Have you switched from Captivate to Storyline?

Oct 10, 2012

I'd like to hear from some people who have switched from Captivate to Storyline. We are considering making this move for our team of 6 curriculum developers. We are considering making the change from Captivate 5 because Storyline seems to be easier to learn, and faster to develop with, is publishable to HTML5, and mobile formats, offers easy-to-edit software simulation/screen recording,  has a great support community, and has a responsive development team.

We hesitate to upgrade to Captivate 6 because when we upgraded in the past we lost some features, or had to create workarounds to features that no longer worked. Adobe doesn't make Captivate a priority, and we're frustrated with how that effects us.

Currently, when we need to rapidly create software simulations, we use Camtasia, but we really hope that Storyline will be able to replace that tool for us as well.

So, if you've made the switch, please post about your experience, what you can now do better with Storyline, what capabilities you miss from Captivate, etc. 



13 Replies
Peter Anderson

Welcome to the forums, Julie!

I'm sure others will jump in with their own personal experience, but just thought I'd share the following article by RJ Jacquez, who spent six years as a senior product evangelist for Adobe Captivate. He provides an excellent comparison of Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate:

"7 reasons why the new Articulate Storyline is a Game-Changer for eLearning and mLearning"

Gerry Wasiluk

Forgive my "fanboy-ish" ramblings . . .

But I think it's high praise for Articulate that for a product that's only been out for 5 months now that some folks are considering moving from a good product like Captivate to Storyline.

Yes, Storyline has some bugs and many opportunities for improvement here and there (what v1 product doesn't ) but the hard work, vision and innovation needs to be recognized by us from time to time here. 

Making software simple to use while still being powerful, along with providing great support and other resources, is not easy.

With one major update out already, can't wait to see what future updates and versions brings us.  So if you have suggestions on things to improve in screen recording and other Storyline features, send them in.

Back to your regular scheduled programming . . .

Julie Eaton

More high praise for Articulate:  We were so impressed with Storyline when we attended Tom's training--for so many reasons. We especially like all the triggers that are so easy to set up. With Captivate, many of those kind of actions have to be set up using Advanced Actions or Advanced Interactions, which are difficult to get right. Another thing we liked: Articulate is so responsive to it's customers and so committed to meeting their needs. To our team, it is obvious that Captivate is not a high priority for Adobe. It is not uncommon to report a problem and not get a resolution.  Another big plus for Storyline is the e-learning community--so friendly and helpful, so many templates, photos, images, ideas. 

Roger Mepham


I am evaluating Storyline in my new company I only recently joined for creating software based e-learning.. I have used Captivate for years and got the Captivate 6 eval to create a demo. I had heard about problems with the new verison crashing and then when it came to using it, it was a nightmare. LIke going back to Captivate 3. Plus things like embedding videos just flat refused to work in Html 5.

I tried to resolve the problems but its depressing going on the Captivate user forums with pages and pages of problems users have. Plus the fixe's seem to to involve tracking down some odd zip file and installing it on the system somewhere.

Once you understand how Storyline uses video for highlights and rollovers and how you need to tweak the Action Fine Tuning for the screencast on each slide then the process of capturing screens and deploying in traditional Demo/Practise/Mastery format is very straightforward.

Plus the IOS output and deployment options are killer features.

Yes it crashes (but much less severely than Captivate 6) and it is a little rough around the edges but in my testing so far its leagues ahead of Captivate in simplicity and power.

Anna Veach

Funny, but I've never really thought of Captivate as an eLearning development tool. I only ever used it to create simulations based on screen captures. Granted, it's been a few years since I last used it and perhaps it had more development capability added in but still, I believe it was only originally created to develop simulations and screen captures. Just my two cents. Of course, since Storyline has Captivate capabilities built in, there won't be any need for integrating sims from Captivate unless they were built previously.

