During my advanced Captivate class, I spend a significant amount of time extolling the value of project templates. As a group, the class opens an existing project template, edits the template, uses the template to record a software simulation and then creates a project template from scratch.
I've written several articles about Captivate's project templates including how to convert a project into a project template and how to make the best use of template placeholders.
While templates are awesome and provide a great jump-start for a new Captivate project, you don't necessarily have to create a project template to ensure that many of the attributes within your projects are consistent.
Perhaps your biggest concern about new projects is ensuring that each new project has Text Captions that use specific fonts, font sizes and colors. Maybe you want to ensure that inserted objects (such as buttons) use a specific Object Style and play for a specific amount of time.
You can set several application attributes before you create a single project. Once set, each new project created on your computer will use those attributes. Setting these kinds of preferences in advance could save you a significant amount of time performing repetitive tasks.
To set application preferences, start Captivate. Ensure no projects are open and open the Preferences dialog box (Edit menu if you're using Windows; Adobe Captivate menu if you're using a Macintosh).
From the top left of the Preferences dialog box, choose Defaults.
On the Global Preferences screen, you'll find myriad options to explore. For instance, if you want most of your slides to play for 5 seconds, why not set it here (in the Slide Duration area) instead of changing the play time for each slide in an existing project?
When previewing a project, one of the options via File > Preview is Next 5 slides. Care to make it a lucky 7? No problem. Change the Preview Defaults to 7 slides and you'll be set in any new projects.
When inserting Text Captions into existing projects, each new caption will play for exactly 3 seconds. Want the captions all to play for 4.5 seconds in your next project? That's simple enough... select Text Caption from the Select drop-down menu and then change the Display For time to 4.5 seconds.
Finally, if you'd like to control the appearance of the Object Styles in each new project, simply choose Edit > Object Style Manager. As long as no projects are open when you work within the Object Style Manager, the changes you make and the attributes you set will affect every new project you create.
Alas, none of the pre-project settings I've discussed above will have any effect on existing projects. So if you're really against creating project tempates, I'd encourage you to spend some time setting up the Global Defaults and Object Styles sooner rather than later.