Captivate 5: Inserting a full-size image

January 28, 2011

In Captivate 3, if you inserted a full size image (i.e. the same size as the Captivate ‘slide’ — e.g. 800 x 600), it would immediately ‘snap’ to fit the slide’s dimensions. That made inserting images from the Captivate Library super easy.

However, in Captivate 5, images that are the same size as the slide, do not snap to fit. Instead, when you drag the image from the Library onto the slide, it goes where you drop it. Now for small images this is a good thing, but for an image that you want to take up the entire slide, it’s a pain as you have to drag the image and hope you get it right.

Here are two ways of getting a full size image to fit the slide’s dimensions:

  • Drag the image onto the slide, then click the two centering icons one after the other — this will center the image vertically and horizontally. The image will remain an object that you can set Properties for.
  • Insert the image using Ctrl+Shift+s (Insert > Image Slide on the menu). The image will become a slide in its own right, not an object, and its Properties cannot be changed. This results in behavior that’s similar to merging the image into the background.

Does anyone know if that ‘snap’ function that I remember as the default behavior in Captivate 3 is available at all in Captivate 5? If so, where can I set it?


  1. Hi Rhonda, I wanted to share that in Captivate 5, there’s a “Fit to Stage” button in the Properties panel that will take the selected image, resize it (if needed) and fit it in the stage.

    Double-click the image in order to display the Properties panel. The option above is in the “Image Edit” section of the panel.

    Please let me know if this does the trick and thanks for using Captivate.

    RJ Jacquez

  2. Thanks for that, RJ. However, in the very small test I just did, this seems to be a ‘per image’ setting, not a default setting or default behaviour for all images that are the same size as the slide, as it seemed to be in Captivate 3.

    Also, your method adds another click to the process. Drag the image, double-click, then click ‘Fit to Stage’, versus drag the image then click the center vertical and center horizontal buttons. However, what your method has over the first one of mine is that you don’t have to move your mouse as far.

    It’s nice to know there’s another option, so thanks for that.


  3. Want to suggest another workflow for images that have exactly the same size as the stage. If you choose Insert, Image the image will always be centered on the stage, horizontally as well as vertically. So an image with the same size as the stage will fill the stage. It will automatically also be in the Library.
    You can use this workflow also to insert the image simultaneously on a bunch of slides: select all the slides and Insert, Image.
    Because there are so much more editing options for images in Captivate 5, and moreover the area around the stage can be used as a scratch area, the drag and fit to stage has not a lot of sense anymore, but that is my personal opinion. And you can also position and resize all images at once using the Size & Position accordion in the Properties panel.

  4. Thanks for that! Insert > Image definitely centers the image to fit the stage. However, it sort of defeats inserting images from the Library, or am I missing something? And yes, I can see how the images I inserted this way get added to the Library, just in case I need to use them again.

    I also tried your other method — I selected several blank slides then selected an image using Insert > Image, but only the first slide of my selection ended up with the image. The others were still blank. I also tried selecting multiple blank slides and multiple images, but I was only allowed to select one image using Insert > Image, so that wasn’t an option.

    Thanks again!

  5. Sorry for that, inserting on multiple slides is not possible indeed but you can copy the image and paste it simultaneously on different slides.
    Do not understand what you mean by ‘defeating inserting images from the Library’? If you mean that this snapping will not function when dragging the image to the stage, I tried to explain the reasons in my previous answer. Here is another workflow if you have to drag and do not want to copy/paste (I think that copy/paste to multiple slides is less work). Drag the image to all slides, position it on one slide using the Size&Position accordion (X=Y=0) and in the same accordion use the small curved arrow top right to Apply to all items with same style). All images will then fit the stage.

  6. Hi
    In my Captivate 5 – my ‘fit to stage’ option in the properties panel is greyed out. CMD+0 does also not work to fit my image to the stage? Help please.

  7. Hi Lucia

    A very simple question for you — was the image selected when you saw that option greyed out? The option won’t be active if you haven’t selected an image first. Or perhaps you have multiple objects selected when you try to centre the image?

    Other than that, I have no idea why it wouldn’t work.

  8. I have the same issue as Lucia and I definitely have the image selected and only 1 image selected. Unfortunate Fit to Stage is always grayed out for me. No matter what I try.

  9. IF I have to create images of a weapon that needs to have the highest resolution possible to import into Captivate via Photoshop what should the image specs be?

  10. Hi Ken

    I think the best resolution format is TIFF, but that can create a REALLY large image. TIFF also doesn’t work directly on the web, though you may be able to insert it into Captivate and let Captivate deal with how it gets displayed.

    If it’s a photo, then you need to use JPG, taken on the highest resolution possible for the camera. A suggestion with JPG: As it’s a lossy format (the image loses a little bit of clarity each time you save it), make several copies of the original and ONLY work on the copies to reduce size, crop etc. until you have something acceptable.

    If it’s a line drawing, diagram, etc., then PNG may be your safest bet as it preserves up to 16 million colors and isn’t ‘lossy’ like JPG. SVG format is possible too, but you may have to convert it into something else (e.g. PDF?) to add it to Captivate.

    I don’t use Photoshop, so I can’t help you there. However, I *suspect* that Captivate will apply its own algorithm to deal with images placed within it (as Word does). So you may need to experiment a bit.

    What I do know is that the image file formats that work directly on the web are GIF (only 256 colors, so probably not an option), JPG (photos only; 16 m colors), PNG (16 m colors), and SVG. That said, I’m not an image expert by any means, so hopefully someone will correct me if I’m wrong.


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