Adobe Captivate 5.0 Widget: Open File for .exe Projects


Adobe Captivate 5.0 Widget: Open File for .exe Projects


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Product Description

Did you know that Captivate and Aggregator .exe projectors open local files in a browser window rendering the “open file or URL” option basically useless?  This little gem will remove this limitation and open local files in their native application.  It can be used in buttons, text entry boxes, click boxes, advanced actions, and slide entry and exit actions.  It works for Captivate stand alone .exe projectors and aggregated .exe projectors.  NOTE:  This widget is for Captivate 5.0 only.  If you upgrade to Captivate 5.5 or above, you will not need this widget.

This widget was made with the easy-to-use CpGears  framework.

How Does It Work?

It only takes one widget for your whole Captivate project.  Just drop the widget on your first slide and you’re ready to roll.

See it in Action:

Watch the demo video and also a Captivate publishing bug to be aware of:


  • Adobe Captivate 5.0 ONLY  (This issue has been fixed as of Captivate version
  • Publish for .exe output and Flash Player 10+
  • Manually copy the files you want to open to the PUBLISHING destination


Q:  Will this work with Mac .app projectors?

A:  This solution has not been tested with .app projectors.  Sorry Mac friends, I don’t have access to a Mac for testing.

Q:  Will this work with my project burned to a CD or DVD?

A:  Yes.  You can use relative file paths to open your files (See below)

Q:  Can I use relative file paths to launch files?

A:  Absolutely!  Here are some examples:

(test.pdf is at the root of the PUBLISHED .exe project)


(List.xlsx is inside the “files” directory at the root of the PUBLISHED .exe project)


Q:  Can I use this in a standard or conditional advanced action?

A:  Yes.  Below is an example:


Q:  Can I have spaces in my file names or paths?

A:  Yes.  But the command to open the file will fire twice because of the spaces in your file path.  If you’re opening a document, most applications will ignore the second command since you already have the document open.  This is true for Microsoft Office docs, Open Office docs, PDF files, and most applications.  However, if you are opening your own custom built .exe file, it will open twice (unless it was built using a mutex – Geek Alert!).  The solution is to omit spaces in the file path.  Examples:

Will open only once:  (has spaces in path, MS Word will ignore 2nd command)


Will open 2x (has spaces in path, custom .exe file)


Will open only once (no spaces in path, open command fires once)


Known Limitations

  • Cannot be used on the slide entry action of the very first slide of your project because the widget is initializing during this time.
  • Cannot be used on the project end action found in the “Project: Start and End” settings.  However, you can place an “open File or URL” action on the slide end action of the very last slide in your project.
  • Does not work with F4 preview, or F12 preview in browser.  You must publish your project and manually copy the files you want to open to the final published destination.
  • Opening files with spaces in the file path can cause the open command to fire twice (see FAQ for details)
  • Chinthakasj

    i triedbut cant open doc,pdf,exe. alla are open on the web browser

    • Anonymous

      @Chinthakasj:  You need to buy this widget.  Then your issue will be solved :-)

      • Chinthakasj

        how to buy this widget,i tried to do below project,but result is same.alls are open in IE explore or other browser.i want to open direct exe or doc

        • Chinthakasj
        • Anonymous

          @chinthakasj:  There’s an “Add to Cart” button at the bottom of the post.  You
          can purchase the widget using that.  Once purchased, you should recieve an
          automatic download link.  I didn’t realize that the video was missing.  Screenr
          must have changed the URL.  I put it back on the post.  Thanks for catching

  • Niscontractor

    how can i add open file wiget

    • Anonymous

      Once you purchase the widget, you can add it from the widget panel in Captivate. 

  • Guest

    Is it possible to load any executable into browser using this widget ?

    • Anonymous

      You cannot load executables into a browser.  You can use this widget in a stand-alone .exe project to properly open up other files on Windows.  So a Microsoft Word document will open in Microsoft Word.  Without the widget, the Captivate .exe will try to open the Word document in the browser which simply won’t work.

  • Robert

    Does this widget works with swf-projects (published in LMS) as well as the .exe projects?

    • Anonymous

      No.  It’s designed for .exe projects only.

  • Mahesh

    in which appication .f4v files in project will open


      @0780781df5648e957e9ae427f8079815:disqus :  It depends on the computer.  The PC operating system will associate file extensions with an application to open them.  For my PC, .f4v files open with Adobe Medial Player.

  • Alex

    Hi, I just bought this for Captivate on the Mac and cannot get it to work for either .exe projects (run on pc) or .app (for the mac).  Has anyone else had success publishing on a mac?


      @Alex:  The FAQs state that this has not been tested with MAC.  It has been tested and works well for .exe projects for PC.  If you would like to send over your project, I’d be happy to take a look.  Jim AT Captivate Dev dot com.  I’ll see what’s going on with the .exe projects.

      • Alex

        Hi, looks like I am going to be creating widgets in Flash that interact with batch files for PC and Applescript files for MAC just to open PDF and DOCX files.  Can’t believe this is so difficult with Captivate.

  • Rorourke

    Will I be able to link the local word file to variables created in the project?


      @3e31a3f6d1cfe869259e7d76863949b4:disqus :  Not sure I follow.  You mean open a different word doc based on a variable?  Also note that if you have Cp 5.5, you don’t need this widget.

      • Marek Goliasz

        So what can I do if I have Cp 5.5? How can I open e.g. pdf in Acrobat (not in browser)?

        • JimLeichliter

          If you’re publishing to exe, it should work as advertised.  You should be able to use “Open URL or File”, put in the RELATIVE path to the file, publish your project…. and copy the pdf to the published output.  If id doesn’t work, check your paths and spelling.  If you use just the file name of the pdf in the URL field, then Cp expects to find the .pdf file in the same folder as the published .swf file.

      • Rorourke

        Sorry I just recovered this reply from SPAM – the product works great and captures all of my variables in the PDF.  However, I didnt realize v5.5 already has this ability – in any case I really like the widget…..

  • Vijay

    Is this Widget Support to Launch An Custom Exe With Parameter (Captivate Mark Variale) ?


      @Vijay: No.