Adobe Captivate: Reduce bloated file sizes

November 24, 2010

I’m close to upgrading from Adobe Captivate 3 to Captivate 5 (and all going well, I should have done so by the time this blog post is published), but prior to doing so I wanted to complete several movies for my client, just in case anything went pear-shaped…

I was horrified to find that my template was some 38 MB in size. There are only three slides in it, and only one of those has an image (which is about 1 MB). The other two slides are a title slide (text box) and a ‘finish’ slide (text box plus two buttons — one for replaying the movie and the other to return to the menu). Why on earth it was 38 MB was beyond me.

As a result, each time I created a new movie based on this bloated template, it started at 38 MB and increased in size from there. And if I imported any slides and objects from another Captivate project file, the file bloat just got worse and worse.

It was time to do something about it — I wanted the upgrade to Captivate 5 to be as smooth as possible, and that meant lean Captivate 3 project files!

Off to the internet where I found some excellent advice from Captivate guru, Kevin Siegel (he’s documented several methods for reducing Captivate file sizes here: http://iconlogic.blogs.com/weblog/2008/10/adobe-captivate-3-tactics-for-reducing-the-size-of-your-project.html).

I tried all his suggestions that were applicable to me (I’m not doing any e-learning/quiz stuff), but the file size reduction was minimal at best. Then I read one of the comments from a Tim Lucas — and found my solution!

  1. Create a new project.
  2. Copy the slides from the existing project. DO NOT import them into the new project.
  3. Paste the slides from the existing project into the new project.
  4. Save the new project.
  5. Check the file size — you should notice a dramatic reduction.

Here’s an example of the file sizes — those file names starting with z_ are the old, bloated project files:

So I now have file sizes from 664 KB to 3290 KB, whereas before doing that copying process my Captivate project file sizes ranged from 14300 KB to 97908 KB — that’s what I call a dramatic reduction. Thanks Kevin and Tim.

Of course, WHY the files bloat like this is something I hope Adobe has addressed in the couple of years since they released Captivate 3. I’ll keep an eye on the file sizes to see what happens after I start using Captivate 5. I hope they’ve fixed it.

One comment

  1. I’m using Captivate 5.5, and this is still happening. I had a file get up to 350 megs. After discovering the same solution on my own, I got it down to 20 megs.

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