Adobe Captivate vs. Articulate Storyline

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Adobe Captivate
Score 7.2 out of 10
N/A
Adobe Captivate is an elearning authoring and course design tool (or LCMS). It supports mobile HTML5 content. Captivate’s users are commonly midsized businesses to enterprises. Adobe Captivate includes some prebuilt assets as well as customizable workflows.
$33.99
per month
Articulate Storyline
Score 8.7 out of 10
N/A
Articulate Storyline is a learning content creation platform. It provides prebuilt and customizable content, along with gamification capabilities. Articulate emphasizes user-friendliness, including mobile accessibility. It is offered on a perpetual license.
$1,398
Pricing
Adobe CaptivateArticulate Storyline
Editions & Modules
Subscription
$33.99
per month
Student & Teacher Edition
$399
one-time fee
Upgrade
$499
one-time fee
Pereptual License
1,299
one-time fee
Storyline3
$1,398
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Adobe CaptivateArticulate Storyline
Free Trial
YesYes
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional Details
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Adobe CaptivateArticulate Storyline
Considered Both Products
Adobe Captivate
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate is a superior solution when it comes to the overall flexibility of the platform, but does require a more advanced skill set to take advantage of the features and functions within. We ultimately selected Articulate Storyline over Adobe Captivate because of the …
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate has more robust functionality than any of its competition. It is truly an all-in-one content creation tool that lets you create everything from the most simple to the most advanced eLearning modules. Moreover, it allows you to have more minute control over every …
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate is a bit harder to learn than Articulate Storyline. Adobe Captivate was already in place when I started at the company, but we were trying to get Articulate Storyline instead. I have heard Adobe Captivate is doing some great stuff with AI and augmented reality, …
Chose Adobe Captivate
My experience with Articulate is very limited and the vast majority of my work has been in Captivate. I would not feel comfortable providing a comparison in this case.
Chose Adobe Captivate
Articulate Storyline has less than impressive graphic editing capabilities, no access to the library, and a quirky button set to feature. Their free trial is very limited access to anything in Storyline 360 assets.
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate is much more powerful than the Articulate products. It can take your training much further. If you can imagine it, you ca create it in Captivate. It also makes it easy to maintain simulations as they are recorded a individual pages making it easy to make a quick …
Chose Adobe Captivate
Articulate currently has some benefits over Captivate in flexibility and responsive design, but I think these are being addressed in the next version of Captivate. Articulate is also more fiddly. Mac support is important to our users, who are majority Mac users.
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate is superior in 360 view courseware development. It's outstanding and a delight to work with. That's about it. Unfortunately, Articulate dominates in everything else.
Chose Adobe Captivate
I use both. Both have their strengths and weaknesses but they complement each other.
Chose Adobe Captivate
Captivate is feature-rich and easy-to-use.
Chose Adobe Captivate
While Captivate has some awesome niche features for some circumstances, currently it cannot beat the ease of use with Storyline. Whether it's content, variables, quizes, etc. things are just "easier" in Storyline. Even something as simple as triggering an event when the …
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate is superior because of its easy to learn layout.
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate is perfect for advanced users or users who want to create innovative content. The restrictions are limited to how much/how little a user knows about Adobe Captivate and its features. On this note, beginners may have an easier time getting familiar with and …
Chose Adobe Captivate
It is easier and quicker for me to produce a lesson in Storyline vs. Adobe Captivate. That being said, Adobe Captivate has more options to customize content. It would be nice if Adobe Captivate provided more baseline templates to work with to facilitate quicker lesson production.
Chose Adobe Captivate
While I prefer Storyline for its ease of use, I also use Captivate to accomplish advanced learning training.
Chose Adobe Captivate
Captivate for us is another tool, overall is slower than the competition but it has a version specifically for the Macs we used, it's a very powerful tool that matches the competition apps.
Chose Adobe Captivate
It doesn't. Storyline is far superior in every way, the only reason I gave this is a five is that I know some organizations are still using it due to their size, but against the competition it doesn't stand a chance, I wouldn't recommend this as a buy. I mentioned earlier that …
Chose Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate is very easy to learn, and has pretty much all the features I look for in an authoring tool.
Chose Adobe Captivate
All three have their strengths. I use each for different projects depending on what we are to accomplish.
Articulate Storyline
Chose Articulate Storyline
Although Articulate is not completely reinventing the wheel in regards to authoring e-Learning courses it offers enough unique options to set it apart and if you have ever created a PowerPoint you can start developing with Storyline on day 1, on your first opening. In my …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Articulate Storyline blew Adobe Captivate out of the water. I tried Captivate about two years ago when I was evaluating programs, and it just didn't seem to offer enough creative flexibility. Even today, many courses that I see that are designed with Captivate look the same. …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Articulate is a special product that has many features that differ from LMS and other e-learning tools. Its rich multimedia features and a flexible interface is unique that it can be utilized along with LMS programs and even programs like Adobe Captivate. Essentially it can be …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Articulate Storyline does not have nearly as much of the tools that Adobe Captivate has. However, Captivate leans a great deal on Flash to accomplish its tricks. Storyline is far more intuitive. One of its great benefits over Captivate is that Storyline allows for editable …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Although I like Adobe Captivate and am happy that it is in the market, I do not believe it is as robust and intuitive as developing in Storyline. Additionally, Articulate has bundled Storyline with several other eLearning tools that make it a killer combo.
Chose Articulate Storyline
Overall I like Articulate Storyline much better and found it easier to use since it replicates many of the office products. It also has some good stock images, characters, and templates that you can use instead of paying for them separately. I also like how it’s always …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Captive is also a powerful software for eLearning, but Articulate has a much faster learning curve, in a couple of weeks the factory team could already design and produce with Articulate.

