Captivate 2017 Fluid Boxes

adobe, captivate, elearning

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First thoughts

Having recently had to change hard drives and re-load all my software I had my first chance to upgrade to Adobe Captivate 2017. With all the talk in e-learning about fluid boxes that had to be my first stop. I have to say it was quite easy to get my head around designing with these  boxes and handy when duplicating slides to stick with layouts and themes etc The break points bar was an improved feature too.

First go

I wanted to keep this example short and sweet (think micro learning) a quick google and wikipedia and voila! A photography 101 on the rule of thirds

Quick turn around

I set myself another challenge to see if the fluid boxes speed up the design to delivery stage. In short yes they do

Time taken from concept to finish

Approx 1 hour

View it here:




My html 5 video intro

adobe, captivate, elearning, elearning samples, html5, instructional design, video

The idea

If you’ve seen a movie or watched t.v. in the last twenty years you’ll be familiar with the production or channel video intro’s before the actual viewing.

The Creation/ Inspiration

I’ve been playing around with html5 animations recently to put in my e-learning courses. Then the idea came to me about creating my own intro video. The movie Trainspotting has a great intro sequence made to look like your stood in an underground tube station as a train whizzes by. THAT’s the look I was after

The Result

Once I was happy with the html5 animation I had to find some music to put to it the excellent http://www.freesfx site has a good selection of piano snippets to choose from but one stood out.

Check out my efforts below


E-learning showing conversation

adobe, captivate, elearning, elearning samples, instructional design

E-learning Heroes Challenge #105

This week’s challenge was to find creative ways to show dialogue in e-learning. Which lit my creative side

The idea

I had plenty of ideas for this challenge but I had to whittle it down to one.

Ticker Tape – scrolling dialogue at the bottom of the screen

Translation – Two sentences in different languages

Subtext – Speech bubble for dialogue. Loose text for the thought.

But the winner was

Subtitles- The type you see on T.V. for the hard of hearing.

bbc subtitles

The Design

I set myself an extra challenge which was to shrink the working area by using a mobile phone template. With space at a premium the dialogue had to be snappy. A busy workplace setting sprang to mind. I used text and audio to set the scene.

wordpress promo subtitle

The Result

I coloured the text for each character to help the reader identify who is saying what and used left and right placement to reinforce this.

Having the text pop-up also helped with identification and reading.

Click the image below to view the sample

wordpress promo


From PowerPoint Deck to interactive Elearning

adobe, captivate, elearning, elearning samples, powerpoint

This post will show you how I created an interactive elearning module from a fairly dry and overlong Powerpoint Deck.

To view the finished sample:

The source deck

I found this Powerpoint on the web and thought it could do with some TLC. The presentation is 65 slides on health & safety in the workplace. The subject matter is important but the style and design of the presentation had me sliding down my chair at around slide 30.SLF 2

The solution

I took the main information from the aim of the deck (awareness of hazards in the workplace) and started to design an interactive module. PowerPoint delivers information a linear fashion, but I wanted the learner to have choices on how to view the course information, but NOT to skip any. I used Adobe Captivate to create this decision branching effect.

The development tools

I wanted to keep the info and some images in PowerPoint then use the interactive power of Adobe Captivate to create an engaging learning experience. I customised a Powerpoint template from the excellent Elearning Heroes community. I added the following elements from within Adobe Captivate

Text to voice

Insert a You Tube

Cartoon character

Next Buttons

Drag and drop


This is a lot to add in to a six slide module, but I wanted to show how you can ‘lift’ a boring slideshow into an interactive and engaging elearning experience.

view it here :


Reusing Powerpoint animations in elearning

captivate, elearning

Re-using Powerpoint slides when creating elearning can be a valuable way of saving time and reducing costs, especially when you’re on a deadline. This is especially true if your course requires some animation or motion paths to liven up your content (and which Instructional Designer doesn’t want to do that!). I also think this is a particular handy way of setting common themes for modules within an elearning course. The learner gets used to seeing the animation but is not bored by it as it has changed.

I’ve done a short screen capture explaining how quickly animations and Motion Paths can be changed for reuse.

reuse wordpress

Click to see You Tube video

My cinemagraph (gif type video) for elearning


The excellent Articulate elearning community was set a challenge #95 to create a video background for an elearning course. I looked at the awesome examples done by the community and was inspired to have a go myself.

