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Is anyone else having a nightmare using Captivate 5?

Apr 10, 2012 10:23 PM


Not a glib question, repeat Not a glib question.

A few months ago I had a limited experience using Captivate 3 to create material for an on-line systems training package. I found the pack intuitive, fast running and generally a pleasure to use.


Based on that experience I purchased Captivate 5 thinking it would be the perfect tool for a new project.


It has been anything but perfect; I spent a large part of Easter in the office re-doing work that I had lost through various crashes. Here are my litany if gripes.

1) Time to open/save/close projects. It can take 10 minutes or more to save changes to a project. Sometimes it just gives up the ghost and crashes. These delays would great if I want to take 20 coffee breaks a day but they hopeless for meeting my deadlines

2) Saving and such often results in project freezing and LOTS of work being lost. I have tried the fix of deleting the lock file. It doesn’t work.

3) Audio: one minute I can record audio commentary to a slide, the next minute I can’t. Doesn't matter how I adjust the mic settings it just will not pick up any sound. Sometimes it looks like it is recording but all it picks up is static other times I get an error message saying there is no microphone.

The record to slides works on some presentations but not on others. Sometimes it only works on the first few slides of a project: then just stops. There just doesn’t seem to be any pattern to the way it stops working.

Sometimes it works but the sound quality is unbelievably bad. I have tried recording with 4 different mics with the same results. 

4) Collecting quiz results via nothing doing there. The other methods of collection don't work either (although that is not really a surprise).


I wonder if these are common or if there is something inherently wrong with the set-up on my computer?


All in all my last 2 weeks of using Captivate has been pretty hopeless. PS if you are wondering why I have to time to write all this when I have deadlines it is because I am waiting for a project to close.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2012 11:13 PM   in reply to zzzzxxxxzzzz

    Are you on a corporate network and storing your Captivate project files on a LAN drive somewhere instead of on your local PC C drive?


    Is your IT environment set up so that your My Documents folder is actually housed on a server instead of on your local PC drive?


    Can you please upload a screenshot of your Preferences > General Settings so that I can see where your default locations are set to?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2012 10:52 PM   in reply to zzzzxxxxzzzz

    Malcolm,  I cannot see any graphic image in your last post.  Did you use the small camera icon on the post toolbar to insert the graphic?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2012 11:19 PM   in reply to zzzzxxxxzzzz

    OK.  That's what I thought.


    Your screenshot indicates that your IT department has hijacked your My Documents folder and placed it on a network drive.  My guess is that your Captivate project files are also located inside your My Documents folder on this network drive, correct?


    This might be a great strategy from their point of view because it means employee files that would normally be scattered across hundreds or thousands of PCs, can all be backed up very easily just by backing up one server.  However, this same strategy can be a disaster when it comes to Adobe Captivate because Cp needs all of the working files and folders to be situated on your own PC hard drive.


    I'm hoping that they haven't locked you out of the ability to create folders on your own C drive otherwise you won't be able to do as I'm going to instruct you next.


    First things you need to do to resolve your current issues are:

    1. Open Windows Explorer and create a folder somewhere on your PC hard drive that you can use for Captivate Projects.  Maybe we'll call this My Captivate Projects.
    2. Inside this folder, create three more folders. You can call them what you like but for now we'll call them Project Files (for storing your Captivate project files), Published Files (for publishing project output), and Project Cache (for the cached versions of your projects).
    3. Open the Preferences > Global: General Settings screen.
    4. Tick the box near the top for Generate Project Backup.  This is a safety precaution that all Captivate developers should have turned on.
    5. In the Publish At field, click the Browse button and navigate to select the Published Files folder.
    6. In the Project Cache field, click Browse and select your Project Cache folder.
    7. Copy all Captivate project files (.cptx) and Captivate template files (.cptl) that you need to use or work on to the Project Files folder you just created.  I usually have sub folders in my projects folder for each of the different courses I work on, and folders below that for each module in those courses, but that's just because I like to be well organised. 
    8. Now, in Captivate, use File > Open to navigate to one of the project files you've been having issues with and open it. (Don't try to open it from the Recent Files list or the splash screen because the links there will still be pointing back to where they were when you last opened them, which in your case is on the network.  From now on, even if you copy your project files back up to the network at the end of the work day, you should ONLY work on CPTX files that are stored on your hard drive in this new Projects folder you created.
    9. Make some small edit to this project file, then save and close it.  It should save and close down a lot quicker than you've been experiencing lately.
    10. One last thing: You'll need to set up your new My Captivate Projects folder as a trusted location in Flash Global Security (Google about how to do that) so that when you publish and test projects you won't experience issues with Flash-based functionality not working properly.


    Try this and let me know if things improve.  This won't fix your audi recording issues.  But we'll deal with that once we know you can open and save Captivate files properly.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2012 11:52 PM   in reply to zzzzxxxxzzzz

    OK.  That's more like it.


    We still have a few more issues to close out from your initial list, but I think the ability to work at all on your files without risking crashes or corruption was the most important.


    Unfortunately, it's issues like this that cause people to criticise Captivate, when in fact they're setup is the main cause of the problem.  You at least asked the question as to whether your issue was due to setup, rather than ranting about the software being junk like some other users have done.  I commend you for that.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 12, 2012 12:04 AM   in reply to RodWard

    By the way, a couple more things I forgot to tell you to:

    1. Make sure you don't initially have any Captivate projects open when you set these Default Locations. You want these to be Global settings, not just for any particular Cp project file.
    2. Also check the Working Folder field at Project Preferences: Recording: Full Motion Recording.  Make sure this also points to a local hard drive folder.  It only gets used when recording FMV captures, but you really don't want Captivate to start crashing again then do you?


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 12, 2012 11:57 AM   in reply to zzzzxxxxzzzz

    zzzzxxxxzzzz wrote:

    Cap 5 Screen shot.png

    this is probably a good opportunity to also turn on project backups.  It can save you from some heartbreak later on if somethign goes south.  Better to have the backup and never need it then find out after the fact that you could've turned it on.

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