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Why is Adobe Captivate so slow?

Explorer ,
Jun 13, 2017

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I am using a late 2013 MBP with 16GB RAM, and the latest version of Adobe Captivate downloaded with my Creative Cloud subscription, but I consistently find that Adobe Captivate runs especially slow. Enough to hinder my day-to-day workflow.

I've noticed that it will only use a max of 3GB of RAM, and doesn't seem to be taking advantage of the full capabilities of the CPU, as my CPU % sits at around 15-20, even while performing presumably resource-intensive tasks. I could understand if it was maxing out the CPU and performing poorly, because at least it was using all the resources it could to try and deliver the best performance. But it is laggy and slow without even using the resources available to it.

Does anyone know if you can adjust the RAM or CPU allocation settings for Adobe Captivate? I've used other software that performed poorly before, but I was able to adjust the settings for how many resources I allocated to it, and saw great performance gains.

 

As an example of just how slow Adobe Captivate is for me, I like to move objects on the slide with shift+arrow keys for precise placement. Adobe Captivate is so slow that I can press the arrow key about ten times one direction, and then just sit there for almost a full minute and just watch the object slowly make its way to my desired location. Comparing this to other software on my MacBook, it is extremely slow. Keynote for example provides the same functionality, however objects snap to the position I move them to in real-time, with no lag whatsoever. 

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Why is Adobe Captivate so slow?

Explorer ,
Jun 13, 2017

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I am using a late 2013 MBP with 16GB RAM, and the latest version of Adobe Captivate downloaded with my Creative Cloud subscription, but I consistently find that Adobe Captivate runs especially slow. Enough to hinder my day-to-day workflow.

I've noticed that it will only use a max of 3GB of RAM, and doesn't seem to be taking advantage of the full capabilities of the CPU, as my CPU % sits at around 15-20, even while performing presumably resource-intensive tasks. I could understand if it was maxing out the CPU and performing poorly, because at least it was using all the resources it could to try and deliver the best performance. But it is laggy and slow without even using the resources available to it.

Does anyone know if you can adjust the RAM or CPU allocation settings for Adobe Captivate? I've used other software that performed poorly before, but I was able to adjust the settings for how many resources I allocated to it, and saw great performance gains.

 

As an example of just how slow Adobe Captivate is for me, I like to move objects on the slide with shift+arrow keys for precise placement. Adobe Captivate is so slow that I can press the arrow key about ten times one direction, and then just sit there for almost a full minute and just watch the object slowly make its way to my desired location. Comparing this to other software on my MacBook, it is extremely slow. Keynote for example provides the same functionality, however objects snap to the position I move them to in real-time, with no lag whatsoever. 

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Jun 13, 2017 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 13, 2017

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Which version are you using? Be sure to clear the cache regularly (it grows very quicckly), to run Captivate as Administrator (if you are on Windows, don't know anything about Mac version). Captivate is a 'heavy' application, I like to have a dedicated graphics card. You may be correct for CP not being optimized for use of GPU as is Photoshop (love the speed of that app now), but I'm not a programmer, it is just a 'feeling'.

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Jun 13, 2017 1
Explorer ,
Jun 13, 2017

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I am using the 2017 release: 10.0.0.192. I believe it is the latest release. I am using a dedicated graphics card (Nvidia GTX 750M), but as you say, Captivate may not be written to take advantage of the GPU... I am a programmer myself, and use a lot of different software on a regular basis. Captivate does feel heavy and sluggish compared to most applications I use (even feature-rich, pro applications such as Final Cut.) It feels as though Captivate has not been optimized yet, on this the 9th version...

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Jun 13, 2017 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 13, 2017

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Sighing... I know. It is the first release of 2017, mostly patches will fix bugs and provide a better performance. Just wanted to tell it is a very heavy application, and the required minimum settings are much too low. I use it only from SSD's, with plenty of RAM. But I admire the way Photoshop is taking advantages of the GPU, which isn't really the case with CP. CP has features of video editors, of desktop publishers, of graphical bitmap and vector apps, and on top of that a lot of interactivity (forget the software sims). I suspect it is much more complicated for that reaon than most users do realize.

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Jun 13, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2017

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Captivate always runs more slowly on MACs. I have seen this reported many times on this forum.  I have no idea why.

It seems to run fine on a PC.  Some Apple users even say that it runs faster if they run it in a PC emulator on their MAC system.  You might want to try that.

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Jun 13, 2017 0
Participant ,
Jun 14, 2017

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I use the same on a 2015  Macbook and it's super slow. My computer runs hot while I have captivate open and Captivate is always listed as using signifiant amount of energy. I keep hoping for an update that helps. I almost wish I didn't update to the 2017 release right away.

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Jun 14, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Jun 14, 2017

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Kari, your previous version should just be sat on your hard drive along with the latest version.

It generates a completely new install as opposed to over-writing C9. I just found it again and put the Captivate 9 alias back in my dock.

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Jun 14, 2017 0
Participant ,
Jun 14, 2017

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Good tip! Thanks!!

