Embed responsive QSP slides (Ready-to-go slides)

Intro

My two previous posts about QSP slides, the focus was on non-responsive projects:

All QSP projects have also a responsive version, created with the Fluid Boxes workflow. To embed such a slide, you'll  an extra difficulty: how will the fluid boxes – both on master slides and slides – behave?  In this blog that extra problem is discussed, including tips to avoid problems. Supposed is that you have read the two previous articles – for the basic knowledge. First recommendation ‘NEVER’ use the switch to Destination theme for a Fluid Boxes project when inserting a QSP slide in a custom responsive project.

Master slides – Tips

All responsive QSP projects have a bunch of master slides. Those master slides have fluid boxes setup.  Setup can be totally different from the non-responsive projects with the same name. Look at the 'Wired' projects: lot of master slides in the responsive version, no master slides except the necessary 6 in the non-responsive version. As you may have deducted from my previous posts,  the NAME of the master slide used for an embedded QSP slide is very important. If the same name has been used in the receiving (destination) project, extra care is needed. For your use I have created a table comparing Master slide names used in the 5 available QSPs (at this moment: September 2019).  You can download the pdf (was quite a lot of work to create it, please show respect for the protection built in).

QSP MasterSlides

In the table some cells are identified in a special way:

  • If the same master slide name is used twice in the QSP, both numbers  are in the same cell, red font on  a grey background. This is a very worrying situation, not sure why the developers did use dual names.

  • Some master slide names appear in several QSPs. If they are identical they are bolded and red for the projects where it is the case. Italic names point to master slides similar to others, but with a slightly different name.

I didn’t include the quizzing master slides. They rarely have been edited a lot (except for the Results slide) and follow the rules I explained in this older post ‘Quiz Slides and Fluid Boxes‘. You could extend the table with the master slide names in your project if you try to embed QSP slides in a company project with an existing theme.

Even master slides with same name, can have a totally different Fluid Boxes setup. The Master slide 'Objectives' is present in 3 QSPs. Have a look at the fluid boxes setup for this Master slides in the projects Aspire, League and Wired.

Aspire's master slide, as you can see, has a rather simple Fluid Boxes setup. The slide ‘Course Objectives’ which is based on this master slide didn’t add supplementary fluid boxes.  That is the case for most slides in the QSPs, only using the Fluid Boxes defined on the master slide. The slide provides 4 topics (Objectives) all in one Fluid Box to the left.

In this master slide of the 'League' project, a lot more Fluid Boxes have been defined. In the screenshot the boxes FB_956 and FB_957 have been collapsed. Their setup is similar to the one shown under FB_955. This master slide provides 3 topics, each in its Fluid Box. As with the Aspire project, the Slide ‘Objectives’, based on this master slide, doesn’t have extra Fluid boxes.

The 'Wired' master slide has the most complicated setup. It is impossible to show the full setup for this master slides. The collapsed FB’s at the bottom each have 5 vertical fluid boxes. No extra FB’s wer added n the slide ‘Objective’. Aspire had 4 topcis (in 1 FB), League had 3 in an individual FB, but Wired has 5 topics. .

You can imagine what happens when you switch from source to destination theme for an inserted slide where both themes use a master slide with an identical name. Have a look at the mess in this example. After inserting the described master slide from the Aspire project, I applied the Wired theme to it. Result, without any warning:

Not only are the objectives not getting into the appropriate FB, the green topics text is not in a Fluid box at all. You will have to move them manually into fluid boxes, and probably delete a lot of (empty) fluid boxes. That is cumbersome work, especially since the FBs are defined on the master slide. That means they cannot be deleted on the slide itself..

Conclusion

For responsive project to brand embedded QSP slide, please follow the step-by-step plan to add a fitting Master slide to the project theme, as described in ‘Embed QSP slides‘. Double-check the name of the Master slide, if it is an existent name in your project, first edit that name in the  QSP theme. That way you will avoid a disaster like I showed above with master slides using the same name.

Feel free to use the pdf I provided with an overview of master slide names for the present responsive QSPs. Beware: there may still be typos, please report them.

4 Tips - Assets Panel

Intro

Do not expect a complete overview of the Assets Panel in this article, may be later. The user interface is rather simple, intuitive. Opening  the panel is possible  with the big button Assets in the right part of the Big Button Bar. For he expert UI this will be the only button in the right part, fo the newbie UI the Assets button will be with the Properties and Library button. Opening is also possible using the Slides button,  option ‘Asset Library…’ on the left side of the bar.

At this moment the stored  assets are restricted to those available with Captivate (under Assets tab  or to downloaded assets (under Downloads tab). You cannot add custom assets fto the panel. For those custom assets remember that you can use external libraries.

