I built 5 courses, each is about 120-200 slides, most slides are software simulation, a combination of demonstration and training with a few intro slides (title, learning objectives - captions only) and a quiz. There is no branching, no video, no audio. 4 courses were done in Captivate 2017, the last one was done in 2019, but the issues are very similar.
3 courses seem to be working just fine, but the last 2 tend to throw up errors, usually in the second half of the project. The most common errors are:
a) background doesn't load - usually only captions and highlights show up, no background
b) "next" button doesn't work - seems frozen (don't even change on rollover)
None of the problematic slides have any action - not on enter, not on exit, not on the slide. None of the slides are particularly complex, most have a single click box and a caption, so it's not particularly likely that I'm failing to diagnose a major design flaw. For most of those slides, the only thing I've really done to the automatically-generated simulations is edited the captions.
Furthermore, if I re-start the project "from this slide", and set it 1-2 slides prior to the problematic slide, 99% of the time, the slides work just fine. The problem seems to only arise when they are run in a long sequence. In other words, slide #63 doesn't work, but same slide when it's run from the middle of the project, works just fine as #2-3 or 10. So, it almost feels like the project is too long, rather than something is wrong with individual slides? Should I consider breaking my projects up in smaller chunks? If so, what is a good number to target? Nearly all the malfunctions happen at ##60-70-80, so is 50 slides a better, safer project size?
One slide that I was able to zero in on literally had just background and 1 highlight, the whole slide is 1,5 seconds, no video, no audio - highlight would show up, but background wouldn't. I really have no ideas for what I can trouble shoot on it (again, no actions). My only guess is that this slide was a duplicate of another slide. Could that somehow corrupt the background?
Another hypothesis I'm working with is copy-pasting stuff. I've been copying the shells and adding new content to them. I usually delete all but 3-4 slides that are the same in every course. But could that still result in some run-through issues? If so, would copying-pasting slides in a new shell resolve it, or would it copy-paste the issues as well?
I'd appreciate some insight.
Captivate can sometimes run into issues if you have hundreds of interactive objects in the same project.
Take a look in the Project > Advanced Interaction dialog and count up how many interactive objects you have.
I have close to a hundred per 139 slides, yes, since I have a click box on almost every slide. If that is the issue, should I split each lesson into smaller chunks?
In e-learning it is certainly never wrong to try and have smaller modules. People don't seem to have the attention spans they once did, but that number of interactive objects should not get you into this much trouble. I think it more likely that something else is going on here.
Are you using any SVGs for these backgrounds that don't show up? If so, replace them with PNGs.
Are the graphics high resolution that have been resized down inside Captivate? If so, resize them in Photoshop or some other graphics editor until they are exactly the size you need them to display in Captivate and THEN import them into Captivate.
I feel like there must be something about this project that we haven't been told as yet. Is there anything else you can tell us?
No, no SVGs, however, I do have to capture the entire screen, and then size it down to fit our recommended LMS size. I did do it in Captivate using the "modify" function. It'd be a huge pain in the neck to resize it all in Photoshop though, since it's hundreds of slides. How likely is that to be the root cause?
I really struggle to come up with anything else that may be relevant. It's not a very complex project, just a pretty straightforward simulation.
Maybe most of the click boxes just have 'Go to Next Slide' as action. Totally agree with Rod that this couldn't be the cause.
You talk about 'Next button', is this a shape button on the master slides? Do you have actions than need big navigation jumps over many slides? Do you have complicated advanced actions?
Yes, all click boxes just go to the next slide.
Yes, the 'Next' button is a shape on master slides.
No navigation jumps at this point, although we're discussing adding a button to the end of every simulation to "start over", but they haven't been implemented yet - should we avoid those? There'd be about 4-6 of them per lesson, and they'd jump 20-50 slides back.
I do have a dozen slides with complicated advanced conditional actions but only 1-2 per lesson, and it wasn't in the immediate vicinity of the problematic slide I'm currently battling with.
It is most jumping forward over many slides which can cause issues.
I think the resizing of the images in Captivate can be the main cause. Can you have a look at their file size?
You can create an action in Photoshop to resize all images, or maybe do it in Lightroom or Bridge. Since you need all in the same size.