Adobe Captivate: inexpensive with more features than competitors
August 01, 2019

Adobe Captivate: inexpensive with more features than competitors

Pam Pierce | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate provides the ability to create interactive training courses or videos. It is a faster and easier way to combine assets. You can also upgrade to include additional templates, pictures, and fonts beyond what is included. One of the unique features of Adobe Captivate is the green screen feature where you can put in your own background.
  • 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 Personally, I think this is an outdated technology.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.
  • Due to its extensive capabilities it is not as easy to use as the competitors. Although, I really like it.
  • It has Flash and HTML5. Some features work in one and not the other. I am really looking forward to 2020 when they remove the Flash capabilities and it is all HTML5 and Javascript.
  • As in all the competitors I looked at, I was not able to see the HTML5/Javascript details to the point of being able to modify it.
  • The manual is poor. However, there is an excellent book called Mastering Adobe Captivate by Pooja, who works for Adobe. And I highly recommend the Adobe Captivate Specialist training.
  • Basically, there are issues, as with any software, but you can get around them.
  • It comes with people—head shots or full body, but there is no way to bring in the whole person and all the poses, you have to download each separately.
  • It comes with templates but it was unclear to me if they were for HTML5 or Flash. (although it might just be me)
  • There was no way I found to obtain the individual answers to quizzes/surveys from a user to use elsewhere. The only solution was to use a SCORM compliant server (and hope you choose one that can integrate sufficiently to obtain this info. I found it too difficult or costly. Wish they had an easier way to grab this info from Captivate.)
  • ROI is good. Adobe Captivate is much easier to develop training than doing it using traditional methods, and the result is better. The bad part is that it took me several months to learn everything I needed. The best way to do this is to become an Adobe Captivate Specialist which provides excellent online video training and in-class training at an extremely affordable price. Adobe Captivate also provides a Forum, accessible from Captivate, for quickly answering questions. High quality answers were received within 24 hours.
Adobe Captivate has so many features and advantages that other competitors don't have. That is why I chose it. Captivate authoring can be purchased monthly - LOVE that! Captivate is by far the best solution for small business on a limited budget.

I think if you are a larger company with over 100 users, then Adobe Captivate PLUS Adobe Captivate Prime is an excellent solution that you won't regret. Talking with them, they can do practically anything. Adobe also purchased Marketo, so I would expect them to add in marketing to this mix in the future. Articulate Storyline is by far the best if you don't want the advanced features of Adobe Captivate. It's a joy to use. Storyline is also much more expensive than Captivate, you buy a year upfront. iSpring, Lectora Online, and many other alternatives are available. First, look at the price and check that they output HTML5/Javascript and that they are FULLY responsive - meaning they don't just shrink the screen. Then look for the features you need. Inexpensive and very easy to use online course options are Kajabi, Thinkific, and Teachable—all-around $100 per month. These are online course platforms and integrate authoring, shopping carts, website, etc. None have the capabilities of Adobe Captivate but are easier and better if you don't need Captivate's features. It should be possible to get your course up fast, maybe within a month. Kajabi is really moving in the right direction, is full-featured and easiest. It does not support Captivate or Storyline. Thinkific has more capabilities, including adding your own HTML and Javascript on pages, but is more difficult, and has the best support. Thinkific says they fully support Captivate and Storyline, but there is no way to get the individual user answers or use them in branching. For this reason, none of these platforms were sufficient for me. Kartra for high-end email, marketing, and branching is another excellent option if you only want to teach your course via email. They have a "membership" area, but it isn't really for courses. Kartra is highly recommended for teaching courses via email, or for marketing your course, but not for an online course.
It is well suited for developing training for the web using HTML5 or Flash, especially if you want to use responsive or advanced features and capabilities. Highly recommended if you want customization, branching, variables, green screen, 360 degrees, and other advanced features. Integrates with SCORM, xAPI, etc. Other competitors are easier and more intuitive but less powerful. If you want the easiest no-frills development that is as fast to develop as possible, then look at competitors.

Adobe Captivate Feature Ratings

Course authoring
Course catalog or library
Not Rated
Learning content
Not Rated
Progress tracking & certifications
Learning reporting & analytics
Not Rated
Social learning
Not Rated

Evaluating Adobe Captivate and Competitors

Yes - PowerPoint was replaced as insufficient for branching, it is linear. Kajabi and Thinkific were replaced due to insufficient branching, customization, and personalization. We're moving toward a very customer-oriented environment.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
  • Third-party Reviews
Captivate by far as the most features and capabilities. And it is always improving. Their price is monthly, you don't have to buy a year upfront. They offer the usual trial period before purchase. Adobe has been around a long time and has a good reputation. Adobe Captivate integrates with Adobe Captivate Prime for even more features.