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Adobe ® Captivate ™ 2 software enables anyone to rapidly create powerful and engaging simulations, software demonstrations, and scenario-based training without programming knowledge or multimedia skills.
Not being used to such fancy tools, and more comfortable with Photoshop and After Effects when it comes to building software walkthru's, I was aproaching this one totally blind. never tried anything like it before, and a bit wary of what it was going to take to make something happen.
After a few minutes flicking through the manual, just to familiarise myself with what the options presented actually meant, I decided to record a walkthru for this website, on how to submit a product. [NOTE: Available - here - ] Within an hour I had run through 2 versions of it, selected this one, tweaked it a bit, and output a standalone executable file. From no knowledge about the product at all, through to knowing enough to put together a walkthru, and then a little interactive quiz, took me one afternoon. Not too bad... but more a sign of good programming, than anything to do with me.
Walkthru software demos are amazingly easy to record, and the auto-captioning makes things a hundred times easier than having to do it all manually. Sometimes it can overdo it a bit, but it is very simple to click any surplus captions and hit -delete-, or double-click and edit the text to suit your own needs. Adding new captions, or any element for that matter, is only a click away. Right-click on any element and select 'Properties' to adjust it in any way needed, eg. altering the delay before a caption appears and it's duration.
Importing new frames is simple, and can be done in any number of ways, but the easiest it to move to the 'Edit' tab, click on the frame you want to insert after, and right-click. Select one of the 5 'insert...' options and you're away. The options are fairly self-explainatory, and a little experimentation will soon clarify any that aren't obvious right away.
Interactive demos take a little more work than a run-through, watch-only 'application demonstration' and this is where the 'Branching' tab really comes into it's own. With a hefty swag of supplied templates to choose from, across a wide swath of styles and options, it's a fun, smooth operation to put together anything from a logical multi-branch walkthrough, such as a helper or tutorial, through to a quiz or survey that can provide you with near-instant market statistics and trends through one of a number of reporting services.
Overall, with a stunning level of control over any and all elements, both audio and visual, this would have to be one of the more stunning tools I have come across. While not as feature-rich as Liquid Media, it is certainly far easier to use. Excellent for those with a vision and flair for creativity, without the requirement for a huge technical aptitude. No more complex to operate than Powerpoint if you prefer a manual approach, it's automatic features are amazing and reduce the need for 'build from scratch' software demos and walkthru's.
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