Themes help your project look better with coordinated colors, well-planned layouts for slides, fonts and effects. When you create a project, a default theme is applied to the project. You can change the theme by choosing one of the preloaded themes that are shipped along with Adobe Captivate. You can customize a theme, save it as a different theme, and reuse it for other projects.

Constituents of a theme

Each theme consists of the following:

  • Master slides (a minimum of seven)

    • Main master slide, prefixed with the name of the theme

    • Content master slide

    • Question master slides (5 numbers)

  • Object styles. For example, the 'Woody' theme contains styles such as Woody caption style, Failure, and Success captions.

  • Skin and TOC settings related to the theme

  • Recording defaults

For a description about these slides, see Master slides.

You can modify each of these component of a theme. For more information, see Customize themes.

The Themes bar (Themes > Themes) shows a representative content master slide of a theme.

Templates and themes

The difference between templates and themes is that templates decide 'when' and 'where' content (including media) is to be placed while themes decide how the project looks. For example, consider that you want a standard approach to all the elearning courses developed by your team. You require a pretest followed by content and then a post-test. You can create a template with the required type of slide placeholders and also decide the number of slides that each of these sections contain.

On the other hand, if you need an aquatic theme for the project background with coordinated colors for the slides, you apply a theme.

The recommended workflow is to use a theme within the project template. By doing so, you can ensure that the projects based on the template use a standard theme.

Create a custom theme

To create a custom theme, apply one of the predefined themes to the project. You can then modify the Master Slides and the Styles of this theme to create a customized theme.

  1. Create a blank or responsive project.

  2. Click Themes on the toolbar to apply any theme to the project from a list of themes.

    Themes button
    Themes button

  3. Choose any theme. On the warning message (shown below), click Yes to acknowledge and clear the message.

    Warning message
    Warning message

  4. To save the theme, in the main toolbar, click Themes > Save Theme As. The theme file has the extension cptm.

  5. Click OK.

Customize a theme

Each Theme comes with a collection of Theme colors. You can use those colors the way it is or customize them.

  1. To access the Theme's colors, click Themes and then click Theme Colors.

    Theme Colors button
    Theme Colors button

  2. Scroll through the list of colors and choose any Theme.

    List of Themes
    List of Themes

  3. To customize any theme, choose the theme, and click Customize.

    Customize theme
    Customize theme

  4. To change the name of a theme, choose the title of the current color theme and type your own theme name.

    Change theme name
    Change theme name

  5. Click the color swatches to replace the existing colors with your own. Use the eyedropper tool to choose a color. After making the changes, click Save.

    Change theme colors
    Change theme colors

Apply themes

Click Themes in the toolbar, select any default or customized theme of your choice from the drop down and click. You get a dialog asking you to confirm if you are ok with overriding existing styles and properties with this new theme. Once you confirm, the theme is applied to your project. 

You can browse for more themes from the drop-down, choose any .cptm file and apply the theme to your project. 


For Adobe Captivate to apply themes effectively, ensure that you use uniform styles for objects. For example, all text captions can be of a one single style.

You can apply themes to projects directly or use them in project templates for a standard look and feel.

When you apply a theme to a project:

  • For each slide in the project, Adobe Captivate compares the linked master slide layout with those on the master slides in the theme you apply. If a matching layout is found, the slide is mapped to that master slide. If a match is not found, Adobe Captivate creates a new master slide and then maps the slide.

  • Objects, layouts, skin editor, and TOC that use default settings of the existing theme are mapped to the respective default styles in the applied theme. Any overrides to these elements are not retained in the project.

When you copy and paste a slide into another project, the theme of the target project is applied to the slide. If the slide contains objects and layouts that were overridden, the overridden settings are retained.

When you record a software simulation in a project, default captions and highlight boxes are mapped to the corresponding styles in the project theme.

Customize the Master Slides of the Theme

Create Master Slides with backgrounds, logos, headers, and so on, so that you can apply them to the standard slides of your project.

  1. Open the project that has a theme already applied. Go to the Master Slide view (Themes > Master Slide) and choose any slide you want to customize.

    For example, to customize a Content slide, choose the slide from the list of Master Slides, and apply the required visual elements.

    Master Slide view
    Master Slide view

  2. Customize the slide with logo, footer text, and so on, as shown below:

    Design Master Slide
    Design Master Slide

  3. To use the Master Slide, go to the Filmstrip view, insert a Content Slide, and choose the Master Slide from the drop-down list.

    You can see that the content slide has all the visual elements that you had included while designing the slide.

    Master Slide list
    Master Slide list

Customize themes

You can customize a theme by editing the constituent master slides, object styles, skin, theme colors, and TOC settings.

For information on customizing:

To save a customized theme, click Themes > Save Theme. Themes are saved as CPTM files.

Reuse themes across projects

  1. I f you have modified a theme, save the changes by clicking Theme > Save Theme. The themes are saved as CPTM files.

    Changes to master slides, object styles, skin editor, and TOC theme settings now become a part of the saved theme.

  2. Open the project in which you want to reuse the theme.

  3. Click Themes on the toolbar to view the drop-down list of default and customized themes, and click the theme that you saved earlier to apply it to your project. 

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