drupaladmin's blog

My Adobe Captivate template - Part 2 - Dynamic Date Functions

In this tutorial I explain some of the features built into my Adobe Captivate project template to support dynamic display of date and time information.  

I'll show you how I've set up my own template to dynamically display the playing duration of a module at runtime.  This functionality is very useful when you want to dynamically give the user a heads-up about how much time they need to allow so that they can be mentally prepared for the learning experience.  

Another useful feature in the template enables you to easily add different types of date formats that are NOT supported out of the box with Captivate via system variables. For example, you may need to be able to show the current date, in either medium or long date format, on printable completion certificates.  If you or your client is based in the USA, you may also want to use the US date format instead of the European format.

All of this is possible in Captivate! You just need to build your own dates using Advanced Actions that use Captivate's built-in System Variables to assign the values to custom User Variables. Once you have all this set up, just execute the special Advanced Action that sets up all the date variables using the On Slide Enter event of one of the initial slides in the project. From then on, these date variables will be available for use anywhere in the rest of the project.

Watch the YouTube video below to see how this is all done.  

Duplication Issues in Adobe Captivate Cp7 and Cp8 Templates

In my last blog post I introduced readers to the Adobe Captivate template I personally use when creating e-learning projects for my own clients. Hundreds of people downloaded the FREE versions of that template that I made available.

However, this week I've stumbled over some troubling issues that make using template files in Captivate versions 7 and 8 very problematic.  In fact I would go so far as to say that if you intend to use custom variables and Advanced Actions in your e-learning projects built with Cp7 or Cp8 my strong recommendation is that you DO NOT use CPTL template files to create new CPTX files.

If you do, you're going to discover that Captivate proceeds to duplicate (sometimes multiple times) your variables and advanced actions, creating a huge mess.  Worst of all you have no way to remove the duplicates because the project file thinks they are still somehow linked to the original template.

Watch the YouTube video below, which will explain the issue in more detail.

Create a Dynamic Menu Slide in Adobe Captivate

Have you ever wanted to add more interactivity to your e-learning course by including a Dynamic Menu Slide with links to sections of your content? You would not normally use this type of navigation for strictly linear e-learning modules.  But if the course module has several content sections and they can be done in any order, a menu slide makes good sense.  

Well in these video tutorials I show you how to do just that with several progressively more complex examples, starting from a bare bones simple example, up to menu slides that include visual feedback to indicate which items a user has interacted with, and finally to a very complex menu slide that is built into the Infosemantics project template that you can download for FREE from this website.

Start with simple examples first!

The first video below explains how to create very simple menu slides that require only interactive objects. Then it moves on to two more complex examples that require custom User Variables and Conditional Advanced Actions. Don't worry if yiou are unfamiliar with these concepts as I explain how everything works from the ground up.  

Watch the first YouTube video below to see how all of this is done!

My Adobe Captivate template - Part 1 - Overview

In this article I'm introducing you to my own personal Adobe Captivate course building template. It's the one I've been developing and using for the past several years in my work as an Instructional Designer and E-learning Developer. This is the template I now take with me from client-to-client when I'm working under contract.  I've found it saves an enormous amount of time in the course development process, and in the YouTube video below I provide a brief overview of the different sections it contains and why I use it.

However, please be aware that this is DEFINITELY NOT one of those simple Captivate templates you may have seen advertised on the internet with glitzy slide backgrounds plus eye-candy graphics or avatars and cartoon characters thrown in to dress up the content.  This template is ALL about functionality rather than look-and-feel like most other templates.

Watch the YouTube video below

I give you a quick overview of how this template works, why it's so different to most others, and how I use it professionally.

Why I owe an apology to everyone on my mailing list

Late last year I added a sidebar block to my website welcoming all visitors, inviting them to join my free email list and receive "weekly tips, tutorials, troubleshooting info, and creative solutions".  

For a while I was able to maintain that schedule and keep my promise. But then, unhappily, things got in the way. In fact, it's now been around 6 months since my last weekly newslettter.


Join more than 2500 other Adobe Captivate users just like yourself and receive regular troubleshooting tips, illustrated tutorials, technical information, and creative solutions to real-world e-learning development issues. (See an example here.) Click the button below to join our community.  It's completely FREE!