iSpring Suite 8.1 is out! Tons of updates

Today is the biggest update since the release of Suite 8.0. The release in October was a big boom in the e-Learning industry featuring brand new tools for professional content developers, such as new quizzes, dialog simulations, and screen recording components in the ultimate Suite toolbox.

There were so many new features to add to iSpring Suite 8, we decided to split it into two separate releases, 8.0 and 8.1, like a double album. These new components were implemented at iSpring’s traditionally high quality level, but there is always room to enrich the existing functionality. We received a lot of feedback from our beta-testers and customers who used Suite 8. Thanks to this very valuable information, we prioritized what to improve in the first place and did it.

iSpring Suite is the flagship desktop product by iSpring for content developers, trainers, and other e-Learners.

In this article

Overview

The new iSpring Suite 8.1 is a hot rod; the installation is up to three times faster. We managed to make the installation package lighter without any harm to the components and assets. Starting a trial version doesn’t require a trial key, which also saves valuable time when you run iSpring for the first time.

iSpring caches all media in the published project. If you need to republish a PowerPoint presentation that features audio or video, the media files will not be recompressed by iSpring on the second run, which will save significant time. If you change or reattach audio or video, it will be recompressed.

The Open Sans font has become very popular in the modern Web. It is now used in all iSpring presentation players, providing you with a fluent cross-platform experience. Previously, the Arial font was used in iSpring presentation players.

All major components have gotten very important updates that will make the content authoring experience more convenient and productive! See the details in this article.

Name changes of components

Some of the components in Suite 8.1 have gotten more captivating and self-descriptive names.

An iSpring toolbar on the PowerPoint ribbon.

Dialog Trainer is now TalkMaster, and it is still shown on the ribbon as Simulation.TalkMaster window

The Screen Recording component on the ribbon is officially called iSpring Cam. Please keep in mind that it’s the same thing.

The app that we had in the AppStore and Google Play for playing presentation on mobile devices was called iSpring Viewer. Now it is called iSpring Play.

We are sorry if you got confused due to the name changes. We hope it will help you and other customers understand the purpose of these products better.

Publish Presentation: Output options

HTML5 is the primary option now when you publish to Combined mode. That means that any computer or mobile device will play the HTML5 content, unless the browser doesn’t offer HTML5 technology support. These cases are rare, and usually Flash is used in Windows Internet Explorer 8 browsers and earlier.

The list of output options.

Read more about the option to choose:

http://www.ispringsolutions.com/articles/output-options-rundown.html

TalkMaster: Add a new character

This is a unique component in a PowerPoint-based e-Learning tool and our customers love it! In TalkMaster you can create a branched script scenario and train your employees before they communicate with real people (e.g., in the bank or at a car dealership). Over the last two months, we’ve received tons of positive feedback on this new toy. Moreover, it gave us some clear ideas on how to improve it!

Adding a new character or a custom background for your dialog scene always seemed to be a must-have option, so it is included in the 8.1 update. We tested out all possible ways of implementing it, and here it is:

User Manual: Managing characters

You can read the detailed article on adding a new character based on your cutout photos here:

Support article: How to add a new character in TalkMaster

Add a new character in TalkMaster

Video Lecture player customization

Now the player for video presentations can be customized.

The Customize Player window will open when you click Customize in the Publish Presentation dialog window.

The Customize button for Video Lecture player in the Publish window is active now in version 8.1.

Similar to the customization options in the Universal Player, you can choose which bars and buttons to show, pick colors, and change text labels for captions, tooltips and messages within the player.

The Customize player window.

After you finish editing, you can Apply & Close and proceed to publishing. Also, you can Export this configuration to an .isplayer file and share it with your colleagues who work on the same project and need to publish the presentation with the same look and feel.

A file Video Lecture player for Suite 8.1.isplayer

QuizMaker: Bookmarking feature

Most learners prefer to solve complex problems after all easy tasks are solved to get the maximum points within the allotted time.

The new bookmarking feature allows learners to postpone the hard questions and find them easily after the rest of the questions are answered.

To mark a question, just click on the flag icon next to the Question list in the upper left corner.

Click on the flag button to mark the question.

After the hard questions are marked, the learner can easily find them in the list.

Question list with marked questions.

There is no specific setting that turns this feature on or off. The bookmarking feature is turned on automatically when the Submit all at once navigation mode is selected. This mode lets the learner freely switch between questions, give answers or skip them, and then click the Submit all button to end the quiz.

The option where the new bookmarking feature (flagging) works. Properties > Submit all at once.

(Properties -> Navigation -> Preset: Submit all at once)

QuizMaker: Crop Images

Problem: The image is placed outside the borders of the question slide. When editing, the slide with the embedded pictures appears centered, which makes editing irritating. This problem is especially evident when you insert large pictures or full size character images.

The image goes through the slide border.

Before version 8.1, authors needed to use third-party tools to crop images and then insert them into the QuizMaker editing window again. Now this option is nicely integrated in the right-click menu.

To crop an image

  1. Insert a Picture or a Character using the top menu.

    Insert Picture or Character in QM buttons.
  2. Right click on the inserted picture and select Crop.

    Right-click menu with Crop in QuizMaker 8.1.
  3. Drag the borders of the image to crop it to the area that you need to show on the slide.

    How to crop image in QM 8.1.
  4. Resize and place it on the slide of the question so the image doesn’t extend beyond the borders.

Now check out the result. The image is nicely incorporated into the question slide.

Cropped image in QuizMaker 8.1

The same functionality is available in the iSpring Visuals: 3D Book component.

Full list of updates in iSpring Suite 8.1

Name changes

  • iSpring Viewer app is now iSpring Play app
  • Screen Recorder is now iSpring Cam (Screen Recording on the ribbon)
  • Dialog Trainer is now TalkMaster (Simulation on the ribbon)

Common improvements

  • The trial version doesn’t require a key to run
  • Open Sans font is used instead of Arial in iSpring presentation players
  • Convenient option to leave us feedback (using iSpring website)
  • Installer size was reduced from 255 to 230 MB
  • Installation is performed from 2 to 3 times faster
  • Faster republishing without re-compressing audio and video on slides
  • Better full screen experience in Universal player on tablets; player borders match the size of the screen
  • Better picture quality for PPT to HTML5 conversion (8.0 version)
  • HTML5 primary publishing option in Combined mode (8.0 version)

TalkMaster

  • Option to add custom characters and backgrounds

Video Lecture player

  • Player customization options (change colors, remove buttons, alter text labels)

QuizMaker

  • Crop images
  • Bookmark questions (submit all at once)

Visuals

  • Crop images (in the 3D Book component)

Cloud

  • Use iSpring Play publishing option is unblocked in the iSpring Cloud tab
  • Full screen mode

Summary

The new version includes all the most-wanted updates after version 8.0. All current users are eligible to get a free upgrade to the new 8.1! Consider purchasing a premium support plan to get the most from our tech support team and have all updates for free.

If you don’t have the 8th generation of Suite on your computer yet, don’t miss your chance:

Get a fully functional iSpring Suite 8.1 trial

Leave your feedback right at the ribbon. Thanks to the new update, it’s never been easier.

Posted in iSpring News