Work with themes in Adobe Captivate

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.

Apply a theme

To apply a theme to a project, perform the steps below:

  1. Create a blank or responsive project. This is the project where you'd apply a theme to.

  2. On the toolbar, click Themes.

  3. You can see the following options:

    • Themes used in this project: Indicates the theme that your project uses. For a new project, the default theme is used.
    • Other themes available: Lists all pre-installed themes. These themes are located in C:\Users\Public\Documents\Adobe\eLearning Assets\Layouts\11_5\en_US.
  4. You can apply a theme using one of the ways mentioned below:

    • Browse: When you click Browse, you can choose any pre-installed theme, stored locally.
    • Get Themes: When you click Get Themes, the Asset Panel launches, which displays themes for you to choose and apply.
    Browse or Get Themes

  5. On the Asset Panel, to apply any theme, select a theme. You have the following options:

    • Apply: When you click Apply, the chosen theme gets applied on your project. If your project already had a theme applied, the new theme will overwrite the old theme. The new theme also gets copied in C:\Users\Public\Documents\Adobe\eLearning Assets\Layouts\11_5\en_US.
    • Download: When you click Download, the theme gets downloaded to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Adobe\eLearning Assets\Layouts\11_5\en_US. You can then use the theme later.

Theme fonts and Theme colors

When designing your eLearning project, you often need to comply with the branding guidelines that your client provides. These guidelines could relate to the fonts to be used in the project, color schemes to be used, or other guidelines.

In earlier versions of Captivate, if you wanted to incorporate new fonts in your project, you would navigate to the Object Style Manager, and change the font to the required font across all types of objects, types of captions, and apply the change everywhere.

Object Style Manager
Object Style Manager

This approach to changing the fonts is time consuming and also prone to errors.

The Update 2 of the 2019 release of Captivate introduces the ability to change the fonts and colors of a theme with minimal clicks while maintaining high productivity. 

Change theme fonts

  1. Create a project and apply a theme to the project.

  2. In the Property Inspector, from the Master Slide drop-down list, choose a content slide.

    Add a second slide to the project using the same step as before.

  3. Check the fonts that are used in the project.

    In the Style tab, in the Character drop-down list, you can see that the first three fonts are used as fonts for the theme that you have applied in your project.

    Theme fonts
    Theme fonts

  4. On the toolbar, click Themes > Theme Properties.

    Click Edit.

  5. On the Theme Properties dialog, from the Font 1 drop-down list, choose the font that must replace the font that was part of the theme by default.

    Theme Properties dialog
    Theme Properties dialog

    After you click Save and Apply, the new font replaces the theme font across the project, wherever the original theme font was used.

Change theme colors

You can also change the colors of the theme that you had applied to your project. On the Theme Properties dialog, choose the color scheme that you want to apply to the existing theme.

To save the changes, click Done.

Theme colors
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.

Copy Source and Destination Theme


In Update 2 of the 2019 release of Captivate, you can copy theme from a source project and apply the theme to a destination project. In other words, you can copy and paste with source formatting applied to the destination project:

  1. Create a project with a blank theme and insert a few objects in the project.

    Sample project
    Sample project

  2. Apply a theme to the project. To apply a theme, on the toolbar, click Theme, and from the list of themes, choose a theme.

    Apply theme
    Apply theme

  3. After you have applied the theme, right-click on the slide or the slide on the thumbnail view and click Copy. This action copies the theme of the project.

  4. Create a second project. In this project, you will paste the source theme, which is the theme you had just copied from the first project.

    Paste source theme
    Paste source theme

  5. To apply the source theme onto the project, right-click the slide in the thumbnail view, and click Paste.

  6. After you have copied the source theme, a new slide appears in the project that inherits the theme properties of the source project. You can see the new slide, which appears in the thumbnail view of the destination project.

    Thumbnail view
    Thumbnail view

  7. If you want to retain the original theme of the project, click the Paste Theme button below the thumbnail, and choose the option Use Destination Theme. By default, the option Keep Source Theme is selected.

    Keep source theme
    Keep source theme

  8. As soon as you click the option Use Destination Theme, the theme of the project reverts to the original theme with which the second project was created in the first place.

    Destination theme applied
    Destination theme applied

  9. After applying the theme, you can also apply the theme to:

    • All slides
    • Selected slides
    • Matching slides
    Apply theme to slides
    Apply theme to slides


Destination paste is based on the theme of the currently selected slide in the destination project. The theme of the slide selected before paste gets applied upon toggling to be pastes to the destination 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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