Captivate compatibility with macOS Catalina 10.15

Adobe Employee ,
Oct 14, 2019 Oct 14, 2019

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UPDATE: (12/4/2019): We've released Update 4 for the 2019 release of Captivate. For more information, see Adobe Captivate (2019 release) Update 4 released.

 

Adobe Captivate (2019 release) is not supported on macOS Catalina 10.15, which Apple released on October 7th, 2019.

 

Adobe will soon be releasing the free update for Adobe Captivate (2019 release) users that will support macOS Catalina 10.15.

 

We recommend that you continue to run Adobe Captivate on macOS 10.14 until Adobe releases an update for the 2019 release of Captivate that supports macOS Catalina 10.15.

 

All users on older versions of Adobe Captivate must upgrade to Adobe Captivate (2019 release). For more information, contact Adobe support.

Track Timeline of macOS 10.15 Catalina compatibility
Captivate (2019 release) End of Fall 2019

 

How to avoid interruption when using Captivate?

  • If you have installed the 2019 release of Captivate and haven’t upgraded to macOS 10.15, Captivate (2019 release) continues to work as expected.
  • Hold on to upgrading your macOS until Adobe releases an update by end of Fall 2019.
 
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Installation and licensing

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Advocate ,
Nov 30, 2019 Nov 30, 2019

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Maybe in general terms and beyond the pure Captivate issue, it might not be a good idea for a Mac user to upgrade to Catalina yet. There seem to be a number of problems for some users. So for example something weird is going on with the Finder, even causing crashes in some cases (more).

 

Though the main issue is that Catalina is the first MacOS which is incompatible with 32-bit applications. This is a biggie, because you will be surprised how many 32Bit apps can still be on your Mac. I for once still have 54 32-bit apps compared to 412 64-bit apps running. You can find out for yourself by using the free app Go64. You can filter out all 32-bit apps on your system, get details on particulars and prepare yourself for the takeover of Catalina.

 

Go64's info regarding Captivate is this:

Adobe Captivate.app is a 64-bit app with some internal components that are still 32-bit.

 

It may or may not run correctly on macOS 10.15, depending on how the app handles situations where its 32-bit components would normally be used. Check for a more recent version or contact the application's developer for more information.

 

When reporting an issue, please include this information:
BundleID: com.adobe.Captivate Version: "11.5.1.499"

 

These components are 32-bit:
/Contents/Frameworks/adbeapecore.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/Flash Player.plugin
/Contents/Frameworks/ahclient.framework/Versions/A/Resources/arh

 

hope, this can help

Klaus

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2019 Dec 01, 2019

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Explorer ,
Dec 02, 2019 Dec 02, 2019

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The obvious problem is Captivate's codebase is antiquated junk and the application desperately needs a bottom-up rewrite. We're in 2019 and Captivate for Mac still doesn't run correctly on Retina displays (first released by Apple in 2014 (!!!)), with the only "fix" being to run the application in low-resolution mode. Despite being on version 11.5, Captivate (for both Windows and Mac) remains buggy, slow, difficult to navigate, inefficient, takes forever to launch, and looks like something written for a not-Windows-and-not-Mac-either platform. Will such a rewrite ever happen? Doubtful. Sadly, from Adobe's perspective, Captivate is the unloved stepchild forced to live in a cubby under the stairs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 02, 2019 Dec 02, 2019

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From the tone of your comment, it would seem you must have vast programming experience in creating complex multimedia applications like Captivate.  

 

Since you seem to know what Captivate needs to fix all its woes, might I suggest you call Adobe and offer your services as a consultant.  With someone of your level of expertise available, I don't see how they could refuse. 

 

On the other hand, if they don't seem impressed, just offer to go 'head-to-head" with their worst programmer to demonstrate your skills.  Should be easy to convince them.

 

Captivate needs you!

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Explorer ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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I understand your reply because of the tone, but CDubber has a point IMHO. For instance:

  • Captivate crashes a lot (about five times a day, I should start keeping count).
  • After losing your work a few times, you learn to save a lot.
  • But saving can take several minutes: you're just staring at the screen while a progress bar appears to be frozen at 50% while saving.

That's just one issue. There are many (e.g. the Project Title in the Publication modal that stays the same no matter how many times you publish, which means that you have to pay attention if you don't want to end up with different folder names; crashes when editing an unsaved Video Demo; cmd-Z (Undo) closes the window on Azerty keyboards etc.). There are workarounds, but these aren't actual solutions.

