Today’s Adobe Summit had a session named “Sneak Peeks.” It was (unofficially I think) mentioned that the Adobe E-Learning Suite is coming, and will include Captivate 4, Flash, Photoshop, Acrobat Professional, Device Central, and more.
Here’s a quick list of topics covered.
Versions of Dreamweaver and Flash in E-Learning Suite will NOT be same as those in CS4 suites, and will include e-learning specific bits.
No date for E-Learning Suite given; will only say 2009.
Captivate 4 will include:
- Automatic panning that follow your screen actions.
- Previewing in Device Central
- Allows you to preview on an actual mobile device
- Allows you to preview with fake screen reflections
- Inline text editing for captions (no more dialog boxes)
- Basic drawing tools (shapes)
- Integration with Adobe Bridge
- Import > Photoshop files (PSD)
- Can flatten layers or choose to have them import to separate layers
- Converts each layer to hi-res PNG
- Allows you to animate layers individually on a single slide
- Support for custom variables, such as using a person’s first name throughout the course
- Uses $$variablename$$ syntax
- Means you can use custom static variables throughout a course
- You can customize an external RDL file to templatize variable use; means you can instruct Captivate to automatically insert variables when recording a demo without having to manually edit the recording afterwards
- Support for Flash widgets
- Will work much like components in Flash Professional
- Captivate 4 will ship with many widgets (including source FLA)
- Widgets can be customized, and users can create own from scratch
- Can talk to Captivate (including quizzes) and retrieve variables
- Example: certificate widget can display person’s name, score for course, date, etc.
- Example: “perpetual buttons” widget that customizes navigation (forward/back) for movie; hides “back” button when on first slide, hide “next” button when on last slide
- Captivate Exchange on Adobe site will be available for users to post and download custom widgets
- Support for multiple actions on a single slide
- Support for ActionScript 3 (can publish to AS2 or AS3 depending on user settings)
- Can create image slideshow
- Ability to show/hide toolbar during a course without using customizations
- Captivate 4 will be on Windows, but work will soon begin on a Mac version
- Can publish directly to PDF (embeds SWF into new PDF file)
- Single-SWF output (all files are embedded into single SWF, including nav and full-motion recordings)
- Auto-generation of Table of Contents (embedded into SWF)
- SWFs are searchable (text caption content is searchable)
- “Aggregator” feature allows you to add external Captivate SWFs to project (package multiple SWFs together… is a SWF that loads other SWFs)
- Supports Flash Player 7, 8, 9 & 10
- “Reviewer” feature allows users without Captivate to comment on a Captivate SWF
- Uses Adobe AIR
- Synchronizes comments form multiple reviewers
- Supports placeholders to demonstrate where content will be, such as an FLV that isn’t available yet.
- Helpful when using Reviewer feature so others can know what you have planned
- Placeholders make it easy to insert content when it becomes available
- Improved Support for PowerPoint imports
- Support for dynamic link to PowerPoint presentation — if PowerPoint file is updated, changes will be reflected in Captivate file
- Makes PPT file a smart object; you can open and edit PPT file via Captivate (just like how smart vector objects in Photoshop open in Illustrator)
Wow! Thank you for this update. I wasn’t able to attend the Adobe Summit / DevLearn, and I am so jealous of everyone reporting this sneak peek of Captivate 4. Can’t wait!
Sounds like an interesting suite.
Was there any mention of improved accessbility features in Captivate 4? The last version came nowhere near meeting any of the WCAG standards.
No mention of accessibility in the session I attended.
I know Adobe is continuing to make Flash SWFs more accessible, though I can’t speak to the thoroughness or quality of the accessibility.
I’m betting Captivate SWFs won’t meet the WCAG 2.0 standards for quite some time.
Philip, did they talk about any kind of support for generating a multi sco manifest-rather than the uber single sco technique? Sequencing and navigation code generation? Thanks for the info on the suite.
Nope, they didn’t mention anything about SCOs. I do know that they’re looking into it, though. Not sure what they’ll wind up with.
Philip, did they give any hint as to when the E-Learning Suite would be available?
@Cindy Nope, just “2009”. I’m guessing early 2009, like 1st or 2nd quarter, but that’s just a guess.
Does this mean that if I already have the web design premium for CS4, that I will have to buy the e-learning suite for e-learning features of DW and Flash? (And wind up with duplicate copies of each)
I’ve been told by an Adobe source that the versions of DW and Flash in the E-Learning suite will include e-learning extensions/interactions that are only available in the E-Learning suite. The E-Learning versions of DW and Flash will NOT be available as standalone purchases, and those special interactions/extensions will NOT be available for download separately. I’m hoping Adobe reconsiders this stance, as it will alienate many people (like you and me) who already have already invested a lot of money in CS4 and don’t need the full E-Learning Suite.
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