New Training Movies Posted – Search and Touchup Text

If you haven’t tried clicking on the Blogroll link on my full blog page, then you are missing out on some free Acrobat training.

These short movies play back via Adobe Flash and are only one to five minutes in length.

Today, I posted four new training movies:

If you are interested, you can learn a bit about my process for creating the movies using Adobe Captivate in my full article.

How I make the Movies

I use Adobe Captivate to record and edit the movies. Adobe Captivate is a screen capture and simulation tool which allows you to edit the demonstration movie, add captions, etc.

Adobe Captivate outputs Flash files which can be hosted anywhere. Follow this link to learn more and to download a free trial of Adobe Captivate.


The first thing I do is to set my screen to 1024 by 768. Almost everybody has a monitor that offers higher resolution than this, so my recording window will display nicely for the majority of folks.

Next, I open up Acrobat and practice my demo. I don’t create a script for these short movies, but occasionally I will make a few notes to follow.

You do need a microphone to record audio. I use a Plantronics USB headset, but just about any computer headset will work fine.

Captivate Records Differently

Compared to a tool like Camtasia, Captivate works quite a bit differently. Captivate captures differences between “slides” to keep file size small. When needed, Captivate enters full-motion recording mode. For some actions, you may want to manually force full-motion recording.

Before starting, I change some of Captivates default preferences. In particular, I change the standard Full Motion start/stop keys from F9 and F10 to Shift-F9 and Shift-F10. These Fkeys are already used by Acrobat.


In Captivate, I start a new project and choose the Software Simulation style. I tend to record very short segments of about 30 seconds each that naturally segment the demo.


After recording, I go into each “slide” and edit the audio. I use the Insert Silence command to remove noticeable breath intakes and lip smacking (gross!). I also delete unnecessary “ramp” where no audio occurs. I adjust the slide length as needed if I delete any audio.


I publish the project to Flash 10 format in full screen mode. I host my movies on my Acrobat Connect account, but you can simply output to a folder which will contain your Flash movie, an HTML page and a JavaScript file and place that on your web server and link to it.

If someone else hosts your site for you, you can output a ZIP file and send that to them.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a nice new bonus in Captivate 4 . . . the ability to output a Flash Embedded PDF file. I tried it and it works great!

This is perfect for when you want to email someone a screen recording instead of a link.