The center tab – Discover – has two choices,  ‘Templates’ (confusing term, not the cptl template files) with a submenu or ‘Characters’. Both link to the site of the eLearning Brothers. Once downloaded, they will appear in the Downloads tab.

Tip 1: Projects/Slides

This is the first option under the Assets tab, opening by default with Slides selected. It allows you to choose individual slides for insertion in an existing project after the active slide. Under Projects you will see 6 Quick Start Projects (QSP), first of them is the Branching file. That file is meant for developers disliking variables and actions. It is based on the last QSP, labeled ‘Aspire’. 

All projects and slides are available in two formats:
  1. Non-responsive project (Blank project in Welcome screen)
  2. Responsive project with Fluid Boxes (none available for Breakpoints)

If you insert a slide in an existing project created in one of those types, the inserted slide will automatically be of the same type. A master slide may be added, and object styles but I’ll leave more details for another blog post about using QSP's

However, some users asked me "how do you open a full QSP in the wanted type"? There is no choice available after selecting a project.

Workaround which works for me: open first a project in the wanted type, either a blank project or a responsive project. Anyway you need an open project to launch the Assets panel. Selecting a QSP to open as new project, will open it in the same type as the already opened project. You can then delete the first project..

Tip 2: Characters

Contrary to previous versions, the characters packaged with Captivate are only installed on your system as thumbnails. You can find them in the Content folder under the eLearning assets. Each character has a folder bearing a number as name, and a subfolder Children, where you find all the thumbnails. When you insert a character in a project, the image is downloaded and stored in another subfolder with the name of the character (in this screenshot David), either in the High or the Low subsubfolder, depending on the chosen quality (Normal or High resolution):

Screenshot is taken on a Windows system. If you download a extra character from the eLB site, it will be stored under Characters_11_5, not in the Content folder.

It is still not possible to download more than one or all characters from a set at once (please log a feature request). However, if you like the Illustrated category, here is a tip. Characters in that category are based on one drawing file, which you can download as well. You have some choices for the format, I prefer AI (Illustrator). If you are comfortable with that vector image application, you can extract all characters from that file and export them not only as PNG, but also in other formats inclucing SVG (smaller file size and vector based, crisp look whatever the resolution - interesting for responsive projects). Those drawing files are always labeled ‘Name: Illustrated work files’. You can also use that file as reference file. After download it will be stored in the subfolder ‘Others’ under eLearning assets, (not in Content, nor Characters).

Tip 3: Icons

The files in this assets category are SVG’s. Once inserted you can convert them to a button. Editing the colors is very easy as I explained in a previous post.

Those icons are stored in a subfolder under the Contents folder in eLearning assets. When screening that folder you'll see that the 'icons' are in JPEG format. However when you insert an icon, the SVG is created in the same folder as the original JPEG image.

Tip 4: Buttons

I am finalizing another blog about the 6 button types available in Captivate 11.5, including advantages and disadvantages of each type. Which type of buttons do you insert from the Assets panel? That was bit of a mystery at first. When you insert a button from this asset category, it is a PNG image (bitmap) with the option ‘Use as button’ checked off. The three InBuilt states (Normal, Rollover, Down) which are normally included in a button object style, are identical. You have of course the possibility to edit the image for the other states once the button is inserted. However I was bit curious when watching the name of the image. Look at this screenshot of a button:

That name ‘Deep-download_up.png’ reminded me of the name convention needed for an (old) image button. For image buttons you need to create three images in the same size, with an identical name followed by _up (for normal state), _over for rollover state and _down  for the down state. Looking in the Buttons folder (under already mentioned Content folder) taught me that all the buttons had a similar name structure ending on _up.  The folder has is similar to the Characters and Icons subfolders: numbers as folder names. Each folder contains only one image file for the ‘up’ state.

Of course you can edit the states in the project, using the Object state panel and copy/paste the button if you need more instances.  But you will not be able to reuse that button with the edited states in a future project.  I tried out a workflow based on my CP-intuition:

  • I duplicated the _up file in the Content\Buttons fokler for the button 5751 ‘Bubbly_downloads_up'
  • renamed the duplicates to Bubbly_downloads_over and Bubbly_downloads_down,
  • edited the duplicates in Photoshop, watch the result in this screenshot:

Success! When inserting the 'Bubbly....' button in a project, it had three InBuilt states. Not only when inserting in the same project, but also in other projects. You cannot have an object style for Images used as buttons, as is possible for shape buttons, text buttons, image buttons and transparent buttons. However this workflow opens an alternative for re-usability  (one domain where Captivate excels over other authoring tools). One drawback: Assets are only edited on the used device, they are not in the cloud.

More about buttons in a future blog as promised.