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Chapter 4. The Captivate Timeline and Ob... > Changing the Order, Timing, and Size...

Changing the Order, Timing, and Size of Objects

If a slide has multiple objects ranging from images to captions, the capability to control when those objects display in the slide is extremely useful. For example, a slide contains mouse movement, an image, and a caption. You may want to have the image appear, followed by the mouse movement, and then have the caption appear last. You also might want to have the caption remain on screen for 5 seconds and the image to shrink to the size of the caption box. You can do all of this on the timeline after you understand how objects in a slide relate to each other.

One issue you will inevitably encounter is a situation where a series of captions, for example, will appear and must all be placed in a precise screen location. If you are familiar with drawing programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand MX, you know that objects on a page stack above or behind each other. This is exactly how objects are “stacked” in Captivate. Still, if one larger caption is placed over a smaller caption, you are going to need the capability to edit that caption or object without changing its placement.

Timing refers to how long an object is visible in a slide. This is an extremely useful feature, especially in situations where there may be a voiceover description of a feature on the stage. You don't want the object being described to disappear before the narration finishes. Keep in mind timing changes can be applied only to captions, highlight boxes, text entry boxes, and images. In this case, the timeline is rather limiting. Doing it by the numbers is a lot more precise than dragging.

There will also be occasions where objects may be either too large or too small. In this case, you can resize the objects at the same time. Further, you can resize the selected objects in one of two ways: by the numbers or relative to each other.

To change the display order

1.
In the Edit View panel, double-click a slide containing multiple objects.

2.
Right-click any of the objects in the slide and select the new position from the context menu (Figure 4.15).

Figure 4.15. You can change the stacking order of objects on a slide using the selected object's context menu.


Your choices are:

  • Bring to Front Moves the object to the top of the stack.

  • Send to Back Moves the object to the bottom of the stack.

  • Bring Forward Moves the object up one level in the stacking order.

  • Send Backward Moves the object back one level in the stacking order.

✓ Tip

  • You don't have to right-click an object to change the stacking order. This feature is also available through the Edit menu. You can also change the order by dragging the layers containing the objects to new positions in the timeline.


To change object timing

1.
Open a slide in the Edit View panel.

2.
Double-click the object whose timing is to be changed.

The object's Properties dialog box opens.

3.
Click the Options tab.

The object's timing options opens (Figure 4.16).

Figure 4.16. Timing can be set “by the numbers” in the object's Options area of its Properties dialog box.


4.
Determine the timing option you want to change, and click the up or down arrows to change the time in one-tenth-of-a-second increments.

5.
Click OK.

The dialog box closes, and the new timing values are applied to the selected object.

✓ Tip

  • You aren't limited to the choices in the timing properties. You can enter your own value into the text input area.


To resize multiple objects

1.
Open a slide in the Edit View panel.

2.
Shift-click the objects to be resized.

3.
Select Edit > Size, or right-click a selected object and select Size from the context menu.

The Size dialog box opens (Figure 4.17).

Figure 4.17. Using the Size dialog box, you can resize multiple objects together.


4.
Make your changes and either click Apply to preview the changes or click OK.

Sizing Objects

The dialog box shown in Figure 4.17 offers you many ways to resize objects. You can size the objects to specific values, size them to each other, or affect only the height and width of the object. Be aware that resizing an object containing either text or an image affects only the object—you will not distort the text or the image if you decide to resize an object's height without a similar change in width.

Height choices are:

  • No change The object's height will not change.

  • Shrink to smallest The object's height will shrink to match that of the smallest object in the selection group.

  • Grow to largest The object's height will grow to match that of the largest object in the selection group.

  • Custom height Enter a number to set an exact height—measured in pixels—for all of the selected objects.

Width choices are:

  • No change The object's width will not change.

  • Shrink to smallest The object's width will shrink to match that of the smallest object in the selection group.

  • Grow to largest The object's width will grow to match that of the largest object in the selection group.

  • Custom width Enter a number to set an exact width—measured in pixels—for all of the selected objects.


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