James Washington

We've utilized Captivate 2,3 and 4 but like Anna, primarily for simulations and exercises only, never as a complete online training solution though I believe it to be entirely capable of providing such a product. I work for a government client that is not so quick to buy into the most recent upgrades (not for a lack of trying on my part) so we haven't moved beyond CS4. However, I've recently been tasked with over-hauling some of our oldest courses (some of which were developed with tools as ancient as authorware!) and so i'm looking and evaluating some of the newer tools on the market, knowing there is a high possibility I'll be stuck with utilizing my usual cocktail of dreamweaver, captivate from CS4.

Storyline is appealing so far but if it comes down to investing in Storyline or an upgrade to the CS6 learning suite, my client will most likely stick with the upgrade unless I can make a compelling argument for doing otherwise.

Anna Veach

Wow Semaj, I remember Authorware! It was being "phased out" in 2005 when I was on a team that was working to transfer around 300 courses from an even older program called Mandarin to Authorware (and again, it was being phased out while we were upgrading to it).

As a follow up, I have been working on two different Storyline projects since the last time I replied to this message and I'd say that Storyline is TOTALLY worth the price. In fact, I found it to be a lot more reasonable than I originally thought (granted, it had been a few years since I last checked the price). I haven't used the screen capture feature in Storyline yet but I've already imported a Power Point presentation, made some minor edits and republished it in SCORM 1.2 so that it can be viewed on my company's LMS, something that is not so easy to do with Captivate.

I'd say that not only are the cool features built in to Storyline worth it, but the amount of support available through forums such as this plus the extensive tutorials already available are what really sold me on Storyline. It's very frustrating to sit on the phone with the IT people for several hours only to have them finally say "Oh, you have Vista, sorry we aren't supporting Vista and we don't have any plans to at this time."

Just my two cents, which are probably only worth 1/2 a penny.


Laura Fast

We are in the process of switching from Cp 5.5 to SL. I still plan to keep Cp 5.5 (and use it if the need arises) but do not plan to upgrade to Cp 6. Before downloading the 30-day trial of SL I did not have a thought of moving away from Cp. Until SL, I used Cp for full online course development - not just simulations.

SL is a shorter learning curve than I remember Cp being, but I did get fairly proficient in Cp and so learning SL has still challenged me (because I want to immediately be at my Cp proficiency level). But, I think one of the biggest plusses with SL is the community. There is always someone that is ready to answer even the most basic question with patience and genuine interest in helping you achieve your results with SL.

I also think this SL is a better option for iPAD delivery of courses.

I do agree with the issues/limitations on closed captioning mentioned in articles doing comparisons so I hope that this is addressed in the next version.

When you think about it - SL is only in its initial version and already offers so much, future versions can only improve a great product

Jeff Forrer

Hello, I have been using Storyline now for a few months.  I also develop with Flash, Articulate, Lectora and Captivate, depending on the client need and training need.  I have to say if you want to put together effective training in a fast manner, Storyline is a great tool.  I can do something in Storyline (like a simple click tell or branching interaction) much, much quicker in Storyline than in Captivate.  If I could push my clients to Storyline, I would use that 'hands down' over the other tools because of its simplicity to put training applications together.  What I put together is not just real simple training applications, but more complicated ones as well.

Captivate is a good tool, but it just takes too long to put interactions together, and in order to duplicate previously created interactions, SL is much faster!

James Washington

Just curious. I've noticed a few course examples provided within this forum but didn't see any oriented toward software or application driven training? Has anyone seen a demo or example of this developed with SL?

Oh, and one more question for those who have used SL, is there a "text-to-speech" feature available for those looking to avoid the expense of hiring voice talent?

Bruce Graham

Hi Semaj,

I'm currently developing a series of 11 application training modules in SL, using Screen-recording functionality, the first 5 modules extremely well received commercially.

Sorry I cannot share, however, even just using the "Show" functionality and no "Try" or "Test", I have had some great feedback.

No "text-to-speech" feature available as part of the application, but there are plenty out there. Here's another thread.


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