Articulate vs. Captivate

Perhaps you can help me with a problem I'm having.  I'm sold on Articulate and I'm pushing to get the software.  But my company has thrown a curve at me and is now trying to force me into using Captivate 5 because IT already has a license for it.  The ridiculous thing about all of this is that no one around here has used Captivate to create elearning nor knows anything about elearning authoring.  I can only assume that Captivate was purchased as a screen-capture tool.

I've built a solid case FOR Articulate but that won't help if I can't show Captivate to be inferior to Articulate.  I'm solidly in the Articulate camp based soley on reviews and awards, and know very little about Captivate.  Has anyone done a comparison of the two that explains why you chose Articulate over Captivate?

You opinion is very valuable to me.  Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

37 Replies
eLearning Wannabe

Excellent blog post!   And you're right, there are pros to each program, which is why it would be nice to have them all.  Makes very good sense to start with Articulate and then add the others as you can.

I'm betting that getting this elearning course developed in Articulate and rolled out to our users will definitely tip the scales in my favour and help convince my management that elearning is the way to go, and that it should be developed using Articulate.  And that's not to say that we abandon all other types of learning, but rather, that we add elearning to what we already have and do well.

Joe Deegan

You hit on a good point about not abandoning other types of learning.  I introduced eLearning in my organization and a big selling point is how it has improved the time spent in the live "face to face" classes.  We have improved the quality of face to face while reducing the time and costs associated to it by using eLearning as a pre or post work activity.  This way learners come into the face to face session with some pre requisite knowledge and you can jump right into the nitty gritty when they arrive.

eLearning Wannabe

Exactly!  Blended learning has many advantages and elearning is just one of many tools at our disposal.  It's also important to note other factors that come into play - such as intended audience, where they are located, # of participants, subject matter, feedback required, access, one-offs, cost, urgency, etc., all or some of which may deem elearning unsuitable for that situation. 

Tim Danes

I have extensive experience in both products, Captivate 5,6,7,8 and Articulate 1and 2).  For me personally, I hate all the work-arounds required to make Captivate 'dance' for gamification.  That is, the Advanced Actions are very cumbersome and glitchy, and I find my build times are literally 50%+ faster in Articulate.

All that being said, Captivate's library makes updating screenshots worth it for large-run systems-based training that requires translation.  This is a very niche task, but Captivate does it superbly.  i.e. You capture all your screens with exactly the same size etc.  Then, when you create the screenshots of the French version, you replace the files (with matching file names), and update all objects... job done.

Like I said, super-niched perfection, but does the job very well.  For everything else, Articulate Storyline all the way!

Brian Allen
Tim Danes

the Advanced Actions are very cumbersome and glitchy, and I find my build times are literally 50%+ faster in Articulate

Very true here - everytime I do a demo of Storyline for Captivate users I ask them how long it would have taken to build the same interaction in Captivate, and Storyline blows it away hands down.

That being said, I do agree with you that I like how Captivate handles the media library.

Tim Danes

Thanks Brian.  And I think there are some things around gamification that Captivate simply cannot do (unless you perhaps include complex Javascripts).    

I recently came into the private contracting role, and decided to rebuild my website in Articulate Storyline.  The current build is a case in point of the incredible power of Storyline and I've thrown about 4 days at it so far.  There is simply no way I would attempt to do it in Captivate, despite my knowledge of the product.  

In addition, last week I was given a product re-build using the 'responsive user interface' template for Captivate.  The client wanted drag and drop put into it (amongst other things), and the d'n'd functionality turned out to be impossible to configure in the responsive UI.  After trying multiple work-arounds, I cut and pasted it into a normal template and rebuilt the missing elements.  I found this a bit disappointing, because the 'idea' of responsive UI is great... execution by Captivate, unworkable.

Hopefully AS will tackle that one in the future?!

Brian Allen

I haven't heard if responsive design is on the radar for Articulate, but it would be sweet.  I know it's a feature we'd make use of where I work, and I can't imagine we're the only ones.

I've submitted a feature request to have this added.  You may consider adding your voice to those making this same request -