Captivate Is Captivating!
Overall Satisfaction with Adobe Captivate
- 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.
- I believe that it's had a generally positive effect, but that's mostly based on anecdotal info, "Level 1" evaluation, and some non-quantitative "Level 3" information from supervisors/managers, as we don't generally do "Level 4" or "Level 5" measurement of our e-courses.
Captivate is more full-featured than Snagit (which is the most limited), Adobe Presenter Video Express (which is probably the next most limited), or Camtasia (which is probably the most direct competitor that I'm at all familiar with). While I have a limited familiarity with Camtasia (and actually do have access to it because it was bundled into another e-learning authoring tool that I have, Lectora), everything I've seen and read seem to indicate that it's more limited than Captivate.
As to why I selected Captivate....my company is basically an Adobe "shop" -- unless there's something that an Adobe product can't do (or can't do well enough), we're heavily discouraged (or, in some cases, simply not allowed) to purchase a competing product.
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.