I first ran this article more than a year ago. In the past few weeks, I've received several emails about reviving corrupt projects and the role of the Project Cache folder. I felt it important to rerun the original article now, updated a bit for Captivate 5.5.
Note: Before ever clicking the Clear Cache button shown in the image below, please read through this entire article. A few moments spent now will save you a tremendous amount of heartache later.
After starting Adobe Captivate 5 or 5.5, take a moment to display the Preferences (via the Edit menu if you are using a PC or the Adobe Captivate menu if you are on a Mac) and select the Global Category (General Settings in Captivate 5.5).
You will see two options in the Default Locations area: Publish at and Project Cache. The Publish At option makes sense (you can specify where your projects are published), but the role of that pesky Project Cache is about as clear as mud.
According to the folks at Adobe, the Project Cache folder will house components of all of your projects until you click the Clear Cache button. The cached projects can make the process of opening, saving and working on a project faster than what one experienced with older versions of Captivate.
Of course, you shouldn't confuse the Project Cache with the Generate Project Backup option, which is also one of the Preferences. The Generate Project Backup feature is a holdover from the previous version of Captivate. If enabled, Generate Project Backup creates a complete backup copy of your project every time you close the working project.
Should the Captivate project become corrupt, or get misplaced, and you have the backup file, change the name of the backup file to name.cp (if you are using Captivate 4) or name.cptx (if you are using Captivate 5) and you're all set.
Of course, if you don't have a project backup and the only version of your project refuses to open, the cached version of the project just might save your bacon. Assuming you know the location of your project cache folder, you might be able to resurrect a project by following the steps below (the xxx in the example below will be different on your system).
Note: Do not delete your Cache folder (or click the Clear Cache button in the image above). Without the contents of the Cache folder, the steps below will not work.
Special thanks to fellow Captivate developer Rod Ward, Director of Infosemantics, who had the misfortune (or fortune, depending on how you look at the world) of working with a Captivate 5 project that refused to open. Rod used these steps and was able to get back in the game.
- Find the project cached folder (for example, C:\Users\your name\Documents\Adobe Captivate Cached Projects\CPDxxxxx\db).
Keep in mind that this is the default location of the cached project and you can change this via the Global Preferences as mentioned above.
The folder will contain the following:
A folder called Compressed_data. (This folder will contain several cpd files.)
A folder called Objects. There should be a file within the folder called objects.cpo. The size of this file should be greater than 0 kb.
A folder called uncompressed_data.
A file called audio.cpad.
A file called info.cpi.
A file called text.cptd.
A file called thumbnails.cpth.
- Select the files named above and use them to create a zip file.
Note: There may be other folders and files in the db folder mentioned above. Be careful not to include any other files in the zip other than those listed above. According to Rod, "the other files that might be there seem to be files used in locking the project so that you cannot inadvertently edit two of them at the same time."
- Change the extension of the zip file to cptx and the file should open in Captivate 5 (5.5).
"Captivate 5 (5.5) saves one of these db folders each and every time you save a CP5 project file," said Rod. "If you don't have success with the first one you try (possibly because it is too corrupted), you can always try another one further down the list by looking at the time the folder was added."
Rod went on to say: "The naming structure of the folders provides no clue as to which CP project corresponds to which cached folder. If you happen to be working on several projects simultaneously, it can take a bit of digging to find the one that you want. You basically have to keep creating and opening these zips until you get lucky. This of course is not a problem if you know the exact time when you happened to be saving a particular project."