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.



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