Variables, Text Entry boxes and .RDLs in Adobe Captivate 4

Among the long list of new features in Adobe Captivate 4, Variables in particular is one of the most useful new features, because it provides an easy way to replace and manage
text which repeats itself throughout a project with a simple variable, for example the course name. This is one of the most obvious use cases for how implementing variables in Captivate projects can quickly increase your productivity by speeding up your development process.

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However, variables coupled with Text Entry boxes make for an even more powerful solution for developing and delivering personalized eLearning experiences.

For example in a Captivate project, on slide 1 you can insert a Text Entry box asking the Learner for his First Name. The Text Entry box can then be associated with a variable, which stores the Learner’s name. That same information can then be used to refer to the Learner by his first name in subsequent slides.

Furthermore, if you create Software Simulations in Adobe Captivate by recording the screen, you probably have noticed that Captivate automatically inserts auto-text captions throughout the recording based on your clicks.  What you may not know is that you can control the wording used by Captivate in the text captions by editing simple text files, located in the installation folder and which have an .rdl extension.

To illustrate how variables, Text Entry boxes and .rdl files can be used together to create personalized eLearning experiences, I recorded this short (12min) how-to video. I first posted this recording on Twitter awhile back and today it’s one of the most popular recordings I’ve done.

Click HERE to watch the “Variables, Text Entry boxes and RDLs” how-to. Please use your Adobe ID when prompted.

If hope you find this useful and if you have a second, please leave a comment and share how you may use these features in your own projects. You can also send me at Tweet @rjacquez.


5 Responses to Variables, Text Entry boxes and .RDLs in Adobe Captivate 4

  1. Computers & Tech says:

    Hey there,Cool site, I just found it and I am already a fan.

  2. RJ Jacquez says:

    Thank You for your kind words!RJ Jacquez

  3. Great tutorial RJ! I do have a question though. When I try using the Text Entry Box / Variable to capture text…then place the Variable in a Caption…it gets cut off at 15 characters. Does Captivate limit the size of text I can work with like this?

  4. RJ Jacquez says:

    Hi Warren, thanks for your comment and great observation. I probably should have covered this in the demo, sorry. Anyhow, to learn how you can extend the 15 character limit for variables, I just published a very short Captivate how-to movie, here’s the link:,RJ Jacquez

  5. I just finished watching the Whats New in Captivate 4 video from the Adobe site. It was well done and really helps the learner to get into the product quickly. Most of us learn as we go so now I can begin to apply this to a project. Thanks!