Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clearing dat file

Sometimes Adobe Captivate (like any other piece of software) can behave oddly. Instances where the Timeline won’t open or a certain project won’t publish properly are just two examples of the sort of problems I have experienced over the years working with this program.

The blame for many of the issues you experience in Adobe Captivate can be laid firmly at the door of Captivates DAT file.

Many software applications use dat files. In short this file type is used to store some kind of data.

In the case of Adobe Captivate the .dat file is used (amongst other things) to store session preferences. Adobe Captivate has two kinds of preferences. Project and Session preferences.

Project Preferences
These are the preferences that are specific to a project, such as publish or quiz settings. Project preferences are stored in the Adobe Captivate file itself so that they can travel with the project.

Session preferences
Session preferences are ones that are applied to all projects, for example if you change an objects default settings then these are changed for all the projects. It is these kinds of preferences that are stored in the .dat file.

Adobe Captivates .dat file – in the case of Adobe Captivate 4 called captivate_v40.dat - can be found in the following location.

Windows Vista
Drive Letter\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Captivate

Windows XP
Drive Letter \Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Captivate

Note: You will need to make sure that you have set the Windows Folder option – Show hidden files and folders before you will be able to see the Document and Settings Folder.

It is also possible to peak inside your Adobe Captivate .dat file by opening it up in a text editor. However I would first recommend that you create copy of any application file before attempting to open it.

Adobe Captivate 4  Dat file

Above is an example of the type of information stored in the Adobe Captivate 4 .dat file.

Why the .dat file sometimes becomes corrupted is unclear but the good news is that removing this does seem to solve many of the problems you may encounter.

Replacing the .dat file

Replacing the .dat file is incredibly straight forward. Start by closing Adobe Captivate and then rename or move the captivate_v40.dat file outside of the Adobe Captivate folder.

The next time you start Adobe Captivate, the program will automatically re-create the .dat file for you.

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