- Software simulations work very well in Adobe Captivate and are easily captured and editable.
- Outputs a variety of SCORM compliant formats to work with many LMS.
- HTML5 compliant content can be adjusted to be viewed on a variety of devices.
- The quizzing is very lackluster. You cannot review questions without breaking them.
- Animations are clunky and not as easy to set up as with other software
- The workflow in Captivate could stand to be improved. There are limited templating options.
- The program really excels at providing central platform for combining different training technologies such as voice recordings and videos.
- Adobe Captivate can provide different types of training media including mobile applications and HTML 5 files.
- The program provides a robust set of interactive and multimedia features that can aid in providing a more effective training session
- Adobe Captivate can be a resource hog for lower end systems, especially when working with video clips or voice over recordings.
- The full license price can be expensive for smaller organizations.
- The program can be a bit difficult to learn in the beginning.
- Adobe Captivate can integrate current PowerPoint presentation, and transform them into eLearning curriculum.
- Publishing an Adobe Captivate project is simple.
- Adobe Captivate uses built-in interactions to engage the learner, making the content easier to remember.
- Adobe Captivate does not allow for great customization overall. For example, you cannot change the default font, causing a lot of wasted time changing the font choice.
- Creating engaging interactions could be a simpler process.
- A customizable Quick Access Toolbar would be quite useful.
- Adding interactivity: It is possible to create drag and drops, click to reveals that are already formatted, and custom click to reveals. It is fairly intuitive to use to design.
- Knowledge check questions: there are standard knowledge check questions that you can use, such as multiple choice and multiple answer, drag and drop, matching, etc.
- Speed of development: it is fairly quick to learn Captivate for most people and once familiar, they can create a course quickly.
- Screen recording! It is SO good at grabbing screenshots and you can even have it add some of the interactive and instructional elements for you.
- It is cumbersome to add a custom UI to the course. It is much easier to just use the stock one, but it doesn't always look the best.
- Adding variables can be confusing and take a long time, and it's very easy to make a little mistake that throws off the whole thing.
- Some of the stock options are outdated looking.
- Captivate allows the user the ability to create a drag n drop method within your presentation. I was able to successfully incorporate an activity within my course module that would allow the learner the chance to test their knowledge by dragging and dropping items into the correct sections. I found that to be nice and pretty seamless.
- Captivate allows the user to create and include states and actions. I think this is important because it allows for the creator to make engaging and interactive slides that will hopefully keep the learner motivate and engaged in the material.
- Captivate has the options of demo and simulation slide presentations. I found these to be useful within the course I was building because it prevented me from having to complete extra steps of using a different video caption software tool then having to upload it into Captivate. This feature was already included within Captivate which made it nice and easy to access and incorporate into my presentation.
- Captivate can stagnate and is less user-friendly when it comes to adding animations and certain transitions on your presentation.
- I found that Captivate wasn't always so user-friendly when it came to using the Demo presentation feature. There were times when I'd have to re-record my steps because for some reason it wasn't accepting certain clicks and/or it would capture things I didn't want it to capture.
- I found myself getting frustrated a lot when using Captivate because some of the things that I was used to clicking/creating on a different software tool (that was more user-friendly) and the results I was looking for caused me to take extra steps when using Captivate.
Less appropriate: Not as user-friendly as I thought. Animations/states are hidden and cause the creator to take extra steps versus using a different type of software program tool.
- Adobe Captivate records screen shots click-by-click. This allows us to control exactly what steps the users see.
- Adobe Captivate allows voice-over dubbing. This feature lets us narrate the steps people need to take to learn the products we are covering.
- Adobe Captivate allows closed captioning. This lets us add voice-over narration, but also allows users to turn off the sound and read the instructions. Many users participate in training from a cubicle where sound travels too broadly to listen to the voice narration.
- Adobe Captivate has some limitations in how dialog boxes and text frames work. This restricts the creativity of my team.
- It would be nice to have an automatic voice to text feature to turn the narration into closed captioning.
- Allows the easy integration and use of Adobe Typekit fonts. This allows me to craft content to meet specific branding requirements, as well as making the content stand out from other material.
- Provides a good preview of how responsive content will look on different screen sizes.
- Easily packages content for upload to SCORM compliant LMSs.
- The overall interface needs an upgrade. As a user of other Adobe products, I feed that Adobe Captivate lags well behind other applications from Adobe in its interface.
- Working with responsive boxes is far from intuitive. Having to remember which direction you need to enter a box to make certain changes is frustrating.
- Support for multiple monitors, including a live preview window, would greatly enhance the usability of the application.
- It creates interactive assessments and activities.
- It has a quality set of tools to engage and guide the students.
- The integration of videos is seamless.
- The most glaring issue with Adobe Captivate is its captioning.
- The resizing of text boxes and images can be more efficient.
- Backward capability between versions of Adobe Captivate needs to work better from a file saving standpoint.
- The ability to quickly and easily create systems demos with text captions automatically added in.