Another advantage of articulate is that it has a very large repository of resources and …
Chose Articulate Storyline
What it ultimately came down to was that we had familiarity with Storyline from previous work experiences. While I cannot speak to the overall comparison relative to learning curve with Storyline versus the Adobe options, I can say that it would appear that based on experience …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Storyline is a lot more user-friendly than the competition. Output looks a lot more polished with little input.
Chose Articulate Storyline
I've used a few other products that are similar to Storyline. Captivate by Adobe is overly complex and frustrating at times, so that's gonna be a "no go" for most users. The addition of these new 360 applications (Rise, Review, etc) makes Articulate the top option when it comes …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Articulate Storyline is more user friendly than Captivate, uses fewer resources, and produces a smoother product.
Chose Articulate Storyline
Storyline is definitely the most user-friendly option I've identified. The settings and controls are similar to Microsoft products, which makes it super easy to learn, and easy to train new curriculum writers on the software. The actions options are also very easy to navigate …
Chose Articulate Storyline
The learning curve for using Storyline is not nearly as steep as it is with Captivate or Flash. Ultimately, it was not my decision to use Storyline, but I am glad that Storyline is the tool that my leaders chose. The UI in much more intuitive than Lectora, and the code is much …
Chose Articulate Storyline
Captivate is more advanced for sure. However, it requires a much higher skillet. Storyline is so much easier to pick up and run with.
Chose Articulate Storyline
Better collaboration, sharing, included content library, familiar interface.
Chose Articulate Storyline
Articulate is more user-friendly and has an enormous content library.
Chose Articulate Storyline
Captivate has a huge learning curve and is very difficult to use day-to-day. Articulate is very easy to pick up on day 1. Any other kind of animation software would require too much design/programming knowledge that Articulate bypasses. Any other sort of HTML5 or SCORM design …
Chose Articulate Storyline
This software has a steep learning curve and Storyline is miles ahead due to it being a lot like PowerPoint. It even imports PowerPoint presentations with ease. We've selected it for that reason, and with the new update, its large library of different assets. The only thing I …
Chose Articulate Storyline
I use all three for various reasons. I tend to use Storyline when I need an eLearning course where I want to convey long-term learning lessons and want to track progress. The ability to branch off of the main path for users to choose their journey is a great plus! I also really …
Chose Articulate Storyline
AS, in my opinion, is more so for users who want to customized online course development. Articulate 360 takes the pressure of a a "novice" user which enables them to plug and play.
Chose Articulate Storyline
For me, it came down to UX design, and user-friendliness. The other software solutions I would categorize as Storyline competitors either involved too many clicks or actions to accomplish the same goals as Storyline, or their UX was too cumbersome and not as user-friendly as …
Chose Articulate Storyline

Captivate is unforgiving and cumbersome to use. The only reason you'd need Captivate is if you wanted to add some coding scripts to your module. Storyline almost seemed like a dream because it was so easy to use. Not only is it easy to use, but you can work quickly and be very …

