Captivate 6 boxshot

What is Adobe Captivate and what’s new in Captivate 6?

by sjledet on June 30, 2012

Elearning and training professionals are generally aware of Adobe Captivate. It’s considered an essential tool in those circles. But most business professionals tend to turn to Powerpoint or Keynote when they need to educate and inform. This article explains some of what Adobe Captivate brings to the table (including the latest version, Captivate 6) .

Create software simulations and product demos

Captivate’s probably best known for it’s screen recording capability. Captivate makes it easy to record software product demos in HD including making it simple to pause the presentation and add let-me-try simulations for your user or prospect. It can add scoring so if you prefer that the let-me-try actually act like a test, that’s simple too.

Captivate for PowerPoint Users

Captivate is actually a great tool for all sorts of training though, not just stuff you capture on your screen. Basically anything you might use PowerPoint for is a possible candidate for a Captivate project and Captivate has features to transform PowerPoint presentations on any subject into interactive eLearning content. With Captivate you can quickly add professional quizzes and branching scenarios to make sure readers interact with your content optimally. Roundtrip editing lets you export back to Powerpoint so you can make content available for editing by those who don’t own Captivate.

Captivate includes themes, actors, and interactive elements that can instantly make any presentation more engaging and interesting. These include aesthetically pleasing smart objects specifically designed for a training environment such as a Glossary object, Process Cycles, Accordion widgets, a learning Pyramid and animated rollovers. Anything can easily be turned into a button.

It’s easy to incorporate all sorts of media including video in a wide variety of formats (AVI, MOV, FLV and MPEG). You can sync this to a slide show and present it in a picture in picture format if you’d like. High quality text to speech lets you keep learners tuned into your  content and create automatic voice-overs as well as decent closed captioning.

Publishing Formats

Captivate 6 adds HTML5 based IPad compatible publishing to it’s already powerful list of publishing options. You can easily export to Youtube as well, or tie your content into a Learning Management System (LMS) using the SCORM industry standard for describing and tagging your content. If you’d like to have an LMS but can’t afford the big boys like Blackboard, Plateau, SumTotal or Saba, you can work with Moodle, an open-source alternative.

Captivate also has good tools for outputting supporting documentation to Microsoft Word making it a great tool for creating documentation and user manuals.

So if you haven’t tried Captivate 6, it’s worth downloading the free 30 day  trial. Ledet training offers classes in Adobe Captivate ranging from 2 to 4 days.

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