 

So yes: Captivate is a complex product. And yes: you can end up with a good result. But in order to do so, you have to navigate a minefield of bugs and crashes, which can be quite frustrating.

I have reported these and other bugs to Adobe, but nothing has changed. I work for a software company, I know that the balance between new features and bug fixes is hard to find, but Captivate should really focus a bit more on the latter. I don't really care about VR. I do care about a decent workflow that doesn't involve crashes and bugs. And I must admit that I have thought the same as CDubber: "Boy, Captivate could use some refactoring"

I know that you don't work for Adobe and that you can't help it. But please take into consideration that some users are really unhappy, especially after the Catalina disaster. Unhappy customers care about the product and often also have a point. Sarcasm doesn't help there.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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Interesting.  I'm not doubting that you may have issues running Captivate, but I find your quoted experience wth Captivate very different from my own. 

 

You speak as if these problems are normal and most other people would experience the same.  But I use Captivate every day and I don't experience any of the issues you mention. Why would that be?

In fact: 

  • I cannot remember the last time any recent Captivate version crashed on me. It would be several weeks or months at least.
  • I haven't lost any work due to Captivate issues in some years now, and even then it was probably my own fault.  I put this down to the fact that I always have backups turned on, and clear out my cache often.  It's quite easy to resurrect a project from the most recent cache file, but I haven't had to do that for ages. I save the CPTX to a different date-marked filename each day to remove any possibility of losing anything more than one day's work if a disaster DID happen.  But it just doesn't happen.
  • Hitting save only results in a delay of a few seconds at most, and that would only be after I had made changes to a CPTX file over a period of hours.

 

In the many years that I have been frequenting this forum the only times Captivate has behaved in the way you mention usually turns out to be due to something awry on the user's OS or system (e.g. a software conflict), or something related to the user's workflow (e.g. not working locally but directly from a share drive or cloud drive).  I've seen similar issues occur when people are on a locked down SOE in a corporate environment.  Captivate can certainly malfunction if you don't follow the suggested installation and workflow recommendations.  Just as even the best car in the world will crash if you don't drive it properly.

 

The "Catalina disaster" is a case of user error.  Those who updated without researching the wisdom of that decision are obviously unhappy with the results, but it's a mistake that could have been avoided.  Seasoned Captivate users have seen this type of problem several times in the past when OS updates are released (Windows or Apple).  It's best to "look before you leap".  Watch the user forums for a while before updating any OS.

 

I heartily agree with you about wanting to see Adobe use more development dollars on fixing old annoying issues.  I have said this repeatedly on this forum.  But since you and I have both worked for software companies we know how hard it is to create world-leading software.  It's not an accident if your app is at the top of the market in its field. So, I see nothing wrong with calling out a poster who roundly disparages the creative efforts of dedicated hard-working programmers when he would be incapable of bettering their efforts.  "He who exalts himself will be humbled."

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Explorer ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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No hard feelings 🙂

I disagree on two parts of your reply:

- Your response seems to follow a rationale that often returns: "Captivate works correctly if you do X and Y and don't do Z and certainly not A or B" (network drives, screen recording with two screens etc.). I strongly believe that it should work no matter what. And if there are any exceptions, at least state them clearly (spoiler: they aren't stated clearly). The way you save your work reflects the way I worked 15 years ago (no insult intended), but I expect software to have evolved, which brings me back to my original point: Captivate should really refactor some of the basics.

- Catalina. Well... Unfortunately, I'm not a seasoned user and I would expect Adobe to let me know proactively (they have my email to send invoices, so...). Don't let your users' decisions depend on forums because they normally really don't have the time to check them. And as others have stated, the post about above ("Don't upgrade!!!") was published after the release of Catalina. Also: I see you and Lieve posting lots of responses, which is very nice of you, but I don't see a lot of Adobe interaction here. Again: not very proactive for world-leading software. Someone asked an update a few days ago... Still no response. Even saying "We know you're waiting, but we have some delay... The ETA is end of December" would be nice.

 

But I guess we'll just agree to disagree 😉

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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Captivate DOES work very well if you use it as recommended and avoid workflows that are prone to causing corruption.  The software HAS evolved and now offers much more functionality and is more robust than when I started using it 10+ years ago.  But that doesn't mean you can ignore certain limitations and expect everything to just work the way you want. 

 

I get consistently good results with Captivate because I work WITH it, not against it.  And you are correct on your last point.  We have to just agree to disagree.

