How to Add a System Variable in Adobe Captivate

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In Brief...

Variables fall into two categories: system and user. System variables can be used to include project information, such as the creation date or author's name in text captions. User variables are used in many ways. One common use is personalizing modules with the learner's name.


  1. To see the default variables, go to Project > Variables. The dialog box opens showing the default user variables. Click the Type menu and select System. Review the variables in the list, then click Close.
  2. There are system variables for project information, but to use them you'll first need to add the data. Go to File > Project Info. In the dialog box, fill in the Author and Company fields.
    Project Info
  3. Create a caption with text as shown below.
  4. Insert your cursor after "by" and type a space, then go to the Properties Inspector Style tab and click the Variables button.
    Properties Inspector
  5. Click the Variable Type menu and select System, then choose cpInfoAuthor from the Variables menu.
    Insert Variable
  6. On the slide, your caption will look like this:
  7. In the caption, insert your cursor after "for" and repeat Steps 4-5. In the dialog box, select the cpInfoCompany variable.
    Insert Variable
  8. User variables sometimes rely on information provided by the learner and are typically attached to text entry boxes, as well as being inserted in a caption. To create a user variable, go to Project > Variables. From the Type menu, select User, if necessary, then click Add New.
  9. In the Name field, enter learnerName. The Value field is not required, but if the student didn't type in their name, "Learner" would display in captions where the variable was used, so it's a good idea. Description isn't required either, but it's a good work practice so others know what the variable is intended for.
  10. Click Save so the new variable appears in the list underneath, then click Close.
  11. Create a caption similar to what's shown, then go to the Toolbar, click Text and select Text Entry Box.
  12. Attach the variable to the Text Entry Box by going to the Properties Inspector Style tab. From the Variable menu, choose learnerName.
    Properties Inspector
  13. On the next slide, create a caption with a welcome message and insert your cursor where you'll want the learner's name to appear.
  14. Repeat Steps 4-5, this time leaving Variable Type set at User, and setting the Variable to learnerName.
    Insert Variable
  15. The caption should look as shown. Preview the project to test the variables.

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Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.