Topic: Why Captivate

We've been using Presenter for about a year now and had good success with building some training material. Our training is all "soft skills," no technical stuff and has a lot of introspective quality to it. We have used a lot of video and a lot of animation in the slides to create a smoothly flowing course. Presenter is a challenging product, but really works well in what it does. I.e. if you figure out the ins and outs, it's pretty slick. I should also point out that I know nothing about Flash, or Captivate. One thing that I really like about Presenter is I've been able to figure out how to make it work without having a technical background.

My question is, why use Captivate? I hear more and more about Captivate's features, and I also get the sense that Captivate is the future of Presenter. Is Presenter a "Captivate lite?" Will Presenter continue to be supported and improved, or is Captivate the product that will ultimately be more widely used, perhaps even replacing Presenter?

So, I'd love to hear why you like Captivate, and what you may think of my situation. Thanks connectusers.com

Best, Daniel


Re: Why Captivate

I prefer Captivate because I do a lot of software simulations. A problem with Presenter is that, if you want to record a simulation in Captivate and then embed it into a slide, it makes it fuzzier and also really limits your recording size to almost useless measure. For that reason I never embed Cp's in Presenter slides and just link to them, but that requires the use of additional browser windows, which stinks.

That said, I mainly prefer Captivate over Presenter just because I prefer working in the timeline vs PowerPoint.

PPT 2007's SmartArt and other features are really nice. Hopefully the new version of Presenter that is "coming soon" will fix the fuzzy fonts as that is a problem in Presenter and also in Captivate's transparent text captions (which is what I find myself using a lot for non-sim slides).

For soft-skills training, I'm not sure there is any benefit to moving to Captivate. The 'branching' feature in Captivate is pretty much useless in my opinion as it just gives a visual reference and not a 'meta view' that allows you to move the branching around. You still have to do it at the slide level just like in PPT's slide sorter view...


Re: Why Captivate

I don't believe that Presenter is Captivate Lite at all...I think you might also argue that Presenter is Connect meetings lite because both allow you to upload and talk (record) related to a PT presentation....I think it is more that there are overlaps between a lot of these things. I don't think Captivate will (or ever should) replace Presenter....they are two different beasts indeed.

I'd suggest that if you find Presenter challenging, you're likely to find Captivate more so, because of how many things you can do with it. If you're not needing to do screen capture, simulations or scenario-based learning....then again, maybe not for you?

The easiest suggestion would be for you to download the trial version of Captivate and see how it suits your needs. It sounds like you're mostly happy with Presenter, so I'd tend to suggest sticking with it.




Re: Why Captivate

Hey Daniel,

I generally do think of Presenter as a "dumbed down" version of Captivate. I've found everything you can do in Presenter, you can do in Captivate, but the reverse is not true. We use Captivate for accessibility support, branching, and recording/professionalizing simulations and trainings. I honestly don't use Presenter much outside of supporting customers who do. (I learned Presenter first, but then "graduated" to Captivate.)

I don't see Captivate replacing Presenter, at least not in the shorter long-term. I haven't asked Adobe straight on, but Adobe has started selling Presenter as a stand-alone product (before I believe it was only as part of Connect), and they are definitely continuing development.

Captivate did take a little longer for me to learn than Presenter, but that has more to do with the size of the feature set than the difficulty in learning a specific feature. I find the timeline gives me a lot more control of when I want something to appear, how long, and the flexibility to change that after playing around a bit.

You don't need to know anything about Flash to use Captivate. If you are familiar with Presenter, you shouldn't have any trouble doing the same things in Captivate; you'll just have more options to discover.


Re: Why Captivate

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, most helpful.
We have such an excellent resource in these forums...