Toolkit: Updates For Key Development Tools – by Joe Ganci

It’s the season of updates! I have had several requests to keep readers current by providing information about updates for key development tools. When products were always fully installed on your hard drive, updates occurred only every few months, or even every year or two. All the major tools—Captivate, Storyline, and Lectora, for instance—had new versions released only every year or two, and I would duly review each new version.

Now that more tools are web-based (and soon the vast majority will be), updates can occur every few weeks or months. Some online tool creators use a period of two weeks, called a sprint, to release updates. The updates may include bug fixes, new or improved features, or both. This means that each time you log in, you may find a new feature available or a prior bug squished. It also means that if you request a new feature, it may become available more quickly than in the past.

Online authoring is becoming the new normal. This means that you need an internet connection when authoring lessons (in most cases) and that faster updates are expected. It means working differently than in the past.

My review of CenarioVR was published last year and Bill Brandon cited CenarioVR in his Game Engine Roundup this month. Trivantis, the maker of CenarioVR, has continued to improve the product since then, including these updates.

  1. New CenarioVR apps for the Oculus Go and the Samsung Gear headsets.
  2. New animations and a Pan to Object action.
  3. Firefox and Firefox Reality WebVR support.
  4. Copy and paste entire scenes and a shortcut to create a copy of a scenario.
  5. Crossfade between scenes without fading to black.
  6. An exit action to close a scenario when using a headset or the CenarioVR website.
  7. Choose which screen to show when preloading a scenario.
  8. Use OR statements when setting multiple conditions.
  9. Organization Administrators can specify whether public scenarios are visible to users.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over six years since I last reviewed Camtasia! It’s a very popular tool that I use often to edit videos with lots of options, insert quizzing, and much more. A lot of updates have occurred since 2013! As with many other tools, TechSmith opted to indicate their version numbers by year of release rather than by sequential number, as it did before.

Here are the latest new features and changes in Camtasia 2019.

  1. Themes can now include your own images and logos, so it’s even easier to brand your videos.
  2. More free video assets, backgrounds, and device options are now available through TechSmith Assets.
  3. You can use more transitions between video clips.
  4. Adjust all the audio in your video project so that it plays at a consistent level.
  5. Make your cursor paths smooth.
  6. Do you like keyboard shortcuts? Camtasia now has 10 times as many as before!
  7. Import PDF files into your Camtasia projects in Windows.
  8. There are more canvas presets from which you can choose, such as Instagram, Facebook, iOS devices, and more.
  9. You can now share your videos to TechSmith’s Video Review site to obtain reviews, feedback, and approval faster. (This is an extra cost. You can upload up to 25 videos at a time for $180 a year.)

TechSmith launched a Mac version of Camtasia since my last review, and there have been a number of improvements. Recently, these include:

  1. You can hide your desktop so that it won’t be included in the recording.
  2. Visual effects now include Outline Edges, Mosaic, and Color Tint.
  3. Export from multiple projects as audio or video in one step.
  4. Built-in functionality for the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar.

Every few weeks, Articulate updates its online tools to add features and remove existing bugs. Below are features that have been added or enhanced in Storyline 360 since January 22, 2019:

  1. In the Media Library, you can now:
    • List where any asset is being used (both slide and layer).
    • Edit assets with outside apps and save changes directly to Storyline. This will speed up your work.
    • Rename your media library assets, including characters and poses, and the new name will be noted wherever used.
    • Add private notes to your media library assets.
  2. You can more easily add variable references to table cells by using the Insert tab.
  3. SVG objects in PowerPoint files will now import into Storyline 360 so that they can be edited.
  4. You can use some HTML formatting tabs in text variables.
  5. Add slide numbers, excluding those slides you don’t want to include in the slide numbering.

In Studio 360, Articulate has added the ability to access the Content Library 360 assets directly. This applies to Presenter 360, Quizmaker 360, and Engage 360.

I’m happy to say that Rise 360 is becoming more powerful, with the addition of these features in the last year:

  1. Create scenarios using characters from the media library and giving learners choices, each of which can branch to other choice. You can also hide lesson numbers.
  2. You can now insert table blocks in Rise. Organize your data into columns and rows when it makes sense.
  3. Tables and lists can also be added to blocks that support text, such as tab and process blocks.
  4. Export your content to PDF files.
  5. Let learners search through a course and jump directly to where a search term is found.
  6. Export text to an XLIFF file. You can then edit the text or translate it to a different language, then re-import it into Rise.
  7. Prevent learners from jumping ahead to content not yet seen.
  8. Turn off Next and Back buttons when you wish.
  9. More block types, including Timeline, Process, Sorting, Knowledge Check Questions, Labeled Images, Collapsing Sections, and more.

Learn more at DevLearn

At DevLearn 2019 Conference & Expo this fall, you will be able to register for pre-conference workshops that take a deep dive into popular development tools.

Joe Ganci will present BYOD: Advance Your Adobe Captivate Skills on Tuesday, October 22.

Ron Price and Stephanie Lawless will present BYOD: Building Engaging eLearning in Storyline on Monday, October 21.

Read more…

Leave a Reply