My idea

One of the videos entered was a cinemagraph. (A short GIF type video that repeats. But you can set only part of the whole image to move and freeze the rest) This is what I wanted to create

The shoot

I wanted to do something original and I am currently creating a course for a local business forum and decided to incorporate the cinemagraph  of a local market scene. The shoot went perfectly coming back with a few decent choices. I used a Canon digital camera that can shoot movies and a tripod (which I heartily recommend). I wouldn’t set any auto-focus either you lose the first few seconds whilst the camera zoom settles down.

The Edit

This was the fun bit, selecting which portion of the image to freeze and which to move and repeat. I recommend having a bout 7-10 seconds as you want the viewer to find what NOT moving and what is and then take in the effect.

Here’s my attempt

cinemagraph still


click to view you tube

How to create your own infographics for elearning


Hi, creating your own infographics when creating an e-learning course gives you great creative freedom. You will no longer have to waste time searching through stock catalogues to find a suitable image that fits what your trying to get across.

click to view you tube

Click image to view the You Tube

With all this in mind I’ve created a short You Tube video to share how I created my own infographics using the excellent Libre Office Impress.

Libre Office Impress!

Yes, most Instructional designers will use Microsoft’s PowerPoint. But Libre Office Impress has much of the same functionality and after viewing a few other You Tubes, you don’t have to press as many keys to get the same thing done.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial

Visual communication Elearning Heroes challenge #77

adobe, captivate, elearning, Uncategorized

This morsel of a post was inspired by Articulate’s excellent weekly e-learning challenge #77 which was to communicate using visuals only, no words allowed. Accepting the challenge, I quickly decided I could utilise something from the most popular visual communication; art. Inspiration for the actual finished sample came from a popular t.v. game show ‘Catchphrase’ which uses visuals to convey information and the famous Dutch painter, Van Gogh, whose surname I could spell out using two visuals. Universally Understood In order for this type of information to be effective there has to be a level of understanding of the image being used. If you don’t know what a speed sign looks like, you’ll never know what the maximum speed is, for example. This is why I choose these examples, art is a universally understood communication and Van Gogh is one of the most famous painters’ whose work is easily recognised. The slides The intro slide practically worked itself out. I decided a simple Drag and Drop interaction would aid engagement and ‘buy in’ to the art theme. And the completion of a word using letters and an image would give the learner a quick reward challenge, which always increases engagement. intro screen The second slide would see the quiz factor cranked up, turning into a fun art quiz without words. Can you see a famous painter’s surname in the image below? Capture for blog Hope you liked what you saw and get inspired to visualise more for your next project.

Effects and Advanced Action in Adobe Captivate

adobe, captivate, elearning

This morsel of a post came about when I was creating a E-learning Heroes challenge (Help learners polish their grammar #75). I wanted to visualise a sentence to help the learner understand the power a comma can have on its meaning.

blog cap

To enhance the learning experience I wanted to play a sound and move a graphic simultaneously.(Move the fly and play a fly buzz). I needed to create an advanced action that played the audio and ran the motion path effect. Here’s how you do it.

To accomplish this you:

  1.  Create the motion path: Select the object/ Right-click/ select Apply Effect/Add Effect/ choose your effect and save the xml file.
  2.  Create the Advanced Action: If you’re new to Advanced Actions have a look at
  3.  Insert the effect in Advanced Action: In Action choose Apply Effect/ choose the object with the motion path/ on the drop down Select Effect menu choose Custom/ now select your saved XML motion path.
  4. Save the Advanced Action and insert into your chosen object

adv act cap

Here’s what my sample looks like: (Click on image to launch)

Advanced Action sample

Advanced Action sample


Elearning Heroes Challenge #71 Math

adobe, captivate, elearning

This morsel of a post was inspired by the Articulate community’s weekly elearning challenge to create a Math(s) based game.

For this challenge my inspiration fell at my feet as my daughter was born November 23rd (11/23) I had to chose the Fibonacci Sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8..)

I took an image that has the ‘golden spiral’ and turned it into a jigsaw. This involved using my preferred image editor GIMP (an Open Source alternative to Photoshop) and I cut out the pieces to the exact Fibonacci size (13,21,34)

cut shell for jigsaw

The next step was to turn these images into a jigsaw  using Adobe Captivate’s drag and drop feature  and creating individual actions that reveals the next number (13,21 and 34) of the sequence when placed (dropped)

drag n drop shown fib

Lastly an action for drag and drop was needed to show the complete image when the last ‘drop’ of the jigsaw was done.

This was a fun exercise for me and done in the shortest time for an Elearning heroes challenge.

Have a go at the sample below


fibonacci screenshot