An old dog learns a new trick!

Hello world!

I’m guessing you probably thought I forgot about my blog! No, things just got really busy for me. I’ve been traveling a bit and spreading Captivate and RoboHelp joy across the United States.

So what is this new trick you speak of?

Here’s the deal. During one of the recent classes I was facilitating, one of the participants mentioned something about a specific desktop display setting she should be concerned with. She said that the person advised her to configure it specifically in order to achieve the best Captivate output.

Needless to say this was news to me and I was more than interested.

Mind you I’ve known for years that Windows offered something referred to as “Font Smoothing”. Personally, I don’t like the effect and I regularly turn it off. I suppose this may partially account for why I’ve never noticed it having any effect on the Captivate movies I produce. However, I’ve noticed that when I open PowerPoint and watch the latest “Best pictures of 2008” PowerPoint that has arrived in my In-Box (which looks suspiciously like the one that had the “Best pictures of 2007”) that upon exiting the presentation PowerPoint ever so helpfully enables the pesky option. So I end up visiting the dialog a LOT to turn the silly feature off!

However, it came as a total shock and surprise to me to discover that this little setting would affect the way Text Captions were rendered in my Captivate movies.

As I so often do, I decided to put it to the test. I wanted something to show and illustrate to future class participants. So that evening in my hotel room I tested and screen captured and tested and screen captured. Below is the result of those tests.

To check or change this setting:

  1. Click Start > Run…
  2. Type desk.cpl into the Run dialog and press Enter.
  3. Click the Appearance tab.
  4. Click the Effects… button.

The table below contains images of three different Captivate movies. Below each movie is a magnified image of the text so that you may see the effect.


That’s it for the moment. Hopefully you found this as interesting as I did. You probably didn’t though. I’m pretty much a nerd when it comes to this Captivate and RoboHelp stuff. Folks look at me and their eyes sometimes glaze over when they see how excited I get about it.

Have fun all…


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