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Work with themes in Adobe Captivate Classic

  1. Captivate Classic User Guide
  2. Introduction to Captivate
    1. What's New in Adobe Captivate
    2. Adobe Captivate System Requirements
    3. Responsive Project Design with Adobe Captivate
  3. Captivate Classic Release Notes
    1.  Adobe Captivate Classic 11.8.3 Release Notes
    2. Adobe Captivate Classic 11.8.2 Release Notes
    3. Adobe Captivate 11.8.1 Release Notes
    4. Adobe Captivate 11.8 Release Notes
    5. What's New in Adobe Captivate (2019 release) Update 5
    6. What's New in Adobe Captivate (2019 release) Update 2
    7. Adobe Captivate Release Notes
  4. Create Projects
    1. Create different types of projects in Adobe Captivate
    2. Customize the size of an Adobe Captivate project
    3. Responsive Project Design with Adobe Captivate
    4. Create Virtual Reality (VR) projects
    5. Work with responsive text in Adobe Captivate
    6. Work with themes in Adobe Captivate
    7. How to apply view specific properties in responsive projects
    8. How to create backup files for Adobe Captivate projects
    9. Asset panel
    10. Create branching and forced navigation in Captivate
    11. Replace image on the stage
  5. Add and Manage Objects
    1. Work with multi-state objects in Adobe Captivate
    2. Object effects
    3. Insert web objects in Adobe Captivate projects
    4. Work with object styles in Adobe Captivate
    5. How to rotate objects in Adobe Captivate
    6. How to manage objects with the Main Options toolbar
    7. How to merge objects in a slide
    8. How to manage objects in the library
    9. How to group objects in Adobe Captivate
    10. Edit object information using the Advanced Interaction panel
    11. How to copy, paste, and duplicate objects in Adobe Captivate
    12. Control the visibility of objects
    13. How to change the display order of objects in Adobe Captivate
    14. Apply shadows to objects
    15. How to align objects in Adobe Captivate
    16. How to add reflection to objects in Adobe Captivate
    17. Import assets into a Captivate project
  6. Slides
    1. Add slides to an Adobe Captivate project
    2. Editing slides in an Adobe Captivate project
    3. Delete Adobe Captivate project slides
    4. Change slide order in Adobe Captivate
    5. Set slide properties in Adobe Captivate
    6. Add and convert slide notes to audio files with Adobe Captivate
    7. Set up knowledge check slides in Adobe Captivate
    8. How to add slide transitions in Adobe Captivate
    9. How to work with master slides in Adobe Captivate
    10. How to lock Adobe Captivate slides
    11. How to hide or exclude slides in an Adobe Captivate project
    12. How to group and ungroup slides in Adobe Captivate
  7. Timeline and grids
    1. Use rulers and guides
    2. Work with grids in Adobe Captivate
    3. Work with the timeline
    4. Shortcut keys in Adobe Captivate
    5. Working with the filmstrip
    6. How to customize the Adobe Captivate workspace
    7. How to use the Adobe Captivate Library
    8. How to use the Branching panel in Adobe Captivate
  8. Create Quizzes
    1. Insert question slides in Adobe Captivate projects
    2. Set quiz preferences for Adobe Captivate
    3. How to enable learners to submit all quiz responses simultaneously
    4. How to set up question slides with Adobe Captivate
    5. Using random question slides in Adobe Captivate
    6. How to allow users to return to quiz
    7. Import questions from CSV format files
    8. Import questions from GIFT format files
    9. How to insert pretests in Adobe Captivate
  9. Audio
    1. How to insert audio into an Adobe Captivate project
    2. How to preview audio in Adobe Captivate
    3. How to edit audio files with Adobe Captivate
    4. View audio details in Adobe Captivate
    5. Set audio recording preferences and recording audio
    6. How to export audio from Adobe Captivate
  10. Video
    1. Slide videos
    2. Work with event videos in Adobe Captivate
    3. Differences between events and synchronized videos in Adobe Captivate
  11. Interactive Objects
    1. Add interactive buttons to your Captivate projects
    2. Create click boxes in Adobe Captivate
    3. Add text entry boxes with Adobe Captivate
