How to create custom Themes in Adobe Captivate 6?

Default Master Slides


A Theme is blended with a set of elements to simplify the process of creating projects with consistent look and feel.

Few standard built-in Themes are available with Adobe Captivate 6. When you open a blank Project in Adobe Captivate 6, the default Theme called ‘White’ appears, but there are other standard Themes present within Adobe Captivate 6 that you can apply and use.

Adobe Captivate 6 also lets you create custom themes that conform to organizational standards or meet your specific needs.

How to create a custom Theme

Before you begin creating a theme, you may want to be sure about your goal first. If what you are trying to achieve is just a colorful background or stylish font changes, pick your favorite theme from the Theme panel and make customizations accordingly.

Or if you want to create a Theme from scratch to meet your specific needs you can perform the following steps:

Firstly, you have to switch to the Default Adobe Captivate Blank Theme. To do this:

  1. Create a blank captivate project, Right Click on the ‘Blank Theme’ present in the Theme Panel and set it as the Default ( as shown below). Click on the ‘Themes>Show/Hide Themes Panel’ in case the panel is not visible.

Set the resolution in which you wish to create your Theme, for example 800 X 600.

  1. Create another blank Project with a suitable resolution. Click on the Menu item  ‘Themes>Master slides’.

Master Slide View is displayed with a set of default master slides as shown below

As shown above, master slide panel contains four different types of master slides.

  1. Main Master slide
  2. Content Master slide
  3. Question Master slide
  4. Result Master slide

Customizing Main Master Slide

  • To make changes that affect globally in the Theme, do it on the Main Master slide. Typical changes include changing slide background colors/Images, inserting objects, etc.
  • It is good to customize the Main Master slide before you start building individual Master slides as the Main master slide affects all other master slides present in the project.

Adding and customizing Content, Question and Result master slides

  • You can add and customize Master slides that meet your needs to the Theme by inserting placeholder objects on the Content master slide.
  • To Insert a new Content master slide, select ‘Insert>Content Master Slide’ menu option. You can override Main master slide customizations on individual slides by using its Properties Panel.
  • Similarly Question and Result master slides Properties can be customized through its properties panel.
  • To customize a Question or Result master slide, click on the Question or Result slide placeholder objects on stage and customize its properties from its Properties panel.

Customizing Object Styles

  • Objects or placeholders inserted in the project automatically inherit the styles defined in the Themes.
  • To customize Styles, Open the ‘Object Style manger’ through ‘Themes>Object Style Manger’ menu option.

Recording Defaults

You can specify the styles of recording objects as part of the Theme by defining them in ‘Recording Defaults’. (Click on ‘Themes>Recording Defaults’  menu option).

Customizing Skin Editor

Themes also allow you to customize Skin and TOC properties .To customize Skin Editor and play bar properties, open ‘Skin Editor’ through ‘Themes >Skin Editor’ menu option.

Themes Properties can be seen in the following places

  • Play bar Tab
  • Border Tab
  • TOC settings dialog
  • TOC info dialog

Saving the Theme

To save the changes that you made to the existing Theme, click on the ‘Theme>Save Theme As …’ menu option

The Theme is saved as a .cptm file and it is automatically added to the list of ‘All’, ‘My Themes’ categories in the Theme panel.

You can set the new theme as the Default by right clicking in the Themes Panel so that any new project created automatically gets the new theme. This newly created Theme will best fit on the projects created with resolutions 800X600 (As specified in step 2).



8 Responses

  1. As someone who needs to create Captivate files in multiple languages, want to express my sadness that not more of the Preferences can be saved with a theme. You talk only about the style of the recording objects that will be included, but for all the other Preferences one still needs to create a template: spelling preference, language for capture captions, labels/captions for Quizzes etc. Perhaps will add that I’m grateful that it is now possible to save a Captivate file directly as a template.
    Another remark: be careful with the objects on the Main Master slide, because contrary to the objects on the normal master slides, I couldn’t find a way to have the Main Master slide objects on top of everything. You can hide the Main master slide background, Main master slide objects, not have them on top of everything. Main master slide is a great place to have custom navigation buttons (which are now possible using shape buttons), being able to have them on top of everything would have been nice.

    • Thanks for the feedback .Themes include the styling part of the project and not the actual content. If you want to specify all the preferences as part of the Template, you can create a project Template and can specify the Theme as well as the spelling preference, language for capture captions, labels/captions for Quizzes etc. as part of the .cptl file.

      In ‘TOC Info’ only the styling is part of the Theme and not the actual content.

      As you pointed out, presently there is no option to show the Main master slide objects on top. Please file an ER so that we can consider this for the future releases of Captivate.

      • Already filed that ER about Main master slide during prerelease.
        And also asked about the possibility to localise labels in the TOC, presently not possible. Localising is still a pain… if one could only change Theme to have at least the button labels changes, then import/export captions to Word. If you have to ‘translate’ an existing file, the template workaround is not a possible work flow at all, but each item has to be translated.

  2. Once a theme is created and saved, how can it be opened again if you want to edit and make a change to the theme?
    If it is possible to edit and save the theme with the same name, will Captivate projects using that theme be updated to reflect the changes – are they ‘linked’ to the theme?

    • Following are the answers

      Once a theme is created and saved, how can it be opened again if you want to edit and make a change to the theme?

      To edit an already created Theme, either you can save the source project along with the Theme for future modifications or can apply the Theme to any blank project(Project resolution and Theme resolution should be the same) and can do the necessary modifications.

      If it is possible to edit and save the theme with the same name, will Captivate projects using that theme be updated to reflect the changes – are they ‘linked’ to the theme?

      Projects using the Theme won’t get update automatically based on the External Theme changes. You have to apply the modified Theme again to the project to see the modifications.

  3. Thanks for your thorough explanation.
    One little problem: once I’ve saved my theme, I can’t open it again to edit it. Captivate seems to have no option to open .cptm files, oddly enough. So – how does one get back into one’s theme? Thanks.

  4. I have built my template, created my theme, and I’m ready to go. I can’t figure out how to apply my theme settings to slides I record. For example, I create a new project based on my template and record whatever. I still have to manually go back and apply the slide quality and transitions to those new slides. Is there a way I can automatically apply the existing theme to all slides I record?

  5. I have created a project in Adobe Captivate 7 via import from powerpoint. I wanted to add some question slides made separately to this project but the Theme properties don’t copy over, ie my newly inserted slides are now logo free and I have had to recreate what I want on the ‘new’ slides. Is there a way to preserve the Theme properties from one project to the other? Insert new slide results in the generic Theme not the one I want. The powerpoint project had company branding which I need to match. Does anyone understand my query and know a way to fix this? Must be quite common I would have thought!

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