On March 07th 2016, Adobe announced the immediate availability of Captivate 9.0.1. This update is free for everyone holding a Captivate 9 license, regardless of the type of license (subscription or perpetual license). In this article, I will first show you how to install this update before digging into the main new feature it introduces : the Rules and Guides.
Installing the update.
Installing the update is a simple and straightforward process.
- Open Adobe Captivate 9
- Go to the Help -> Updates menu item
- Follow the onscreen instructions
- After the update process has started, close Adobe Captivate
After downloading and installing the update, the version number of Captivate is 126.96.36.1990. You can check the exact version number by going to the Help -> About Adobe Captivate (Windows) or Adobe Captivate -> About Adobe Captivate (Mac) menu item.
The version number is shown in the box that opens in the middle of the screen. To close this box, simply click anywhere inside it.
Now that the update is installed, let us focus on the main feature brought by this update.
Rulers and guides in Adobe Captivate
The basic idea is simple. Guides are simply vertical and horizontal lines that you place in your work environment to help you position objects on your Captivate slides. If you already use other Adobe applications, such as Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign, Rulers and Guides probably have no more secrets for you already.
Working with rulers
The first thing to do is to display the rulers using the View -> Show Rulers menu item.
This turns both the vertical and the horizontal ruler on. The origin of these rulers is the top left corner of the slide.
In a regular project, the rulers are graduated in Pixels. In a responsive project, the rulers are also graduated in Pixels by default, but you can opt for rulers in Percentages. To do this, simply right-click anywhere in a ruler (horizontal or vertical) to change the measurement unit from Pixels to Percentages. Remember that the percentage rulers are ONLY available in responsive projects.
There are four ways to add guides to your Captivate 9.0.1 workspace.
The first method is simple and very intuitive. Simply place the mouse over one of the two rulers and drag a guide to the workspace, as shown in the video below.
The second method is to use the View -> New Guide menu item. This technique allows you to place your guides with pixel-perfect precision as shown in the image below.
The third way to add guides is to right-click an existing guide and choose Add New Guide from the context menu. This adds a guide 20 pixels to the right of a vertical guide or 20 pixels below a horizontal guide. This technique is very useful to quickly position guides 20 pixels apart. Note that this is also how you remove a guide from the workspace.
Finally, the fourth method allows you to add a whole bunch of guides in a single operation. This is extremely convenient to create a grid on your slide. The use of such a grid of guides is very common among professional designers as it greatly facilitates and accelerates the placement of your objects on your slides. Just go to the View -> Create Multiple Guides menu item.
Repositioning guides is very simple. Simply hover on an existing guide until the mouse turns into a double arrow allowing you to move the guide.
It is also possible to change the color of the guides. To do this, go to Captivate preferences (Edit -> Preferences on Windows / Adobe Captivate -> Preferences on the Mac). It is in the Defaults section of the preferences that you can choose the color of your guides as shown in the image below.
Clearing all guides
If you want to delete all your guides in a single operation, use the View -> Clear Guides menu item.
Using the guides
The ultimate goal of these guides is to help you position your objects on your slides. To do this, go to the View -> Snap to Guides menu item to activate the magnetism of the guides. With this magnetism, the objects you create will naturally stick to the guides you have set as you move the objects on the stage. This is the option that gives their meaning to the guides and enables you to easily align your items as shown in the video below.
Other new features of the update
The Captivate 9.0.1 update also brings other welcome (though less spectacular) changes.
- The ability to remember the state of an object when it you return to a previously visited slide
- Minor improvements in the Adobe Captivate Draft iPad application
- New Playback Control bars for responsive projects
The update to Captivate 9.0.1 is completely free. There are therefore no reasons to hesitate. I encourage you to install this update the next time you use Adobe Captivate 9.
Rulers and guides are an essential feature of any design software. It was definitely a missing feature of Captivate up till now. In other words, the Captivate 9.0.1 update finally brings a very important tool into the Captivate application.
If the wait was long, the result lives up to expectations. We now have access to a simple yet powerful implementation of these rulers and guides. An implementation that has little to envy to the one found in the flagship Adobe softwares that are Photoshop, In Design and Illustrator.
You are now equipped with an additional tool of professional quality that has the power to greatly simplify and speed up your work with Adobe Captivate 9.