One of the most effective ways to make your eLearning courses more engaging for your learners is through the use of buttons. If used correctly, they can easily transform a boring, static course into an interactive experience that is enjoyable for your users. Adobe Captivate 8 provides four different ways for you to integrate buttons into your training. Let’s learn more about these four ways and then talk about how to use customized buttons:
- Text Buttons – This is the default option for buttons in Captivate 8. They have Up, Over, and Down states, but their appearance cannot be modified.
- Transparent Buttons – These are named Transparent Buttons because their opacity can be set all the way down to 0%, making them invisible. You can also change the fill and stroke colors, and adjust the radius to make the corners rounded. Transparent buttons only have one state.
- Smart Shape Buttons – These are created by adding any Smart Shape to your stage, and then selecting the “Use as Button” box in the right-hand Properties panel. These buttons are incredibly useful because you can directly modify the shape and color of each of the three states.
- Image Buttons – These buttons are made up of three different images for each of the states. Captivate 8 comes with about 10 default button styles, each with different text captions, but there are several more styles available through the Gallery folder that comes with an install of the software.
These four button styles offer almost infinite options for customizing and spicing up your courses. However, it can be extremely difficult and even take hours of trial-and-error to come up with buttons that fit with the look-and-feel of your courses. This hassle can be avoided through the use of customized image buttons. If you have images that fit with your style, they can be modified and imported into Captivate to create unique buttons with Up, Over, and Down states. Here is my seven-step process for inserting customized buttons into Captivate:
1. Create Three Images
In the image editing software of your choice, create three separate images. These can be variations of the same images, or even three different images altogether. I used three different arrows as an example.
2. Use a Good Naming Strategy
It’s just good practice to have a good naming strategy. I use a standard naming convention with the name and the function of the button. For example:
Note: Be sure to save them out to a format that supports transparency (GIF, PNG, or BMP). This will be useful if you are placing your buttons on top of other graphics, and will allow more creative freedom.
3. Place Buttons in the Captivate Gallery Folder
Place your created buttons into the Gallery > Buttons folder on your machine.
- For Mac users, this can be found by going to Applications > Adobe Captivate 8 > Gallery > Buttons.
– For Windows users, navigate to Program Files > Adobe > Adobe Captivate 8 x64 > Gallery > Buttons.
4. Relaunch Captivate
If you do not do this, your buttons will not show up even though you’ve dropped them into the correct folder.
5. Insert the Button
To insert a button to your stage, navigate to the “Interactions” dropdown at the top of the Captivate menu and select the “Button” option.
6. Define the Button Style in the Properties Panel
With the button selected, open the “Properties” panel, making sure you are in the “Style” tab, and choose “Image Button” from the drop down menu.
7. Select Your Customized Button from the List
Select your new created button from the button list. Captivate will automatically pull each state from the Buttons folder.
Note: The great thing about this process is that it can also be used in Captivate 6 and 7.
That’s it! Now it’s your turn to create customized buttons in Captivate. Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Happy eLearning!
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