Adobe Captivate 2017: Powerful!

I am very excited to be using Adobe Captivate 2017.  What an outstanding tool!  I tired the 30 day trial a few months ago and while I was impressed, I thought that I needed more time to really consider what I could do in the future with such a powerful tool.  After purchasing Adobe Captivate 2017, reviewing the short tutorials and taking an Adobe Captivate 2017 course on, I feel like Adobe Captivate 2017 will provide me with all I need to do a great job on my next eLearning project without any problems.  The design, power, and ease of use of Adobe Captivate 2017 has prompted me to consider several new eLearning projects to complete in the near future.  Finally, a great plus when using Adobe Captivate 2017 is that you know that help along with access to users with cutting-edge ideas are a click away in the Adobe Captivate community.

From a nearly new user to a very new user

Captivate is the distant cousin of the Adobe family. It doesn’t care about the hours you may have put in with the other products, which all play well together and look as though they came from the same parents. Upon first opening it, nothing will look reassuring or familiar, presumably the coders and designers also sit away from everyone else in the Adobe cafeteria. This initial disorientation threw me when I started with the software, just a few weeks ago.

If you are using the 30 day trial of Captivate, prepare to reach the end still not completely sure how to do everything. That isn’t the fault of the software or user, rather a different mindset needed when using the program. Other software often leaves it fingerprints all over whatever is created using it: images that have obviously been created in Photoshop, perfect line art that could only have come from Illustrator. Captivate isn’t nearly so boastful. I’ve no idea whether or not I’ve ever interacted with something created on the platform in the past. For it to achieve its goal of creating effective learning materials, it needs to stay in the background. I can use any image software and expect to roughly express on screen what is in my head. I know that any video or audio editing program will let me arrange the sound and motion as I like, I already know the outcome before starting. With Captivate, not only did I not have a clear idea of what I wanted to create, I also didn’t know what I could create and how to go about it. Everything was a known-unknown.

Captivate for me has been full of ‘I wonder if I can do this…’ moments. Nearly always, I can do whatever it is I’m thinking, but it has taken time and effort on my part. The eLearning industry seems to be comprised of a dedicated group of people trying to undo years of damage caused by what were considered in the past to be best practices but are now viewed only as effective ways to destroy student’s souls. Despite the advances made in the theory of effective learning, as creators we’re still presented by a huge, daunting blank page and it is this sense of initial directionless wandering that I think creates this gap for new users between what is in their head and the mess they make on the screen.

So as a fairly new user to the very new, you’re going to have to work for your results, at least initially. Work smart however and it pays off. The Captivate community seems cosy (small) and welcoming. Pretty much anything you may want to do in the first few days and weeks has been done, recorded, explained and shared.


Fast Start with the New Adobe Captivate

I’m so excited about the new Adobe Captivate because it helps me create learning experiences to support screen based learning. I’m working with software developers that roll out updates a couple times a month. The training approach that I’m using includes Captivate as a tool for creating video and interactive learning demonstrations to guide the learner through the new functions.

I’ve also been using Adobe Captivate to support a focus on real time learning where I can work with a subject matter expert and capture the demonstrations in real time. I’m looking forward to sharing out future work here in the Adobe eLearning Community.

Stay tuned…


Adobe Captivate Draft: Great Concept, Good Tool, But Not Enough To Make Me Buy An iPad

I am a PC and Android user 100%, so I had to borrow my daughters iPad to test out Adobe Captivate Draft.  As a designer, I am a true believer in storyboarding. I believe that creating a master document that shows your plan of action is good for both the builder and the client, so I wanted to see if Adobe Captivate Draft had enough for me to invest in an iPad of my own.

I found the ability to create storyboards, share those storyboards with others (other iPad users), let others review and provide suggestions, and then incorporate those suggestions in one package is a great idea. Then to be able to import your Captivate Draft product directly into Captivate and have your course built is awesome, but not enough to make me want to change how I currently design. With Captivate Draft, Captivate, and Captivate Prime a user could from design to implementation of an e-learning project all within the Adobe eLearning ecosystem.

