Adding a hyperlink to an interactive object in Adobe Captivate has never been a problem. Select the object (click box, button, or text entry box) and, on the Properties Inspector, Actions tab, change the On Success to Open URL or file.
Type the web page address into the URL area and that's it.
Hyperlinking text within a text caption isn't quite as straight forward. After adding text to a caption, there isn't an Action tab on the inspector (therefore, no apparent way to create a hyperlink).
There is a way to accomplish the task, however. From within the caption, select the text you'd like to be clickable (you have to highlight the text, not just select the caption) and then, on the Properties Inspector, Character area, locate and click the Insert HyperLink icon.
From the Link To drop-down menu, choose Web Page and then, in the field below, type the web address you'd like to use.
In the image below, I've linked a single word to the IconLogic website. The appearance of the text can easily be changed via the Character options on the Properties Inspector.
If you need to learn Adobe Captivate, we've got you covered with an awesome number of live, online classes. If you need help developing your next eLearning project, or if you just need some quick one-on-one mentoring, we've got you covered there too.
We are proud to announce that our newest book, Adobe RoboHelp 2019: The Essentials workbook is now available on Amazon.com as both a print book or eBook.
About the book:
“Adobe RoboHelp 2019: The Essentials” is a self-paced, step-by-step workbook that teaches you the essential RoboHelp skills needed to create and deliver user assistance (software/application help systems, operations manuals, policies and procedures... the list is endless).
Step-by-step instructions guide you through the process of creating new RoboHelp projects and topics from scratch. Learn to import content from Microsoft Word and HTML files.
Enhance your topics with graphics, and interactive multimedia (using eLearning content created in Adobe Captivate).
Improve the navigation of your content by adding hyperlinks, indexes, and glossaries.
Increase your production efficiency by learning about cascading style sheets, variables, snippets, and master pages.
Learn how to control the look of final output via Skins and presets.
Deliver content that can be consumed on any kind of device including desktops, laptop, smartphones, and tablets using output such as Responsive HTML5, WebHelp, HTMLHelp, and even eBooks.
This book features:
All of the Adobe RoboHelp projects, images, audio files, and other assets to get started (Just download the free RoboHelp 30-day trial software from the Adobe website and jump in!)
Dozens of step-by-step, hands-on activities
Confidence Checks to challenge your new skills
Hundreds of supporting screen shots
You can order the print book here and the eBook (Kindle) here.
Perhaps you imported HTML content into RoboHelp that contained one or more links. It’s possible that some of the links in the document were broken in the source file. If there are broken links in the document before you import the document, they’ll remain broken in RoboHelp when the imported content becomes a RoboHelp topic. And of course, there are all kinds of ways you can break a link all by yourself from within RoboHelp (it’s as simple as deleting a source topic or, when editing a topic in HTML view, deleting an important tag).
In the image below, a topic in my RoboHelp project contains a link (the link is supposed to go to a topic about the corporate policy on the consumption of alcohol during work hours).
While the link looks fine, it’s actually broken (the name of the target file is different than what is referenced in the HTML code). Anyone clicking the link is going to see the following page (instead of the information about alcohol).
Regardless of how a link gets broken, it’s great to know you can fix the problem easily. To begin, check your project for the existence of broken links by choosing Edit > Fix Broken Links.
If the Fix Broken Links box that appears is empty, awesome… you don’t have any broken links. In the image below however, you can see that I have a broken link in one of my topics.
After clicking the Replace button, all I needed to do was find the target topic (Alcohol Policy) and click the Link button.
Adobe just released update 5 for Adobe RoboHelp 2019. To get the free update, choose Help > Updates. You'll see that version 14.0.5 is available for immediate download. All you'll need to do is click the Update button. Depending upon your internet speed, the update should only take a few minutes (you'll need to close RoboHelp while the update is in process). Adobe is planning to update RoboHelp regularly (the updates fix bugs and add features so it's a good idea to check for updates about once per month).
While attempting to apply a Theme to a Captivate project I received the alert shown below.
My only option was to click the OK button and try again. Of course, no matter how many times I attempted the task, I received the same failure message.
When Captivate misbehaves, the first thing I always attempt is to reset the program’s Preferences. There’s a handy utility for this located in the program’s application folder within a subfolder called Utils. With Captivate closed, browse to the Utils folder and open CleanPreferences (there’s a version for the Mac and PC).
Upon restarting Captivate, the cleaned Preferences file usually puts Captivate back in working order.
If resetting the Preferences file doesn’t work, plan B is to clear Captivate’s Cache folder. This option is found by opening Captivate’s Preferences dialog box (Edit menu for PC users; Adobe Captivate menu for Mac users) and, from the General Settings category, click the Clear Cache button.