- The three-mode approach you can use -- you can record one system simulation and then use it to create a non-interactive demo, a guided user-interactive demo, and/or a non-guided user assessment.
- The ability to set which area of the screen you want to capture, rather than necessarily being forced to capture your entire screen.
- The ability to use actions and variables (although, admittedly, I haven't really delved into this in Captivate myself...)
- The ease of publishing output to an Adobe Connect server.
- It drives me crazy that the caption text doesn't automatically put a period at the end...I always have to end up going into each and every one to add that darned period!
- The caption boxes aren't as slick looking as they should be nowadays, and the ability to customize them isn't quite as robust as I'd like.
- Getting live tech support is exceedingly expensive and Adobe has the worst, most frustrating website (which is ironic, considering the products that they sell). Adobe has many very good products, but they're not a company I enjoy doing business with.
If you need a full-featured screen recording application to create robust, interactive training, then I don't think there's a better product out there than Captivate. However, if you just need to create a non-interactive demo, then Captivate may be overkill and there are less expensive and easier to use products out there for that, even within Adobe's own product line. (For example, if you buy Adobe Presenter, it comes with Adobe Presenter Video Express, which is great for creating quick-and-dirty screen capture demos.)
If you're only interested in creating non-systems e-learning (like product or compliance e-learning), then I think there are products out there that are better suited to that (unless you're already a Captivate expert), such as Lectora and Storyline.
- If you can think it, Captivate can most likely do it. Captivate is extremely versatile in its functionality - which means that whatever you want to happen, you can design the course to behave in that way.
- Captivate integrates seamlessly with our Learning Management system. You can choose to publish in whichever format is accepted by your LMS: SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004, AICC, .mp4, etc.
- Captivate's software simulation feature is remarkable. Anytime we have to train software functionality to our users, we use this feature as it easily identifies the steps users must complete to reach their desired result.
- Although Adobe Captivate is powerful, it is not at all intuitive. Before attending a training on Captivate, we had no idea what we were doing. The learning curve is steep.
- Captivate's video editing skills could be improved. Other products, such as Camtasia, blow Captivate out of the water in this regard.
- The audio functionality is odd when integrating with Adobe's Audition program. You can record the tracks in audition and then pull them in or record directly to a slide within Captivate. If you record within Captivate, the audio quality and volume does not match any track brought in from Audition.
- The ability to create demos, software simulations, and practice exercises quickly and easily using the built-in recording features is a huge plus.
- Captivate allows you to implement rapid prototyping for your customers and then use the prototype to create your course. Customer's love being able to "see" the possibilities instead of trying to visualize it based on a storyboard or design document.
- It's a flexible tool. It's easy to reorganize your content, control objects, and the ability to create smart shapes and use them as an interactive object/button is a huge time saver.
- Additional image editing options within Captivate would be nice.
- While the addition of State Views in Cp9 are a welcome change, I would prefer to add the views if I want to utilize them instead of having them automatically attached to objects. This would avoid the added step of deleting the states when you don't want to use them.
- Evolving, each version improves over the last one; with subscription pricing you always have access to the newest version (vs. 1-time purchase).
- Comprehensive - allows you to create almost any kind of computer-based interactions, from simple presentations to in-depth simulations.
- Easy to integrate - multiple publishing options make it easy to share published courses on LMS platforms, or directly with end users via URLs.
- Tougher learning curve than some eLearning authoring tools - the interface isn't as familiar as what some other tools provide, so the learning curve can be a little tougher - but once you've got it, it's very intuitive and easy to use
- Fewer pre-built interaction tools than some other eLearning authoring tools - if you have an idea of what kind of interaction you want to create it's very easy, but you'll often be doing it from the ground up (vs. having a lot of nice pre-built interaction templates). This can be a pro or a con, because it can be a little more time consuming, but also provides more flexibility in terms of what you can create.
- Sometimes acts a little buggy - every once in a while I'll encounter the software just not acting quite right (e.g. buttons not doing what they're supposed to). Typically this happens with larger projects, and typically restarting the program resolves the issue.
For an eLearning author who has a little time (or is willing to invest the time) to learn an unfamiliar interface, this is a great tool.
This is also a great tool for an eLearning author who can create a vision of the experience that the learner should have in his or her own mind, and doesn't require a lot of templates and pre-made interactions in order to create a course.
For a new eLearning designer who is unfamiliar with the interface, who doesn't have much time to get comfortable with it, this may not be as good a fit.
- It is extremely easy to import existing media materials into Captivate. My organization has pictures of leadership and the training team that are used as characters within modules and it is extremely easy to manipulate these images within the program.
- Manipulating multiple pieces of content at the same time within a slide is very easy.
- The software simulation feature within Captivate allows screens within an application to be captured and learners can be assessed easily through the simulations as well.
- Audio can be added quickly and edited within the program as well.
- We upgraded from Captivate 7 to Captivate 8 a few months ago and the interactions options are very limited. Interactions themselves are challenging to configure.
- Additional built-in shapes would add value.
