What's the difference between Captivate and Storyline?

Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline are the two most popular applications to create and manage eLearning courses. Let’s examine their pros and cons:

Articulate Storyline


  • Similar layout to Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Ability to import existing PowerPoint presentations
  • Vast array of variables, triggers, sliders and timelines
  • Access to library of 1.5+ million images and customizable slide templates designed by pros
  • Free mobile app for viewing content on iOS and Android devices, including an offline capability
  • Strong support community - quick responses from company staff and other users alike


  • Windows only (however, content can still be viewed on Apple devices)
  • Does not adapt content for mobile devices but simply scales projects down to fit on smaller screens
  • Many tools are lost in a dense menu system
  • ~$1000 per year for a new Articulate 360 individual license (price as of posting of this article)

Adobe Captivate


  • If familiar with the Adobe layout, Captivate will feel somewhat intuitive
  • Ability to import existing PowerPoint presentations
  • Compatible with the entire Adobe Creative suite
  • Provides access to the ‘asset store’, an online library of over 25,000 layouts, scenarios, games, interactions, etc.
  • Content rearranges itself for tablet and mobile views (testing for mobile views can be done within the application)
  • Allows users to create storyboards quickly and share them in real-time via the cloud (reviewers do not need a copy of the software to view)
  • ~$30 a month or full license ~$1000. Student & teacher discounts available (price as of posting of this document)


  • If not familiar with Adobe products, steep learning curve
  • Adobe community provides videos and feedback for learners, but the company itself provides little in the way of support
  • Content creation can be tricky and frustrating, with many tools hidden or hard to find
  • Not included in the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, must be purchased separately


The end-user will not notice a difference between the published version of the eLearning. However, creation and maintenance will vary drastically between the two applications.

  • Look into Adobe Captivate if... Are you a MAC user? Familiar with Adobe? A student or teacher?

  • Look into Articulate Storyline if... Do you own a PC? Have a high-level experience in eLearning development? Looking to further your knowledge with the help of a strong support community?

OR... avoid the decision altogether and allow us to create or update your eLearning.