Adobe Captivate vs Articulate

Which authoring tool is better? Adobe Captivate certainly has a number of advantages it can bring to the table, but so does Articulate Storyline. Choosing the right tool often depends on what your specific needs happen to be. Here are the key points of comparison with these tools to consider.

Articulate Storyline Has a Familiar Interface

Many people tend to prefer Articulate over Adobe Captivate because the interface is very similar to what Microsoft PowerPoint has to offer. The toolsets are in similar locations and there’s a similar Ribbon.

Adobe Captivate is a little more complicated with its interface, but the feeling is still similar to what you’d receive from MS Office. Both tools are able to publish HTML5 and SWF content. The advantage that Captivate ultimately provides is that it can publish an interactive PDF or create responsive e-learning capabilities, something that Articulate is unable to provide.

Adobe Captivate Is More Affordable

If you purchase Adobe Captivate outright, then you can expect to pay about $1,000 for the proprietary software. Purchasing Articulate Storyline is about double this cost, often selling in the $2,000 range.

Captivate also offers users the option to subscribe to a software as a service program instead of an outright purchase of the software. For about $30 per month, subscribers receive all updates to the tool without any additional charges. Captivate tends to upgrade annually, so instead of paying $1,000 per year, you could have a subscription for about $720 and always be up-to-date with this tool.

Adobe Captivate Offers More Creativity

Both tools have a learning curve that is essentially the same. Some may feel that Articulate Storyline is a little easier to use initially, so projects can get off of the ground faster. If you use both tools for 6-12 months, however, the functionality of each software option is essentially the same.

There is one key difference. If you’re using Storyline consistently, then the material being published tends to look the same. You’ll hit your overall capability limit very quickly with Articulate, whereas with Adobe Captivate, you’re only limited by your imagination.


There are workarounds that can be used to extend the capabilities of Articulate Storyline so that the aesthetic monotony can be delayed. When you master Captivate, you’ll find that there are no workarounds that are really needed.

Each Authoring Tool Offers Advanced Features to Consider

Adobe Captivate offers a powerful and precise set of options and features that can be used to your advantage. Here are just a few of the advantages you can expect if you choose Captivate as your authoring tool.

  • There is an advanced closed captioning system to ensure more people can access multiple forms of content.
  • Clear-cut editing tools allow you to create a publication with precision.
  • You have access to tracking and reporting options.
  • Widget integration capabilities have been included.
  • Sounds that are crystal clear help to support the creation of fully interactive publications.

If you’re looking to create a very unique presentation, course, or other publication, then Adobe Captivate will be able to get the job done. It may take some time to get up to speed with what this software can do, but the investment is often worthwhile.

Articulate Storyline also offers a set of features and options that can help to make your content become more dynamic. Here are a few of the advantages you can expect to see with this authoring tool.

  • It allows you to incorporate existing content and materials with ease.
  • There is a fast task and object recognition built into the system for editing purposes.
  • The audio and animation synchronization is intuitive.
  • Screen captures and other movie creation commands are easy to implement.
  • There is support for CSS3.

If you’re wanting to use an authoring tool that can get your current materials published quickly, then Articulate could be the right tool for you. It may not have all of the features that Adobe Captivate can provide, but it also has a shorter learning curve so your team can become immediately productive.

Which Is Better in the Adobe Captivate vs Articulate Debate?

There really isn’t a clear-cut verdict to offer in the Adobe Captivate vs Articulate debate. You’ll need to look at your current needs, consider your budget, and know how much time you have. Captivate is a little less expensive, but it also requires more sweat equity during the learning process.

With Articulate, just about anyone can get started with this authoring tool immediately because the interface is so familiar. Consider your needs and these key points so that you can make the best choice possible.

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