I don't mean Font Families, but the way fonts are grouped in Captivate.
Have a look at the dropdown list for Character when you are in the edit mode for a text container, caption or shape. You will see that 4 groups are listed up, from top to bottom:
Theme fonts: new group in version 11.5. If you use only one theme in the project, this group will show the fonts used in that theme, same information as under the Theme Properties. If you have multiple themes in the project, this group will show the fonts for the theme used in the active slide. You can use this group to switch between the fonts of that particular theme. The active font is highlighted as you can see. Since all fonts of the three other groups can be used in a theme, these fonts do not guarantee that your learners will see them correctly.
Adobe fonts: formerly those fonts were indicated as Typekit fonts. This group may be empty for you, only fonts which you licensed using the CC (Creative Cloud) app, tab Fonts:
Fonts from this group can be used safely, your learners will see them! When publishing you have to indicate which domains will be added to the license. The number of fonts you can license, and the number of domains, depend on your plan for Adobe Fonts.
Web Safe fonts: a limited group of fonts which are safe to use (my screenshots are on a Windows system):
System fonts: this last group shows all fonts installed on your system. That group will likely include the brand font(s), those who are commonly used for print in your company (or your client's company). Problem with using those fonts is that they will only appear in all circumstances if the learner has the same font installed on her/his system.
Static vs Dynamic Text
Shapes and captions are labeled 'static' if there is no variable inserted in the text.
If the project is a non-responsive project, static text containers will be converted to bitmap images. This has positive and negative consequences:
- Positive is that you can use any font, even a system font without having to embed them. The learner will see an image of the text.
- Negative: if you publish the project to Scalable HTML output, and the project is upscaled you'll have the usual blurriness which occur for all bitmap images. Moreover if you have a mixture of static and dynamic text containers there will be a visible difference between the two types of containers.
If you have at least one variable (system or user) in a text container it becomes dynamic. This means that the text will not be converted to images but has to be generated on runtime. Typical example is the score slide after a quiz: most system variables on that slide get their value only after the end of the quiz. What are the pro and contra this time?
- Positive is that the font will look crisp at all time.
- Negative: if you use a system font, and that paricular font is not installed on the learner's system, it will be replaced by a generic font (mostly Times New Roman), which looks very unprofessional.
For responsive, Fluid Boxes project all text will be treated as dynamic text.
Fonts to use
Personally I recommend to avoid System fonts for all courses. Keep to Adobe fonts or eventually Web safe fonts.
I hear you! How to explain to your manager or client that you cannot use the 'holy' branded fonts in their company style sheet. There may be exceptions, but in most companies those style sheets have been set up for 'printed documents', not for web and certainly not for eLearning. There is a big difference between both: Colors and Fonts are typical examples. This article is not dedicated to colors, but most ignore that CMYK and RGB can be quite different. The Adobe Fonts library has thousands of fonts. It should be possible to find a font which is very close to the 'branded print' font. You can challenge them: show two slides with exactly the same content, but one with their 'brand font' and another with the Adobe font which you found. Will the learners see the difference?
Blurriness in non-responsive Scalable projects
The ideal solution would be that static text containers were converted to SVG instead of bitmap image, but that is at this moment just daydreaming (have no idea how complicated that is for the Captivate engineers). When I had a stubborn client who couldn't be convinced of using Adobe font, I converted all static text containers to SVG myself. It could still lead to a minor difference between the font look in static and dynamic text, but it was crisp.
A common workaround is to create an empty user variable, which you add at the end of each static text. That will force generation of the text on run time, which means you have to avoid system fonts. With that workaround you'll not see any difference between static and dynamic text.
Another possibility is to develop the project in a very high resolution, so that only downscaling will ever happen. However that has consequences for the file size.