- Quiz configuration is something that I find to be challenging, especially when exporting to SCORM. I wish quizzing and reporting was easier to use, but having many options is helpful for different LMSs and other areas of delivery.
- Software simulations or tutorials
- Delivering company-wide trainings -- they can be made with many interactive features and are cost-effective
- Onboarding trainings
- Process updates within organizations
- Creating training materials that are designed to be delivered on desktops or mobile devices
- Software simulation: Captivate is excellent at recording screen captures and keystrokes.
- Video demonstration: With the right images and screenshots, I've used Captivate to create instructional videos to demonstrate to students how to play a particular instructional game designed for a course.
- Text-to-speech placeholders: Using the integrated computer voices to generate slide voice overs is helpful while developing a slide because you can use the timeline to synchronize entrances, exits, and movement of slide elements to the placeholder voice over. The placeholder voice over can be used as the final narration or can be replaced by recorded voice over of an actor, which might require some resynchronization of the slide elements.
- Timeline panel: When grouping slide elements that have motion effects, when they are grouped, the motion effects are lost and cannot be reapplied to the slide elements while they are in the group. It would be nice for the slide elements to retain any/all applied motion effects and to apply effects to individual slide elements within a group.
- Editing recorded narration: When a recorded narration file such as an MP3 file is edited/modified using the Slide Audio function/tool, the updated audio file is saved as a WAV file, which is typically a bigger file than an MP3. It would be nice that there is an option to save it as an MP3 file or to save the file to whatever the original file format is.
- Creating custom text captions: Currently, to create custom text captions, you have to create them in an external graphics application such as Adobe Photoshop. It would be nice to have an editor specific to Adobe Captivate to help create custom text captions.
- No "side" text captions: Currently, all text captions either have no arrows/pointers (callouts) or their callouts are from the top or the bottom of the captions. It would be nice to have text captions whose callouts come from the side.
- Naming of custom text captions and buttons: Currently, if you create a new text caption or button, incorporate it into a slide, and find that it needs to be updated, you have to either give the updated text caption or button a new name, or clear out the cache and restart Adobe Captivate. Both options can be frustrating when developing a course because it breaks development momentum. It would be nice to be able to simply update those elements without any renaming or restarting.
- It keeps subject matter engaging by integrating with other Adobe programs and even PowerPoint.
- It allows you to create almost any kind of computer-based interactions, from simple presentations with voiceover to in-depth simulations showing how to use software, do a particular process, or learn complex information.
- Various publishing options make it easy to share published courses on LMS platforms, or directly with end users via URLs or stand-alone .exe files.
- Sometimes it can freeze up with more complicated projects. I usually reboot and it's ok.
- I would like more ways to set up my interface.
- Image editing within Captivate isn't as easy.
- Sometimes when editing audio, I get glitches that push the audio out from that slide forward.
- Captivate publishes projects very well into HTML5 format so that we can link them to our LMS easily so that employees who view them can easily receive credit for the modules that they complete.
- Captivate allows a designer to import multiple media formats into their project so that a module can keep the users attention, as well as engage them while they learn.
- The gamification options within Captivate allow you to create very interesting games and quizzes that test the knowledge the user has gleaned from viewing the module. This keeps the user involved in the learning experience.
- There are a few bugs in the program that require work-arounds, but this is not something I feel that holds you back. Publishing in HTML5 does not allow you to use certain special effect features, but they can be used in the other publishing formats.
- Some of the effects in Captivate can be difficult to navigate to or find, but there is a very extensive on-line community that uses the product that I have found very helpful in discovering how to use or find features that I cannot find.
- Adobe is slow to fix features that have bugs in them. This is a place where they could definitely improve their product by being more intentional and swift to correct these bugs.
- Text to speech narration
- SCORM content creation
- Ability to edit imported slides in native software (PowerPoint)
- If you don't completely explore and validate SCORM settings, you could create a content package that doesn't work as expected. The options could be much more intuitive.
- You have to manually delete unused content prior to publishing to avoid large files. It should offer to remove unused content automatically.
- The software is complex enough that a new user would not fare well with no training at all. There should be a built-in progression guide.
- Given my introduction, you would think that I don't have a "list" here. But, to be fair, I've added two "strengths" for the software that, at one time, was my mainstay (and income) as an instructional designer. 1: Integrates well with other Adobe products
- 2: Offers characters to use for illustration (ver 9)
- Ever-changing GUI
- Poor selection of included characters (photographic)
- Difficult-to-program options for SCORM quizes
I would not recommend Captivate to anyone who is an experienced instructional designer - or to someone who has a need for a rapid development cycle.
Not well suited: For non-scorm compliant LMS's, situations that require collaboration and commenting on projects
- Adobe Captivate provided a useful tool to edit voice recording
- Captivate allowed us to mute unwanted noise such as extra breathing and easily trim sound clips
- Captivate allowed us to edit PPT slides through the application
- The software itself was very buggy and crashed often, causing hours of work to be lost
- Customer support for Captivate was unhelpful and often frustrating
Adobe Captivate Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About Adobe Captivate
Adobe Captivate Technical Details