Question about Adobe Captivate

Looking over Adobe Captivate updates for the last six version of their software has left me extremely impressed with Articulate Storyline. Version Six has new drag and drop features... Really? That took them a decade to come out with that? How many programmers work on Captivate, like two?


Trying to alleviate some concerns here because my boss worries that Captivate might overrun Storyline someday with better features and a more intuitive interface. Does anyone whose worked with Adobe Captivate think this? If, for example, it has taken Adobe 10 years to update drag and drop features, how serious are they on cornering the eLearning market?

Thanks,

Jesse

16 Replies
Ken Stafford

Wow you have got to be kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Captivate is clunky and full of bugs.  I have spent three years with Captivate 4 -5 -6 and it just doesnt get any better.  I have been with Storyline now for 6 months and have created by far more professional looking courses and have been able to do so much more.

The Captivate forums are good with people like rick and Libya helping people out but the Storyline forums are a lot better with Articulate staff regularly reading threads and offering support, even to the extent where they will ask you to send your project to them for fault finding.  I have found the Captivate staff are unintrested.

Many of the annoying bugs in Captivate have been reported over the years but still remain, just read the forums to see what they are.

Adobe decided they would no longer allow my organisation, which is national and one of the biggest employers in the world, to purcahse Captivate on the educational licence so I and several other NHS Trusts have along with me come over to Storyline.  It may not be cheaper but it is so much better.

Ken

Jesse Spinella

I haven't tried Captivate, so I'm unfamiliar with the product - but I'm really impressed with Articulate and their product support. Especially how helpful their community is when answering a question. I have no qualms about Storyline; but my boss sees the company name Adobe and gets the idea that if they put money behind their eLearning software it'll be x10 stronger than Storyline.

Had no idea that Captivate had so many issues. Thanks for the info.

Ken Stafford

Hi Jesse

All I will say is look at Captivates forums and then at Storyline's.  You will notice a lot of threads on Captivate are ' Why isn't this working' type questions while on Storyline its more 'how do I'.

Abdobe is a big name but that doesn't mean they will continue to throw money at something that doesn't work.

Jerson  Campos

My organization works with Captivate. I was hooked on adobe software products back when I first learned to use Photoshop 4 (yes that long ago) and have become very profecient in many of their other products. Lately though, they seem to just be pumping out new software version without any actually really inspiring new features. Captivate is a big offender in that. I have only used the Storyline demo and I was able to do so much more in those 30 days then I could with Captivate. There are a few features that I think captivate beats storyline in (built in TTS would be great) , but they are few. And the features that Storyline has greatly overpower anything captivate has. Storyline is so much easier to use.

I have been trying to convince my supervisors that we need to move to Storyline, and after the recent announcement that adobe has made about their new purchase and subscription policy (look this up if you are concerned about pricing) they are slowly getting convinced.

Michael Hinze

I may live to regret this but here is my two cents: I have been using Captivate since it was still called RoboDemo and have been working with Storyline since its release.

Both tools have their strength and weaknesses, both have unique features and BOTH have bugs. As with any tool,  you have to work with the tools limitations. I do agree with the comments about Articluate's awesome community support, that is something that should figure into any purchase decision as a huge plus for Storyline. I also agree with the comments about bugs in Captivate that have been there for years.

I think that Storyline has already changed the eLearning landscape and I'm sure will continue to innovate, while Captivate seems to be in perpetual catch-up mode.

I have just finished a massive project in Storyline which originally was started in Captivate. I made some notes along the way that you might find useful, here is the blog post: http://wp.me/p2BoUf-3R

Michael Heckman

I personally have been using Captivate since Version 1.0 and my company has been "all in" for the entire Adobe Master Collection. Even with this much Captivate familiarity, I've become a major fan of Storyline. 

Trying to alleviate some concerns here because my boss worries that Captivate might overrun Storyline someday with better features and a more intuitive interface.

Worrying about what one system may have "someday" seems to be an exercise in futility.  In the here and now, we've found that Storyline enables us to develop more innovative courses more cost effectively than Captivate. The main advantages to Captivate for us are: 1) integration with other Adobe applications and 2) advanced accessibility features (for 508 compliance).  Storyline does both to the extent we need-- just not as well. Neither advantage, however, has proven to trump Storyline's overall elegance, ease of use, mobile capability, or PPT workflow. At least not for us.

I would suggest that anybody trying to convince a supervisor to switch from Captivate to Storyline first follow Ken's excellent advice and "look at Captivates forums and then at Storyline's." I would also suggest trying to recreate one of your existing courses in the trial versions of both products, carefully comparing the level of effort head to head.

Nancy Woinoski

Michael Hinze said:

I may live to regret this but here is my two cents: I have been using Captivate since it was still called RoboDemo and have been working with Storyline since its release.

