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captivate themes

When I have a customer and I create more than one course for them, I continue to use the same branding. Once upon a time, I used to spend a solid day in Illustrator or Photoshop customizing random backgrounds.

Have you ever done that? Such a huge waste of time!

Have you ever changed your layout size in Captivate after making those backgrounds? Such a huge waste of time! And beyond irritating.

With the recently added eLearning Brothers theme templates, it is so much easier to adjust a background and a look and feel without much time. It’s easy to simply duplicate a few master slides, add different elements, and swap some of the colors around. Within a few minutes, you can have some fresh looking layouts that mix well with existing layouts learners enjoy. Eventually, you’ll have a pretty cool theme collection of master slides, too. When you get a new customer, all you have to do is swap the colors!

One way to quickly achieve layout changes is making sure all of your customer’s colors are easily accessible. Opening the company’s branding guide to grab their exact RGB number when you want to make changes is painful. Every time. (Or, am I the only one who does this?)

There is an easy way to set up each company in Captivate for quick customizations. Just follow this workflow!


Pick a theme

You probably know how to do this already. Pick an awesome eLearning Brothers theme from the Assets included with Captivate 9! Then select Themes > Browse to find the file once it’s downloaded.

Adjust theme colors

Themes > Theme Colors

Pick a theme from the drop-down menu and click customize.

Adjust the colors to custom RGB numbers. Rename the color theme by clicking on the hyperlinked name. If you aren’t quite sure which areas affect the original eLearning Brothers theme, it may be a little trial and error. However, I wouldn’t really spend too much time on it. I think you’ll see a big improvement to getting the brand look and feel right. Simply further customize each master slide later.

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Add .ase swatch palette

Do you work in Illustrator? Do you know how to make a swatch palette? Once I discovered I could add custom palettes to Captivate, it made developing a course easier in both customizing master slides and changing text or development slide objects & text.

Click on the Fill color in they Style menu. Click on the three menu bars in the right of the color selection menu. Click the Load button and browse to your .ase file. Repeat these steps for the Stroke colors.

If you do not know how to make a swatch palette in Illustrator, check out this article by Adobe.

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Captivate disclaimer: It seems these colors get reset every time you open Captivate. Solution? Binge edit an entire course in one sitting! Just kidding. Hopefully, this bug will be fixed one day. This isn’t the only bug we have to deal with. Am I right?

Save as new theme

Theme > Save Theme As

This is pretty self-explanatory; you’ve probably already done this many times.

Adjust and add shapes to master theme slides

Now that we’re all set up, it’s time to play! Duplicate any of eLearning Brothers master slides. Add shapes, adjust colors. Change the font, etc. You might have a collection of pre-customized graphics if you work with a client often. This is a good time to simply plop them in there. Great for inspiration as you work through various courses.

Design tip: Start with squares and rectangles. They all fit together very nicely. If you need to switch things up a bit, add circles ON TOP of the squares. Now it looks completely different without a lot of work and without much effort to make it all fit and look organized.

Save theme

Theme > Save

Because we don’t like repeating work.

I hope adding some custom colors to your Captivate themes will streamline your development. Happy designing!

IMG_0011Dana Haines is from anywhere between Montgomery, TX to Destination Docked! Dana, the hubby, two kiddos, and two mutts travel the US in an RV and enjoying teaching the kids things the public school system does not. In addition to road schooling, we road work. Boondocked Media was born with the focus of writing and designing learning communications that bridge companies to their employees, customers and community with or without a LMS. Life is good! You can contact her on Twitter or find her on Instagram.

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