New Features in Captivate 3

These are my notes about the "Rapid E-Learning with Adobe Captivate" webinar this morning, presented by Silke Fleischer. The recording of the webinar should be available within about a week. This is pretty much live blogged, so please forgive the brevity of the points here. I was really focusing on what the new features are to help decide if it’s worth upgrading. My comments are in all caps.

What’s Possible in Captivate 3?

  • Branching Scenarios
  • Basic Animations
  • Podcasts
  • Picture Shows


  • Multimode recording (record practice, demo, and assessment in one pass)
  • Find and Replace


  • Randomized quizzing
  • Question Pooling
  • New Question Types
  • Improved Branching with grouping


  • Better rollover
  • Import PPT and keep the animation—not just static anymore

Rerecording feature for changes—only for IE6 now (SHE SAID ONLY IE6 BUT DEMOED IN IE7?) Update: Apparently I had a brain cramp. She did demo in IE6. See her comment below.

When you start the recording, you have the options for which modes you do (practice, demo, assessment)
Choose the option to save the rerecording info for later—this has to be set up at the beginning
Can rerecord to change the language—NOT USEFUL FOR ME, BUT COULD BE USEFUL FOR OTHERS

New caption types available—MORE VISUAL VARIATION

Changes in Questions

  • Can set the answers to shuffle in a matching or multiple choice question
  • New Type: Hotspot question—click a hotspot on an image—can include multiple hotspots
  • New Type: Sequence

Question Pools

  • Allows you to randomize the order of questions
  • Can mix specific question with random
  • Q: How do you do it? A: Insert Random Question Slide, one slide for each question you want
  • Quiz questions can be copied and pasted from one file to another—new feature (had to be recreated manually in CP2)

Rollover Slidelets

  • Different than a rollover caption or image
  • A rollover can be a mini slide with its own embedded timeline
  • Just in time info—text, image, video all possible
  • Partially transparent look by default

Import from PowerPoint: You can animate concepts in PPT and then bring the animation into CP3


Backward Compatibility: No backward compatibility; projects created in CP3 cannot be opened in CP2

Menu Builder: No updates to that; still available in the skin as in CP2 (I NEED TO PLAY WITH THIS FEATURE MORE—MIGHT BE EASIER THAN WHAT I’VE BEEN DOING)

Games: Check out templates available in the Adobe Exchange

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12 thoughts on “New Features in Captivate 3”

    1. Demitra Savage

      Thanks Christy,
      I brought my additional files into the current course and was able to work with branching within that course. So far, so good.

      And I have now bookmarked the community.

      Thanks again.

  1. Demitra Savage

    I’m just learning captivate 3 for elearning and ran across this blog. I’m very new to this discipline also so I was looking for a “dummies guide” something free? Any ideas!



      1. Demitra Savage

        Thanks for the link Christy. I do have a specific need right now. I’m interested in Branching. I’ve created a separate file with a few informational slides. I want to give the user the option to leave the original course, read the informational slides and then return to the first course and finish. I think it can be done with Branching but so far, I haven’t been able to accomplish it. Any suggestions?

  2. Silke very briefly demonstrated a game where a little car was moving around in a parking lot or around obstacles, and I couldn’t figure out at all how that would work. I wish she’d spent more time explaining that part of it, or that there was another webinar specifically on those kinds of ideas in Captivate.

    Simple decision-making games I think I see how to do functionally based on what I’ve done already. It might be easier to create some of the visuals elsewhere and just do the interactions in Captivate; even with new caption types and templates from Adobe Exchange, I think what you can accomplish visually in Captivate is still pretty limited. That might be the next step I try.

    I did see a Jeopardy game template in the Adobe Exchange area that I’m planning to check out. That might give me some more ideas for games too.

  3. I think simple decision making games can be created in Captivate quite easily. Also, I seem to remember that Captivate 3.0 is supposed to allow more functionality in creating rollovers on image map like areas. It would be easy to create a point and click game or even a hide and seek game where you have to search for items in an image. I’m sure you can add some pretty nifty sound effects for correct and incorrect answers.

  4. Silke, thanks for the clarification on the version for rerecording. I don’t know that I actually need to use it right now, but it’s good to know it’s there. And who knows; by the time I need to use it, maybe you’ll have other things supported.

    I have used the branching view a little in CP2, but I found it a little clunky. What you showed today looks like with grouping it might be a bit easier to manage, especially for more complicated scenarios.

  5. Great write up! Thanks for doing this.

    Here is the link to our site with the new features

    The scenario branching was already available in CP2 but has the improvements you mentioned.

    I did use IE 6.0.2900 – the automatic rerecording is not 100% supported in IE7. Depending on what you capture, it might work for your app in IE7 but we can’t fully guarantee it so we limit it to IE6.

  6. Honestly, I haven’t played with the menu functions that much. I’ve been doing a fair amount of Captivate lately, but I’ve been using buttons to link different files together. I didn’t even realize that this was possible until today.

    Captivate projects can have a “skin” which includes the player controls (progress bar, forward, back, mute, etc.) The skin puts it all in one container so it’s shared for the whole project. The part I just discovered today is that you can use the skin to create a single dropdown menu in the upper left corner. I can’t see any way to create more than one group (to create multiple menus), so it would be limited to what learners can easily navigate in a single dropdown menu.

    I played with a little demo today to test it out. I’ll send you the file so you can see what I did. (And if anyone else reading is interested in seeing it, let me know.)

    I had used Captivate just for software demos before, but I’m figuring out ways to do more interesting interactions for non-software training too.

  7. This is awesome, Christy! Thanks for sharing. I’ve never really used Captivate myself, although I have a general sense of its capabilities. Now I know even more. You mentioned “Menu Builder” — does Captivate allow you to build a full course menu, or do you have to create that externally in Flash?

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