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Record application simulations

Adobe Presenter offers many recording options.

If you have Adobe Captivate 6.0 installed on your computer, you can capture application simulations from within Adobe Presenter. The captured simulations are automatically inserted as a SWF file in a separate slide.

Overview of the recording process

  1. Open the PPT or the PPTX file in PowerPoint.

  2. Select the slide after which you want the application simulation. For example, if you want the simulation to appear as slide 6, click slide 5.

  3. Click Adobe Presenter, and in the Application Simulation group, click Record. The recording window appears.

  4. Click Screen Area or Application.


    Select this option if you want to specify the application which you want to record as part of your project. In the Select Application menu, select the application that you want to record and select one of the following:

    Custom Size

    Select this option if you want to customize the dimensions of the recorded project. You can choose from a list of standard sizes, or define a custom size. The selected application is automatically resized to fit inside the boundaries of the recording area. Best practice is to have a clear idea of the dimensions of the project before you start recording it.

    Application Window

    Select this option if you want to record the entire application window. The dimensions of the application are not altered. The recording rectangle is resized to fit the application.

    Application Region

    Select this option if you want to record defined areas in an application. For example, if you are recording a window that has three frames, the recording window snaps to individual frames when the mouse moves over them. The dimensions of the application are not altered. The recording rectangle is resized to fit the defined area in the application.

    Screen Area

    Select this option when you want to capture all events that occur within an area on the screen.

    Custom Size

    Select this option if you want to record your project using a specific dimension. You can choose from a list of standard sizes, or create your own custom size window.

    Full Screen

    Select this option if you want to set the size of the recording window to the size of your monitor screen. The entire computer screen is treated as the recording window. If you work on dual monitors, you can choose the monitor that you want to use for recording. Recording in this mode can potentially produce very large projects and output file sizes due to the large screen resolution on monitors.

  5. Click Automatic or Manual in the Recording Type area. For more information, see Automatic recording, and Manual recording.

  6. Do one or all of the following:

    • Select a panning mode if you want the recording window to follow your movements across the screen. For more information, see Panning.

    • If you are adding commentary during recording, select the type of audio input.

    • To change the default settings that Adobe Captivate uses when recording, click Settings at the bottom of the recording options. For more information on customizing recording preferences, see Specifying recording preferences.

  7. Click Record.

  8. If you have selected Manual recording, press Print Screen every time you want to take a screenshot during the procedure.

  9. Press End key when you have completed recording.

Automatic recording

When you record using automatic recording, Adobe Captivate captures screenshots automatically and places them on separate slides. Mouse, keyboard, or system events are the common triggers for capturing screenshots. Automatic recording is the most commonly used recording method in Adobe Presenter.

In the recording options (File > Record New Software Simulation), you choose one of the following autorecording modes:

  • Demonstration mode

  • Training mode

  • Assessment mode

  • Custom mode

Depending on the mode, one or more of the following objects are added automatically during the recording. You can change recording preferences for the various modes. The descriptions for the various modes assume that you have not changed the default recording preferences.

Text Captions

Text captions are used to point out certain areas on a slide, explain concepts, or provide users with additional information. Text captions can be created automatically or manually. If you are autorecording a project, you can have Adobe Captivate automatically create text captions. Text captions are generated for the various mouse and keyboard events.

The text captions use the labels in the application to describe a step. For example, if the user clicks File in the menu bar, a text caption with the text, “Select the File menu” is created automatically. You can later edit the captions to your requirements. When the user views the movie, the actions performed during recording are displayed along with the captions

Text Entry Boxes

Text entry boxes are Adobe Captivate objects that require user input. During recording in some of the modes, text entry boxes with default hint, success, or failure captions are added to the slides. You can later edit the text in these captions.

Click Boxes

A click box is an object in Adobe Captivate that designates an area around the place where the mouse was clicked during recording. Click boxes help users try out an application or website using the movie. After viewers click a click box, you can have the project perform different actions. For example, the project resumes playing, opens a new project, or opens a specific website.

Highlight boxes

Highlight boxes are transparent, colored rectangles that can be placed over areas on a slide to draw attention to the area. You can edit the formatting, color, transparency, and size of all highlight boxes. If you automatically record a project or slides, Adobe Captivate creates a highlight box for the area on which a mouse event occurs. If you have an existing project, you can also add highlight boxes manually.

For more information on these objects, see Adobe Captivate help.

Demonstration mode

Use the demonstration mode when you want to demonstrate a procedure or feature. The movie produced in this mode however, does not provide any scope for user interaction. The user can only passively view actions that were performed when the project was recorded.

When recording a movie in the demonstration mode, Adobe Captivate does the following:

  • Adds text captions using the labels of the controls in the application. For example, if the user clicks File in the menu bar, a text caption with the text, “Select the File menu” is created automatically.

  • Adds highlight boxes to highlight those areas where the mouse is clicked.

  • Adds text that is typed manually during the recording.

Training mode

Use the training mode when you want the user to try the procedure during the movie. The movie moves to the next slide only after the user has performed the previous action correctly.

When recording slides in training mode, Adobe Captivate does the following:

  • Adds click boxes at places where the user must click the mouse.

  • Adds text entry boxes for user input. The failure and hint captions are added to each text entry box.

Assessment mode

Use the assessment mode when you want to test how well the user has understood a procedure. You can set a score for every correct click. You can also set the number of times the user can attempt a procedure. When the user fails to click the right option in the number of attempts provided, the movie moves to the next step. The user does not get any score for the failed attempt.

When recording slides in assessment mode, Adobe Captivate does the following:

  • Adds click boxes at places where the user must click the mouse.

  • Adds text entry boxes for user input. The failure caption is added to each text entry box.

Custom mode

Use the custom mode when working on a project where you need a mix of features available in the other modes. This mode allows you to achieve the highest level of customization in Adobe Captivate. Using the custom mode, you can create a project that is part demo, part training, and also includes assessment. None of the Adobe Captivate objects are added by default during recording in the Custom mode.

For example, let us consider a movie meant for training the user on editing a file. In the first few slides for simpler tasks like opening the application and opening the file, you can retain the slides created in the demo mode. When you move to the slides describing the procedure for editing, you can add the various objects with which the user can interact. Finally, you can provide for assessment slides at the end of the project.

Multimode recording

When you record an Adobe Captivate project, you can choose to record in more than one mode. Multimode recording helps you save time when working on projects that require outputs in more than one autorecording mode.

Manual recording

You can create a project manually by taking screenshots during recording. Use manual recording when you want to pick and choose a few screenshots during the recording process. The procedure can get tedious for complicated procedures involving many steps.


Use panning when you want the recording window to follow the movement of your mouse pointer across the screen. Panning helps you capture events across a large screen even when the recording window is smaller than the size of the screen.

The following panning options are available in Adobe Captivate:

Automatic Panning

The recording window automatically moves along with the pointer whenever you move the mouse during recording.

Manual Panning

You must manually move the recording window to the area where the next event takes place. In all other respects, It is like the automatic panning option.

Specifying recording preferences

In the recording options, click Settings. For a detailed description of the options, see Adobe Captivate help.

Editing application simulations

  1. Click the SWF on the slide and click Edit in the Application Simulation group. Adobe Captivate appears.


    To find out which slide contains a SWF file, open the Manage SWF (Flash) dialog box (Insert group > SWF > Manage).

  2. Modify the simulation as required. For more information on editing the application simulation in Adobe Captivate, see Adobe Captivate help.

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