May 12, 2009

Quick editing of text using XML import/Export


With the growing popularity of Adobe Captivate in the e-learning community across the globe, there comes the need of easy scalability.

A demo created in one language should be easily converted to another. Instead of redoing the project from scratch, CA3 and later versions provide a feature called XML Import /Export to effectively address conversion from one language to another.

A three step procedure could solve the problem:

1. Export English demo to XML by File->Export->To XML.

2. Replace the text to the desired localized text in the XML file.

3. Import the updates XML file by File->Import->From XML.

Adobe Captivate uses XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format) version 1.2 for this feature and UTF -16 encoding.To know more about XLIFF, you could visit

Note that each object /text has a one to one correspondence in the XML file. If we have deleted the object in our project, and import the original XML file, it will not add a new object. Similarly, if we have added removed a XML tag for an object, no changes would be made to the Captivate file when the XML is imported.

For a simple text caption, the following information is exported to the XML.

<group cp:datatype="x-object" extype="69" id="10124" restype="x-cp-items">

      <group cp:datatype="x-object" extype="19" id="10184" restype="x-cp-text-caption">

                <group cp:datatype="x-rtf" datatype="rtf">

                  <group cp:datatype="x-paragraph" css-style="text-align:center">

                    <trans-unit id="10184-19-1">


                        <g css-style="font-family:’Arial, nil’;color:#0000FF;font-size:12.0pt" ctype="x-cp-font" id="10184-19-1-1">Type caption text here</g>




The user can not only change the text but also change the style, font, color and size.

The Import/Export XML can also be used to change font, size and color of the following:

  • Text captions
  • Text Animations
  • Rollover captions
  • Default text and correct entries in Text entry box.
  • Success/Failure/Hint captions and button text for all interactive objects.
  • Text buttons
  • Slide notes
  • Text and rollover captions in rollover slidelet.
  • Quiz buttons and feedback captions
  • Project info
  • project start and end text messages for password and expiry messages

Apart from changing text form one language to another, it can be used to effectively edit the above from a single file.

var addthis_pub=”shameerayyappan”;

Posted by Auromita Bhadra5:45 PM
  • Lieve Weymeis

    I’m translating quite a lot of simulations, assessments, but mostly prefer for captions the Export Captions (to a WORD-document). I understand now that working with the XML offers more than this workflow in one file, but editing is less easy. Just a question about the Word-files (import/export): why is this limited to Word2003, will it be adapted for Word2007?

  • Ian

    Hi, I am trying to do exaclty what you describe above right now as we have a client who is inquiring about the possibility of localizing several Captivate course we built for them in English to Hebrew, Arabic, and Chinese. I can paste the localized text into the Captivate textbox directly and it displays fine in English, Hebrew, or Arabic. Chinese does not seem to work at all. If I use either the export to XML or the “Project Captions and Closed Captions…” options when I import the localized text back into the project I see question marks (???? ?? ???) instead of the localized text. If I use a Western lanuage such as German in the export/import process then I see the proper text. Why is the text displaying correctly in Hebrew and Arabic when pasted directly into the textbox in Captivate, but not rendering when imported through the export/import process?

  • amjad

    Ian the reason you are gettin ??? is because the font family is not set right in the xml file. make sure you set it to a arabic font and then import the xml. it should hopefully work fine

  • Emre Akkas

    I am working on a pre localization assesment for a client and experiencing similar issues to Lieve’s. Import seems to work only for Win-1252 character set. Anything out of this turn into question marks even though font updates properly. I tested with CCJK as well as eastren EU characters and none seem to work. This really limits the abilities of this export/import issue.Unfortunately there is not much information on the web regarding this issue.

  • cool blog

  • Great site. Keep doing.,

  • It is the coolest site, keep so!,

  • I noticed this was written a while ago and still gets comments! I always appreciate your tips. I often wonder if it takes one of two comments to get the ball rolling.Very good job. Thanks again.

  • Kalani Bright

    Doesn’t work with closed captioning text even though the damn cc text is in the XML. I’m going crazy! Thats all I need this feature for!

  • James

    I had the same issue importing Chinese and Japanese text after translation. All charicters appear as ???? except system messages. The fix is to have the xml translated and also export as rtf and translate this as well. First import the xml and then import the rtf. All text will then be translated correctly. If you import in the wrong order it doesn’t work and if you only import the rtf the system messages don’t get translated. Unfortunatly this doesn’t work in CS5. When i find a fix for this i will post it.

  • Nina

    Than k you for your information.
    I have a question :
    the exported XML does not includes correct answers.
    How I can get correct answers by making just some export.
    Thank you.

  • ZTB

    I have the exact same question as Nina. Is it possible to import/export both The question text (e.g. What color is the sky?) and the question answer choices (e.g. Blue, Red, Yellow, Green) into a captivate quiz project from either XMl, Excel, Text, etc?

  • IMS

    Adobe strikes again! this is from their site on Captivate5.5:
    “Unicode support
    Create your content in any language, including double-byte languages, and count on Adobe Captivate to publish it properly thanks to Unicode text encoding.”

    Has anybody gotten Arabic to work in Captivate 5.5? I tried the XML export, which I must say is not the most user friendly way to have to do this. The Arabic text comes in broken and incorrect, also if you have any buttons in your slides, when you import the XML back in, they become distorted.

    Why can’t you just copy and paste Arabic text like flash CS5? wouldn’t that be great!

  • Arafat Alawneh

    We can Convert the arabic text via other website and paste it back to captivate , but what if One want to edit the Text Again, you have to go for the same steps
    if we can Edit Text Directly it would be greate

  • Arianna Christian

    Thanks for explain in brief about your post..!!

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