Captivate and Camtasia

Uploaded on Apr 27, 2011

Two of the most often used and requested eLearning development programs out there today are Adobe Captivate and Techsmith Camtasia. Both programs offer a wide variety of tools that assist in making web-based learning more interactive, intuitive, and overall fun. At the same time, there are some differences to take into consideration when deciding which one to use developing your curriculum. Let’s examine both programs and compare.


  • Allows the user to create interactive simulations of software programs
  • Takes detailed screen capture simulations
  • Allows for complex student interaction; giving them the opportunity to go down the incorrect path and learn from mistakes
  • Complex and varied activity and testing options (multiple choice, hot-spots, drag and drop, matching)


  • Takes full-motion video simulations
  • Great for streaming video content
  • Easy to post to file sharing sites, such as YouTube
  • Less expensive than Captivate


  • Capture screen and keyboard info exactly as done and typed
  • Record video and audio/voice
  • Include SCORM/AICC complaint quizzes

As you can see from the comparison, Adobe Captivate is the better choice when going for something that is more interactive. A hands-on learner would definitely prefer a program that is made through Captivate as opposed to Camtasia. The learning and testing options are far more varied when it comes to Captivate. The program is a little more costly, but for the amount of services it offers it is fairly priced. Adobe Captivate can also be purchased as part of a bundle through the Adobe eLearning Suite.

Techsmith Camtasia’s strong points are in price and full-length video. At first glance, Camtasia looks a little like Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premiere combined, so the interface isn’t too difficult to figure out. If you are looking to capture a full-length video of an action you would take to complete a process on the computer or system, Camtasia is probably your better bet.  It is also very handy for live streaming video.

“How to Use Captivate to Build an Elearning Course” available in the Kindle Bookstore.…

The CompetitionP

If Camtasia is a bit expensive for you, take a look at Camstudio. It’s completely free, can do things like follow your mouse or provide a picture-in-picture view of your webcam, and it’svery simple and easy to use. The default video is of pretty crappy quality, but with the CamStudio lossless codec (which you can grab from their homepage), you can make it look a lot better.P

Jing, which is by the same company as Camtasia, is great for really quick videos that you want to upload to the net. It’s free, but for $15 a year you can add webcam recording and YouTube sharing to its feature list. Its only downside is that you can only record up to 5 minutes of video at a time, which can be a big roadblock for some.P

You might also try web-based screencasting tools like Screencast-O-Matic or Screenr. Without installing anything to your machine, you can instantly record short videos that you can upload to YouTube, Twitter, or other sites. Screencast-O-Matic even lets you record your webcam, and provides a $12/year pro version with editing tools, offline support, and more.

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