Authoring Tool Updates

New software updatesEdit 3/14/16: Adobe has released an official update for Captivate 9. Most of you should be able to open Captivate and select Help > Updates to launch the Adobe Application Manager and select the release. For those of you who need an alternate method, you can download the patch from the CP Downloads page. See the Release Notes and this Adobe Blog post for more details on this rather extensive update, including new Responsive Skins, improved ‘Roundtripping’, and improved Rulers, Guides, and State options.

A summary of current (as of this post) updates for the more ‘popular’ eLearning development tools; Lectora, Storyline, and Captivate – along with thoughts on a couple other tools:

Lectora: since our last posts discussing Lectora’s rapid updates to version 12, they haven’t slowed down at all. The Trivantis Lectora toolset has continued to move rapidly up the version ladder with both Publisher and the Inspire package now at v.16.0.2 (02/11/16)!
(though from their version history, it seems they leapfrogged versions 13-15 to get there)
One significant improvement to both products in support for Responsive Design development. I’ve not had a chance to play with the latest version so can’t provide any particular insights yet, but Trivantis has a whitepaper on the overall concepts.
Note that the Inspire package includes both Camtasia (8.6), SnagIt (12.4.1) and integration with the eLearning Brothers Interaction Builder.

Overall, I’m impressed with their commitment to the tool; Trivantis is one of the most proactive in providing software updates.

Storyline: Unlike Trivantis, Articulate seems to have slowed down on their software updates for Storyline. Per their website, the last update to Storyline 2 is ‘Update 7‘, released 9/15/15. Maybe that’s because Storyline 2 is just solid! But from the various concerns I see posted around LinkedIn and other forums, that’s not the case…
…not that it’s bad by any means – Storyline continues to win overall rave reviews from its users and won two significant awards in December 2015.

I suspect Articulate is in deep development mode working to get the next release to support Responsive Design; not only is that critical for today’s authoring tools, but with their main competitors supporting it already, Storyline is behind the curve.
But back on the positive side, Articulate’s ‘eLearning Heros‘ support community continues to be one of the most highly-regarded and active.

Captivate: Adobe’s flagship elearning authoring tool sits in the middle, so far, between the update cycles of Lectora and Storyline.  Captivate 8’s more recent, and probably last, patch (, and does not require the previous patch to be installed first) is available on the Captivate Downloads site, along with the release notes.

Captivate 9 doesn’t yet have an official ‘patch’ (edit: see news/links on the new 9.0.1 patch at the top of this article) but there is a ‘hot fix’ available to address issues where Advanced Actions are not upgraded properly and Autoshape buttons (fill, stroke) are not retained correctly when opening CP 8 projects. Note this hot-fix requires you to manually unzip and replace specific files, it’s not an simple click-to-install process.

One overall clarification, you can have multiple versions of Captivate installed. The subscription licensing technically allows two versions – the most recent and the previous version. However, I’m not sure how that’s enforced. When CP 10 comes out, will CP 8 be deinstalled automatically? I sure hope not, or you are at least so notified and given an option to halt the process.

Other Considerations: There are certainly lots of other tools to consider as well. The above three are just the more common ones I see referenced and have the most direct experience with. If you’re looking for more, Camtasia is a great tool for video-type productions and allows a limited amount of interactivity and quizzing. I’ve heard pretty good things about Claro and SmartBuilder. However, the one I am most eager to play with is H5P – not only because it’s open-source but it seems relatively mature and polished for a relatively young entry to the market.

Below is one of the examples they provide on interactive video. Very cool stuff for an open-source, HTML5-compliant tool.

If you have any experience with any of these tools, we’d love your input, especially if you’ve played with H5P at all.


2 thoughts on “Authoring Tool Updates

  1. Hi,

    Maybe it is time to check out Easygenerator as well. A fulle cloud based responsive authoring tool. Biggest difference with all the other tools, we aim at people without an eLearning background. Simple UI, no learning curve.

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