Over the past few months I've been creating more and more Project Templates for my customers. Some of the most important things you can add to a Project Template are placeholders. What are placeholders? As the name implies, placeholders hold a spot on a slide or within a project for specific objects. For instance, if you always want a Text Animation of the first slide of a project, you can insert a Text Animation Placeholder, set the animation, and other Properties.
There are several placeholders you can add to a Project Template including Text Captions, Images, Animation and even Recording Slides.
When a Captivate developer creates a new project based on a Project Template, the placeholders will be available for use. And since placeholders retain their predefined Properties, all that a developer needs to do is double-click the placeholder and add the content. The developer does not need to spend time worrying such things as Caption Type, Character Family or Size.
While placeholders are great timesavers, there are a few problem. First, when placeholder objects are inserted onto templates slides, they won't be visible when you preview or publish the template. In addition, placeholders have an annoying feature... they aren't WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) when they're created. In fact, the formatting you apply to a placeholder only shows itself once the template is being used by a new project.
Let's take a look at the text caption placeholder in the image below. I formatted the caption so that it used the HaloBlue Caption type and the font formatting was set to Verdana, Regular, 16. However, even though the Properties panel verifies my formatting, the placeholder is less than cooperative. In fact, if I didn't know any better, I would assume that the Properties didn't take and I'd try to format the placeholder over and over and over and over again.
The formatting won't be WYSIWYG until the template is called into service. If one of your developers were to double-click the placeholders, it would show its true formatting.
Since I'm a visual person, I really need to see how something is going to look before I'm comfortable. In short, I really need my WYSIWYG.
If you're like me, you'll love this little trick. While working in a Project Template (you cannot insert placeholders into a regular Captivate project), insert a standard text caption (not a text caption placeholder).
Format the caption as you normally would. In the image below, you can see that I've formatted the caption using the HaloBlue Caption type and the font formatting was set to Verdana, Regular 16.
While the appearance of the caption is indeed WYSIWYG, there is a problem. The caption isn't a placeholder so it won't behave like a placeholder once the template is placed into service.
So here's the trick... delete the text caption. And BAM! Instead of the caption actually being deleted, the caption converts to a placeholder.
The formatting of the placeholder is no longer WYSIWYG but my goal was achieved--I visually confirmed the desired format and left the developer with a placeholder. However, when developers use the template and double-click the placeholder, the formatting will already be set. Cool!