16 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2011 1:15 PM by Peezer_L8

    Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?



      I've been reading the Captivate forum for hours and I've learned so much, thank you to all the awesome contributors. However, either I'm missing something or I'm trying to do something stupid that has a better solution. Anyway, I need to export a CP 5 project to pdf, and view it with Adobe Reader 9 or 10. It's working great EXCEPT - external links won't work (I posted a question on that yesterday and a reply said "they are aware of it and are working on it"). Also, I discovered today that highlight boxes won't show up in the pdf either (certainly not the end of the world). Am I just barking up the wrong tree here? Is it silly to try and export CP to pdf? I thought it was going to be the best thing since...yea, sliced bread. Now I think I'm just being thick-headed and there is an obvious, easier way to do things...Didn't CP4 have the export to pdf option? Is it really that new that it doesn't work? If anyone can even help me have a better perspective on this whole thing, even if you don't have a solution to the problem, I would be very grateful. It's either run out of trial time or pay $800. Which will it be???? Yikes. Advice? THANKS!

        • 1. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
          sushpv Level 2



          • Issue 1: PDF Issue


          There is a workaround for the external link not opening from the PDF, and it really works if you have access to a Web server where you can host your files. A hosted service such as Acrobat.com would also do the job for us.

          Here's how you could accomplish it.


          1. Place the external (pdf) files that you would like to be opened from the PDF in the root folder of the webserver. Or else if you have access to a hosted service like Acrobat.com, you could upload the files there.

          2. In the CPTX, For your object where you choose the option "Open URL or file", you could provide the "http" URL of the files on the web server, just like you provide a link for a website (like http://www.adobe.com).

          3. Now publish your CP project and Export the pdf.

          4. Click on the button/interactive object in the pdf and it will open the file from the webserver.



          This can also be accomplished by hosting your file on a hosted service such as Acrobat.com. This will require you to create an acrobat.com id.

          Please follow the below instructions in case you want to use acrobat.com for the same:


          http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat.com/Using/WS4c4da310f3b0910a-6be6d5c4122a07ca82c-8000. html#WS5ae85155c1a0214d-3abeb07a126fcf0b04e-8000.


          • Issue 2: Highlight box not showing up. -  I was unable to reproduce the issue.


          Could you please let me know,


          Which is the MAC version you use?

          What are the settings for the highlight box?

          Is the highlight box coming up in the published Swf and HTML?

          What is the version of Acrobat reader that you use?


          I hope the above solution is of help to you. Please let me know.




          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
            Peezer_L8 Level 1


            You are very patient and helpful and I am grateful.


            Regarding *Issue 1: PDF

            Thank you for the thorough workaround. I apologize for not providing all pertinent information. The customer wants a standalone pdf on a CD. Therefore, I can't resort to hosting the files on a web server. Here is more information about my project. I am creating 4 lesson modules for middle school science. Each lesson module lives on its own CD. Each module consists of about 15 lessons. Each lesson is a separate captivate project (or, I might get cute and create one big branching project for the whole module). I am using CP 5 (is that the correct abbreviation?) on a Mac OS X running 10.6.5. Each lesson has about 20 slides, including 10 quiz slides. At certain points in the presentation, a student is asked to click a button to open a small pdf that is an activity, a practice worksheet, or a text piece. Everything is colorful and snazzy and the little pdfs have the text entry boxes so they can type in answers and save their work, or print out the pdf and use a pencil. None of the lessons will be linked with LMS. I instruct the user that the lesson module must be opened with acrobat reader 9 or X. I am actually testing everything with reader X.


            I used to create these lesson modules by using a combination of PP, acrobat 9 pro extended, flash movies, flash animations, and a couple of converters here and there. By trying captivate this week, I discovered that I can produce things that look better and take half the time. Except for the fact that I can't get the external links to open when I export to pdf. That's where I'm stuck. Perhaps, since CP is geared toward web hosting content, I need to look for a different tool. Help?  Wouldn't I love to just publish to the customer's website and that would open up lots of fun possibilities! But alas, there are still schools in these great United States that have unreliable internet access, overworked and under-resourced IT departments, etc. That is what I am up against.


            OH - one more piece of information. I create the reading, activity, and worksheet pieces in InDesign and save them as pdfs. I've only been using iD for a few months, I love it. I was a long-time framemaker user. Actually, seems like close to forever. I still have to use frame a little longer for some things while customer transitions to iD.


