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Am sharing your concern for the trend towards widescreens, which means that depending on the way you're deploying the SWF's you have to take into account the space taken up by the LMS, the browser etc. If you are using a playbar in CP4, it will add pixels in vertical direction. The resolution suggested by Rick, 800x600 will then perhaps already cause the need for scrolling. TOC adds for the moment exactly 250px in horizontal direction, vertical space for the playbar depends on the chosen playbar and border.
Somehow you will have to make a choice, best adapted to the majority of the screens and users, and taking into account the extra pixels I mentioned in previous paragraph. But for some software captures it could be that you have to capture at a bigger resolution. If that is the case, just a tip: try to have the same widht/height ratio as you'll need for the final movie (= the ideal resolution). Scaling down in CP is possible, but to limit the loss of quality try always to scale down while keeping the width/height ratio fixed.
These are only personal reflections, have fixed on an ideal resolution aimed at the screens used in the college, but this doesn't mean it is ideal for every student when he is working on his personal laptop.
In my company we use 980 x 560 px as this fits perfectly well in our LMS frame and fits a 1024x768 screen. We do not use the TOC so the 980px wide is the actual content area.
Most of our users run 1280x1024 resolutions but we still have quite a few using the trusted old 1024x768 so we always target the lowest resolution as scroll bars in eLearning courses will kill your course.
Thank you all for the information and suggestions. Based on what you've said, and some research I've done about
the minimum resolution that our users are using, we will stick with the lower resolution as a standard to prevent horizontal scrolling. We looked at the overlay option for the TOC, but found the button to be a little too subtle to make it appear and want the TOC viewable at all times, but that was an interesting idea.
Just a quick note - you can actually hide the standard TOC ">>" button and replace it with your own. I wrote a tutorial about it here: http://www.cpguru.com/2010/01/14/tutorial-open-close-the-adobe-captivate-toc-from-your-own -button/