Captivate Essentials: An Introduction to Captivate

If you are an instructional designer or technical writer, you have no doubt spent time attempting to perfect the art of teaching programs using fewer and fewer words. If you are in the business of educating, you know how difficult this job can be.

These days, interactive lessons that can be viewed over the Internet or from a mobile device are all the rage. There are many programs that can be used to capture a computer’s screen, mouse action and audio. Unfortunately, the resulting movies can be huge–a five minute lesson could easily gobble up nearly 100mb of storage space on a hard drive. Downloading a file that large will take a lot of time, even if a user has a fast Internet connection. Large file sizes are just part of the problem. The movies may not be cross-platform (they may not work on both Macs and PCs). Interactivity is a feature most of the “mouse capture” applications do not support. And there are few of these programs that allow images to be imported.

In short, the technology for creating interactive lessons WAS bad. But not anymore. Using Adobe Captivate, you can capture screen shots on your computer and quickly turn them into lessons (movies). The movies you create can be interactive–you can add images, captions, rollovers, clickable areas, typing areas and sound effects.


Practical working knowledge of Mac OS X or Windows.

Course Outline

Note: The curricula below comprise activities typically covered in a class at this skill level. The instructor may, at his/her discretion, adjust the lesson plan to meet the needs of the class.

Lesson 1: Exploring Captivate

Lesson 2: New Project & Soft Skills eLearning

Lesson 3: Recording Demos and Sims

Lesson 4: Captions, Styles and Timing

Lesson 5: Images and Smart Shapes

Lesson 6: Pointers, Paths, Boxes, and Buttons

Lesson 7: Rollovers and Zooms

Lesson 8: Audio

Lesson 9: Video, Animation and Effects

Lesson 10: Adding Interactivity

Lesson 11: Working With PowerPoint

Lesson 12: Introduction to Question Slides

Lesson 13: Finishing Touches