Using Templates in Adobe Captivate 5/5.5 (Part Two)

Original article published in  ASTD Nebraska’s monthly newsletter

In part 1, we explored how to create a template in Adobe Captivate.   In part 2, we’ll take a look at Captivate Object Styles.  **Object Styles may be used in a standard Captivate project as well as Captivate templates.**

Part 2: Object Styles

With the release of Captivate 5, Captive developers were introduced to two great new tools:  Object Styles and Master Slides. These tools are HUGE time savers and help ensure consistency and uniformity in objects and slides throughout your project.   This month, we’re going to focus on object styles.

Before we dive in, please note that Object styles can be used in standard Captivate projects as well as templates. Best practice: If you’re basing multiple projects off of a project template, it’s always a good idea to define your object styles ahead of time.

Object Styles are sets of predefined properties, such as fill color, stroke, font style/size.  Styles can be applied to both new and existing objects.  Captivate objects are all based on a DEFAULT style.  For instance, when you insert a text caption onto a slide, Captivate inserts the designated default caption style.  But perhaps you don’t like the font type or size of the default, so you select the caption text and change it.  Great!  However, when you insert the next caption you’re stuck updating the font yet again.  Not exactly an effective workflow.

This is where object styles come in.  Object styles take the manual labor out of object formatting.  Begin by selecting a slide object.  In the Properties panel (Window>Properties), the default style name appears beneath the Item name at the top of the panel.  Captivate comes with several prebuilt styles.  To choose a different style, click the drop-down menu.    Wait…you don’t like Captivate’s predesigned object style options?  Don’t sweat it!  You can create your own.

There are several ways to create your own object style.  One method is to use the Object Style Manager (Edit>Object Style Manager).  In the left-hand panel of the dialog box, click the arrow next to Standard Objects or Quizzing Objects to expand the list of options.  Select one of the existing default styles and click the Clone button.  Type a name for the new style in the Name box and select the properties you want to apply to this style.   (Be sure to click the Set as Default checkbox if necessary).   Click OK.

Great!  You’ve created a new style and set it as the default.  This works great for any NEW objects that you insert into your project.   But what about EXISTING objects?  Do you have to go in and manually update each and every one of your existing objects to apply the new style?   Well, you certainly could if you have a lot of time on your hands and like to do things the long way.  If you’re like me and would rather do it the easy way, then listen up!  You can quickly apply the new style to all existing objects of a particular style by clicking the Apply Object Style arrow.

 

When the dialog box opens, select the existing object style that you’d like to update to the new style.  It’s that simple!  Just like that, all existing objects are updated to reflect the new style.

There are a number of ways that you can work with Object Styles. I could go on and on.  But for now,  this will get you moving in the right direction.

Next time, we’ll master how to work with Master Slides.

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