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How to update objects in Adobe Captivate projects

After you insert an object into a Captivate project file, there is often a need to update the object with a newer version.  Some objects are easier to update than others.

For example, let’s say you insert an image or sound file into a Captivate project and then later make changes to the original image or audio file at it’s location on your hard drive, outside Captivate.  

You could of course just delete the original object in the project file and insert the newer version in its place.  But this might mean a lot more work to reconfigure its size, position, applied effects, etc.

Updating from the Library

When you want to update the same file sitting inside your Captivate CPTX, all you need to do is right-click the file in the Library and choose Update from the context menu (as shown in the screenshot here).

This will open an Update Library Items dialog that shows the name of the file you are updating with an Update button at the bottom of the dialog that allows you to overwrite the file currently sitting in the Library with the newer version on your hard drive.

Captivate will do a quick check to make sure the original file is still at the same folder address and whether the version it has in the Library is older.  But the process is relatively simple and, unless you have moved the original file or do not have access to it, your update should only take a few moments to complete.

The important thing to remember here is that there isn’t any change to the filename when updating.  But that isn’t necessarily the case for all objects.

How to update OAM files

If you have ever used OAM files in Adobe Captivate, you may have discovered that updating these objects seem to be more difficult than with other types.  In fact, even if you try to use the normal Update method explained above, you may see no changes to the OAM content in your published output.

The reason seems to be that OAMs inside a CPTX project file cannot be overwritten by another OAM if it has exactly the same file name.  So, the trick here is to simply change the name of the newer OAM before you try to use it to overwrite the one inside the CPTX

Change the filename of the newer OAM

When I am building content that uses OAMs for animations and interactions, there are always lots of changes to the content before go-live.  So my workflow is to name each publish version of the OAM with today’s date and a letter of the alphabet after it to ensure each published version is unique.

For example, MyOAM_20200618a for the first version I publish today, then MyOAM_20200618b, MyOAM_20200618c, etc. 

The Web Properties dialog

OAMs also use a slightly different updating method. You still need to find the item in the Library.  But this time just double-click the OAM file to open a Web Properties dialog (like the one in the screenshot here).

Click the Import… button, navigate to your new OAM version at its current location and select it.  The new OAM will then overwrite the older OAM and replace all instances of it on any slides in the project where it has been added.