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OK, isn't Adobe supposed to be an Awesome design company???!!!

Community Beginner ,
May 17, 2011

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Can someone PLEASE tell me why Adobe Captivate (MAC) SUCKS so bad. This is a horrible program. Come on!!! You guys are some of the best at design and creative... Why, Please, WHY, does the Captivate experience have to be so ... AAAAHhhh!!!!!

I'm open to feedback on this!!!

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OK, isn't Adobe supposed to be an Awesome design company???!!!

Community Beginner ,
May 17, 2011

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Can someone PLEASE tell me why Adobe Captivate (MAC) SUCKS so bad. This is a horrible program. Come on!!! You guys are some of the best at design and creative... Why, Please, WHY, does the Captivate experience have to be so ... AAAAHhhh!!!!!

I'm open to feedback on this!!!

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May 17, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
May 17, 2011

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Hi there

Instead of issuing a very broad, nebulous and generic statement such as "Captivate Sucks", it would be more helpful if you were able to articulate exactly what about it sucks.

What are you attempting to do that you are having issues with?

Kind of like going to the doctor and saying you are there because you feel bad.

Cheers... Rick

Helpful and Handy Links

Captivate Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form

Adobe Certified Captivate Training

SorcerStone Blog

Captivate eBooks

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May 17, 2011 2
Community Beginner ,
May 18, 2011

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Rick, you're correct. That rant was building for quite some time. I have been using Captivate 3 (PC) since late 2007. Any limitations in the software were chalked up to "It's only version 3" or "It's on a PC" while I did have higher expectations of the software considering it's parent (Adobe) produces AWESOME products such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash to name a few.

Sadly I found myself relying on PowerPoint to make simple picture adjustments (crop) because don't have PS on that PC.

So fast forward, now I have Captivate on the Mac. Simple issues that even worked well on the PC don't seem to work at all.

1. FTP publishing: I must change the actual server address in the Server list to publish to a specific folder. On the PC I could set the Root of the Server and then add any file path info in the dialogue below the server selection.

2. SKINs: I can't get Captivate 5 Mac to default to a Skin consistently. Once I post a project, close then open another project, I must reset the SKIN.

3. Space Bar Play: When in the audio dialogue, (this worked even in Cp3 PC) when I want to edit, the SPACE BAR should toggle play/pause. However in Cp5 Mac, SPACE BAR only toggles the last button highlighted.

These are the kind of STUPID (sorry, I'll calm down) things to which I refer.

We have chosen Captivate as an eLearning platform over Camtasia, Articulate, and many others due to the things it does do well. It's just that the user experience leaves quite a bit to be desired. This is not a Refined Product yet.

Thanks to anyone listening!

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May 18, 2011 0
Participant ,
Mar 05, 2015

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3. Space Bar Play: When in the audio dialogue, (this worked even in Cp3 PC) when I want to edit, the SPACE BAR should toggle play/pause. However in Cp5 Mac, SPACE BAR only toggles the last button highlighted.

Still happens with CP8 on OSX.  Super annoying.

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Mar 05, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 03, 2015

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Try hitting F3 instead to play/pause.

That's what I do.

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Aug 03, 2015 0
New Here ,
Jan 08, 2013

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I know this thread is old, but I just found it and others will as well.

Yes, you are right. Adobe Captivate sucks. Really bad.

Rick, while it's true that this claim seems vague, and we cannot trouble shoot an issue with such a claim, yet it remains true: Adobe Captivate sucks. Still.

Just open the program and start using it. That's all you need to do...and you will come to the same realization that Adobe Captivate is garbage.

But that doesn't matter, because every other elearning product out there sucks too. So why make something great when crappy is still better than super crappy?

I wouldn't care though if it weren't for a couple points:

1) Macdavid is right, we should expect more from a company like Adobe. But it's apparent they tend to rest on their laurels, and also offer many sub-products that fall far below any desirable bar.

2) They charge a bloody $900 for it. If it were $20 I would understand. Wow, what an amazing overprice. But thats what happens when you have to pay for a bloated, oversized waterfall style corporation.

There's my rant.

Adobe, time to step up your game.

Cheers

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Jan 08, 2013 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2013

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I'm always amazed at how different people's perceptions are of the same product.

