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Rapid E-learning a Breeze with Macromedia Captivate 1.01

Macromedia Captivate, the most popular Screencasting tool from Macromedia recently won the Software Simulation Shootout at the Training 2005 Conference & Expo in New Orleans.

Today, Macromedia announced a new version of Macromedia Captivate - Macromedia Captivate 1.01, a much need upgrade that promises closer integration of Captivate with Macromedia Breeze [Tricks for using Breeze Presenter, Download Macromedia Breeze 5.1 Server Update].

With Macromedia Captivate 1.01, trainers and meeting presenters can easily control Captivate playback within a Breeze meeting, either reviewing simulations with all participants at the same time or selecting "un-sync" mode to let each participant interact with the simulation independently. Interactions with Captivate simulation quizzes are fully tracked within the Breeze system for reporting or in-depth analysis.

Macromedia has taken RoboDemo, turned it inside out, and rearranged its molecules. The end result is Captivate.. deep, rich, feature laden, and most important, a heck of a lot of fun.

However, the software needs some tweaking when it comes to exporting Captivate movies directly into Flash MX 2004 or Flash MX Professional 2004. The workflow is not that simple though both the products are developed by Macromedia. Infact, there is a known Flash bug involving .png images that will crash Flash if you try to drag the Captivate movie clip to the Main timeline.

Choose while publishing Macromedia Captivate content to EXE or SWF Files
The benefit of the .EXE format is that you have no cares whether your end user has some form of Flash Player installed. It's included inside the .EXE. The main benefit of .SWF format when in an "On-Line" environment (meaning placed on a web server) is that the .SWF will stream a bit, then begin playing. Where the .EXE will likely need to download completely before your user would see any action. The .EXE format closes when your user presses the ESC key. .SWF format files don't do this.

Convert eHelp Robodemo 5 projects to Macromedia Captivate
Captivate is a different from RoboDemo and has its own learning curve, especially with regard to the Timeline. The process of converting RD5 projects is not seamless, because there are differences in the way some objects act, and additional actions and controls available. For that reason, the conversion sometimes goes as smoothly as glass, and other projects that will require extensive editing to achieve the same effects as you saw in RoboDemo.

Quicktime, Flash, AVI support in Robodemo Captivate
If you have Flash, you can probably simply import the .MOV there and export as .SWF. The bring the resulting .SWF as an animation into Captivate. Keep in mind that Captivate is relatively new to Adobe (formerly Macromedia) having been acquired from eHelp, where it was known as RoboDemo.