Captivate Ghost Lines

I cannot even begin to describe the frustration I felt as I pondered over the mysterious lines and screen glitches that were present in my Adobe Captivate videos. I had spent hours perfecting even the most minor details, yet there were these inexplicable lines. There was no reason for those lines to be there. They weren’t present in my screen capture, they weren’t present on any of my slides, and worse, I couldn’t get rid of them!

This is a bug in the Captivate software. While this issue is well documented in the Adobe Captivate forums, it doesn’t appear that there will be a fix for this bug anytime soon, so I had to learn to live with it. Here’s what we found:

What are Ghost Lines?

Ghost Lines are these obnoxious little lines that are not in the project itself, but appear in the published project. We’ve noticed them in a couple of different forms, however, they only really seem to be present during screen captures:

      1. Large lines that appear in a project, especially if there is scrolling movement Ghost Lines in Scrolling
      2. Smaller lines that appear if there is typing in the video Ghost Lines when typing
      3. Sometimes areas of a previous slide linger onto the next slide, especially in the case of pop-up messages Lingering images

The Solution

Unfortunately, we haven’t found a sure-fire way to fix the Ghost Lines 100% of the time. But, we have found a way to make them significantly less noticeable.

First, there are a few things you can do to reduce the Ghost Lines while recording:

      • Avoid scrolling
      • Avoid typing
      • Avoid zooming
      • Record at the size of your video

The Ghost Lines typically appear in your video when there is movement, such as scrolling, typing, and zooming. The Ghost Lines are also worse when you change the size of your video after recording. For example, we were publishing our videos at 800×600, which is too small to record at. So, we were recording at 1200×900 and then resizing the project. So, even with the same 4:3 aspect ratio, resizing the project was still a problem.

Of course, some of these are impossible to avoid in our projects. So we found a solution to minimize Ghost Lines when publishing.

Under SWF Size and Quality in Preferences enter the following settings:

      • Check Retain Slide Quality Settings
      • Uncheck all compressions settings including Advanced Project Compression and Compress SWF File

Project: SWF Size and Quality

Then, when publishing the project, check the box that says “Force re-publish on all slides.”

Force re-publish all the slides

Again, these steps did not totally eliminate the problem of Ghost Lines, but it did make them significantly less noticeable.

Alex is a dual-hatted (or should I say hooded) academic with Master’s degrees in both Anthropology and Educational Technology. Alex specializes in understanding the interactions between learners and technology, the socio-cultural learning environment, Web 2.0 learning strategies, and creating interactive, technology-enhanced learning experiences.

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