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Captivate 4 Upgrade Review

You may find it odd to read a software review for CaptivateR 4 on the FlashR section of BellaOnline. However, the Adobe Flash Platform has become the number one industry standard for sharing and viewing content on and off the web. With this Captivate 4 upgrade, Adobe has incorporated Flash technology into some of the new features, including the new Adobe Captivate Reviewer. Let's take a look at what's new in Captivate 4.

XML Commenting

One of the most popular enhancements is the new XML commenting available in the new Captivate Reviewer. With the new pop-up comment box feature, project reviewers can add slide-specific comments while viewing the project in the Captivate Reviewer. The comments are stored and transported in an XML file and can be viewed from inside the Captivate workspace.


Another great new feature that will facilitate your workflow is templates. The new project and design based templates can automate much of the process of assembling your course content into a finished project. The design templates allow you to set default fonts and other design elements, thus making it easier to remain consistent throughout your project. The project based templates are an easy way to develop a project. These templates provide a basic layout with placeholders for course content. Customizing a project template is as easy as replacing the placeholders with your own content.

Screen Recording

With the increase in popularity of mobile devices, it becomes necessary to design content for a smaller screen. A new feature in Captivate that will help with this is the panning feature. Instead of using a preset capture mode that records the entire workspace, the panning feature uses a smaller recording placeholder that follows your mouse movements. Also helpful when designing content for mobile devices, Captivate is now better integrated with Device Central allowing you to use its many presets.


Captivate's integration with other Adobe software, such as DreamweaverR, Flash and PhotoshopR, has been improved. Captivate now supports Photoshop layers. When importing native Photoshop files into Captivate, the Photoshop layers are preserved, remain editable and are automatically associated with the Captivate Timeline, making it easy to add animation and transitional effects. Also, Captivate can incorporate preset Flash widgets, such as quizzes and games, and generate SWF files that can be imported into Flash for further editing. Finally, you can now link your PowerPointR slides with your Captivate project.

Enhanced Workflow

Captivate 4 have several new features that will enhance your workflow. When creating lengthy projects, you might want to include a Table of Contents based navigation menu, allowing the user to move freely between sections of the training course. Captivate can generate a TOC menu for you. Also, this new upgrade has better drawing and text tools. For example, you now have inline text editing instead of the old text dialog box. Creating reusable and personalized content is easier with new user and system variables. User input can be associated with a variable, allowing you to personalize the training content and to incorporate conditional actions in response to user input. With the new text-to-speech feature, you can quickly edit voice over audio just by changing the text.


You have more publishing options when exporting your project from Captivate 4. You can publish in the AVI format for YouTube and iPods or embed your Captivate files in PDF and Flex files. Another publishing option is the new SCORM Packager for LMS. With this new feature, you can assemble various types of contents, such as Captivate, Presenter, Flash and Dreamweaver files, into one SCORM compliant packaged zip file. Sharing and viewing Captivate files on any operating system is possible now with the new Adobe Captivate Reviewer and Adobe AIR. This free download will allow anyone to view Captivate files, even those without the Captivate software.

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