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How to Translate a Captivate (Adobe) Course: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Translate Adobe Captivate Course - Transcend Translation

Adobe Captivate is an excellent option for creating eLearning content, but knowing how to translate a Captivate (Adobe) course for a wider reach is the ultimate game-changer for the eLearning industry. Many course creators are familiar with Adobe Captivate, but its use has always come with a particular limitation – the language barrier. Despite its immense popularity, English is just one of many languages worldwide.


To give your content coverage that extends to a vast majority of netizens around the world, you have to translate it into multiple target languages. This is the purpose of this article. Keep reading. Before we dive into Captivate (Adobe) eLearning localization, let’s start with what the tool is.

What's Adobe Captive?

This tool is authoring software that’s used to create randomized quizzes, branched scenarios, software simulations, and software demonstrations in HTML 5 format. As the name suggests, this tool is developed by Adobe, and its programming language is Delphi.

Export Feature for Seamless, Convenient, and Reliable Translations

It’s already been established that this tool is incapable of translating its content. However, it can export them to a platform that can do the job. To do this, you’ll have to export the file in XML or Bilingual Doc format to the software that will convert its source language to the desired target language without altering the original format of the file. From both the format we recommend using XML format because it’s the best way to have your content worked on while the default format is maintained. Let’s show you the process.

Export your Adobe Captivate Project in XML Format

Export your Adobe Captivate Project in XML Format - Transcend Translation
  • Launch your Adobe Captivate software.
  • Go to the menu.
  • Select “File”.
  • “Export” will show among the options; click it.
  • Select “to XML” among the next options that will pop-up.
  • Save this newly created XML file on your PC.

Export your Adobe Captivate Project in Word doc Format

As mentioned above, an alternative to this is exporting your Adobe Captivate course in Word format as well. Unlike the XML format, Word retains the font format and color. Let’s show you how you can export your course file in Word format:

  • Go to the file menu.
  • Select “Import/Export”.
  • Click on “Project captions and closed captions” among the next set of options to pop up. This will open your Adobe Captivate course in a Microsoft Word table with 5 columns and 2 sections, which are “Original Text Caption Data” for the source language and “Updated Text Caption Data” for the translated content.

Any changes you make in the Word file will automatically reflect in the Adobe Captivate course, making formatting very convenient. Another reason the Word format is good is that it’s easy to make and share the printed versions of the online content, and you can even do it in various formats such as storyboards, handouts, lessons, etc.

Send the exported file (XML/Doc) to your Translation Partner

This is where the actual translation process begins. It’s essential that you have reliable translation software to handle the Captivate (Adobe) eLearning localization. You can purchased a translation software to assign to your translators, or working with a trusted elearning translation company is usually your best bet. But let’s show you how you do it if you don’t use a professional translation company:

  • Go to your translation software.
  • Click “upload document.”
  • Then, choose the file you exported.
  • Once it has been exported, select the source language and target language you want to use.
  • Here, you can choose either your internal translators (if you have them).
  • After the translation process has been completed, download the translated content to your PC.
  • If you are uploading doc format for translation at that time, make sure you’ll hide source content column and only keep Target content visible

Import the Translated Content Back to Adobe Captivate

  • Go back to Adobe Captivate.
  • Go to the file menu.
  • Select “Import”.
  • Then click “From XML” and choose the translated content you downloaded.
  • Before importing translated document, make sure to unhide all columns.

Revision and QA

You’re almost done with the process. To revise your work and ensure it passes quality assurance, use the AIR review application to revise your Adobe Captivate projects.

Publishing Content

This is the final step in Captivate (Adobe) eLearning localization. All you have to do here is click on the option to publish and make your translated content available to users.

Best Practices for Adobe Captivate Translation

When you translate a Captivate (Adobe) course, you have to be thorough. This entails translating all elements and ensuring you adhere to the following:

Translate External Multimedia Attachments

If you added multimedia elements such as worksheets, comments, and audio or video files to your Adobe Captivate course, ensure you translate them after doing the same for your course. Doing this will improve the learning experience of the users.

Translate Images Separately

The images that contain text in your course need special attention. The reason is when you export your course as an XML file, the texts in those images are excluded so that they won’t be translated along with the rest of the content. You can either use image translation software to rectify this or manually extract the text from the image, translate it, and then embed it with the images again.

To find images used in course go to “Library” pane at right and check for “Image” section.

Create Content for Your Course with Text Expansion in Mind

Texts tend to get better when converted to a target language. To prevent text expansion from ruining the format or layout of the eLearning content, reduce your font size for the original content to shrink the text and create more space. Alternatively, use a big slide layout.

Also make sure to use correct font according to your language at the time of production to avoid text corruption issue.

Use Simple Language in the Original Course

Always use simple languages that you can easily translate a Captivate (Adobe) course. This means your content should include simple words and exclude idioms, jargon, or slang. Also, use shorter sentences.