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via eLB: How to Get the Most Out of Layering in Lectora

by | Aug 19, 2014 | eLearning | 0 comments

Most of us who have been in the computer aided design and electronic photo retouching world for a while are used to the idea of layers – overlapping, transparent “sheets” on which you can place elements or objects. Think of layers in your document like the layers in an onion; some are on top, highly visible, and occluding (or hiding) parts or all of the layers underneath. The problem is you can’t bring your experience of layers in Storyline, Captivate, or even Photoshop in to Lectora because, strictly speaking, Lectora doesn’t have a layers panel or control set. But you do need to bring the mentality of layers and how they work into Lectora, because elements are actually layered.

Understand How to Use Lectora “Layers”
Layering happens in Lectora much in the same way it happens in Microsoft Powerpoint or Microsoft Word. Those programs lack a “layers” panel as well, but have a similar functionality. In that case, the layering is completely behind the scenes, except in the visual composure of the elements on screen – i.e., what’s covering up what. So while you can use the Arrange function to “bring forward” or “send back” objects, there’s not a numerical or visual representation of how these things relate to each other in 3 dimensional space, or layers.

In Lectora, layering happens in two pieces. First, you’ve got the Title Explorer that represents the order and organization of contents and objects in your course… but it’s also the representation of the layering of objects in your course. Items further towards the bottom of the list are “closer” to the learner on the screen, or on top of the layer list. It’s the opposite from those other programs I mentioned, where items higher on the list are closer to the top layer. But once you understand this about Lectora, it becomes much easier to control. And, Lectora provides you an added bonus. If you have an element like a title- or chapter-level inherited asset that is higher up in the Title Explorer, but you want it to be “on top” of other items further down in the list, you just check the “Always on Top” box in the object’s properties ribbon!

Now, for a practical example with some screenshots and extra goodies, head over to my article at eLearning Brothers and soak in the goodness.

All this talk about onions is making me hungry…

Adam is an award-winning e-learning developer, instructional designer, and interactive multimedia developer, as well as a pretty darn good web designer and WordPress developer. When not trying to make learning online more awesome, he's an avid MMORPG beta tester, console FPS gamer, & general nerd. No one likes playing trivial pursuit with him. Also... are there cookies? <3 cookies...

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