Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 8:45:13 PM by Kim
In my case I'll be talking about the CMS that our school district uses for parent to school communications. It's a pretty robust system, but web connections at these conferences can be notoriously slow. There's nothing worse than standing in front of a roomful of people watching your connection slow to a crawl. ("OK folks, while we're waiting for that web page to load I'll be doing card tricks and reading selections from War and Peace.")
The solution in my case was to capture the demonstration portion with Captivate, output to a SWF, then embed the SWF right into the PowerPoint presentation. The instructions in the Captivate Help files were clear cut on how to get it done, and I made my life a little easier by simply putting the SWFs into the same folder where the PowerPoint file resides. Then it's a simple matter of entering the file name as the URL to the movie and running the presentation. Right-click the movie when the slide appears and choose Play from the context menu and your SWF loads right up. I even recorded a voice over so I could have that part of the show all set and ready to go ahead of time. Sweet!
One tip. Don't set the Captivate movie to close when you're done playing it. I got a very impressive recursive loop going as the ActiveX controls tried to open a browser window so it could close itself with the selfClose function. The first time I did that I got 78 individual IE windows to appear before having to press the power button on the PC to kill everything off. That was funny when I was testing at my desk but would have been a disaster in the Big Room.
Captivate continues to impress me with its flexibility and ease of use. There are just so many things that you can do with this well thought-out program.
Update: A Macromedia TechNote (good timing huh?)released today explains how to avoid problems with the selfClose function. I'm not sure this will help when embedding into PowerPoint, but should help in other instances.
Category tags: Captivate