I open Captivate every day and think it's a great product.  After having to build e-learning over the years with an assortment of applications I'm very grateful for what we have nowadays.  They may not be perfect, but man they are streets ahead of what I had to use when I started out.

I don't think Captivate is overpriced.  There are plenty of other apps out there that don't do anywhere near as much which are a lot more expensive.  It's all relative as far as I can see.  I know $1700 might sound like a lot to ask for ELS. But when you start adding up all the apps you get in that package and what they are worth individually, you start to realise what a bargain it is.

I often wonder what people that rant about Captivavte on this forum actually think they accomplish.  If the objective is to shame Adobe into kowtowing to their demands, then I have to say it's a fruitless gesture.  It's about the online equivalent of walking into Macdonald's or Burger King and yelling at the top of your lungs about the evils of hamburgers.  There'll be a momentary embarassed silence while everyone contemplates your lack of taste...and then we all go back to doing what we came there for in the first place.

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Jan 08, 2013 0
Advocate ,
Jan 09, 2013

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from the original post, going from Cp3 to Cp5 wow.. that's a jump.

I don't think it's fair to compare Captivate to Photoshop.  Photoshop is what, version 13 now (PS CS5 was v12, not sure about CS6).  Eight more iterations than Captivate is comparing apples and apple seeds.

I use Lectora Inspire also, probably 50/50 on my deliverables and they both have strengths and weaknesses.  When we're designing some instruction I have to take careful note of what we want to accomplish so I can pick the best (for the deliverable) authoring tool.

Captivate handles most simulations much more smoothly than Lectora.  I think the way Lectora handles advanced actions is a little more intutitve (and easier to manage later).

Ranting about how terrible one may be doesn't help resolve it.  I'm sure auto mechanics are the same way, ranting out how terrible one brand may be compared to another.  Doesn't change the fact you have to deal with both regardless.  I think it's just human nature to define our existance by our suffering

Still waiting to get my hands on Cp6, supposed to be sometime this quarter.  I look forward to some of the new features now that everyone else has figured things out.

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Jan 09, 2013 0
LEGEND ,
Jan 09, 2013

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Hi Andy

Not trying to toss any combustible onto the fire here, but about those version numbers...

While I know that Adobe is fairly new to Captivate, from a logical standpoint I believe it's at version 11. I think its original incarnation as FlashCam had it at version 2. Then eHelp nabbed it and named it RoboDemo from version 3 to 5. Then macromedia nabbed it and dubbed it Captivate at version 1. (Logically, that would have been version 6)

And Adobe continued the journey and we have now seen version 6 released. So from a logical perspective:

Captivate 1 was logically version 6.

Captivate 2 was logically version 7.

Captivate 3 was logically version 8.

Captivate 4 was logically version 9.

Captivate 5 and 5.5 were logically version 10 and 10.5.

And lastly, Captivate 6 was logically version 11.

At least to the best of my knowledge that's the way it is... Rick

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Jan 09, 2013 0
Advocate ,
Jan 09, 2013

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I would never question your best knowledge, Rick.

I suppose I could throw out that Photoshop "only" does one thing, photo editing.  

But I don't think Photoshop is any more intuitive to use than Captivate, even after 13 versions.

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Jan 09, 2013 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2013

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I have been using Captivate since v1 (even earlier if you consider Robodemo) along with other eLearning dev tools. Captivate in its current iteration (v6) is about 50% good and about 50% complete and utter garbage. Adobe consistently pushes out new releases with "new" features without ever addressing the bugs and issues of previous version features - and never bat an eye about charging you for a .x update. Captivate has become so bloated and I've been fooled into upgrading to the next version so many times thinking "this should be the version that fixes everything" that I honestly may not be upgrading to v7. I'm genuinely questioning the coding talents of the Captivate dev team. Not nice I know, but true.

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Feb 21, 2013 1
LEGEND ,
Feb 21, 2013

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Hi there

Sure, I'll be the first to admit that Captivate has warts and wrinkles. Show me software that doesn't!

But I think it's a bit unfair to claim: "Adobe consistently pushes out new releases with "new" features without ever addressing the bugs and issues of previous version features". The DO actually fix bugs. And sometimes we perceive things as bugs that the dev team doesn't.

And really? A software version that fixes everything? You surely aren't serious. If you are, I have some land I'm willing to sell you in Florida for a really sweet deal!

