Captivate 8.0.1 Install? Keep your Customisation!


Today an important patch for version 8 was released, to upgrade to version Like with the update to 7 I wonder why this is not a full 8.1 or even 8.5 because there are not only a lot of bug fixes, many features were extended and even added. Have a look at "What is new" for a summary. And Dr. Pooja Jaisingh already blogged and posted some other links: Free Update to Captivate 8. In this article  by my friend Michael Lund you'll find not only his first reflections but clear instructions about installing the patch. But none mentioned some of my favourite new features: using SHIFT to constrain an ellipse/rectangle shape to a circle/square and big improvements to color management. 

But this post is not meant as a personal summary of the new features! As an advanced user I'm used to customize Captivate of course: custom themes, custom theme color palettes, custom shapes, custom effects and... custom workspaces because I'm using Captivate 8 in Expert mode. And when following Michael's (correct!) guidelines for updating, most of those custom items will get lost. If you do not are happy with the default items, never customize, do not bother to continue reading. However, if you share my frustrations about losing precious work, maybe you could find some workarounds in this article. Some of them can also help when you have to 'clean' a tired Captivate application by killing its Preferences.


Before installing an update, before deleting the Preferences folder (or using the CleanPreferences files in the subfolder 'utils'):

  1. Find the custom items in these locations (I'm on Win7, will be different on Mac):

  • Workspaces in   \Users\<yourprofile>\AppData\Local\Adobe\Captivate 8.0\Workspaces   
    which means they will be refreshed because this is in the Preferences folder. Here you see the default workspaces, each defined by two files.

  • Custom Theme Color Palettes in   \Users\Public\Public Documents\Adobe\eLearning Assets\Layouts\8.0\ThemeColors
    Layouts is one of the folders you have to delete before installing a patch.

  • Custom Themes in  \Users\Public\Public Documents\Adobe\eLearning Assets\Layouts\8.0\en_US
    I will mostly not save my custom themes in this folder, but better check if you have some there. The last item in the path can of course be different if you didn't install the US English version as I did.

  • Custom Effects contrary to the themes, I like to have some custom effects in the Gallery with other effects in a subfolder Custom:
    The Gallery can have more custom items. Eventually check also the folder en_US in the installation folder. Maybe you have edited some of the files there as well.

  • Copy all the custom items to a safe place

  • Install the update, or Clean Preferences

  • Copy the custom items back to the same locations described above.

  • Of course, if you want to go back to Expert mode to be able to use the custom workspaces, you'll have to edit the Preferences again:


    Wondering what SFH means in this new setting:

    Success/Failure and Hint captions can now be replaced by cool shapes, also for Question slides! And it is no secret that I'm a big fan of Shapes over the older objects. Now waiting to be able to import SVG as shapes :)



    12 responses
    Thanks Lieve for sharing the info. Help docs for 8.0.1 features available at
    Hmmm, first link in the Intro 'What is new' is pointing to that document. I just double checked and it works perfectly. Is it broken for you?
    Lieve, first link is taking us to - this doc has info on installation, a list of new features, issues fixed, etc. - this doc is more of a detailed help instructions for all new features. Thanks,
    That is strange, because the link is exactly the same. I reinserted it, can you check again.
    Thanks Lieve. It works fine now.
    Lieve, I updated my Captivate while attending a webinar with Dr.s Partridge and Jasingh after they made me aware of it. Of course I immediately re-opened Captivate to follow along with the webinar with being aware of the needed to delete the various folders before doing so. What ill effects can I expect from this improperly executed update? Any suggestions on how to correct this issue? Thanks so much for everything you do for our Captivate Community.
    Rick, I don't think the folder with Sample projects will cause problems. You can always still delete the Preferences and Layouts folder, while Captivate is closed. And when restarting they should be 'refreshed'. I recommend to do that to avoid issues. Pooja and Allen should have told that :(
    In their defense, they were trying to get the webinar on track as quickly as possible the day after the update was released. It would have been better for the update installer to delete the files after advising the user and asking permission to proceed. Better still would be for the installer to ask if user customizations should be preserved and then provide the method for that to happen. I have done as you advised. As always, your advice is much appreciated. Thank you!
    You are right, Rick, there should be at least a warning when trying to install the update. It has become so common that no one ever reads instructions in this century.
    3 visitors upvoted this post.