I think that Captivate Draft is a nice tool for people who already own an iPad, and I can see how a course builder could use this tool to help them develop courses, but I do not think that it has enough to make seasoned designers want to change their ways, at least it wasn’t for me. I am aware of my device bias and I can honestly say that if the tool was available on Android I would have a copy on my Galaxy tablet, but I do not think I would change the way I currently storyboard projects to make this tool a central part of my design process.

Captivate 2017: It’s where the Grown-Ups Work

I was in the process of responding to a current post when I quickly realized I was typing a testimonial – so I thought I’d put it in this forum instead.

I can’t speak to Lectora or the latest versions of Storyline, but I’ve used both Captivate (starting with version 3 all the way through the 2017). I’m also a regular user of Storyline 2 as well as Camtasia Studio.  Let me tell you, there are days when I’m in all 3 and sometimes I find myself having to stop and remind myself what program I’m using, then think about where something is.  For ease of use, SL for sure.  It’s PowerPoint-esque interface makes it easy for new e-learning developers to understand, and to create some high quality e-learning.  But for power, I’m going with Captivate hands down.  Yes there is a learning curve, but the things this tool can generate make it so worth learning it.  Plus there are so many good resources out there from folks like Allen Partridge with Adobe, Joe Ganci, Paul Wilson, and Poojah Jaisingh – that make that learning curve a breeze!

A few months ago at my local ATD chapter meeting, I got into a robust discussion with a fellow e-learning developer who swore by Storyline and Storyline alone.  My response was that I would encourage developers to learn more than one tool.  Quite honestly, there are some things SL can do that I wish Captivate would do (layers, for instance, and the ability to play more than one audio file on the timeline – hey Adobe, are you listening?). But when I recently had to create a project that included having the learner press a key on the keyboard as part of a simulation, I knew that Captivate was THE tool to use.  As I told my colleague at that chapter meeting, when the only tool you have is a hammer, all of your problems look like nails.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not dismissing the competition. But Captivate is where the grown-ups come to play.  I have a dear friend and Captivate guru who says that 80% of e-learning products are not of high quality. I do believe that the 20% that are high quality – you’ll find that many of them were created with Captivate.



The 7th Habit of Highly Effective eLearning Designers & Developers

Photo of business people hands applauding at conference

In Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the seventh habit is to sharpen the saw. Sharpen the saw means spending time working on you. i.e. the carpenter needs to spend some time making sure his or her equipment is functioning properly. I submit to you that one of the best ways eLearning designers and developers can sharpen their saws is to attend the Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas on October 24th, 2017. Of course, this is easy when you work for a big company that budgets for conferences and other learning activities, however more difficult if you are a freelance designer, developer, but consider the following. We have a bunch of tools as eLearning designers and developers at our disposal such as a computer, microphones, video cameras, eLearning authoring tools and so on. Hardware and software come and go, but what’s the one tool that you will use for your entire career? Guess what it’s you! Of all the tools at your disposal the most important is you. Without you, you could not be the incredible instructional designer or developer that you are. Stephen breaks down this habit into four areas.


Physical is all the things that sustain you like eating well, getting some exercise, resting and relaxing. I don’t know about you, but by October 24th, where I’m from in Canada gets pretty cold. We tend to stay indoors more and get less exercise and perhaps don’t eat as well. the great part about Las Vegas is that in October the weather is still really nice. Get in a swim before the conference or go for a nice long walk on the strip and see the sights.


Social/Emotional is making connections with other like minded individuals like yourself. Since I’ve been attending the Adobe conferences, I’ve made fantastic friends who also happen to know a whole bunch about my industry in eLearning. I can message them with questions and in return, I help them as well. For example two of my colleagues are working on an Adobe Captivate book together. They have asked me to be a content reviewer. This increases my exposure but also helps some friends out in the process. These connections are not just business contacts but rather meaningful connections that I wouldn’t have otherwise had and I expect that they will be lifelong connections.


The big part of spending the day with industry experts is learning new skills. I have been designing eLearning for over ten years, but have only been really active in the Adobe eLearning community for the last two years or so. Prior to that I basically just did the same things over and over again. By learning, reading, writing and teaching, I have received back ten fold what I have put into it. I’m a far better eLearning designer and developer than I was just two years ago. I have been in attendance at Adobe Learning Summit and the eLearning Conference in Washington as a presenter. Admittedly I’, exhausted when I get off stage, but you won’t see me back in my room sleeping. Instead, I will be in the other sessions learning more from my esteemed colleagues.