Cheers... Rick

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Feb 21, 2013 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2013

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Lol!  You should be in politics. 

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Feb 21, 2013 0
Explorer ,
Feb 26, 2014

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Captiv8r wrote:

And really? A software version that fixes everything? You surely aren't serious.

You're right, software updates should fix every known bug before releasing a new version.

What's the point of adding new features when older ones don't work ?

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Feb 26, 2014 0
Explorer ,
Aug 31, 2014

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I have recently been tasked to use Captivate 7 to build several eLearning courses. I have been developing eLearning since the mid 90's. Back in those days there weren't any Rapid Development Tools. I had to build my courses by hand using Javascript or Flash. Over the years I have used many different tools with various levels of disappointment/dissatisfaction with most of them. Here are some MAJOR issues I have with Captivate.

Having to insert an interactive object just to get the player not to auto-advance through your course. REALLY??!! I can't just make a course's navigation default to user control? Not all courses are narrated simulations, Adobe. And even this work around is flawed.

Having almost no control over how questions/quizzes function. If a user reviews a quiz they can't retake it? You can't have both unscored Knowledge Checks and a scored Quiz in the same course?

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Aug 31, 2014 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 31, 2014

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LOL.

I Just love watching control freaks encounter Captivate. You can hear the sound of splintering glass all the way to Australia.

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Aug 31, 2014 0
Explorer ,
Sep 02, 2014

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Perhaps you would care to provide a constructive response to my issues with Captivate?

signed,

Control Freak

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Sep 02, 2014 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2014

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I will add a further negative. Like many I've used numerous versions of Captivate and decided to download 8 for a major project presentation I'm about to present. Bits and bobs had me a little perplexed so I tried to gain an understanding on TV.Adobe. Appalling, abysmal, self serving, old school, inward looking - useless multiple series on new features by someone who clearly has no idea what a student might want to learn. Where are the cleaver informative videos similar to those delivered by Terry White, Paul Tranni, Julian Kost and other great trainers at Adobe. I'm now stuck with doing it the old school way - trial and error. Why?

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Nov 11, 2014 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 01, 2014

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There are other ways to pause a slide than with an interactive objects. And it is possible to have unscored knowledge checks, or have them not add up to the total score. I don't see any advantage in having the possibility to first look at the correct questions and then take a quiz, (Review before Retake), but that is just the teacher in me. Ranting in this user forum s only making some users laughing and offering frustrations to other users. And losing your time as well, but if you feel better with that, go ahead.

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Sep 01, 2014 0
Explorer ,
Sep 02, 2014

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Sorry. I did not think I was ranting. Just expressing my opinion. If this forum is not the place to do that I apologize.

You mention that it is possible to pause a slide without the workaround. Can you expand on this? The searches I have made on this subject invariably point to adding the click box as a solution  for example Re: Captivate 6 - Strange Pause Behavior

Also perhaps I did not communicate clearly. The review button occurs after the user has failed the quiz the first time . But once you review the quiz there is no way to retake it. EVER. I do not consider showing a student what they got wrong then allowing them to learn from that and to try again to be a problem. But I am not a teacher.

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Sep 02, 2014 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2014

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You can control pausing with the system variables cpCmndPause and cpCmndResume. I don't know which version you use, but in recent versions there is even a Pause command. You can use that with any event. Click box is an easy way to pause, because it has automatically a pause at the end of its timeline. I described the possible events for actions here:

Events and (advanced) Actions - Captivate blog

As for the score slide: in case I have multiple attempts on Quiz level and a Review possibility, I will drag the Review button under the Retake button. That will avoid confusion, the Review button will only become visible when all attempts on Quiz level are exhausted. In these two, well-visited blog posts, I tried to clarify the design of question/score slides and offer some tweaking tips:

Question Question Slides in Captivate - Captivate blog

Question Question Slides - Part 2 - Captivate blog

Everyone wants to rant sometimes, I'm no exception. But a lot of visitors here think that this is an Adobe moderated forum, which is not the case. Ranting is 'heard' by other users like me, who want to help with problems. And that is not always very funny.

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Sep 02, 2014 0
Explorer ,
Sep 02, 2014

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Hey thanks for the feedback. I am using version 7. One issue I am having is this:

To pause the course I have a transparent click area set up at the end of the slide. The success action is set to do nothing (I have also tried Pause). I have set it to infinite tries.

