Adobe Captivate is shipped with a default set of skins. You can create a customized skin by changing the various options in the Skin Editor and saving the changes as a theme. Skins in Adobe Captivate include the following elements: playback controls, border, and table of contents.

Playback controls

The playback controls, consisting of a playbar and a progress bar, allow users to control the movie when it is played. The playbar displays buttons that control the movement of a movie. The progress bar tracks progress through the movie, showing the location of the current slide.

You can change the appearance of playback controls using the Skin Editor (Project > Skin Editor). You can customize the following options for playback controls:

Show Playback Control

Allows you to enable or disable the display of playback control options for users when the movie is played.

Hide playbar in quiz

Allows you to hide the playbar on question slides.


Playbar is always hidden on pretest question slides.

Playbar Overlay

Allows you to place the playbar on top of the content. The playbar does not occupy any extra space. This option is useful if you want to keep the size of the movie as desired by the author.


The position of the playbar with respect to the movie. You can place the playbar at any of the four sides of the movie.


The alignment of the toolbar with respect to the movie. You can center the playbar controls, align them to left or right, or stretch them across the width of the movie.


Allows your users to pause and resume the project.


Replays the movie starting from the first slide.


Moves the playhead to the next slide.

Closed Captioning

Displays closed captions in your project. Use the Closed Captioning Settings dialog box to change the appearance of text in the closed captions.


Enables users to go back to the previous slide.


Allows users to exit the project. This button is important for full-screen projects because it allows the user to close the window quickly.


Allows users to turn off the audio.

Progress bar

Allows users to see their progress as they move through the project. They can also move back and forth in the project by dragging the playhead on the progress bar.

Fast Forward

Helps users to play the movie at twice or four times the normal speed.


Indicates the transparency of the background color of the playbar.

No Tooltips At Runtime

Allows you to disable tool-tips if you think they do not fit the style of your presentation.


By default, the values of the settings in the Theme section are inherited from the theme currently applied to the project.


Consists of buttons that control the movie when it is played. The Playbar menu lists the available skins for playbars in Adobe Captivate.

Playbar Two Rows

Displays the progress bar and playback controls in separate rows.

Playback Colors

Indicates the colors used for various parts of the playbar. Click the boxes to change the colors.


When you save the theme of the project (Themes > Save Theme), changes to the theme settings in the Skin Editor too are saved.

Project border

You can specify the style, size, texture, and width of the border around your project using the Skin Editor dialog box.

Show Borders

Allows you to enable or disable the borders for the movie. The buttons represent the sides of the project window to which you want to add borders. You can have borders on any combination of sides.


Determines the shape of the border edges. You can choose to have a border with sharp or rounded edges.


Allows you to choosing an image for the texture of the borders. when you choose a texture, the color settings for the borders are overridden. To choose a specific color for your border, select None from the Texture list.


Displays the thickness of the project border.


Displays the color of the project border. You can use the color palette or use the eyedropper to select and copy a color on your screen.

HTML Background Color

Displays the color for the background area around the project.

Custom Flash playback controls

You can create custom Flash playback controls for your project.

When creating custom SWF playback controls, follow these guidelines:

  • Store the source FLA file of the skin in the following location: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Captivate <version_number>\Templates\PlaybackFLA.

  • Do not change the control names or symbols.

  • The playbar must be present on the Stage with the instance name pbcBar_mc.

  • The playbar must have the cpPlaybar identifier in the Library.

  • The Export For ActionScript option must be selected for cpPlaybar in the Library.

  • The actions at the action layer must not be changed.

  • Store All Buttons must be stored at the Library root.

  • Do not change the registration points. The registration point for every symbol is at the center (important for editing), except for the following symbols:

    • - icoProgress (upper-left)

    • - icoThumb (top-center)

    • - icoThumbBase (upper-left)


  • Store the published SWF file of the skin in the following location:

    <Installation Directory> \Gallery\Widgets\Playbars; /Applications/Adobe Captivate <version_number>/Gallery/Widgets/Playbars (on Mac OS). The Skin Editor picks the file from this location.

Flash button-naming conventions

Each SWF button contains three layers: a button, an icon, and an action layer.

The SWF filename consists of the following elements:

  • Acronym for playback control (“pbc”)

  • Playback element identifier (“Btn” for button, “Bar” for bar, and so on)

  • Name of the button (“play”).

Previewing skins

You can preview the changes you’ve made to your project skin from the Skin Editor dialog box. Whenever you set the button colors, add or remove menus, or configure the positions of playbars, the preview reflects the changes immediately.

The skin preview displays the first slide of the project. It displays the background image (if present) or the slide color. No objects on the first slide are visible in the skin preview.


The skin preview is slow if it has a large background image. To overcome this performance issue, when configuring the skins, you can insert a blank slide and set it as the first slide. Then, open the Skin Editor dialog box and configure the skin changes. After making these changes, you can hide the first slide. The next slide that has the background image appears in the skin preview for final viewing.

Save a customized skin

After you have customized the options in the Skin Editor, you can save your customized set of options as a theme. The theme is added to the Skin menu in the Skin Editor. The next time you want to use your customized skin for a project, select it from the menu.

  1. Select Project > Skin Editor.

  2. Customize the settings in the dialog box according to your preferences.

  3. Click the save icon, and enter a name for your theme in the Save As dialog box. Click OK.

The new skin you saved is listed in the Skin list.

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