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Jun 14, 2017 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 28, 2018

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I have used Articulate as well and it is a joy to use. the biggest difference is that it has never crashed on me. On the other hand, Captivate crashes regularly in every version ( I have used captivate since version 4).  The only reason we are not using Articulate is that my office is Mac based and Articulate only runs on windows. If they ever develop a mac version, Captivate will be DEAD!

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Mar 28, 2018 2
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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If they add a Library, a way to reuse scripts without having to copy/paste, a way to create REAL responsive projects instead of faux responsive...... maybe

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Mar 28, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2018

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I am currently using Articulate Storyline 360 for a client's project and unless I shut the app down every few hours it consistently crashes.  It just gobbles up more and more RAM until it cannot get any from the OS and goes belly up.

If you are experiencing slow performance from Adobe Captivate, one thing I would suggest is that you NOT have Branching View turned on.  That particular option kills Captivate performance like no other.

If you happen to have been a previous Storyline user, you may be thinking that Captivate's Branching View is the same as Storyline's Story View.  While they may look similar, Captivate's Branching View is nowhere near as good and should only be turned on for brief periods while you check how your interactive branching is looking.  Never leave it turned on or it will bog Captivate down.

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Mar 28, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Jun 14, 2017

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Anecdotally for me on a Mac, Adobe Captivate 8 was slow as molasses (pretty well unusable) but Captivate 9 seemed to solve this issue. I recently upgraded to 2017 and that is also painfully slow. So for the time being, I'm sticking with Captivate 9, which is totally workable and reliable.

I wonder if Captivate is like Star Trek movies, good followed by bad followed by good etc?

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Jun 14, 2017 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 14, 2017

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Wait for a patch to 2017, first version of 9 was slow as well.

I call your Star Trek  the MS OS work flow: one bad, one good.

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Jun 14, 2017 0
Explorer ,
Jul 13, 2017

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I just recently discovered what must be Adobe Captivate's biggest competitor: Articulate

 

As someone who has been struggling with Captivate's slow and unresponsive application day in and day out, dealing with bug after bug, and crash after crash, this software-find felt so relieving! For those wondering, Articulate does well to replicate almost every feature offered by Captivate, so you should easily be able to make the switch. It only runs on Windows unfortunately, and it has no built-in TTS (though it is very easy to generate TTS elsewhere, and Articulate has a beautiful process for handling the captions of any audio file). Articulate also offers many more features not supported by Captivate that make it more of a step up! Such as mobile support.

 

I just used Articulate today to re-create a lesson I previously created in Captivate, and I experienced no issues whatsoever. In fact, the experience was so smooth and enjoyable, I actually had fun and was able to replicate the lesson in less time than it would have taken me to do within Captivate! 

 

Just a couple other stand out features that I want to highlight about Articulate:

  • Handles mobile exceedingly well with a custom player for mobile devices and gesture support
  • Many more animations and options for animations that feel much more 2017 than "Captivate 2017"...
  • Very smooth animation playback compared to what Captivate creates
  • LIGHTNING FAST! (which is the main advantage, especially if you're visiting this forum because you too are annoyed by Captivate's poor performance.)

 

All-in-all, if Captivate is too slow for you as well, at least give Articulate a good look. You can get a 30-day free trial without the need for a credit card. And it's good to see healthy competition amongst the big e-authoring companies out there! Hopefully this will entice Adobe to pull up their socks a bit ;]

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Jul 13, 2017 3
New Here ,
Feb 09, 2018

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Sluggish is the word, seems that the program has been upgrading version to version so the framework is it built is not optimized at all to modern systems, it doesn't matter if you have a powerful GPU or not, the program itself don't do complex math operations to take advantage even if it would be rewritten. I think the app don't have a user base largely enough to make profitable a real app update so surely they'll squeeze it as long as they can and then make it die from people like us that don't tolerate this situation.

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Feb 09, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Jun 22, 2018

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this tool is a pain in the neck

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Jun 22, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 22, 2018

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Could you be a bit more specific?  Hard to diagnose a problem with this description.

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Jun 22, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Jun 25, 2018

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it freeze 9 times on 10 in case of any operation. if I have to modify something it takes ages before I can perform the change. It makes me crazy. 

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Jun 25, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 25, 2018

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What OS are you on?

What version of Captivate are you using?

Have you set up Captivate on your system in the recommended way?

Have you had any basic training on this application?

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Jun 25, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Jun 25, 2018

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windows 10

2017 very last version (I can't tell you now the exact version but i did an update 10 days ago)

yes

yes (is the basic training affecting the tool performance?)

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Jun 25, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 25, 2018

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The basic training may not have taught you what you needed to know about how to set up this application.

Have you set Captivate to be launched using Run As Administrator privileges?

Do you have your Default Locations in Preferences set to point ONLY to folders located on your computer's local hard drive and NOT on some network drive or virtual drive?

If none of this is ringing any bells, your training was insufficient for your needs.  The issues you describe are NOT typical of a Captivate installation running properly on Windows 10.  I have been using Captivate versions 7 through to 2017 on at least three different laptop computers over the past 2 years and never experienced the issues you describe. 

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Jun 25, 2018 0