If the slide plays through then the click box stops it from proceeding as intended. GREAT!

However, if the user clicks ANYWHERE on the screen after the pause event has been engaged then the course navigates to the next slide.

So for example I have a slide with a button on it that reveals a hidden text box when clicked. If the users clicks the button prior to reaching the last frame of the timeline, then everything works as intended. BUT if the last frame of the timeline is reached and THEN the user clicks that button (not the transparent click area) then the course navigates away from the screen and the user never sees the hidden content.

What am I doing wrong?

As to my question about the Knowledge Checks and Quizzes ... I had both in the same course. The KC's were set to "Do not include" in the final score. However when the user hit the Retry Quiz button it took them to the first Knowledge Check instead of the first Quiz Question.

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Sep 02, 2014 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2014

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Last question first: you'll have to set up a conditional action to have the Retry get the user to the correct Question slide. Have posted that multiple times in this forum, but of course, the Search function is not brilliant at the least. The system variable cpQuizInfoAttempts tracks the attempts on Quiz level, and is incremented when the Retry button is clicked. That means that when this var is greater than 1, you'll have to jump to the first real question slide.

IF cpQuizInfoAttempts is greater than 1

    Jump to ....           which is the first real question slide

ELSE

    Continue

I posted the link to the events blog post. I suppose you are talking about a click box? Why not extend it to the size of the slide? In that case the user cannot click outside of the click box on the slide.

As for the button question, here is another link with basic, very important information: Why choose Standard over Simple action? - Captivate blog

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Sep 02, 2014 0
Explorer ,
Oct 06, 2014

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I worked with Cp7 now switched to Cp8. Previously I worked with Articulate Presenter. I am not comparing these two products.
I use Captivate on a daily basis and people ask me how I find this product. I am glad I found this topic though.
I could say it sucks (and I think it does suck as an Adobe product) but instead I will be editing this reply as I am feeling very, very constructive and serious about commenting on its usability. Regardless my constructive criticism the silver lining is that probably there is no better e-learning authoring tool on the market right now.

  1. Workflow is a new buzzword for Adobe but Captivate really lacks integration with other products. Integration with Photoshop is only possible if you have a full TCS. I love using Illustrator for vector artwork. Captivate should be integrated with it but it is not. At least it should support scalable vector graphics (SVG) as it claims to support HTML5 output.
    In a nutshell, Captivate is really falling behind the CC mainstream, features, integration, and #workflow in overall.
    Solution: make it CC.
  2. Animating in Captivate can turn into a nightmare. If you are ambitious to create 30 seconds long animation, you will fail in Captivate. Controlling timeline after about 15 seconds or 500 frames is literally wasting your productivity and company's money.
    Gotta switch to Flash and...struggle with conversion to HTML5 hassle during production. Too many workarounds.
    Solutions: use Flash technology to control timeline.
  3. Text formatting: ALL CAPS formatting is missing.
  4. Navigation: some interface parts do not support mouse scroll. Painful e.g. for a large number of master slides selection to use a little triangle.
  5. What I found Captivate does pretty well is a movie compression (SWF to MP4 for instance). But I used it once...and because I had to import SWF animation in Flash.
  6. Advanced actions and system variables are cool stuff. For any advance work you may end up with a bunch of variables and hardly reusable actions but for anything more advanced you can use JavaScript and widgets.
  7. Not compatible with Adobe Bridge - no preview thumbnail for at least a first slide. In fact this is a proprietary Adobe extension so it should provide preview for each individual slide - just like for Illustrator artboards or InDesign pages. No default metadata for e.g. the number of slides or so.
  8. Finally, there are 3 different states for shapes with a button function. You can show a different color for hovering over a button. Nice.
  9. I would expect a better support for drawing tools like: shape builder (shape + shape / shape - shape, etc) as well as more flexible text formatting options for text boxes, e.g. area type tool. You can't fill an oval with text, but you can fill any polygon created manually. Something is missing here.
  10. You can not save your own Workspace.
  11. Panels, e.g. Swatches, can not be docked likewise Library or Properties.




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Oct 06, 2014 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 12, 2014

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@karolcholewa  I must have missed your post, because I was travelling/presenting in the USA.