            Regarding *Issue 2: Highlight box not showing up

            Mac 10.6.5

            highlight box settings:

            Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 6.22.22 AM.png

            No highlight box showing up in SWF or HTML

            Acrobat Reader X

            Note: I set the display time and appear after time by sliding the highlight box to the right place in the timeline where it matches the narration. I used to use final cut pro a lot and I love using the timeline in captivate. Previously, I had to go through all kinds of gyrations to sync narration with animated text like highlight boxes...


            Finally, I would like to say again how much I appreciate your help. This forum has taught me a lot in a very short period of time. Two thumbs up!




            • 3. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
              Lilybiri MVP & Adobe Community Professional



              I do use the export to PDF-feature whenever I have to provide courses for users that do not have access to our LMS, and do create a portfolio with different CP-movies and other assets. This works well, except some limitations. You will not be able to use the right-click functionality, because it is not HTML and for this functionality you really need the HTML and the JS-file that is created when you publish to SWF. In the PDF it is the SWF that is inserted only, and Acrobat Reader has Flash Player built in. But all the other interactivities do work very well. The output is even more crisp then to SWF, but that can be my personal feeling. For PDF-output I will mostly create a 'poster', a still image with clear indication that the user has to click on the image (or a button-image you insert on the image) to have the movie played.


              So even though Captivate is not really meant originally to produce PDF's but to create SWF's to be played in a webbrowser, I really do appreciate this functionality to produce a PDF as well.



              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                sushpv Level 2

                Hi Peezer,


                Regarding the PDF issue, I must admit it is a limitation right now and I apologize for not being able to help you. But, we are bound to provide a solution for this at the earliest.


                Hightlight Box issue:

                I would like to know what other elements/objects you have on your slide other than the Highlight box, and their respective timings. I was however not able to reproduce the issue with a HB alone on the slide. It would be great if you can provide more details to me on this.

                Presence of other objects might be interfering in the HB coming up. Else, do you have advanced actions on the slide? Do let me know.


                Thanks, Sushma

                • 5. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                  Peezer_L8 Level 1



                  Thank you for the helpful suggestions! Let me make sure I have everything correct.


                  1. You create a captivate SWF and use the acrobat multimedia tool to embed it into a PDF, and then combine that with posters that have the interactive buttons to open attachments, start movies, etc. Is that correct?


                  2. However, if the CP 5 "export to pdf" allowed external links and all interactivity to work, I would have a faster, more efficient workflow. Am I correct in saying that, or am I dreaming?


                  3. You have given me hope! I will use your method to produce a sample and see how I like it. Should I just give up on being able to have CP 5 create the whole multimedia PDF? Is that asking too much of the product? I'm still biting my nails over whether I should purchase CP 5 or just let the trial run out and look elsewhere for solutions.


                  Thank you so much. By the way, lots of your posts have been very helpful to me in the last few days. Kudos, and thanks a ton.



                  • 6. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                    Peezer_L8 Level 1



                    Here is my timeline. I hope this helps! I'm sure I'm just doing something stupid. I apologize in advance. Your time is very valuable and I hate to take it up for stupid little things. But, you have to start somewhere, right? You should be able to zoom right in on the image to see the detail you need.


                    Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 8.42.56 AM.png



                    • 7. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                      RodWard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Have you tried moving the pause points of the buttons to later on the timeline at some point AFTER the highlight boxes appear?


                      The audio on the slide will continue to play all the way through even though the animation on the slide was paused after the first second or so.


                      Your timeline to me looks like the highlight boxes might not be appearing because the slide is paused too early.

                      • 8. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                        Lilybiri MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                        As you probably already felt, I'm not a native English speaker and that is why sometimes my explanation is not that clear or detailed enough.


                        I do use both: either I create a PDF right from the Captivate Publishing window and put it as an item in a portfolio (with Acrobat then of course) or I insert a CP-produced SWF in a PDF-page if I want to add text or other items.


                        You can add a poster to a SWF from within Cpativate. I add a screenshot of the workflow: Preferences, Project, Start and End (yellow highlight). I turn of AutoPlay and open the Browse icon which allows you to select an image that will be used as a poster.





                        • 9. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                          Peezer_L8 Level 1

                          BINGO! Thank you so much, highlight boxes now work. You helped this poor dunce more than you know!


