- Create projects with fewer slides (we try to keep our projects to 100 slides or less)
- Select the Edit tab, show the Library (View menu), click the Select Unused Items button and then click the Delete button (in the case of the client discussed above, this simple step lowered the size of his project file from 200mb down to 30mb--a dramatic improvement)
- Show the properties of your slides and lower the Quality from High quality down to JPEG or Optimized
- Lower the quality of your Audio (Audio > Settings) from CD Bitrate down to Near CD or, even better, FM Radio Bitrate (you'd be surprised to learn that audio set to the FM Radio Bitrate sounds perfectly fine for most eLearning applications)
Note: Nothing bloats projects like audio. Simply put, the more audio you include in your project, and the longer the audio plays, the larger your project and output files will be.
- Use animation sparingly (while effective to eLearning lessons, long animations will bloat both your project and output files)
If you are working with a project that simply won't get smaller (you've tried all of the steps above and the pesky thing just won't cooperate), try these options:
- Save the bloated project with a new name (sometimes that simple step solves the problem)
If that doesn't work...
- Create a new project with the same project specifications as the one that's bloated (specifically, the new project should be the same size, in pixels, as the problem child); choose File > Import Slides/Objects and import everything from the bloated project; give the project a name different from the bloated one (so as not to overwrite the original)
If that doesn't work...
- This one is courtesy of Tom Edgar, Adobe Certified Instructor, Digital Training & Designs, Inc.
It seems that Tom had a Captivate 3 project that got bigger and bigger, even as he deleted more and more of the project's assets. Nice! After trying every trick in the book (all of those listed above), Tom approached Adobe and learned something I hadn't heard of before, or considered...
Tom was told by an Adobe rep that choosing File > Close did more than simply close the project. In fact, Tom was told by choosing File > Close actually compressed/refreshed the project as it was closed. Skeptical, Tom opened a bloated project and, rather than save and exit, and rather than close the project by clicking the Close button in the upper-right of the window, he chose File > Close. Did it work? "Yes," said Tom. He said that the project in question did, in fact, get significantly smaller.
File > Close? Who knew???!!! Well done, Tom!
Do you have a Captivate production problem that's making you pull your hair out? Email your problem and let others learn solutions from your experience.