Articulate (Storyline) Vs Adobe (Captivate)

Jan 30, 2013

Hi folks,

We are looking to strategically invest in tools from one company . We really like Articulate and 90% of our content has been built in Articulate tools (though we have eLearning Suite too). In the next 6 months we are looking to grow the eLearning team and hence want to standardize on one tool. The answers to the questions below will help us make our decision:

  1. HTML5 for Android: Today, Storyline output works on iPad (and works well I must say). However, we have 20K+ learners in India where Andriod is very popular. Is there going to be a HTML output that is compatible with Andriod.
  2. Mobile app framework: Learning is going mobile. Is there an app framework that we can leverage here. Note our LMS is based on Moodle.
  3. Custom Player Skin: While we love the default articulate skin, we want our courses to look unique and want a custom skin. In the past we purchased the skin from eLearning brothers. However, the dont offer skins for Storyline.
  4. Future StoryLine releases: We like to be on the cutting edge of eLearning development. I want to know if there will be another version of Storyline in say.. 2 years. We want to make sure that we invest in an evolving platform.

Thank you so much for your support.



36 Replies
Paula Bright

Nice, succinct video. It kept my interest, and I have no desire to have anything to do with the FBI! ;)

My problem is different. I've been trying to learn Captivate for over a year and a half, then came responsive...and it apparently isn't yet compatible with many devices and six months trying with that, and I'm beat! I'm tired.

I just teach kids who fail to learn to read elsewhere, be it school, or homeschool, and I succeed. I want to create stuff for them to work on when they're not with me. So the short video only route Todd suggests, while probably perfect for many, isn't the answer for me. They need interactivity AFTER the short video, to show me and themselves that they got it. I abandon all my hard-won knowledge, which admittedly at the moment is not getting me anywhere with Captivate, and try Articulate? I must admit, if it's a Powerpoint thing, it isn't my style. I don't know if that's true---I've just gotten that impression in my reading and researching.

I SO need help deciding what to do. I know I could download a trial. Then that's one more thing on my list of things I have to figure out, and frankly, my students need me working on them, not programs! Sorry if I sound frustrated. I am. I thought Captivate was truly what would make my program viable for kids whose parents can't afford to hire me as a private online reading teacher. I wanted to spread my non-traditional methods around to poorer families.

You're right. Of course I should download it and give it a try. Woohoo! My frustration level just went a notch higher! When, I wonder, will I just bust open with all of it and end up a smiling imbecile? ;) 

Miss Paula

Paula Bright

YUP! A non-smiling imbecile! After all this time reading about the advantages and disadvantages (several hours!)--

I only at the last minute discover it doesn't work with Mac??? How big a loser have I just become? 

Man, oh, man! My foot hurts from where I just shot meself! See you guys if they ever include us. 

Best of luck to all of you!


Steve Flowers

Parallels, VMWare Fusion, and VirtualBox are all environments that allow you to run Windows on your Mac. I prefer running in a virtual machine and it's really pretty simple to setup. Installing Parallels or VMWare Fusion then walking through the process of installing Windows (requires buying a license of Windows) gives you a tidy space to launch your Windows apps. You'll need quite a bit of RAM to run things well but the VM environment offers a lot of advantages. For example, you can setup snapshots once you have things configured. If your configuration gets boogered up, you can easily roll back. With a fast drive, loading up a VM is just as fast as booting if not faster.

Some folks run in a partition using Bootcamp. I prefer to be able to three-finger swipe between the Mac environment and the Windows environment. I can easily use and share resources using my Mac tools with the Win environment.

I've never run Storyline on a PC.

Paul Brennan

Miss Paula,

I had a very similar experience. I can only say I finally bit the bullet and changed to storyline. Best move I ever made. It is not only far more intuitive but a real pleasure to use. Also on the odd occasion I have got stuck, I have posted on the forum and without fail someone (usually several people) have provided a solution, usually within minutes.

Hope that helps

Sent from my 4G Ready Samsung Galaxy S4 on Three

Shailesh Gurav

Hello everyone,
I have been following this thread since so long. Everyone is discussing their own experience while few are just agreeing the fact that others said.
I am also an Articulate's legendary Storyline fan and a very old Adobe Captivate user (>9 yrs now).

Few things I've noticed about SL are;

Plus points:
Familiar interface (Like MS PowerPoint)
Limited customization in terms of preloader, templates and player which makes this a stable tool
eLearning standards support : AICC/SCORM/Tin can
Output looks professional and smooth (no nonsense or no stability issues of Flash environment like Captivate)
Very light weight in terms controlling media library and encoding sounds and video files.
Applying advanced actions (triggers) are easy as compared to Captivate. You need less IQ while applying advanced actions in SL. Overall its very easy.
Branching and slides and scenes is best way to plan and map your elearning. (which is difficult in Captivate)
You can recognize SL published files is the best thing about SL. I know most of you here will not agree with this point, but I think this is the way SL PR strategist want to promote this product. In long term, no wonder if you find any elearning or mLearning, people say it must be made with Articulate SL just by looking at it.
Is a complete WYSIWYG tool.

-ve Points:
Prolonged use of SL can harm your PC. This is not to criticise the tool, but I've experience it. Its been 4 years now Im using SL. I am an Instructional technologist and most of the times (daily approx. 6-7 hrs.), I play around with the SL features, compare it with other tools in the market. I found SL takes lot of your PCs RAM and which causes continuous ups and downs in the processor's overall activity. So make sure you have enough cooling tools arrangements made for your processor.
Image editing is a bit tricky during development, where Captivate knows how to do it well and automatically updates without manual import.

I've attended few Adobe conferences, where few developers came up with the concept that will makes it easy to build mLearning modules using Captivate. I cannot reveal what it actually is. But I can only say, it is a kind of simulator where you can attach your tablet or smartphone with your PC or Mac, which detects the resolution of the device and you can easily match the resolution which you want. Also there is a tool which comes with simulator which makes your work easy with few jQuery and APIs.
Hope, SL developers will find this informative.

Shailesh G


Duane Dickey


Sorry for the late reply, I just joined the community.

I am a "Machead" who also gets frustrated by the lack of software available.

I have used a product called Screenflow for video production. It has worked well and has several nice features that make it easy for the learner to follow. I don't know how much interactivity you are trying to build into your presentations, but it is worth a look.

I have an older Macbook Pro that I run Windows products from time to time via Parallels. I only have 4g of ram, so it pushes the machine pretty hard, but with some patience it works.

Hope this helps.

Ronda Mullen

Hi Morten, a follow-up with you because I am new to eLearning, which means I am new to Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate 9. I am planning on purchasing one or both of the tools and learning how to use them. From the research I have done, Adobe Captivate is good for software simulations and demos, and Articulate is good for soft skills or non-technical eLearning modules. Is my sense correct? I am picturing Articulate to be similar to Adobe Presenter but better.

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