found I could achieve what mattockenfels asked by saving rdInfoCurrentFrame instead, and assigning the saved value to rdcmndGoToFrameandResume .

I made a quick demo file that you can view here. You can also download the source file from my website.

I am always happy to be shown a better way, so please post your suggestions in the comments for this post.

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If you’ve been following the flurry of blog posts and news recently, you’ll know that Adobe Captivate 4 was released last week. One of the great new features is a text to speech engine that lets you generate speech from your closed caption text.

Adobe Captivate 4 Text to Speech demo

Adobe Captivate 4 Text to Speech demo

Adobe has published a demo
showing how to use this new feature on the Adobe Captivate Blog.

I tested out this feature on my cell phone (a Samsung BlackJack II) by creating a small Captivate 4 demo and publishing it to my phone using the new Flash Lite Distributable Player. It worked. First time!

I wouldn’t recommend using Text to Speech this way as a habit, at least not for mobile devices, because what it does is embed an actual audio file, rather than converting the text on the fly. The sound and speech quality are both pretty good, and it sounds a lot less ‘roboty’ than your typical text to speech engine, but you may not find the relatively large file size acceptable. From my brief tests, it appears that since the audio starts off very clean (no background noise, plosives, sibilants, hiss or rumble) you can compress the audio files a little bit more aggressively than might be possible when compared to the audio recorded with a headset mike in a corner of the office.

So, if you need to add speech to your content, and you cannot afford the time and expense of recording quality audio from a skilled voiceover artist, then this new Text to Speech feature in Adobe Captivate 4 might be just what you need.

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A clean start

I just moved my entire blog to WordPress. I figured it was worth the leap. WordPress editing tools seem to be lots better than Blogger, so maybe I can blog more regularly from here.

No doubt I’ll change the design a couple of times until I’m a happy camper, but for now, here I am. Enjoy.

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Information about using the new actions and variables features in Captivate 4 is a little sparse right now. The question was asked on one of the Adobe forums, “How would you use Actions to turn off the paylbar in Captivate 4?”
I think there are a number of ways to address this. Here’s one option.
  • Open the Actions Dialog – select Project Actions
  • In advanced Actions tab, select the Choose an action to edit… drop down, and select Create a new action.
  • Name the action – e.g. closePlaybar
  • In the white panel below you should see the text Add Statement – double-click it
  • Some new text will appear, and the text Statement will turn red. Doube-click the Statement text.
  • Select assignment from the list that appears.
  • Choose cpCmdShowPlaybar from the menu.
  • You will be offered the option to choose variable or value – choose value
  • Type 0 (zero) and then choose Save and then Close.
Now when you want to use this action you would select Execute advanced action, say, at the result of clicking a button, or when you enter or exit a slide. Assuming you want the playbar to disappear when a specific slide begins to play:-
  • Open the Slide Properties window for the desired slide by double-clicking the slide in the Filmstrip.
  • In the Navigation section, choose On slide enter: Execute advanced Action.
  • Select closePlaybar in the Action drop-down menu.

Watch the following demo to view the steps in Captivate 4.

For a better quality demo, click this link

‘cpuser’ commented on this on the Adobe Captivate General Discussion forum.

Assign standard action can also be used to achieve the same result. Follow the below steps –
1. Open Slide properties
2. Select “Assign” action from On Slide Enter event
3. Select “cpCmndShowPlaybar” from the list of variables
4. Enter “0” as the value to be assigned with
5. Preview the movie and observe that the playbar is not visible

And he/she is completely correct – thank you. However at least some of the purpose of my demo was to show more generally how you can get started working with Adobe Captivate 4 variables and Actions, so I’ll leave it up 🙂

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Tridib Roy Chowdhury has posted an extensive list of Adobe Captivate 4 new features to The Adobe Captivate Blog

  • Productivity, Richness, and Robustness
  • Round-trip PowerPoint workflow – optional linking or embedding
  • Variables and Advanced Actions
  • Text-to-speech functionality
  • Customizable widgets – Flash components
  • Adobe Photoshop layer support- Preserve layers in imported Adobe® Photoshop® (PSD) files.
  • Table of Contents and Aggregator
  • Streamlined workflows and enhanced usability
  • inline editing of text captions
  • project templates
  • design templates
  • panning
  • right-click support
  • drawing tools
  • image editing
  • expanded output options- publish to a PDF as well as AVI
  • Adobe® ActionScript® 3.0 support
  • Improving Efficiency of the ID-SE interaction
  • Air Review app (swf commenting)
  • Single SWF Output
  • Panning while screen recordings
  • Performance and Robustness

Be sure and check out Tridib’s blog post for more details of these features and more.

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Adobe has released a couple of workflow demos of the eLearning Suite here. There’s also a great video demo posted here by RJ.

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