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Explorer ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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"I don't really care about VR. I do care about a decent workflow that doesn't involve crashes and bugs."

 

AMEN!!! I think I literally smacked my own forehead when I saw that VR was the keystone of the big new update. Really, VR??? Honestly, how many corporate elearning developers are needing VR right now? Or anytime in the near future? I'm betting single-digit percentile. It's a shiny new toy that nobody actually wants right now, a buzzword for an industry that loves buzzwords. Good grief, I'm old enough to remember when all the elearning industry gurus were telling us that Second Life was the future of training. And remember Reusable Learning Objects? Ugh.

 

Is VR cool? Sure. Is it more important than fixing the 10,000 other things that need fixing in Captivate? NO.

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Contributor ,
Dec 09, 2019 Dec 09, 2019

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Honestly, how many corporate elearning developers are needing VR right now? Or anytime in the near future? I'm betting single-digit percentile. It's a shiny new toy that nobody actually wants right now, a buzzword for an industry that loves buzzwords.

 

I work in corporate training in the AR/VR space, and I can tell you that I'd just be happy with a product I can actually use consistently. It's not a mature market, at all, and the cost of entry for VR devices is extremely high, meaning your user base for VR training is very, very small.

 

I think I'm at the end of my Captivate usage, which is a shame, because I've been using it since it was RoboDemo - literally my entire career. But the Mac user experience is just abysmal garbage and gets worse every year, and I can do without the Captivate stans here who are happy to step up and tell you why, in fact, everything is akshually your own fault because you didn't know about arcane workarounds and/or use a PC. 

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Explorer ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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"Since you seem to know what Captivate needs to fix all its woes, might I suggest you call Adobe and offer your services as a consultant.  With someone of your level of expertise available, I don't see how they could refuse."

 

Ah, the classic "OK smart guy, let's see you do better" copout/response. Good one!

 

I'm not a programmer, Rod, but I know bad software when I use it. I'm also not an automotive engineer, but I know a bad car when I drive it. And I'm not a chef, but I know a bad meal when I eat it. It's not my job to make Captivate good. It's Adobe's job to make Captivate good. Anyone who uses Captivate knows it's a poorly-performing, unintuitive, buggy mess. I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend the indefensible and attack anyone who points out the obvious.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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I choose to defend Captivate when someone makes wildly exagerated remarks and denigrates the app unfairly.  The talented designers and programmers that create Captivate are not allowed to chime in on this forum and tell posters how they feel when their work gets disparaged.  I like to speak up for them every so often. 

 

Does Captivate have some bugs and annoyances? Certainly!  All software apps do. But as far as I am aware Captivate is still the most powerful e-learning authoring application available on the market and is currently the market leader.  Not a bad result for bug-ridden antiquated junk, eh?

 

Anyone who watches this forum knows that I DO criticise Captivate's performance and Adobe's decision-making on many occasions.  For example, I agree wholeheartedly with you that adding VR and some other recent "buzz-word" enhancements while ignoring other long-standing usabiity complaints from end users was not a good decision. 

 

But, I respect the fact that Adobe owns Captivate, not me, and that means they can spend their development dollars where they want without consulting me and there's nothing I can do about it.  I would object even more strongly if they tried to tell ME how to run my own business.

 

As a contract e-learning developer I use any authoring tool that my clients require.  But in all the years I have been doing this job I still haven't found any tool that is better than Captivate.  I hate certain things about it, but love the fact that at least it does most things very well, and knowing how to use it properly avoids most of the issues people complain about on this forum.

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Explorer ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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"I choose to defend Captivate when someone makes wildly exagerated remarks and denigrates the app unfairly.  The talented designers and programmers that create Captivate are not allowed to chime in on this forum and tell posters how they feel when their work gets disparaged.  I like to speak up for them every so often."

 

Where's the exaggeration? Where's the unfair denegration? I'm 100% certain that even the "talented designers and programmers that create Captivate" are painfully aware that the application teeters on a rotted-out foundation of 15-plus-year-old code from its RoboDemo days. To recognize this obvious fact is not at all an attack on Adobe's developer-level employees, but on Adobe itself and its lack of investment/attention to Captivate. I mean, you can't even find Captivate on Adobe's website without some serious digging! It's almost as if they don't want to claim it. Captivate doesn't provide native Illustrator file support (though both applications are from Adobe), forcing me to export all my Illustrator work to SVG (!!!) before bringing it into Captivate. Sure, it will do roundtrip editing with Illustrator, but again, only after you do the tedious SVG conversions manually. The interface, as I mentioned earlier, is neither Windows-like nor Mac-like. It's a jarring contrast from the UI conventions of either OS. You can't get Captivate in any type of Creative Cloud bundle. Captivate integrates with eLearning Brothers (great guys, mediocre assets) rather than the far-superior Adobe Stock (which, granted, doesn't offer character options). Adobe employees are nearly non-existent on this forum and rely on unpaid evangelists (like you) to provide support for their product. And most of the Captivate folks are in India, resulting in both a time-zone and language barrier.

