by Kevin Siegel
Back in March I wrote an article about editing Captivate's RDL files to control much of the text and punctuation that will appear in a project's text captions before recording any of your lessons. That little trick will surely save any Captivate developer hours of work.
During one of my recent Advanced Captivate classes, a student asked if it was possible to make a copy of an RDL file, make changes (for instance, maybe have one RDL that featured end-of-sentence punctuation and one that didn't) and then have them both available within Captivate.
The answer was a resounding YES and I went about demonstrating how to do it for the entire class. First, I opened the default Captivate RDL file (CaptureTextTemplates_English.rdl) using Notepad. I gave the file a new name (kevin_test_english.rdl) and then added end-of-sentence punctuation to several lines of text.
Then it came time for the big finale. I saved and closed the kevin_test_english.rdl file and started Captivate. I went to the Preferences dialog box (Edit menu for Windows users; Adobe Captivate menu for Mac users), selected the Recording category, selected the Generate Captions in menu and... and... the pesky RDL file was not in the menu.
So there I was, scratching my head and trying to figure out why my RDL file wasn't available in the menu. Thankfully, my classes are online and without video cameras so my students couldn't see me sitting there all slack-jawed. I honestly had no idea what I had missed and wondered if I was seeing some kind of bug. Mind you, I had performed this steps dozens of times over the years and the new RDL file always showed up in the menu.
And then of my students came to the rescue. Dave Previdi, a Business Systems Consultant with Wells Fargo, reminded me of a key step in the process that I had forgotten. The name you give to the RDL is critical. I had named mine kevin_test_english.rdl, which is all wrong. The name must be CaptureTextTemplates_name.rdl. I changed the RDL file name to CaptureTextTemplates_Kevin.rdl and all was well with the world (in the image below, you can see my Kevin file is available in the Generate Captions In drop-down menu). Rock on Dave!