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What is Adobe Captivate

  • Published on March 28, 2022
Adobe Captivate is a software application for creating digital learning.

Adobe Captivate is a software application for creating learning content that can be accessed online, through a process that is also called e-learning or digital learning. Learning content created using Adobe Captivate can include recorded presentations, slide shows, video, and simulations of software. Captivate created learning content is distributed in the file formats of MP4 or HTML5. 

Quizzes and software simulations created using captivate can be used to determine understanding and comprehension of learning content. Simulations can be used to identify where a user clicks using a mouse or trackpad, and whether they click using the left or right mouse button.

Presentations from Microsoft PowerPoint can be converted to digital learning courses using Captivate, with the ability to record the on-screen screen presentation along with the narration from the presenter.

Learning content created using Captivate can be incorporated into learning management systems (LMS), which allow for tracking the learning progress of employees and students. This capability makes Captivate a popular choice for larger organizations and schools that need to track digital learning progress.

You can learn to use Captivate by attending Captivate training courses.

Who uses Adobe Captivate

Captivate is primarily used by professionals who need to create learning materials that can be distributed digitally. This includes corporations and organizations that need to provide training to employees, along with schools delivering educational materials to students.

Jobs that use Captivate include learning managers, human resources roles, and educators.

Adobe Captivate History

Adobe Captivate was acquired by Adobe through its purchase of Macromedia. Adobe has continued to maintain and develop Captivate. Captivate started as a screen recording application under the name Flascam, and was incorporated into RoboDemo from the company eHelp, which was acquired by Macromedia and rebranded as Captivate.

Captivate vs. Captivate Prime

The Adobe Captivate name is also used for a service Captivate Prime, which is used for distributing e-learning content. There is no requirement for Adobe Captivate users to subscribe to Captive Prime, which is available separately.


Captivate Alternatives

There are several alternatives to Captivate that are available for both Windows and MacOS computers,  including Camtasia and SnagIt from software firm TechSmith. These competitive applications are used primarily for screen recording and demonstrations.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics classes along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.