 

For not being the "market leader," Articulate is many lightyears ahead in customer engagement. Their online community is top-notch, they have a legion of staff that actively participates in the forums, their product updates are frequent, and their ease-of-use blows Captivate away (though still lacking some of the power). If not for the fact my employer is tied to Captivate via a multi-year licensing arrangement, and the fact that Captivate provides a sorta-Mac-native version I can use personally for my freelance work (so I only need master one tool, not two), I wouldn't give it a second look. It's a crying shame Articulate abandoned its plans for a Mac version of Storyline.

 

As I mentioned earlier, Captivate still can't run correctly using a 5-year-old Mac display resolution standard, and in fact can't run correctly at all on the major macOS update released TWO MONTHS AGO (hence this thread). Meanwhile, on my work machine (not-cutting-edge-but-not-antique HP with i5 processor and 16 GB of RAM running Windows 10) I wait a full minute-twenty-seconds for Captivate to launch. Importing PowerPoint files is nearly worthless, when it works at all. So much for our bright idea to have our SMEs work a lot of the baseline content in PowerPoint (for which they all have licenses) and then import it into Captivate (for which only we instructional designers have licenses) for final development: Captivate turns all the content from that PowerPoint slide into a single inseparable, uneditable asset. And of course just to get the mostly-useless PowerPoint import to work at all requires a workaround. For me and all my team members, trying to import a PowerPoint results in an "insufficient memory to launch PowerPoint" message, UNLESS YOU LAUNCH POWERPOINT FIRST, in which case it works just fine (I guess Captivate is lying about the memory thing). Oh, and Captivate includes must-have JSON files in its output, which is a verboten file type on many corporate SharePoint servers (including ours). Oops.

 

Captivate works flawlessly for you? Great! Lucky you! But those of us for whom it does not, in fact, work great are many. You say it works well if you know how to use it "properly", meaning knowing the tricks and workarounds to evade its many bugs and limitations, like my grandpa scoffing at the inability to start his truck by turning the key when he could instead do so by pointing it downhill and giving it a good shove before jumping in and popping the cluch. "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

 

Many of us would just prefer that Captivate, you know, work well without all the crazy contortions and tricks learned over many hours of failure and misery. This doesn't seem like an unrealistic expection from a software product on version 11.5 from a major software company like Adobe.

 

I want Captivate to be awesome. I really do. Does Adobe?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 03, 2019 Dec 03, 2019

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Again your answers reflect that you do not know Captivate and its history.

 

Yes there was a product called RoboDemo and it was bought by another company and morphed into Captivate version 1.  But that code base WAS completely replaced when Captivate version 5 was released and the entire underlying structure of the project files moved over to XML.  So old RoboDemo code is NOT current Captivate code.  If you have proof that it is, please supply that proof.  Otherwise I will continue to assert that your 100% assertion that Captivate's own developers would agree with you about all this IS wildly exaggerated.

 

The interface of Captivate is designed by Adobe, not Microsoft or Apple, and that's why it's not Windows-like or Mac-Like.  If you open any Adobe app (Photoshop, Animate, etc) you will see the similarity with Captivate's interface.

 

I agree that it would be nice if Captivate WAS part of the Creative Cloud.  But that's got nothing to do with the quality of its programming.  If you have proof that it is, please provide it.

 

As I said, Captivate's developers don't have permission to dive onto this forum and defend themselves against unfair attack (or to deny that they 100% agree with Captivate being inferior technology).  So expecting them to speak up here is NOT valid.  Yes I am not paid by Adobe to help others on this forum.  And that's what gives me the freedom to both defend or criticise Captivate where I feel appropriate.  It also means I'm free to defend those guys in the Adobe programming teams who cannot speak for themselves.  The fact that they happen to live and work in India is not relevant to this discussion.  To assert that their race or country is a factor borders on racism.

