In an ideal world, your Captivate projects would be kept to a respectable number of slides (fewer than approximately 100). Why? Larger projects will take longer to produce, longer to publish, longer for learners to download and, most importantly, longer to complete.
I suggest creating lessons that a learner can finish within five minutes, which typically translates to around 80-100 interactive slides. Of course, there may be occasions where you want to take several small projects and bring them together into one project--without actually copying slides or objects from one project into another.
If you publish your Captivate projects as SWFs, you can combine multiple SWF files into one lesson using the Aggregator. Once added to an Aggregator project, you can publish the combined files as a SWF, EXE file, PDF or HTML. The published Aggregator file will include a TOC using the names of the separate SWF files.
To ensure the uniformity of Table of Contents (TOC) settings across lessons, you can set any SWF in the TOC as the master. The TOC settings of the master are applied to all the other SWFs in the Aggregator.
- To create an Aggregator project, first publish some of your Captivate lessons as SWFs.
- Choose File > New Project > Aggregator Project.
- From the bottom of the window, click the Add Module button and open the SWFs you published.
The SWFs will appear in the Module Title area of the Aggregator. You can double-click a module's name and rename or edit it as you like..
- Publish the aggregated projects by clicking the Publish Aggregator Project tool.
It's certainly possible that you'd like the learner to end up in a lesson outside the modules you have added to the aggregated project. You can do it and fellow Captivate developer and trainer Mark Fletcher has provided the steps to success:
- Open the source cptx file you want to branch from.
- Insert an interactive object (such as a Click Box).
- Set the Properties of the Click Box to Open another project from the On Success menu.
- Browse to locate the file you wish to branch to (you can also choose from a recently opened project from the Project menu).
- Save and Publish the source and target cptx files as SWFs.
- Add the files to the Aggregator project.
- Publish the Aggregator project.
Clicking the Click Box in the published file you want to branch from will now jump to the swf you want to branch to and highlight that lesson in the Aggregator TOC.
Note: When you publish the source cptx file, Captivate should display a message indicating that files/projects are linked to the open project and that these may also need to be published.