Chose Articulate Storyline
I feel like Storyline and Captivate are pretty comparable. Where Articulate stands out is in product support with E-Learning Heroes.
Chose Articulate Storyline
Captivate (user since Version 3), Camtasia (user since version 2), Lectora Inspire (freaking awful software - makes using anything, including Moodle, a joy). Storyline just feels different from all of these "competitors". It's organic, fun to use, instantly engaging for the ID …
Top Pros
Top Cons
TrustRadius Insights
Adobe CaptivateArticulate Storyline
Highlights

TrustRadius
Research Team Insight
Published

Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate are e-learning course design and content authoring software, available to educational institutions and enterprises for building out learning programs that terminate in a certificate, or that can be used to support general team and learner knowledge and competency. Both solutions are used at companies of all sizes.

Articulate Storyline is adopted for its ability to support a variety of training programs and allows even non-technical staff to author content. Its content can also be accessed easily (e.g. through mobile devices). Adobe Captivate is primarily used by professional course designers to create highly interactive, formalized training sessions used in corporate HR or to support environmental health & safety initiatives, for instance.

Features

Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline are both recognized course content authoring tools. Both support the creation of rapid or formal interactive learning programs with graphics, video, and assessments to certify knowledge.  They also include templates and prefab tools to help users get started. Despite their similarities, both options present distinct advantages.

Articulate Storyline’s design interface is similar to Microsoft’s PowerPoint and other MS Office products in general, and is designed to be easy for even non-technical users to get started from familiarity, and overall UI intuitiveness. Beyond adoption, it is also easier to get projects right with Storyline, as it allows creators to prototype and share learning programs for review. Despite being easy to use, Articulate Storyline boasts the ability to support highly configurable learning courses with controlled learner advancement, to support a wide variety of formalized learning programs.

The single and relatively straightforward advantage of Adobe Captivate is that it is powerful. It supports complex, branching lessons with one of the most complete arrays of tools available in content authoring software to support engagement and interactivity. It also provides a host of integrations, not least of which allows it to easily import productions from other Adobe Creative Cloud products for integration into learning materials.

Limitations

While both Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storylines are viable options for content authoring, users describe a few challenges when using either product.

Articulate Storyline users describe issues with some of the advanced tools (e.g. they’re quirky, lack precision, or inadequate), and the screen capturing function leaves something to be desired. Another common complaint is that it is pricey, creating ambivalence about its ROI. Users also warn that the perpetually licensed version is inferior to the Storyline 360 edition, available with an Articulate 360 annual subscription.

Adobe Captivate users warn that it is not for the uninitiated; designers familiar with Adobe products may find it intuitive, but others will likely not, and it has a daunting learning curve. Additionally, while designers say its results can impress, its design interface does not: the UI is described as dated, solipsistic with its inward-looking Adobe-verse argot and conventions, or just downright ugly.

Pricing

The current edition of Storyline (Storyline 3) is free to try, and available via a perpetual license for $1398. Alternately, Storyline is available through an Articulate 360 annual subscription as an add-on (Storyline 360), an upgrade ranging from $300 per annum to $900 over the cost of an Articulate 360 subscription, with various discounts for multi-year subscribers, or with up to 50% through education discounts.

The 2019 edition of Adobe Captivate can also be licensed perpetually for $1299, or by students and teachers for $399. Captivate is available via subscription at $40 per month, per user.

