Adobe Captivate vs. Articulate Storyline. Which one is better?

Hi everyone,

I've been using Adobe Captivate for building my e-Learning courses, but I keep having problems with it - when I preview the project, sometimes it gives an error, sometimes it doesn't... When publishing in HTML5, it cuts smartshapes with no apparent reason... It's really inconsistent.

Also, I think Captivate is not much intuitive, as Storyline appears to be, and honestly I think sometimes there's a lack of e-Learning vision in Captivate support.

On the other hand... I'm kind of a fan of the Storyline Community, and with all these Captivate problems, I'm really thinking of changing to Storyline.

So, I wanted to you have a preference for one of these authoring tools? Have you experienced any inconsistency problems with Storyline too?

Thanks in advance!


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One of or developers has used both Captivate and Storyline and is still a fan of Captivate - he says working on files stored locally stops a lot of the issues from occuring.

One other tool worth looking at is Lectora - we're going to take a look as it does some nifty things. You can trigger events in videos for example which looks handy.



What version of Captivate are you using? I have never had a problem with Captivate. I have used version 3 and 4 to make quite complex content and no issues.

Hi Rita

I started using Storyline about 6 months ago and on the whole, have found it to be an excellent tool.

I've used various authoring tools over the years - mainly Director, Flash, Captivate and Camtasia. I'm not much of a coder, so I personally prefer tools like Captivate, Camtasia and now Storyline.

Storyline is very easy to use. We have people building courses within a day or two of first using it.

I think there's a sweet spot between making a tool powerful enough to do what most people want, and keeping it simple enough that most people will want to use it. For me, Storyline pretty much nails that - there's a lot you can do with the built in variables functionality!

I've used Captivate quite a bit and found it to be fairly powerful, but just not very intuitive - to the point that it puts me off using it for anything other than software systems training (e.g. screencasts and practice scenarios).

Storyline is pretty new so there are some teething problems, but nothing we've experienced so far that we can't get around.

Here are a few links to some of the content we've produced in Storyline:

I hope this helps you decide!


Some lovely examples of what Storyline can do Steve (with the help of a pro graphic designer) ;-)

Hi Rita,

Appreciating that your question relates to Captivate vs Articulate, I would put something else in the mix. In the last few weeks, I have come across a tool called iSpring ( Still at the baby steps phase with this but having used Captivate and struggled with providing a reliable output for our LMS, I have found the content creation and integration of quizzes on iSpring to be pretty straightforward.


As I say, not exactly what you asked but possibly providing you an alternative option (there is a 30 day free trail on the site)




Storyline also has some foibles too (especially with its HTML5 output) but I'd recommend its user interface and intuitive approach any day over Captivate. I think having both tools at your disposal is a good way to go but you'll probably rarely use Captivate after you've got into Storyline. Captivate does have the edge when it comes to screencasting projects (it actually started out as a software screen demo tool). And of course the Storyline Community is fantastic and a big USP for Articulate Storyline.

There is a 30 day trial so I'd recommend trying it out on a small project and see how you get on.


For bulding text/image based e-learning courses, based on say PowerPoint templates, we find that Articulate wins hands down - it really produces good SCORM based interactive learning packages with little effort; BUT Captivate is fantastic for doing what it was initally intended to do - screen based demonstrations (e.g. system how-to guides), especially as it produces video formats as an output option.


I think it really is a case of different tools for different purposes.

Hi Rita,


If you don't mind me asking what version of Captivate you are using?  I have Captivate 4, and have to say not a big fan of it because of all the bugs and inconsistencies like you mentioned.  Having seen some of the comments on this forum I'm begining to think going for Storyline isn't such a bad idea.





I think I'd probably upgrade to Captivate 7 but as the cost of doing that may be similar to buying a new version of Storyline I'd try out the Storyline trial before you do so.

Captivate 7:

Thanks for that recommendation John.  I'll have a go at the Storyline trial.

I think its always good to have a mix of tools where possible. I did an authoring tools evaluation in my org not long after Storyline came out, and had been using Captivate and Camtasia prior to that for Rapid development. I used a series of measures weighted to a score out of 10. Even with my limited use of Storyline at that time, it came out ahead of Captivate using my rudimentary analysis. 



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