                          Perhaps you can shed some light on this issue. I have a CP5 presentation for a student lesson that I love. It has to stand alone on a PDF. I desparately want them to click on interactive buttons at different points in the lesson to open the little pdfs they need for activity, practice, reading, etc. I have already learned that exporting to pdf is great but external links won't work unless you host them on a server, which I cannot do since this thing has to live on a CD and no internet access. Lilybiri suggested I do a combo of CP 5 and acrobat, which I've been trying to do for the past hour, but can't get my mind wrapped around how to pull that off. I can't chop a branching CP into individual SWFs to intersperse static PDF navigation pages in acrobat, because then the only thing I'm really using CP for is to create the interactive quiz, which is great, but it ain't enough, I want to go all the way! I want my highlight boxes, synced narration, etc. etc. - They look so awesome in the exported pdf now. What to do about getting the students to be able to open those linked pdfs? Should I just instruct them to go to attachments navigation bar in adobe reader and locate the right one? That seems so...lame. I want the right one to click and appear so I know they aren't in the wrong place! By the time I'm finished with the lesson module, there will be 15 lessons on there with at least 3 linked pdfs for each one. That means an attachment list of...well, the math is easy. What to do, what to do.




                          • 10. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                            Peezer_L8 Level 1



                            I received a suggestion to move pause timing on the buttons to a place after the highlight boxes and that solved the problem. I have so much to learn. But I love this product!


                            Thank you a million times for all your help.


                            • 11. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                              sushpv Level 2

                              That is THE solution I was going to suggest

                              . Thanks Rod! Glad it solved your problem!
                              • 12. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                                Peezer_L8 Level 1

                                Lilybiri, your English is great. My mind is just rusty.

                                Okay, let's say you created a 20-slide, branching CP. Ten of those slides make up a quiz (results but not reporting). At 3 different places in the CP, you want the learner to open a separate little PDF and work in it (like a worksheet, or an activity, or just a reading with questions). The learner gets to choose the order of viewing these pieces. That's the tricky part.  Here is what my branching screen looks like. All the slides running along the bottom branch are the quiz slides, of course. Slides 3, 4, and 5 are the ones that I want the learner to click on to open up a little pdf. They can navigate to any of these launch slides from the lesson home slide (#2). I bet there is a better way to do this that would accomplish basically the same thing but would be set up differently. I wish I had a better mind for programming and that sort of thing. The thing I"m stuck on is this - when I export this whole CP 5 to pdf, the external links to other pdfs don't work. Sushma says it is true, it doesn't work. So I'm looking for a clever way to be able to keep using CP 5 but get the learner to those external links another way.

                                Screen shot 2011-02-11 at 9.32.01 AM.png

                                • 13. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                                  Lilybiri MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                                  Why not put everything in one file? It will need some more branching, perhaps some advanced actions but the limitations on number of slides that existed in previous versions are now almost gone. Since you will provide a PDF, the possible consequences (bandwidth etc) for a web-based deployment are much less important. I hope you get the idea?


                                  If you want to go that way, and need some help, I will be glad to offer that help. I did play a lot with advanced actions, and perhaps you already read in other posts about my blog.



                                  • 14. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                                    Peezer_L8 Level 1

                                    One CP5 file? I'm game! I would love that! But, I'm having a total mental block about one thing. How do I handle the times in the presentation when I want the learner to open one of the little pdfs that goes with each lesson? I'm sure you have been trying to tell me but I'm too thick to get it. How will more branching and/or advanced actions solve that? I so appreciate your help and expertise. You have no idea. You are great.


                                    • 15. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                                      Lilybiri MVP & Adobe Community Professional



                                      What is in the pdf that you want to open? Is it just text to read? Is it not possible to have the content of those 'small pdf' on Captivate slides?



                                      • 16. Re: Exporting CP 5 to PDF - how much functionality should I expect?
                                        Peezer_L8 Level 1


                                        GREAT question! Yes, one of the pieces is just text, and it is already landscape format, and would go nicely on a Captivate slide. The other two are portrait, and they are pdfs with text entry boxes so the kids can enter answers to questions, fill in data tables, etc. Is there a way I could get these on a captivate slide? I create them in InDesign before I make them into pdfs. It's the portrait thing that has me puzzled. You see, they have to be able to print these little documents in case the teacher wants them to use the traditional pencil/paper approach. Making them landscape would be...weird.


                                        What do you think?


                                        How do you have time to do all your projects and also answer my questions? How can I ever thank you properly? I am so grateful for your help.