11 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hello Chris!

Thanks for posting your question here in the E-Learning Heroes Community. I myself have experience developing e-learning in both Articulate 360 and in Captivate and think I can offer some insights...

The big difference here is that when you get Captivate, you're only going to get that one authoring tool. On the other hand, Articulate 360 is a subscription offering that includes everything you need to create e-learning, including:

  • 2 authoring tools (Storyline 360 and Rise)
  • a review platform (Review) that allows your stakeholders and reviewers to easily leave feedback on your courses
  • a huge library of over 2 million assets including stock photos, videos, slide templates and characters (Content Library)
  • Video recording & editing tools (Replay & Peek)
  • And weekly live training sessions (Live) that you can attend anytime to learn how to use the tools, learn new tips, tricks, etc. 

Storyline 360 is the tool that competes directly with Captivate and both tools have many of the same features. The main difference is that  Storyline is much easier to learn and more intuitive; the learning curve is much less steep with Storyline than with Captivate. This alone is a reason many people choose Storyline over Captivate (including myself, this is the reason I made the switch from using Captivate to Storyline when Storyline was first released in 2012)

With Articulate 360 you're going to get a ton of value because you're not only going to get one authoring tool, you're going to get an entire package of tools created specifically for e-learning developers. Not only that, but Articulate's Support is top notch and something we pride ourselves on. Our online community (which you've found! yay! ) is very responsive and always here to help. These are a few additional reasons people tend to love Articulate. 

I do hope this helps... I highly recommend downloading the free trial of Articulate 360 so you can see for yourself (at no cost and no risk) how easy it is to use Storyline (and all the other tools included in the subscription!) 

If you have any further questions I'm happy to answer them! 

Tim A

Hello Chris


Here is the Captivate overview: http://www.adobe.com/products/captivate/features.html

But, you may have already seen it. I will get back with my impressions in a couple of days.



It took me much less time that I had expected. Captivate 2017 is exactly the same things as Captivate 9 - the improvements are negligible and the most demanded improvements are not there. The quizzing system is exactly the same as 10 years ago - no partial scoring, no individual feedback on test items within questions and most of these issues need to be addressed with the help of third party widgets which only work in SWF output, i.e. no HTML5 solutions.

Apart from that, as the page (link above) says, Adobe offers almost the same features as the 360 - an authoring suite, screencasting, adaptive players (slightly more flexibility and functionality there), libraries and text-to-speech functionality. Some of these features can be published to SCORM.

Captivate is seemingly less user-friendly because they do not rely on the Microsoft Office ribbon interface. Instead, they have devised their own, but it still needs improvement.

However, you can feel that behind all that they are still using decade old systems with some, perhaps copied from Storyline (such object state functionality), features. I own Captivate 8 and in the past I designed many multimedia language courses with it, but, eventually, I stopped upgrading and using it because I could no longer understand why I should shell out another 800-1000 bucks for exactly the same suite with some tiny "improvements" that should have been released as updates. I have just trialed CP 2017 and the difference is minute.

Overall, it all depends on what type of courseware you want to produce, or, better, what you want your students to do and achieve. Regular LMS' such as Moodle are beginning to offer the features and flexibility that I need to produce very effective highly interactive multimedia courses. It is free and the students are happy and paying. I think the authoring suite WOW-effect is wearing off.

My personal recommendation is to trial both suites on a serious project and see how far you can get on with it.

Dominique Laws

Hi, I loved using Storyline 2 and 360  at my previous employer! I recently started a new position where they are using Captivate 2017 specifically because of its 508 compliant aspects. Can you give me some information on Storyline 360's 508 complaint features as they compare with Captivate 2017? I know the closed caption has been enhanced with this last update. I'm trying to sell the transition from Captivate to Articulate to my leadership and the clients we work for. 

Nicole Legault

Hi Dominique!

Here's some information about 508 and Storyline: 

Hope these resources are helpful for you! I can't speak personally to Captivate's accessibility features since that's not an area of that tool that I'm familiar or experienced with. Hopefully some others in the community who do have experience there may chime in as well. Thanks for posting your question here in the community :) 

Dominique Laws

Hi Nicole, thank you I've accessed some of these resources already to build my case. I will look at the others you listed and incorporate them into my document! 

Also do you know if there is an info sheet of the features storyline has that the competitors do not? This would also be helpful!

Thanks again!!!


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dominique,

I don't believe we have a chart comparing Articulate 360 to other e-learning tools in the market, but I'm certain our Sales team would be happy to talk with you more about the features of Articulate 360 and how it compares to other tools out there.

Feel free to reach out to them directly using the form or phone number listed here! 😀

Michael Hinze

There are lots of CP vs. SL comparison lists and posts floating around the Internet. Most of them are horribly incomplete, one-sided or plain wrong. Here and here is some good, balanced info by Joe Ganci. In the end, YOU have to decide which tool works best for YOUR content, budget, organization, etc.

Brandon Tanguay

I am running into a similar situation with my workplace. I have been a Storyline User for years and found it very easy to get going. Now we are considering the differences between Articulate 360 and Captivate 2017. 

I've been doing my homework and comparing the two and trying to be as impartial as possible. I have attached a spreadsheet that I am using to compare detailed features that I care about as a practical user, not the standard "flyer features" type comparisons. Along with my findings of the features, I gave my score of 1-5 for each program; some of the features are present in both, but many times, one is better than the other. 

Anyone looking at the same, If you have input to share, I would love to hear about it! If I have made errors on Captivate that you know of in my list, I hope that you would be kind enough to help me out.

If anyone is interested, I'll be happy to continue to compile any knowledge I gain and reshare with updates. 

Tom Kuhlmann

Software is software and you'll be able to build what you want in either tool. Feature by feature comparisons can be tough because all features aren't created equal. I think workflow is the key consideration.

I always tell people to build a tabs interaction in both tools. Then indicate that the tab was visited. And disable the next button navigation with the condition to enable it when all of the tabs are visited.

It's an easy project to build while trialing the software and kind of typical of many projects. It also gives you a sense of the workflow in the tools.

I'm in our Seattle workshop today and one of the people was telling me yesterday that he went from a Storyline company to a Captivate company and he's now back to Storyline with another company. What he saw as the biggest difference was the help and support he gets from the Articulate community.

On the surface, community may just be a single cell on a checklist, but in reality the post purchase support you get from Articulate between the community and the support team, can save you a lot of time and money.

Brandon Tanguay

Thanks Tom! Your input is very much valued! I have to agree with you. The community with Storyline seems much more engaged. There is a great mix of Articulate support within the discussions, but it is great to see so many actual users helping one another with true everyday solutions. 

With what I see in the Adobe community, it's less involved. There are just a handful of people responding to posts and I have yet to see an expert from the Adobe involved in discussions. 

One of the other things I love about e-learning Heroes is the challenges. When I was first starting in Storyline, the challenges gave me inspiration to branch out and try new things. It was encouraging to see other examples and find new ways to use the features. I have yet to find anything like this in Adobe's community forum. This is one of the things that I feel makes a strong foundation for the Storyline experience.