Reusing Content with Library Objects in Lectora and Lectora Online

Here on the product and support teams for Lectora® and Lectora Online®, we often hear questions like this:

I have a really great <course feature> that I created, and I need to use it in another title. Is there any way I can do that without recreating it?

The answer of course is “Yes.”

In this blog we’ll answer:

How do I create, save, insert, and share library objects in Lectora?
How do I create, save, insert, and share library objects in Lectora Online?
How do I work with a Lectora or Lectora Online library object across platforms?

(Select each question to quickly be moved to that section).

How do I work with Library Objects in Lectora Inspire or Publisher

1. Creating and Saving

To create a library object in Lectora, begin by identifying and selecting the content in the Title Explorer. Essentially, anything below the title level can be included within your library object (we recommend exporting to a PKG if you plan on sharing a whole title built in Lectora or Lectora Online). You can select individual objects like images or audio, as well as groups of objects including actions groups. Also, from a structural level you can select a single Chapter, Section, Sub-Section, or page as well as a combination of them.

To select the object, simply choose it from the Title Explorer. If multiple objects need to be selected, you can use the Control key in combination with mouse clicks. Or use Shift to do a list grab.

Once you have selected the desired content, right-click on the content and select Save as Library Object. Be sure to name your library object so it’s easy to locate. We suggest naming it based on the functionality you wish to reuse. (It will default to the name of the top-most object in the Title Explorer, but you can overtype that.) Remember that there’s no need to save the layout of a page as a Library Object if you like it, since a more effective process is available.

And here’s the really great news: a library object will contain your selections, as well as any variables associated with the objects and actions in your selections.

2. Inserting into a Title

Library objects are inserted into your Title Explorer immediately following the object currently in focus. Make sure you are in the proper location in your title ( if you mistakenly add library object content in an incorrect location, you can select it and drag it to another location in the Title Explorer) before inserting a library object.

All of your library objects are saved to, and available from, the My Library tab on the Media Library Organizer.

To reuse the content you’ve saved as a library object, double-click to open the Library Objects folder. Click on the desired library object and drag it into your work area. We recommend dropping it (deselecting the mouse) when your object is in the dark gray area surrounding your Work area.

3. Sharing

When you right-click on a library object (or any object in the Media Library), you’ll see the option to Show in Windows Explorer. Selecting this opens your Windows file structure to where Lectora stores the object. From here you can copy/paste your library object file into a shared network repository, or even attach it to an email.

4. Saving

You can also save library objects shared with you into your Library Objects folder. Just click Add File, or right-click and choose Add Library Object.

5. Online Library Objects

Would you like to share your library object with the entire Lectora community? You can! Select the library object and click the Share button, or right-click on the object and select Share Online. Choose a category, provide the requested information and click Upload.

After going through the approval process, your library object will appear in the appropriate category within the Stock Library > Media Online > Library Objects folder.

How do I work with Library Objects in Lectora Online

1. Creating and Saving

To create a library object in Lectora, begin by identifying and selecting the content in the Title Explorer. Essentially, anything below the title level can be included within your library object (we recommend exporting to a PKG if you plan on sharing a whole title built in Lectora or Lectora Online). You can select individual objects like images or audio. As well as groups of objects including actions groups. Also, from a structural level you can select a single Chapter, Section, Sub-Section, or page as well as a combination of them.

To select the object, simply choose it from the Title Explorer. If multiple objects need to be selected, you can use the Control key in combination with mouse clicks. Or use Shift to do a list grab.

Once you have selected the desired content, you can do either of two things:

  • Right-click on the content and select Save as Library Object, or
  • On the Tools ribbon, click the Library Objects drop-down list and select Save as Library Object.

Be sure to name your library object so it’s easy to locate. We suggest naming it based on the functionality you wish to reuse. (It will default to the name of the top-most object in the Title Explorer, but you can over type that.) Remember that there’s no need to save the layout of a page as a Library Object if you like it since a more effective process is available.

Next, choose where you want to save the library object. You can save it as a Shared Library Object within Lectora Online or download the file to your computer.

1a. Save it as a Shared Library Object

To save your library object online, choose the folder to which you want to save it. By default it will save in the general Shared Library Objects folder. However, you can also right-click and create sub-folders to help organize shared content, for example, by author name or by type of content. Click Save.

1b. Download it to your Computer

This is easy; simply click the Download button. The file will be saved to your computer’s Downloads folder.

And here’s the really great news: a library object will contain your selections, as well as any variables associated with the objects and actions in your selections. Variables are restricted to Reserved.

2. Inserting into a Title

Library objects are inserted into your Title Explorer immediately following the object currently in focus. Make sure you are in the proper location in your title ( if you mistakenly add library object content in an incorrect location, you can select it and drag it to another location in the Title Explorer) before inserting a library object.

All of your library objects are saved to, and available from, the My Library tab on the Media Library Organizer.

To reuse the content you’ve saved as a library object, double-click to open the Library Objects folder. Click on the desired library object and drag it into your work area. We recommend dropping it (deselecting the mouse) when your object is in the dark gray area surrounding your Work area.

You can access your library objects by selecting the Library Objects tab on the right side of the interface, or click the Library Objects drop-down list on the Tools ribbon and select Insert a Library Object.

3. Sharing

If you saved your library object to Lectora Online’s Shared Library Objects repository, it is already available to you and anyone within your Lectora Online organization! Simply let them know it exists. If you downloaded the library object file, you can find it in your computer’s Downloads folder. From there you can copy/paste your library object file into a shared network repository, or attach it to an email.

4. Saving

Using the Import Library Objects dialog, locate and select the desired object from the Shared list and click Import from File. Locate the existing Library Object and then select Import.

We also get asked the question:

I am using Lectora Online, but my colleague has Lectora desktop. Can I share my library object with her?

This one’s a bit more complicated. Let’s take a closer look.

How do I work with Lectora and Lectora Online Library Objects together

While both Lectora and Lectora Online have library objects, their file formats are different. Lectora uses .AWO while Lectora Online uses .WWO. Lectora library objects can only be inserted into Lectora titles, and Lectora Online library objects can only be used in Lectora Online titles. However, if you need to use a library object from one product in the other, there is a way you can get it there. Here’s what you—and your colleague—will need to do:

You:

  • Create a new blank title in the product that contains the library object you want to share.
  • Insert the library object. This will now be the only content in your new title. (Save the new title.)
  • Using the File tab, select Export and export the title to a Lectora Online package file (.pkg). A package file can be read by both Lectora and Lectora Online.

<IMAGE>

Your colleague:

  • Create a new blank title in the other product.
  • Using the File tab, select Import and import the Lectora Online package file you created. This will now be the only content in the new title. (Save the new title.)
  • Select and save these objects as a library object and reuse it as needed.

Please note: this process applies to Lectora Inspire and Lectora Publisher version 11 and higher and Lectora Online version 2.0 and higher.