I just wrapped up a very informative day at Adobe's Learning Summit in San Jose, CA. The highlight of the day was a presentation by R.J. Jacquez, Senior Product Evangelist at Adobe Systems, where RJ pulled the cover off of the much anticipated Adobe Captivate 4.
During the next several weeks, I'll be spotlighting many of the new features in what I believe is the greatest upgrade in Captivate/RoboDemo history.
Please Note: While Adobe is now showing the new version 4 features to excited audiences, the new version is not yet finished, has not yet been released, and no release date has been announced. My personal feeling is that you won't see the new version until sometime in 2009, possibly before the end of the first quarter. Of course, that's just a guess.
So here goes... among my favorite new Captivate 4 features:
SWF Commenting: In Adobe Captivate 4, you will be able to collaborate effectively with your team members (the SMEs and other reviewers) who do not own Captivate by publishing your project for comments. The published project will play in the Adobe Captivate Reviewer, an Adobe AIR application. As a result, the reviewers won't need to have Adobe Captivate 4 installed on their machines to add comments. Once the comments are added, you will see those comments in your project. You can accept the comments, reject them and add your own (which will appear back on the reviewer's screen without the need to republish the project)
Improved PowerPoint Imports: Imported PowerPoint 2007 projects can now be imported into Captivate 4 via a new linked mode. For the first time, updates to the PowerPoint presentation instantly appear in the Captivate project. Cool! In addition, you can now bring in audio from the PowerPoint presentation and other PowerPoint slide interactivity.
TOC and TOC Aggregator: This is a timely new feature... I spoke with several people at the summit who complained that they couldn't get a table of contents to work with MenuBuilder. And then along comes RJ who demos a wonderfully slick TOC feature that will allow your users to navigate through your lesson, and keep track of their progress via green check marks. And there's the new Aggregator feature that will allow you to combine multiple Captivate projects under one umbrella (your users will be able to navigate through all the modules of the course, rendering MenuBuilder obsolete).
Drawing Tools: Now you can add simple shapes to slides including rectangles, ovals, polygons, lines and arrows.
Slide notes to Closed Captions: If you have to deliver 508 complaint eLearning that includes closed captions, this is huge. For the first time you can use your slide notes to quickly create the closed captions.
There's more of course... but I just got the "thumbs up" from the Adobe folks to blab about what I saw to you guys. So while everyone else took off for the reception at Adobe headquarters for some spirits and world-class munchies, I raced back to the hotel to get this information out to you. Never let it be said that I haven't made my sacrifices in life...