Every once in a while, one or more of the theme files (they are .cptm files) get corrupt. When that happens, Captivate simply refuses to apply the themes and you’ll get the "Cannot apply..." error message shown in the first image above. While I cannot help you prevent corrupt theme files (if I find out what causes the corruption, I’ll be sure to share), I can show you how to replace the corrupt theme files with new files
First, with Captivate closed, go to Users > Public > Public Documents > Adobe > eLearning Assets > Layouts > 11_0. Copy the en_US folder and paste it in another location on your computer (this is going to be a backup copy of the en_US folder's contents, so I suggest giving it a name such as en_US_bk).
With Captivate still closed, go to Documents > My Adobe Captivate Projects > Layouts > 11.0 > en_US. Select and copy all of the .cptm files in the en_US folder.
Go back to Users > Public > Public Documents > Adobe > eLearning Assets > Layouts > 11.0 and open the en_US folder (this is the folder you backed up a moment ago).
Paste the .cptm files on your clipboard into this folder (replace the existing .cptm files when prompted). Restart Captivate and you’ll be able to apply the supplied Themes as before.
One of the more common questions that I get from new eLearning developers is how much time does it take to produce published content. The answer depends upon a couple of factors. For instance, which eLearning tool are you going to use? Is it Adobe Captivate? How about TechSmith's Camtasia? Or maybe you're going to use Articulate Storyline?
Here's another factor: how many minutes of eLearning playtime are you looking to produce? Are you creating a 30-minute course? 60 minutes?
I have extensive experience using Storyline, Captivate, and Camtasia. In my experience, it will take you approximately 2 hours of labor to produce 1 minute of eLearning playtime if you use Captivate or Storyline. If you use Camtasia, your labor will go down a bit (1 hour or perhaps 1.5 hours for every 1 minute of video playtime).
The production times mentioned above do not include the following:
Writing an eLearning script or developing a storyboard
If you’re creating a software simulation, you’ll need a step-by-step recording script. If you’re creating soft skills content (lessons such as conflict resolution or onboarding), I've found that it could take between 1-2 hours to write a single minute of content.
Rehearsing the Script
Once you're written the software simulation script, you'll likely need to run through it multiple times to ensure it's accurate.
Writing an Audio Script
If you're going to include voiceover audio (and I highly suggest that you do since audio has been shown to improve the learner experience), you should create an audio script. It could easily take you 40 hours or more to prepare an audio script.
Recording the Software Simulation or Video Demo
Once you've written a script, recording screen actions in any of the eLearning tools is simple and shouldn't take more than the actions detailed in the script. For instance, if the script has you recording a 3-minute process in Microsoft Word, it should only take 3-minutes to record the process. And while recording screen actions doesn't take a lot of time or special skills, if there are a lot of simulations to record, you'll need to factor the time in your budget.
Developing Assets Externally
I mention below that you can save production time in your eLearning tool by creating as much of the course assets as possible outside of the eLearning tool. Many people create the content in PowerPoint and simply import the content into the eLearning tool. While that means there will be less content to create in the eLearning tool, don't overlook the fact that the content still needs to be created in that other tool. In my experience, creating content in PowerPoint is easy. However, it still takes time. In fact, I'd put the development time in PowerPoint at about the same development time as working within Camtasia (1-1.5 hours for every minute or presentation play time).
The production clock begins ticking after you create a blank project, open a project containing previously-recorded content, or import external content such as a PowerPoint presentation.
Production includes, but is not limited to:
Adding/editing text content such as callouts/captions
Looking to save time? You can trim production times significantly by following these tips:
Create Just In Time eLearning
If creating a software demonstration in Captivate or Storyline, record the lesson and simply publish it without going from screen-to-screen and tweaking any of the timing or the text. When an eLearning developer simply records a lesson and publishes it without much post-production, I call those kind of eLearning modules "just in time eLearning." Depending upon your audience, "just in time eLearning" may be perfectly appropriate. Why spend the production time creating a highly-polished lesson if it's not necessary?
Use Microsoft PowerPoint
If creating a soft skills lesson, create the bulk of the content in Microsoft PowerPoint. All three eLearning tools mentioned above allow you to take existing PowerPoint content and quickly create eLearning out of it. In my opinion, Captivate and Storyline handle the PowerPoint content more elegantly than Camtasia, but the bottom line is that you can re-purpose existing content. Assuming you are satisfied with the original PowerPoint content, and you don't need to add additional content (beyond possibly a quiz) in the eLearning tool, the production time for converting PowerPoint to eLearning should be no more than 1 hour of production time for every minute of eLearning playtime.
If you start a project with a well-conceived and implemented template, each of your projects will have a consistent look and feel.
