10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 9, 2007 1:41 PM by jbradley88

    Slide Notes Get Overwritten

    docedoc Level 1
      I’m struggling to learn Captivate 2 and noticed that notes from one slide would occasionally overwrite the notes on one or more slides, which is most disconcerting. I can create the error on my WinXP system by applying Storyboard view, selecting a slide other than the first slide, and switching to Branching view. The note from the first slide overwrites the note on the selected slide. If the selection is more than one slide then the last slide’s note is overwritten.

      It’s easy to overwrite lots of slide notes, by switching back and forth between Storyboard and Branching views. I used Storyboard to rearrange the slide sequence and Branching to see the interactivity details. Since the notes windows were collapsed in both views, my first warning was noticing all those lost notes when I stepped through the slides. It’s enough to make ya cry.

      I’m leery about using slide notes for anything important, like audio scripts. It’s just too full of surprises. Anyone know of a way to avoid the problem, other than always remembering to select the first slide before jumping to Branching view?
        • 1. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
          docedoc - I'm experiencing the same thing, except my slide notes disappear when I delete one or more slides within the Editing tab. Sometimes (but not always, which is even more frustrating) every slide from the one that I deleted gets overwritten by the first slide's notes. This occasionally happens when I insert a slide from PowerPoint, as well, but not when I record new slides within the body of a presentation.

          Looks as though you never got a response to this. Anyone out there in Adobe-land that can help us poor souls?

          Meanwhile, I now publish all of my works-in-progress by selecting the Publish to Print (Word) output before I make any significant changes. Make sure to check "Slide Notes" on the right hand option box. At least then one can copy/paste out of Word and back into the slide notes in the event they get dumped.

          Best of luck!
          • 2. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
            docedoc Level 1
            I also have experienced random note overwrites that aren't related to Branching view. Thanks for the tip about deleting slides. There must be 50 ways to leave your notes in tatters. Perhaps we'll discover them all.

            Have you had Captivate refuse to let you paste into the notes field? Recovering a note from Word sometimes is halted because the paste doesn't work in Captivate. The Windows paste buffer has the content but pasting in Captivate doesn't produce any results. Perhaps its related to animation menus gone wild issue.

            • 3. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
              jbradley88 Level 2
              I'm afraid Captivate 2 has a known issue with not maintaining it's slide notes correctly. I believe this has been corrected in Captivate 3, however.

              There's been plenty of complaints in these forums about Adobe forcing us to buy a new version just to get bug fixes, but unless Captivate reaches some sort of critical mass in the marketplace, we may just have to learn to live with it.
              • 4. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
                ktricomi Level 1
                I have discovered one thing that may help those of us who plan to continue using Captivate 2: If you delete a slide and watch carefully, you'll see that the slide is deleted, and the slide then in the Edit view flashes quickly by with the correct scripting - but, just as quickly, it is overwritten. Carefully performing ONE (and only ONE) "Undo" seems to bring the script back. You must do this immediately after the slide has been deleted, after checking the slide AFTER the deleted slide to confirm that the script was, in fact, overwritten. Kinda klugy (never did know how to spell that), but it has worked consistently whenever I need to delete a slide and the script is overwritten.

                I hope this helps. With all its instability and quirks, Captivate is still the best way I've found to quickly record and intigrate screen shots, animation, slide decks, quizzes, and narration when the budget doesn't permit a high-end training program.
                • 5. Slide Notes Get Overwritten
                  docedoc Level 1

                  After some more experience with Captivate 2 slide notes, I've gotten a bit more confident about using them without losing them. Here are a couple more suggestions:

                  Put a blank hidden slide at the beginning and at the end of the project. Delete these slides only when you are at final version. This helps avoid overwriting notes on a real slide and seems to prevent overwriting when switching from Storyboard to Branching view.

                  As you suggested, publish handouts to Word along the way, enabling the Notes checkbox. When notes are overwritten paste them back to the slide from the Word doc. (Tedious but still a real lifesaver to be able to poke back through time and find the notes from, say last month. It's easier and faster than opening a bunch of archived Captivate 130MB projects to find the note.)

                  Before deleting a slide, copy the following slide's note to your windows paste buffer. After deleting the slide, if your CTRL Z fiz doesn't work, use paste to cure the overwritten note on the following slide.

                  If the note is script for slide audio, after the audio is recorded, paste the note as a single row in the slide's closed caption. Closed captions aren't as unstable as notes. (Plus if you set the skin's CC rows to 20, you get closed captions without having to split up the text into rows -- if the slide narration is short and will display on 20 rows or less. It's ugly but I've come to love how much time it saves.)

                  In the end, I've found slide notes to be irresistible. They're way too handy to ignore just because they totally misbehave. So, any other bad notes tips or tricks out there?

                  • 6. Slide Notes Get Overwritten
                    Hello docedoc ,

                    I noticed at the end of your post your mentioned you have 130MB Captivate projects; we also have generated very large .cp files, and I stumbled upon a way to reduce the size of the source, and another method for reducing the size of the generated .swf files.

                    First, I found that, in the Edit tab, the Library section has a function called Select Unused Items ; you get this by right-clicking on any of the library items (it's the bottom option from the pop-up menu). Clicking this highlights all library objects not currently being used in your project (overwritten backgrounds or audio narrations, for example). With these highlighted, you can then archive them via the Export to folder... option from the menu, if you wish, and then delete them from the project. This has helped us reduce the .cp file size tremendously.

                    To reduce the size of the resulting .swf file, depends on the fidelity you need for your sound. If you're only adding audio narration without any requirements for high-fidelity for music, then the 96kbps used to generate the MP3 audio components can be reduced (we've found 56kbps is the lowest before we start to notice a serious degradation of fidelity for our audio narration, but your mileage may vary).

                    You can change this via the Settings... option of the Audio pull-down menu, or from the Audio Quality link from the Publish button.

                    Our tutorials are heavy with audio narration, and we've seen up to a 50% reduction in the generated .swf size when we reduce the mp3 fidelity.

                    • 7. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
                      docedoc Level 1

                      Thanks for the tip about 56 kbps for publishing. I'll give it a try and see if I can Jenny Craig those swf's.

                      What settings are you using for Encoding Frequency and Encoding Speed?

                      If you're recording audio outside of Captivate, what file format are you using as input to Captivate?
                      • 8. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
                        Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                        Hi Phil

                        Personally, I'm rooting for MP3!

                        LOL, loved the Jenny Craig reference. Ooooh, Kirstie Alley... swooon. Valerie Bertinelli... double swooon

                        Cheers all... Rick
                        • 9. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
                          ktricomi Level 1
                          Great ideas, thanks. I have always cleaned up the unused images, movies, and audio files, so the .cp files are still pretty humongous. However, reducing the quality of the audio files, which are only narration, to 56kbps reduced the resulting .swf file by about 25%. I also decreased the encoding frequency to 11 Khz and increased the encoding speed to 6 with no appreciable audio quality reduction, and that seemed to reduce the file size just slightly, too.

                          Thank you!
                          • 10. Re: Slide Notes Get Overwritten
                            jbradley88 Level 2
                            After removing unused items, do a Save As *twice* and your files should get even smaller. Captivate seems to hang on to some things until you do a double Save As.

                            After cleaning my library, I do a Save As with an extra character in the file name, then immediately do a Save As back to the original file name and it seems to work fine. The more safety conscious among you may prefer to always Save As to a unique file name each time.

                            Either way, it seems to clean out the lingering crud and makes the file smaller.