Captivate Is Captivating!
Laura Gillenwater | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 03, 2017

Captivate Is Captivating!

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate is in use across the whole organization, with different Learning & Development areas using it in different ways, in terms of types of instruction. On my team, and the other Learning & Development teams in the U.S. (which used to be part of my team prior to L&D being decentralized), Captivate has generally been used to create systems training. However, in at least one Learning & Development team in Canadian operations, I believe they also use it to develop more conceptual types of training as well. In addition, last year SLF U.S. acquired part of another company and inherited their Captivate training modules, which were also more conceptual in nature (product training). Personally, though, I think its greatest strength is its ability to create interactive systems training, which I think it does better than any other product that's available for a similar cost. For more conceptual training, I prefer to use other tools, although I do think that Captivate is very capable of doing a good job with that, as well, from conceptual courses I've seen that were created with 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 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.