Creating a Captivating online tutorial

I recently attended a course about screencasting at OUCS and have just produced my first project using Adobe Captivate:

I already have an online guide for St Hugh’s College Library which includes information about opening hours and how to reserve a book.  However, some things are easier to understand when demonstrated, so I chose ‘how to renew your books online’ as my first screencasting experiment.

My first tip is to storyboard your tutorial before you start to make it – plan which bits will be screenshots, what the captions will be and which sections will be real-time screen recordings.  I found Captivate quite easy to use, especially if you begin by importing slides from PowerPoint to begin your project.

I used Audacity for the sound recording (although Captivate can do this, I am told that files in Audacity are easier to edit).  I added the audio files to captions in Captivate, and played around with the timings so that the project flowed well.

Publishing a Captivate project produces several files: .htm, .swf and a Javascript file.  Unfortunately, none of these are suitable for uploading to YouTube, which is where I wanted the finished tutorial to live.  I exported the Captivate project as a .avi file, which YouTube was happy to accept, but it took about 20 mins to upload and process a 00:01:32sec video!  Another problem with this method was that the video and audio did not stay synchronised.

Using a different program to convert the .swf file to .avi did the trick, and the resulting .avi file was much smaller than the one produced by doing this conversion within Captivate.



  1. Hi Laura

    What program did you use to convert the film to .avi? We have a library film which we would also like on the university’s youtube channel but don’t know how to get it into the correct format.



  2. Pingback: Presenting: podcasts, screencasts and the like « Laura's Dark Archive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s