Converting Captivate screencasts to Silverlight

Recently, I had to produce screencasts that needed to be published/played in a Microsoft Silverlight player. I know, most people are still using the very popular Flash format, but sometimes there are reasons why you need to use Silverlight. For instance because it needs to be published on a Microsoft platform. ;–)

The trouble is that this requires your movies to be in .wmv format. Captivate currently ony produces Flash output (of course).

If you are starting from scratch, you can use a screencasting tool that produces .wmv files directly. You can use Camtasia Studio, or Microsofts Expression Encoder. This will give you a nice .wmv file that you can then embed in your authoring tool, or play directly with a Silverlight player (e.g. the free one on Codeplex.).

But what if you have tons of Captivate movies ready to be published? Or if you like Captivate better than Camtasia? Well, no worries, you can follow these steps:

  1. Remove the “interactive” elements from your Captivate movies. This includes buttons, playback controls, question slides, anything a user can click on. This is important, otherwise your conversion will fail.
  2. Publish your project  and get the .swf file.
  3. Convert the .swf file to .wmv. I used Camtasia to do that (via Import media you can import an .swf file, and publish your project as .wmv), but I heard of other people using tools like Prism to do this.
  4. Integrate the .wmv in your Silverlight authoring tool or in your player.
  5. Done!

You can view an example of the final result. Requires the Silverlight Player (duh!).

Any tips or tricks? Share them in the comments!

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