Both tools have their strength and weaknesses, both have unique features and BOTH have bugs. As with any tool,  you have to work with the tools limitations. I do agree with the comments about Articluate's awesome community support, that is something that should figure into any purchase decision as a huge plus for Storyline. I also agree with the comments about bugs in Captivate that have been there for years.

I think that Storyline has already changed the eLearning landscape and I'm sure will continue to innovate, while Captivate seems to be in perpetual catch-up mode.

I have just finished a massive project in Storyline which originally was started in Captivate. I made some notes along the way that you might find useful, here is the blog post: http://wp.me/p2BoUf-3R


This is too funny, I recently did a project in Captivate that sounds very similar to yours although the videos were just of a "talking head". I ended up redoing it in Storyline primarily because I could not get the Captivate module to play nicely on Chrome (PC or Mac) so I read your blog and agree with most of your observations.

Although I don't think this one is accurate:

  • "SL offers several useful triggers for navigation, for example ‘Jump to Slide”. However, there is no way to navigate back to the last visited slide (which ever that may have been) like in CP6." 

In SL if you want to jump back to the last visited slide, you use the jump to "previous slide" trigger.

And although this is true:

  •  "often cut&paste slides or other assets from one project to another. Captivate allows to open multiple projects; Storyline doesn’t."

Storyline has the import storyline feature that you can use to import slides from one story to another.

Jerson  Campos

@ Michael Hinze

I really like the comparison you made based on your actual workflow.  Its great to see how each software's features perform when made to "walk the walk".

I actually did a double take (err... double read?) when you mentioned that Cap 6 had drag and drop. I did a quick search and found a few articles on it. The new features are a great addition, but they are only available if you have a subscription or ASA member. This is what irked me and my boss. We just recenlty purchased new licenses of the eLearning Suite and Technical Suite and now we have sign up for a subscription just to get the patch to get the bugs fixed? That is a slap to many customers.

Michael Hinze

@Nancy, thanks for the comments. As I mentioned, my notes were a snapshot of what I knew at the time, I should go back and update

@Jerson, I completely agree about the ASA issue. There has been A LOT of heated discussions about this new policy in Captivate communities; lots of folks (including me) are not happy about it. I guess the `Software as a service`model is the future, but the way they implemented this was terrible.

Jerson  Campos

Yeah, if they had done this as part of the next major upgrade of each software then it wouldn't have been as bad.  But to do it after a short time of releasing captivate 6 and then saying we won't be even be getting patches and fixes unless we go to the subscription service that is ridiculous.

Nancy Woinoski

Hi Wim, with Storyline you can have multiple projects open but to do this you have to launch separate instances of the application. If you have a project open and select Open from the File menu, Storyline forces you to close the first one before it opens the second one. 

With Captivate you can have more than one project open at a time and toggle back and forth between them within the same instance of the application.

Bruce Graham

Nancy Woinoski said:

Hi Wim, with Storyline you can have multiple projects open but to do this you have to launch separate instances of the application. If you have a project open and select Open from the File menu, Storyline forces you to close the first one before it opens the second one. 

With Captivate you can have more than one project open at a time and toggle back and forth between them within the same instance of the application. 

Although this is not really an issue, I am puzzled as to why this is the case. Just seems to be a bit strange...it is just a "document" after all.

Bruce

Nancy Woinoski

Wim van den Bosch said:

@Nancy, thanks for your feedback. 

I did remember indeed that I could open multiple projects and the same time, maybe I'm missing something but I don't see it as an issue to have 2 (or more) separate instances of the program running.

Cheers,

Wim


Hi Wim, It is not an issue for me either but opening up more than one instance of the application could use up more system resources.

Sheila Bulthuis

Jerson campos said:

I have been trying to convince my supervisors that we need to move to Storyline, and after the recent announcement that adobe has made about their new purchase and subscription policy (look this up if you are concerned about pricing) they are slowly getting convinced.

Can anyone point me to a concise, straightforward explanation of how Adobe's purchase/subscription policy negatively impacts customers from a practical standpoint?  I've done some searching but am just finding a lot of disjointed info.  If needed i can piece it all together, but would sure love to find a blog post or something else where someone has already done that!

I'm trying to convince a client to move to Storyline - they currently will only use Captivate.  One of my arguments for Storyline has been that if they move to Captivate 6 (they have 5.5), they won't get patches/updates because their IT dept won't allow a subscription, and courses that are developed in, say, 6.1 (subscription only) won't work properly if opened in 6.  This is an issue for them because they use a lot of contractors/vendors, and right now they have to require that everyone use 5.5, or posssibly 6.0 in the future.  This is making it more difficult to find good contractors for development - I think they'd have a much easier time if they also used Storyline.