Features
Adobe CaptivateArticulate Storyline
Learning Management
Comparison of Learning Management features of Product A and Product B
Adobe Captivate
9.3
30 Ratings
11% above category average
Articulate Storyline
-
Ratings
Course authoring9.929 Ratings00 Ratings
Course catalog or library8.918 Ratings00 Ratings
Player/Portal7.923 Ratings00 Ratings
Learning content8.923 Ratings00 Ratings
Progress tracking & certifications9.925 Ratings00 Ratings
Learning reporting & analytics8.918 Ratings00 Ratings
Social learning9.914 Ratings00 Ratings
Gamification9.01 Ratings00 Ratings
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User Ratings
Adobe CaptivateArticulate Storyline
Likelihood to Recommend
6.8
(127 ratings)
7.6
(116 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
7.0
(9 ratings)
6.0
(21 ratings)
Usability
8.0
(7 ratings)
7.7
(15 ratings)
Availability
1.8
(1 ratings)
8.6
(8 ratings)
Performance
7.3
(1 ratings)
8.8
(10 ratings)
Support Rating
6.0
(33 ratings)
9.1
(30 ratings)
Online Training
-
(0 ratings)
5.1
(3 ratings)
Implementation Rating
2.7
(2 ratings)
10.0
(18 ratings)
Configurability
5.5
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Ease of integration
8.2
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
8.2
(1 ratings)
9.1
(4 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
8.2
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Adobe CaptivateArticulate Storyline
Likelihood to Recommend
Adobe
Captivate is well suited for instruction designers who want to build attractive, personalized, interactive, energetic lessons. It's also a good choice for someone who wants to build something innovative because Captivate gives the developer so much control over so many aspects.
But if someone wanted something built quickly, generically and didn't care about holding the viewer's attention, then Captivate might be an expensive tool. That person might be more satisfied with a cheaper and easier to learn authoring tool.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
In an office where you're planning to do a large amount of module-based training, Articulate Storyline will prove useful. A consideration to make, however, is whether your team members focused on training design will have the capacity to learn the software enough to create interesting and effective training modules. The basic functions can be simple, but the more advanced capabilities of the software take considerable effort to master and employ to create the more visually appealing presentations/modules you see in much of the promotional materials. If you have a small training team (or even without anyone dedicated specifically to training and development), Storyline is not a wise choice as the cost and effort required to fully make use of the software would be far too much of a commitment to make it worthwhile.
Read full review
Pros
Adobe
  • Quickly adding in graphics, text, and interactive buttons.
  • Has extensive variables and branching for additional customization, beyond the competition.
  • Has 360 degree capability which competitors don't offer (I have not used this feature).
  • High degree of customization and personalization.
  • True responsive screen display on all devices, viewable as you are creating the training. This is different than some competitors - some just shrink the screen, but Adobe Captivate allows actually removing or moving or changing items at different screen sizes.
  • If you like Flash, it has Flash output, although it's going away in 2020. Personally, I think this is an outdated technology.
  • Many advanced capabilities. I chose this product due to the capabilities.
  • Comes with assets, templates, people, head shots, and full body—excellent.
  • Adobe Captivate is the authoring tool. It integrates with Adobe Captivate Prime - which I highly recommend if you want to truly take advantage of all of its features in reporting, administration, compliance, and social learning. (I didn't use Prime because you essentially need 100+ students to affordably use Prime.) If you look at my chart of what Captivate is capable of, I can't say that Captivate has a lot of the reporting features because they are part of Prime/SCORM, although, with Captivate's customization, you might be able to do most of them if you are up to it, but I did not.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
  • Storyline integrates with the Canvas LMS fairly seamlessly. There have been a few glitches, but for the most part, the interactions we have created will play directly in the Canvas LMS.
  • Storyline is great for creating short drag and drop interactions for self-reviews or even graded assignments. Its many options for quizzes such as "answer reveal" or using tabs help the student get a different perspective on the content rather than just an "A, B, or C" answer.
  • Storyline is great for tutorials or training sessions. There are many options to help guide the learner (or employee) through a process. it is not just linear, but you can branch the slides based on the answers. A great way to engage the learner or employee.
Read full review
Cons
Adobe
  • Clunky interface, it takes a lot of extra clicks to get places compared to other Adobe apps and competitor's eLearning software.
  • Would be nice if it was part of creative cloud, or at least in the group of apps you can add through Creative Cloud.
  • More regular and meaningful updates. Compared to flagship apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Captivate is like the read headed step child. Competitors excel at providing regular updates with clear change documentation. How are we still using Captivate 2019 in 2022?
  • The interface feels like it is still stuck in the 90s, would be nice if it was more modern and better in-line with flagship adobe offerings.
  • Variables and associated menus are a nuisance to work with vs some of the clever drop down and content-sensitive options in Articulate Storyline.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
  • I wish that you could customize the UI ribbons to bring features you use frequently to the front and to hide options you rarely use.
  • It would be great if there was a way for non-technical collaborators (SMEs, management, etc) to be able to open a *.story file directly and provide comments. You currently have to publish the course, load it to the LMS, update the LMS, and then hope that users can find it in the LMS. A Storyline Viewer/Previewer standalone application would be awesome.