Depending on the Tool, Go Demo or Sim
If you use Camtasia, I suggest creating software demonstrations instead of simulations. If you add interactivity (hotspots) to a Camtasia project, you will need to post the lesson to a server to test the interactivity. That kind of back and forth simply takes too much time. However, creating software simulations in Captivate and Storyline is so quick and easy, I think it's actually faster to produce simulations over demonstrations. The pesky mouse pointer that is typically included in a demonstration always need a significant amount of production attention (you'll likely need to adjust the pointer position, pointer path, click effects, and click sounds). Since simulations don't typically include a mouse pointer, those production issues go away.
What's your experience with eLearning production times? I'd love to see hear about the eLearning tools you're using. How much time it takes you to produce each minute of eLearning. Feel free to share your thoughts below.
We've created an online tool that will help you calculate how long it can take to develop eLearning (the tool supports Captivate, Camtasia, Presenter, and more). Check out the tool on the IconLogic website.
IconLogic has deep experience developing eLearning. If you need assistance with your next project, we can help!
Adobe just released update 5 for Adobe RoboHelp 2019. To get the free update, choose Help > Updates. You'll see that version 14.0.5 is available for immediate download. All you'll need to do is click the Update button. Depending upon your internet speed, the update should only take a few minutes (you'll need to close RoboHelp while the update is in process).
Adobe is planning to update RoboHelp regularly (the updates fix bugs and add features so it's a good idea to check for updates about once per month).
I was teaching Storyline recently and one of my students wanted to put a check mark image into his project. Before I could blink, he was on Google, had searched for a check mark image, found a ton of them, downloaded the one he liked, and added it to his project. Done and done!
Of course, the image was copyrighted (as are most images you'll find via Google searches). Given that he is a Storyline 360 subscriber, I showed him a better way to icon-glory that's not only cost-free but copyright-free and royalty-free.
From the Storyline 360 ribbon, select the Insert tab. From the Content Library section, click Icons.
In the Search Icons area, he typed check mark and pressed [enter]. The result was more check marks than he could possibly ever use. Better still, he was able to quickly change the color of the shape once it was loaded onto his slide (something he would have been unable to do with a checkmark image lifted from the Internet).
Similarly, you can use the Search feature to find anything from puppies to kittens to boats. And again, everything you find is free to use and/or modify in your Storyline project.
Adobe recently released RoboHelp 2019, a totally reimagined, rebuilt, re-everything RoboHelp. If you're a veteran RoboHelp user, I'm thinking you'll find the overhauled interface to be intuitive and significantly cleaner than previous versions of RoboHelp.
In RoboHelp 2019, there are far fewer toolbars or tools. And while there are still some dialog boxes in RoboHelp 2019, much of the topic formatting work can be performed in panels to the left and right of the application window.
While Adobe has spent significant time streamlining RoboHelp's interface and development process, there are some awesome enhancements as well. One of my favorite features is Auto Fix Content. Although it is not necessary for you to know HTML to create RoboHelp projects, knowing a little HTML can pay off when imported content causes trouble because of misplaced or missing HTML tags.
I imported an HTML file into a project. I then opened the topic expecting to see it in the Author window as shown in the first image above (where you see the text and the heading About This Guide).
What I didn't know prior to importing the HTML file was that there were HTML code errors in the file. While the file imported without issue, upon attempting to edit the file, it automatically opened in HTML View.
In the HTML View, I noticed that there was an error icon next to line 20 as shown below.
I ran my mouse over the error icon and was alerted that the HTML file wasn't following conventional HTML rules (where tags must be paired). I'm comfortable with HTML and could have easily fixed the problem myself by adding the missing tag. However, if HTML isn't your thing, you'll love this awesome feature.
From the top of the HTML View window, I clicked the Auto Fix Content icon.
In a blink, RoboHelp automatically fixed all of the errors. (For instance, in the image below, a missing paragraph end-tag was added on line 18.)
How often have you had multiple objects on the Camtasia canvas and found yourself moving one object out of the way so you could work with another object? If you're like most developers, I'm thinking it's a common occurrence. And while it's not difficult to move an object (just drag and drop), you'll likely have to put the misplaced object back where you found it.
In the image below, I've positioned four objects on the canvas (each of the objects shown below are available for free via Camtasia's Library).
I'd like to change the behavior of the two people on the canvas. However, I consistently found myself selecting the house by mistake and either moving it or accidentally applying behaviors to the wrong object. Also, when previewing the video, I wanted to hide the house and focus instead on the two characters.
Fortunately, the solution to both problems is incredibly simple. On the Timeline, click the Disable Track icon (the eyeball) for the Track containing the item that's in the way.
Not only are the items on the disabled track hidden from view on the Canvas, they won't preview nor will they publish.
If you'd like the hidden objects back, simply Enable the track.
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