 

Trying to use PowerPoint as a starting point for e-learning is NOT a good workflow and this is pointed out by all experienced Captivate users.  If you are still using that approach, against our advice, you will endure a lot of needless frustration.  I never use it and never recommend it because it just ties my hands in too many ways.

 

 

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Contributor ,
Dec 09, 2019 Dec 09, 2019

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I agree that it would be nice if Captivate WAS part of the Creative Cloud.  But that's got nothing to do with the quality of its programming.  If you have proof that it is, please provide it.

 

I got through the update to Catalina and had virtually no issues with Creative Cloud. Captivate's dead in the water. This isn't even close to the first time this has happened. Perhaps that's too anecdotal of evidence for you, but Captivate's a very clearly inferior product to virtually anything included in the Creative Cloud suite. There are all sorts of business reasons that justify that decision, I'm sure, but to insist that they're comparable is absurd. You yourself mention that you've been frustrated by performance issues. Based on your post history, you don't seem to have much/any experience using Captivate on a Mac, and I am telling you, the experience is significantly worse. If you're a PC user and haven't experienced this, well, congratulations, but you and I pay the same amount for our subscriptions and we have vastly different experiences.

 

The fact that they happen to live and work in India is not relevant to this discussion.  To assert that their race or country is a factor borders on racism.

 

Not when their geographic location results in reduced support availability and quality (which has been my experience, repeatedly). I've worked with plenty of support teams all over the world; I've trained them personally in offshore locations, and generally speaking, I've been happy with my experiences. I've noticed a marked decrease in quality in Adobe Captivate support specifically over the years, even as the rest of their support has improved (slightly - I mean, this company's never been known for great support). The problem isn't the geographic region or the nationality of the folks providing support, it's the level of support quality that Adobe chooses to provide for the product, which is abysmal. 

 

Trying to use PowerPoint as a starting point for e-learning is NOT a good workflow and this is pointed out by all experienced Captivate users. 

 

And yet, it's one of the first options you see when creating a new project. If it's a bad workflow (and I agree that it is), but it's prominently featured in the product page and in the application itself, then the product is badly designed and badly engineered. See first paragraph. 

 

As I said, Captivate's developers don't have permission to dive onto this forum and defend themselves against unfair attack (or to deny that they 100% agree with Captivate being inferior technology).  So expecting them to speak up here is NOT valid.

 

This is inexplicable to me; Adobe's a multi-billion dollar, global software company whose employees are practically absent from these forums, for an application that costs more than half of what Creative Cloud (as an entire suite!) costs. You're not helping the product get better by assisting Adobe in papering over it's glaring deficiencies, you're simply enabling continued bad behavior. If Adobe wants to defend it's decisions or it's products, they've got ample opportunity to do so, and there are better ways than unleashing their most vociferous supporters to mod the forum and berate users whose experience has been bad. 

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 04, 2019 Dec 04, 2019

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Patch is released to make vesion 11.5 compatible with Catalina. Have a look at:

https://elearning.adobe.com/2019/12/adobe-captivate-2019-release-update-4-mac-supports-macos-catalin...

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Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2019 Dec 04, 2019

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Huzzah!!! Thanks for the update.

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Advocate ,
Dec 05, 2019 Dec 05, 2019

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Sorry to throw a spanner into the works, but the 4th Update of Captivate 11.5 is still not completely Catalina compatible. There's still the FlashPlayer.plugin which remains 32-bit. Of course that's no surprise, Shockwave Flash's  support in general is officially ending in 2020. But why didn't Adobe do the decisive step of throwing out the FlashPlayer.plugin in Captivate once and for all? Because of that Captivate remains in a grey area regarding the compatibility to Catalina.

Klaus

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Advocate ,
Dec 05, 2019 Dec 05, 2019

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Screenshot 2019-12-05 at 21.12.58.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 05, 2019 Dec 05, 2019

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Believe it or not, there are still organisations that are using SWF content, despite all the warnings.  Adobe may have decided to leave the Flash Player in Captivate so that it is still capable of publishing SWF and playing it for Preview purposes.  However, it is surprising that they chose to include a 32bit version of Flash Player instead of just the 64bit version.  

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New Here ,
Dec 10, 2019 Dec 10, 2019

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Hi,

are there any news regarding the (hopefully pending) update concerning the upcoming update of captivate?

I really need that stuff running on my mac 😞

Robert

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Explorer ,
Dec 10, 2019 Dec 10, 2019

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