    4. How to add audio to boxes and buttons
    5. How to add JavaScript to boxes and buttons in Adobe Captivate
  12. Interactions
    1. Create drag-and-drop interactions in Adobe Captivate
    2. Use Adobe Captivate variables in widgets
    3. Set the properties of widgets with Adobe Captivate
    4. How to create static, interactive, and question widgets in Adobe Captivate
    5. How to add widgets to your Adobe Captivate project
  13. Non-interactive objects
    1. Create and edit smart shapes
    2. Edit and create text captions with Captivate
    3. How to use images and rollover images with Captivate
    4. How to customize smart shapes in Adobe Captivate
    5. How to create zoom areas in Adobe Captivate
    6. How to set audio for noninteractive objects
    7. How to create rollover slidelets in Adobe Captivate
    8. How to create rollover captions in Adobe Captivate
    9. Change mouse properties in Adobe Captivate
    10. Use highlight boxes in Captivate
    11. Work with swatches in Adobe Captivate
    12. Fix size and position of non-interactive objects
    13. Add animations to a Adobe Captivate project
  14. Advanced Editing and Project Reviews
    1. How to link Adobe Captivate projects
    2. Import, export, and delete content
    3. Skins
    4. Create accessible projects in Adobe Captivate
    5. Create a table of contents (TOC) with Adobe Captivate
    6. Resize Adobe Captivate projects
    7. Projects and project preferences
    8. How to preview projects in Adobe Captivate
  15. Variables and Advanced Actions
    1. Adobe Captivate variables
    2. How to create user-defined variables in Adobe Captivate
    3. Advanced actions in Adobe Captivate
    4. Shared actions in Adobe Captivate projects
    5. Edit or delete user-defined variables in Adobe Captivate
    6. How to assign advanced actions to an event
  16. Record Projects
    1. Create interactive videos
    2. Automatic and manual recording with Captivate
    3. Set recording preferences in Adobe Captivate
    4. Record video demonstrations with Adobe Captivate
    5. How to record software simulations in Adobe Captivate
    6. How to pause recording
  17. Publish Projects
    1. Preview and publish responsive projects
    2. Publish project to Adobe Captivate Prime
    3. Publish projects as HTML5 files with Adobe Captivate
    4. Publish projects as executable files
    5. Publish projects as MP4 files with Adobe Captivate
    6. Set publishing preferences in Adobe Captivate
    7. Using web fonts from Adobe Fonts in Adobe Captivate
    8. Report quiz results to an internal server
  18. Use Adobe Captivate with Other Applications
    1. Import and edit PowerPoint presentations in Captivate
    2. Upload an Adobe Captivate project to a Learning Management System
    3. Learn about the Common JavaScript interface for Adobe Captivate
    4. How to publish Captivate projects to Microsoft Word
    5. Using Adobe Connect with Captivate
    6. How to add Captivate projects to a RoboHelp online help system
    7. How to package multiple SCOs using the Adobe Multi-SCORM Packager
  19. Troubleshoot Adobe Captivate
    1. Resolve known issues and limitations in the latest versions of Adobe Captivate, Adobe FrameMaker, and Adobe RoboHelp.
    2. Early build for Captivate (2019 release) on macOS Big Sur (macOS 11)
    3. Hotfix for VR content not playing on devices
    4. Configure SSL for Live Preview on Devices
    5. Captivate (2019 release) activation issues on macOS Catalina
    6. Captivate responsive courses will not auto-play on browsers
    7. Issues with Asset panel in Adobe Captivate (2019 release)
    8. Error 103 while installing Adobe Captivate
    9. Issues when previewing a Captivate project

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 Classic. 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 Classic, 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 Classic 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 Classic 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 Classic 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 Classic 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 Classic, 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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