Has anyone answered this question completely? I'm running into similar issues. What exactly does a Captivate template include?
I'm going to answer for Captivate 3 here. Captivate 4 brings new functionality with Templates.
Basically any project may become a template. You simply click File > Save As and save the project as a template. The primary objective of using a template is consistency. For example, let's say you wish to record a series of Captivate videos showing the user how to do different things using Windows Notepad. Beforehand, you know you are going to create several movies. You also know that you would like to have a standard look and feel to them. Perhaps you always start off with a specific title slide to announce what the movie is about. Perhaps you also always have a second slide that presents navigation instructions. And, of course you always want a conclusion and closing slide. Maybe you have a specific Skin that uses a specific playback control. You also don't wish to use a Preloader and you want to change how the movie starts and ends.
All of this may be configured in a Template. You then use the Template when you create new projects. The dimensions are pre-determined by the template. You record your actions and just sort of "fill in" the middle of the Template.
Note that one of the issues cited in the original post (OP) was a certain expectation that by setting the Caption styles and fonts in the template, you are setting them for the recording process. But if you read it carefully, the OP reveals that this isn't the case. During the recording process what ends up in the project is the choice made for your individual installation of Captivate.
As many folks seem to expect the Template to also govern the captions used when recording a Demonstration, it would make sense to see that built into the product. So please take a moment to suggest it to the Development Team using the Wish Form. (Link is in my sig line)
Helpful and Handy Links
Thanks so much for your quick answer. Like the original post, I was expecting that my recording options and other Preferences would be saved with the template. One of the major timesavers would be to set my defaults for captions, fonts, etc. I'll definitely enter a Wish List item for this.