Annotations Solutions Needed

Hi Creative e-Learning experts,

I am facing a small problem.  I am creating a course which if done using the tools that I know would result in a very animation intensive project and hence would be very time consuming.  So I considered "annotations" that I could use real time while syncing animations.  But the problem is that I need "line" type and/or shaded rectangle/circle type annotations.  The arrows and the cross marks will not work for this. 

I intend to teach students how to read and understand a sentence.  So that is why I want to pause briefly as I am speaking a sentence and I want to highlight on a few important things.

I tried using rectangle stretched as thin as possible to try to get a feel for a line.  But "thin" size was not think enough to give an impression of a line.  I have attached the pic here.   Also, the size is not consistent.   Can we get it thinner than this and a more consistent size.  Am I doing something wrong with it while I am making it on the screen?

Is there something less time consuming than animations here?  If not, then I will proceed with the animations route only and account for the increased time in my planning doc.  :(.

In ideal world, I would have loved to have the following ability - sync animations using articulate presenter, add on-screen circles and rectangles using ppt slideshow pointer.  That way I would have had the best of both worlds...

Would really appreciate your help.


What I want to avoid and what I want to do

How "Thin" Rectangles look?

4 Replies
Natalia Mueller

Hi Payal-

I don't know if I'm misinterpreting your message or not, so I apologize if I don't clearly address your question. I'm not completely sure I get what it is you're trying to do.

Since the annotation feature of articulate doesn't meet your needs, I'm not sure if there is a way around animations unless you want to restructure the course to not need them. I'm guessing that's not going to fit into your time constraints so here are some ways you can animate quickly.

If your primary need is to call out areas of text, you could create a transparent yellow rectangle to simulate a highlighter. 

Then, Ctrl+X to cut it

Paste > Paste Special > PNG to bring it back in as an image instead of a ppt shape

(If this is a step you're not familiar with, just right click and save it as an image. Then bring it back in as a picture)

Animate the transparent rectangle to fade in or peak/wipe from left - however you want it to come in. 

Once that animation is added to that image, you can copy/paste the rectangle and the animation will come with it. You'll have to resize and position  the rectangle where you want it, but you won't have to add the animation again. Also, if you create and place them in order, you will not have to do anything with the animation pane after the first one is created.

You could do the same thing with a ppt line. Create and animate one. Copy/paste it where you need more. The animation will carry over and you can resize the line to fit the text.

If you also need to narrow the screen down to smaller sections of text, the annotation feature SPOTLIGHT could be helpful as well. That will shade everything except for your selected space while you bring in your highlights, lines etc.

I'm sorry that doesn't meet your ideal, but will hopefully make the process a little faster for you. At least this way it wouldn't be much longer than adding every annotation.

Then again, if the entire thing is text, perhaps the end user could just read it

or if it's a support document for a presentation you're giving, just give your presentation without it and give it out afterwards as a handout. 

If you're interested in ideas of how to convert straight text into a more engaging course, I bet you could get tons of great ideas from the community.

Good luck to you!

Payal Tandon

Thanks everyone for your comments.  I really appreciate it.  Essentially I wanted to get one more annotation object in the annotation objects - a line.  If I had that option, then I would not need to create multiple animations that I need to do now.    May be I will request that as a feature...:)