  • The price is too high for freelancers to purchase and use. I no longer contract and work exclusively for the firm, but even with our resources, the high price limits the number of licenses available to use.
Read full review
Likelihood to Renew
Adobe
We have hundreds of courses that were created in Adobe Captivate. It will take us a while to convert to Articulate. We'll need a license for another year and/or until Adobe comes out with a true update to the software.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
We are moving away from the standalone eCourse model, so depending upon when that shift happens, we might choose not to renew since we won't be supporting eCourses built in Articulate Storyline anymore. As long as we are still selling and supporting those eCourses, we will continue to renew the licenses we have.
Read full review
Usability
Adobe
Adobe Captivate does take some getting used to. There are features that are much more convoluted than they need to be, but overall it is a great product with a some excellent features. Being in a pretty small market, Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline dominate the space. They are not the same software, but allow for eLearning authoring. Each has their benefit and their downside, but, for me, Adobe Captivate edges out Storyline.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
The basics are easy to learn but you won't get really robust activities from using just the basics. However, if you can invest the time in learning how to use all of Storyline's features, you'll have tremendous learning development power at your fingertips. I do have to say, though, that there is a beautiful logic to how everything in Storyline works. Once you learn a few of the advanced features, you can learn them all because there's a similar underlying logic. The interface is also very appealing and friendly.
Read full review
Reliability and Availability
Adobe
No answers on this topic
Articulate Global, Inc.
Installed software so alway available
Read full review
Support Rating
Adobe
It is difficult to get in touch with Adobe Captivate support. With a seemingly limited number of resources, mostly outsourced, getting in contact with someone to help troubleshoot an issue is challenging. Typically wait times are long, and the desired path to resolution is to use an existing knowledge base or a self-help guide. It is certainly not a user-friendly experience.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
They are support-superstars and the software they use for support is excellent too (I don't know what it is). The model they use for support should be followed by all companies. It is a conversation/discussion forum model that shows everyone's questions in a knowledge base capacity so you can get the help you need in a speedy way.
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Online Training
Adobe
No answers on this topic
Articulate Global, Inc.
I love the fact that both a demonstration AND text version of the tutorials are available. Our firewall was blocking the demos until I requested my company allow them! Having the text version available still enabled me to learn from the tutorials. They are very well done and informative, and there is a tutorial for just about anything you need to learn to do with Storyline. I have always been more than satisfied with the support and training available to us for all Articulate products and I love the community!
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Implementation Rating
Adobe
I'm only aware of the problems Adobe Captivate had with SumTotal LMS and Upside LMS, requiring extensive contact with both internal and external support staff to fix the problems. We had no problems at all with Articulate.
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Articulate Global, Inc.
Outside of having to dedicate a powerful enough PC for the installation and having to update Flash in our browsers there really isn't much pain involved in using Articulate. For the most part this is an easy to implement and roll-out product. The installation occurs quickly and smoothly with no additional steps needed.
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Alternatives Considered
Adobe
I think that Articulate360 is more user-friendly and has a cleaner, more updated look. If you can edit a PDF, then you can use Articulate 360. Adobe Captivate may be more challenging for the designer, but it has more features. We chose Adobe Captivate because we want the option to create interactive learning environments. Adobe Captivate plays well with the other Adobe design products including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premier. Additionally, Adoe Captivate is highly compatible with Cornerstone, our preferred Learning Management Systems.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
Articulate Storyline is the only authoring tool we have used with our LMS to date. We are seeing different platforms now, as opposed to LMS platforms. And, many of those have their own content. However, we will always need to create/author our own because of the nature of what we do and how we do it. I'm a big fan!
Read full review
Scalability
Adobe
No answers on this topic
Articulate Global, Inc.
It is easy to train new users and manage content. Being able to import older projects and PPT files makes it very easy to use for a lot of "moonlighters" in our department.
Read full review
Return on Investment
Adobe
  • Adobe Captivate has allowed our instructors to engage students in ways we never have before.
  • Instructors who have used Adobe Captivate in our organization have reported higher levels of engagement with their courses and their students, theoretically leading to improved assessment of student performance.
Read full review
Articulate Global, Inc.
  • Allows for on-demand training that is accessible to anyone in the organization instantaneously.
  • Heavily reduces travel expenses by eliminating the need for in-person training classes.
  • Gives my department creative liberties in designing content that can be customized to each and every subject/business group in the organization. No two courses are ever the same.
Read full review
ScreenShots