Just want to answer some of your remarks: maybe you didn't discover Expert mode in CP8 (check 4th option in Preferences, General): that will enable you to create workspaces to dock panels etc. I switched immediately to that UI, because I hate the lack of control in the newbie one. And you can keep your workspaces when upgrading: Captivate 8.0.1 Install? Keep your Customisation! - Captivate blog

I totally agree about lack of features for shapes, have been begging for the real stuff since shapes (most innovative feature in 6) appeared: all what can be found under the Pen tool in Photoshop and adding/subtracting/intersection... for shapes to create custom shapes. At least you can now save custom shapes and reuse them over and over again.

Advanced actions can be shared actions, and if you grab the logic of advanced/shared actions they can be really powerful. My blog has its main focus on use cases for them. Variables can be reused and can be parameters in shared actions.

@Bob... I started blogging about 4 years ago out of frustration because good tutorials were lacking for Captivate and a lot of the useful features not even mentioned in the Help documentation. But I'm of course only a user, nothing more.

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Nov 12, 2014 2
Explorer ,
Nov 27, 2014

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There you go @Lilybiri! Thanks, you fixed one issue that I was not really aware of. So it is called the Expert mode though. I feel gratified and appreciated to have switched to the Expert mode, although from a usability perspective having two modes which in fact disable or enable standard interactions is a misunderstanding of basic affordances in the UI.

Well done, you've earned another reader of your helpful blog.

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Nov 27, 2014 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Nov 27, 2014

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Thanks, glad it was helpful. Personally I never present in Newbie mode...too frustrating

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Nov 27, 2014 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 28, 2015

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I've been searching for a forum post like this, and karolcholewa has NAILED most of my grievances with Captivate.  To be brutally honest, Captivate functions like a dumbed-down version of Flash specifically design for eLearnings.  A couple of things to add to the previous comment though:

  1. As someone who has been using Adobe and Creative Suite for almost 15 years, the fact something as simple as SHIFT dragging doesn't exist in this program boggles my mind.  That's a staple which has existed forever in adobe.
  2. Or when you move things in a group, the fact that it adds extra movements the more things you have in a group
  3. How can a timeline based product not incorporate, even at the rudimentary level, some form of keyframe animation.  The built in effects are only useful in very select situations.  I feel like allowing the user to slide something from point A to point B isn't aspiring to lofty heights.
  4. Final part of my rant, I promise, the timeline.  Why is everything on the timeline ALWAYS visible, you'd think you wouldn't be able to see something on the timeline, till it actually appears, but instead everything is always there (not to mention locking a layer only locks it in the loosest sense of the term)

I know this won't change anything, but it's nice to get this out.  Hopefully some basic changes get made to sure this program up, as it has great potential, but just falls REALLY short in Adobe's standard lineup

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Jan 28, 2015 3
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 28, 2015

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Just FYI: SHIFT-dragging is now working as expected.

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Jan 28, 2015 0
Community Beginner ,
Jan 28, 2015

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Not if I'm expecting it to drag in a straight line.  I've got CPT 8 running right now, and it's definitely not working as it should. 

Also, forgot to mention resizing based on the center point (let alone choosing an anchor).

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Jan 28, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Dec 15, 2014

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I am hoping that this post has already become a features wish-list for the next updates and that Captivate team appreciates users feedback at no cost.

So here is another one:

Unable to apply effect to a group. In other words, effect apply only to single shapes.

Any comment on this. Any workaround?

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Dec 15, 2014 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 15, 2014

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I don't think this will work, you have to introduce feature requests and then hope that a lot of users will do the same.

This feature request I have already logged several times (as well...). No workaround, you can save a custom effect where all parameters are set the correct way. Applying them to each object of the group will then be a little bit quicker. Or if you are adventurous (depends on the type of effect, will not always give the correct result), you can apply the custom effect using an advanced action, copy/paste as many statements as you need and each will be Apply Effect....

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Dec 15, 2014 1
Explorer ,
Dec 15, 2014

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Thanks for a prompt reply. It looks like you've experienced all the pain and glory with Captivate. Perhaps it is a case for a short JavaScript snippet and loop through elements in the group. Not sure exactly how but hope to explore it some day...

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Dec 15, 2014 0