Explaining a concept, a process, or even showing a series of pictures can sometimes become so complicated, just because you may be using the wrong sort of computer program to do the explaining! When you run across a scenario like that, you will find that Engage, a quick and easy-to-use program that lets you create interactions is just what you want!
What we like about Engage is that it does not try to do everything. It takes a simple approach of being a one-trick pony, and does that exceedingly well. The folks at Articulate, the company that creates Engage like to call anything you create within Enagage an interaction. Think of these interactions as small brochure-like Flash movies with rich-media interactivity that can be embedded within presentations, e-learning content, and web sites.
We reviewed Engage nearly two years ago when it was a new product, but now Engage ’09 is even better. So, it's time to do another review.Back
About Articulate Engage ’09
Engage ’09 is from Articulate, a company based in New York. Articulate's flagship product is Articulate Presenter, and they also create Quizmaker and other products. Learn more about these products and download a free trial version of Engage ’09 from their site. Apart from creating standalone rich media objects (RMO), Engage also works with Articulate Presenter.
You can find more info about the new and improved features in Articulate Engage ’09 here.
My contact at Articulate for this review was Gabe Anderson. Thank you, Gabe.Back
Download and Installation
You can download the installer for the full or trial version. Run the setup routine and follow the instructions.
For the first time when the application is launched, you will be asked to activate the product, or use it in trial mode and activate later.Back
Using Articulate Engage
Engage uses the interaction metaphor to get started, and it includes some default interaction types such as process, timeline, pyramid diagram, labeled graphic, interactive FAQ, etc. Follow these steps to get started with Articulate Engage.
- Go to your Windows Start menu and choose the All Programs | Articulate | Articulate Engage ’09 option.
- This opens Articulate Engage ’09, as shown in Figure 1. Opt to Create a new interaction.
Figure 1: Articulate Engage ’09
- Each of the new Articulate Studio ’09 products sports a similar start-up screen that includes links to product tutorials to reduce your learning curve, as well as access to Articulate's Community Forum, and links to their support sites and company blogs.
- Doing so opens the New Interaction dialog box, shown in Figure 2, below. Here you can choose from 10 different types of interactions. For this tutorial, we chose Process, and clicked the OK button.
Figure 2: New Interactions
- Now you will see the Process interface, as shown in Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Process interface
- The Process interface is explained below. Other interactions have similar options.
- Process Ribbon tabs provide properties for the selected interaction. These properties can be customized as required.
- Properties allows you to provide a name to the process.
- List allows to add tabs or steps, providing titles to individual steps. You also add the content text and edit text properties.
- Audio enables to record and add narration to the interaction.
- Media allows you to add media files such as images, videos, etc.
- Once you are done, save the interaction and click the Publish button, which can be seen in Figure 3, shown previously on this page. Doing so opens the Publish dialog box, shown in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Publish
- The Publish window enables you to choose different options for various output formats. Choose as required, and click the Publish button.
Articulate Studio ’09 Unified Appearance
Process Ribbon tabs
Publishing from within Articulate Presenter
You can also access the Engage ’09 application from within the Articulate menu in PowerPoint. This only works if you also have Articulate Presenter installed.
- Open any presentation in PowerPoint, choose the Articulate tab of the Ribbon and then click the Engage Interaction button, as shown in Figure 5 below.
Figure 5: Articulate Presenter Ribbon tab in PowerPoint
- Doing so opens the Engage ’09 interaction dialog box. Click the Create New button, as shown in Figure 6, below to add an interactive slide within PowerPoint.
Figure 6: Engage Interactions
- When you click the Create New button, you'll find that this opens the same Articulate Engage interface as explained in the preceding section on this page. However, in this case when you are done, click the Save and Return to Presenter button to add the interactivity on the PowerPoint slide itself, as shown in Figure 7, below.
Figure 7: Articulate Engage Interactivity slide in PowerPoint
- The inserted interactivity on the PowerPoint slide can be edited anytime by clicking the Edit in Engage option (refer to Figure 7 above).
Publish to Preview
Pricing and Support
Articulate Engage ’09 is priced at $499. It's also part of the Articulate Rapid E-Learning Studio ’09 Pro suite of e-learning products.
Support options include e-mail support, an online knowledge base, community forums, and extensive documentation. Articulate also provides custom on-site and web-based training for a fee.Back
Articulate Engage ’09 is a compelling product that creates simple Flash based rich media objects. It works great with Articulate's other tools, and is very easy to use. If you need to get a copy of Adobe Flash to create such interactions, get Articulate Engage instead!Back