Adobe Captivate 4 makes 508 Accessibility training compliance simple!

The newest release of Adobe Captivate (CP), version 4, has greatly simplified the task of adding and editing closed captioning for the hearing impaired. For training developers under strict deadlines this upgrade is a gift from above. CP4 eliminates the need to cut & paste each and every line of text into the closed captioning dialogue box, which is what you must do when working with CP version 3.

This means having the source .ppt file open and the captivate version open and toggling between them for each line of text you needed to copy from one to the other. Even if you were fortunate enough to have dual monitors (thus eliminating toggling) you still had to copy & paste each line one line at a time or copy everything all at once and then edit text lines in the Captivate CC dialogue box. Either way…IT TOOK A VERY LONG TIME!

I want to talk about two very slick new features which Adobe has introduced in CP4 which now helps to make this all happen with very little effort.

The first feature that makes this possible is the ability to import MS PowerPoint slides directly into CP4. It converts the screens, animations and all notes content directly into a captivate project. It will not however import .ppc audio files from .ppt. But that’s OK, and here’s why…

What this means is that as long as you have your narrative text entered into the notes section of each .ppt slide, after it’s imported into CP4 the “Text to Voice / Closed Captioning” processing dialogue box (the second slick new feature) will display those notes and allow you to create an audio track by simply clicking a button. If you’re not importing .ppt files with notes you can simply type or paste text into the box and then convert that into audio as well. Once that audio track is in place, all you have to do is place a check mark next to the text you want to turn into closed captioning, save out the file and that is it.

Now of course you still have to go into the properties dialogue box and set your timing for animations and the skin editor to check the CC box so that it adds the CC button to the control bar during publishing, but who cares? The hard part is now done for you!

The Text to Voice feature provides you with a choice of Male or Female voice option…Paul or Kate. I prefer Kate; she seems to get her pronunciations better than Paul does. Granted, it sounds mechanically generated but it isn’t as bad as some computer generated audio I’ve heard. What’s more you can still import you own audio files just as you could in CP3 if you choose not to use Paul or Kate’s services. (They won’t mind)

The bottom line is that these new features have transformed a very tedious and time consuming task into one that is fast, new and exciting! Saving development time is saving money. You can take that to the bank! Thank you Adobe.

1 Comment

  1. September 11, 2010    

    Hey mate, thanks for posting but this page is hard to read in Safari it is showing only half the page.

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