Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Captivate 4.0 Preliminary Review

Adobe recently released their latest rev of the now-popular e-learning 2.0 development platform, Captivate. In this latest version 4, Adobe seems to have answered a lot of criticisms many developers of training had for the still quite good version 3. I downloaded a trial copy of Captivate 4.0 the other night in order to see what the substantive changes are from 3.0. My early preview shows some great new features (especially the ability to export in the Adobe Connect format), as well as a revised interface that seems to operate more efficiently, and a bit more intuitively. One feature that is definitively not present in 4.0 though, is the ability to have multiple development files (.cp) open at once. You are still restricted to one file at a time.

Perhaps the biggest gripe I had with versions 2.0 and 3.0 of Captivate was that the program was a very heavy burden on my work PC. Of course, this shouldn’t surprise anyone who has used Captivate, or indeed Adobe’s other products like Flash and Photoshop. Captivate surely is a heavy program for good reason. However my complaint dealt more with the stability of the software over a long day’s worth of development. Captivate 2.0 caused me quite a bit of consternation on some days. 3.0 was markedly better, however there were still times when the program would get locked into memory even after closing the application. Other times the screen capture facility would remain active in the system and interrupt program restarts because the re-opened app still thought it was doing something from earlier in my day.

But, my experience with 4.0 isn’t deep enough yet, so come back soon for a more complete write-up of Adobe’s latest.

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