3 Tips to Take Control of Lectora’s Title Explorer

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Lectora’s Title Explorer can get pretty full, feel a bit cumbersome, and look a little daunting in design view—especially with titles that include several resources or complex interactions. But it doesn’t have to feel that way!  Here are three tips to take control of Lectora’s Title Explorer:

  • Enable Visibility Check Boxes in the Title Explorer
  • Show or Hide Objects in the Title Explorer
  • Organize Content Into Groups

Enable Visibility Check Boxes in the Title Explorer

Sure, we know you can control visibility of an object on the stage when a course is published and live, but did you know you can also do so while you’re developing in Lectora? It’s a hidden Title Explorer trick, and it lets you hide or show objects while you’re designing by using a function that’s initially turned off when you first install Lectora—Title Explorer visibility icons. It’s an invaluable help when you are working with multiple layers of objects, especially those that might obscure each other.

Here’s how to access visibility:

1. Select Preferences from the File menu (or Lectora Preferences from the File tab in Lectora 11) to open the Preferences window. Click the General tab if it is not selected by default when the window opens.
2. Check the box to Show visibility check boxes in the Title Explorer.
3. Click OK. You’ll now have a visibility icon next to each item in your Title Explorer that allows you to show or hide the objects on your design stage. NOTE: This does NOT affect visibility in the published course, just visibility in design view.

Show or Hide Objects in the Title Explorer

Ever wish you could hide those top-level title, chapter, section, and page objects in your Title Explorer so they don’t take up so much space? Well, you actually can. Like the design-related visibility control, it’s built in to Lectora, but initially turned off.  Here’s how to turn on the top-level resource expand/collapse icons in the Title Explorer:

1. Select Preferences from the File menu (or Lectora Preferences from the File tab in Lectora 11) to open the Preferences window. Click the General tab if it is not selected by default when the window opens.
2. Check the box to Show buttons for hiding objects in the Title Explorer.
3. Click OK. You’ll now have clickable plus (+) and minus (-) icons that allow you to collapse or expand those top-level objects, clearing up some Title Explorer real estate.

Organize Content into Groups

Using groups to organize content is probably the single most helpful thing you can do to regain design-time control over title resources.  Sure, chapters, sections, and pages are basically fancy types of groups, but you can make your own groups, too.  The best part is that almost anything you can do to an individual resource, you can do to a group. Toggle visibility, add transitions, control them with actions… and everything will filter down to the items in the group. LOTS of potential uses, right? Here’s how to group objects:

1. Select your objects to be grouped:

a. Select multiple sequential objects by clicking the first one you want to include, holding down the Shift key, and clicking the last object you want to include.  It will highlight those two objects, and everything in between.

b. Select non-sequential objects by holding down Control and clicking each item individually.  Click an item again when holding down the Control key to remove it from the selection. NOTE: objects to be grouped must all be at the same level (in the same page, section, chapter, or all at the title level).

2. Right click your selection and choose Group from the popup menu.
3. Now give your group a meaningful name, and you’re done.  You can collapse and expand your group using the plus (+) and minus (-) icon next to the group name.

EXTRA BONUS TIP

Grouped objects also move as a group, even if you only grab one item in the group. To move an individual item within a group by itself, hold down the Alt key, then grab and move it with the mouse. Start the quest to optimize your Lectora workflow by following these rules, and you will find your titles much easier to manage.

Brother Adam is an eLearning guru, instructional design expert, and artisan sandwich aficionado at eLearning Brothers. Blogging mostly about Lectora, human performance technology, and the state of eLearning. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamLeibler and connect on LinkedIn

6 Comments

  1. The extra bonus tip, all I can say is Wow! Why didn’t I figure that out before now?! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for the comment Drucilla. You get bonus points for reading to the end. Share this post with your Lectora friends. I am sure they would appreciate it. Are there any other tips you would like to see?

  3. I agree with Drucilla; the bonus tip is wow! I wonder what else can be done with the ALT key? How many other features are hidden?

  4. Pierre,

    Thanks for the comment. That is a good idea! Actually, my next blog will cover all the “hidden” tips & tricks I know in Lectora, including ALT-key tricks.

  5. I’ll say it, too: WOW! Bonus Tip to “Tip TOP”….they are all good to know! Thanks! Can’t wait for the next blog!

  6. WOW! Great tips Adam. :) Especially the last one, I’ve been having to move it out of the group, move it, then put it back in. This is going to save me a lot of time. Awesome.

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