Spiritual can mean different things for different people. Taking time to enjoy what life has to offer is really great at re-energizing. Certainly, Las Vegas isn’t spending time in nature, however, some of its nearby landmarks that are worth seeing while you are there. Also giving yourself time to meditate and reflect on your past year will help you in planning for your future. I know that conferences are not supposed to be vacations, but you don’t have to be participating in conference activities 24/7. take some time to go out and enjoy all that Vegas has to offer.

Of course sharpening your saw doesn’t have to be super expensive either. Take advantage of the early registration pricing right now. register and pay before July 21st and you can get the full day of activities at the Adobe Learning Summit for as low as $99. Can’t make that deadline? No worries, the Adobe Learning Summit is only $249.00 USD ($199.00 with DevLearn registration).–expo–adobe-learning-summit/


Adobe Presenter Video Express, A Cool Quick Video Tool

For major video projects, or when I need to edit videos beyond  just trimming I use Adobe Primer; however, when I needed to do just short Web cam videos or screen captures I would used other tools, mainly Techsmith’s Camtasia Studios. But the other day I downloaded Adobe Presenter Express and I was very impressed. Adobe Presenter Express is a top notch capture program, and it is fast! Creating tutorials using screen capture was easy and intuitive and the  “Change Your Web Cam Background” feature is awesome.

The editing feature are still pretty basic, but if you are creative and think outside the box you can do some pretty cool stuff. I use a Sony EVI-D70C pan/tilt/zoom camera and Dazzle video capture device instead of a Web camera, and using the change background feature I can make talking head videos without using the green screen. I save time because now I can use Adobe Presenter Video Express to record my videos and change the background on the fly instead of recording in front of the green screen and then using Primer to ultra key the video and then produce it. Creating tutorials using screen capture, and producing small Web cam videos was easy and fast using Adobe Presenter Video Express. If you are looking for a good capture tool and you are already using other Adobe Creative Suite tools, then using Adobe Presenter Video Express is a no brainier.



Captivate 2017: A Great Tool For Adult Learning

I have been an instructional designer for 17 years, and I had used Adobe Captivate many years (and versions) ago. I have been looking to move from higher education into corporate training and one of the requirements I see most often in postings is Adobe Captivate experience, so to make sure I was up to date on Captivate, I downloaded the free trail. Adobe Captivate 2017 and its ability to create responsive content has come a long way over the years! I heard in a Webinar that Adobe Captivate is used by 80% of Fortune 500 companies, and I can see why. Adobe Captivate 2017 allows for the creation of engaging content quickly that can be used on several platforms. I was very impressed with Adobe Captivate 2017 and plan to continue using this tool.


Started to develop an e learning course with great experience – Captivate 2017

While I was searching for an e learning devolopment tool it was no long time that it was clear. I will use Adobe Captivate. Many articles where is written that it is difficult to use for no-adobe-users did not confirm.


I downloaded at midnight, installed it and began. I failed. But no Problem. I googled for the Basics and I found a mass of Information about it. The best tutorials and hints for beginners on YouTube on the channel of Paul Wilson. He is a great developer, who helped me to learn the basics in 48 hours and he is the reason why I am writing this testimonial. Here is the link to his channel for every beginner like me:


I think this Software is really as good as I expected of Adobe.


Have a great day and fun with Adobe Captiavte 2017 everyone!


Gabriel Müller

I am sorry if my english in this testimonial is not perfect. I am from Germany

Thank You to the Adobe eLearning Community

2017-07-06 10-04-35 PM

I reached a milestone today and I wanted to give thanks and credit where it was due. Today my YouTube channel, which is dedicated to Adobe eLearning products and services, surpassed 5,000 subscribers. I’d like to take the time to thank not only the Adobe eLearning team members but to all my subscribers. I know full well that most of them have probably come from the eLearning Community at one point or another. Thank you all.

I’d like to make a special mention to Shambu Nashi ,  Allen Partridge, and of course Pooja Jaisingh  for all their support as well. Thanks!

Now I just have 95,000 more subscribers to go to get my silver play button from YouTube. If I ever do achieve that goal, I will proudly display it so that it can be seen in all my future Adobe Captivate tutorials, for all 100,000 subscribers to see.