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To Captivate or not to Captivate

New Here ,
Nov 30, 2021 Nov 30, 2021

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Hello!

 

I am currently evaluating the purchase of Adobe Captivate and have been watching some webinars on how to use it. I'm hoping you can answer a question that will help me understand the whether or not I'm barking up the wrong tree.

 

I author online help system (like this one) that are most typically used as an ad-hoc reference for users and not necessarily reading "cover-to-cover" in one sitting.

 

Some of those help articles are re-enforced with a short "how to" type of video. They are currently done screencast style using Camtasia Studio (or similar tool) and average about 4 minutes in duration. At the outside, one or two of them run at almost 9 minutes playback time.  [Here is an example help article that includes a short, 2 minute video you can watch.]

 

I hear great things about Captivate and I recognize that it can add some interactive elements that Camtasia isn't sutied for. Thus,  I've been exploring using Captivate as a possible replacement for Camtasia to create the next generation of these video walk-throughs. The more I learn about it though, it's feeling like Captivate is more geared toward creating a training course as opposed to a quick "show me how it's done" sort of presentation. 

 

So finally, my question for you is: Is it just me or would a bunch of Captivate "Software Simulations" seem out of place scattered throughout our online help system? Is Captivate something of a round peg in a square hole given my application?

 

Please advise,

David

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Advisor ,
Nov 30, 2021 Nov 30, 2021

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Here is my 2¢

 

I have both Camtasia and Captivate in my arsenal of tools.

I see them as filling a particular role.

I use Camtasia for quick video output with some callouts, zooming and panning, or audio support for enhancements. I feel Camtasia is the superior product here. Very easy to edit for those things.

I use Captivate for interactive walk-through activities. In this case Captivate is the superior product.

In some cases a short video is all one needs but there are times when I feel a simulation where a user presses the buttons on a screen just as they would if the product was in front of them is more useful.

 

In short - I would suggest Captivate not as a replacement - but rather a supplement.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2021 Nov 30, 2021

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Let me explain my point of view. Since over a decade, both RoboHelp and Captivate are used to create help systems which include interactive simulations. I am  not talking about passive video, where Camtasia is indeed superior (although Captivate has a clone, called Video Demo) but about real interactivity.  If you do not see any advantage in interactivity keep to Camtasia for the videos.

Software simulations in Captivate are done in three possible modes. Forget about the demo mode, you would have a much better quality and editing possibilities with Camtasia or even Video Demo. Interactive simulations however are done either in Training or Assessment mode. They can be used as SCORM assets, uploaded to a LMS. I recently used such simulations in a test workflow combined with other tests.

I know that my viewpoint on the importance of interactivity is not shared by everyone. But know that both RoboHelp and Captivate has always been used as collaborative tools. They are part of the Adobe Technical Suite.

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