Adobe Captivate 2017 Released!

Adobe Captivate 2017

I'm really excited to report that the next major release of Adobe Captivate has launched. Adobe has made the decision to break from the product numbers of the past and with what would have been version 10 is now simply called Adobe Captivate 2017. In this article, I cover off some of the new features for you to consider.

The most notable addition to this software is a new way to develop responsively designed courses. A feature known as fluid boxes allows users to divide up their slides into containers where the objects placed within them respond in a much more predictable manner than with other methods. Here is a tutorial that shows some of the basics of working with fluid boxes.

Another area related to responsive design is the ability to save non-responsive projects as responsive design projects. In the past, if users wanted to convert an older project into responsive design, it required a much more manual process of copying individual slides and their elements usually one slide at a time. Here is a tutorial that shows this process in action.

With the migration to HTML5 and responsive design, text in eLearning projects became actual text instead of just another graphical image as was the case when Flash based eLearning was the norm. HTML5 offer many advantages but this limited developers to the commonly used fonts, namely web safe fonts. This prevented developer's ability to use new and interesting fonts in their design. With Adobe Captivate 2017 that problem has been solved through the introduction of being able to add Typekit fonts to your eLearning projects. Typekit fonts are cloud-based and with a Typekit account, many of these cloud-based fonts will now be available to Captivate 2017 developers as well. Creative Cloud customers get a limited number of Typekit fonts at their disposal. Here is a tutorial that shows how easy it is to add Typekit fonts to your eLearning projects.

When Captivate 9 was released, many developers were excited at the number of multi-state objects available to them. Most notable was the ability to have a variety of buttons that were previously just static. There were some exceptions to which types of buttons could have multi-states, however, this has been addressed in Captivate 2017. Developers now can have multi-state buttons on question slides, shape buttons on master slides, buttons on drag and drop slides, and buttons on your quiz results slide. Here is a video where I demonstrate these enhancements.

About five years ago I had a client ask me if I could make the closed captioning window on a course I had developed smaller. They complained that users who wished to use closed captioning had to read the text across the entire width of the project window and this was causing fatigue for users of closed captioning. There was no way to modify the closed captioning window size in previous versions. Adobe Captivate 2017 has introduced the ability to not only create custom sizes of closed captioning windows but their placement can now be on any part of the slide. Furthermore, developers can also use custom font formatting for part or all of the captions they display to their audience. Watch this video to see me customize my closed captions for a small project. 

Lastly, there have been some enhancements to advanced actions in Captivate 2017. In previous versions of Captivate a best practice developed to make all advanced actions conditional. The reason for this was that it could be difficult to deal with a change from a standard set of actions to a conditional set of actions part way through development. Often this was achieved by making the condition of the advanced action something that would always be true. For example, developers could write the condition to be something like IF 1 == 1 or something like that.

Captivate 2017 solves this by making advanced actions and conditional actions one and the same. Instead of having to rewrite the standard action into a whole new conditional action and updating all the places where that standard action was previously referenced, now you can modify the standard action and change it to a conditional action by checking off the Conditional Tab. There you can add your IF statement and retain all the previous actions as part of the conditional action.

Also, the IF statement of conditional actions has been joined by the While statement which gives developers the opportunity to create advanced actions that will loop while all, any or some of the conditions are true. 

Each time a new version of Captivate is released I always say the same thing. This is the best version of Captivate ever. I think that's very true in this case. I should point out that I use Captivate for most, if not all the features. If these new features have little to no impact on your process there is no reason to upgrade (at least not right away). For example, if you use Captivate to make Video Demo tutorials to be uploaded to YouTube, there is no improvement for you. If you are a Captivate subscription customer you can upgrade at a point that will not interfere with the development of any current projects. If you purchase a perpetual license of Captivate and you can see how your clients would benefit with these features, also upgrade to this version, again at a time that is appropriate.