Is Elucidat an alternative to Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate?

Check out how Elucidat stacks up as an alternative to Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate elearning authoring tools.

Since the birth of elearning, a pair of innovative software giants have carved out their place as industry favorites: Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate. But with the rise of modern cloud-based authoring platforms, many learning managers and designers are looking for a resolution to the contemporary learning pains that come from desktop-based authoring tools.

Is Elucidat an alternative to Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate?

In this article, we explore Elucidat as an alternative to Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate – to help you decide if it’s time to make the move to cloud-based authoring.

The authoring basics

Before outlining the differences between Storyline, Captivate and Elucidat, it’s useful to go back to the basics and highlight what all three can help you to achieve. With each of these authoring tools, you can:

  • Create SCORM-compliant elearning content
  • Include a broad range of learning interactions
  • Include multi-media content
  • Use assessments and course variations
  • Create multi-device learning

Each software clearly has the core features required to create great elearning content (as do Articulate Rise, GomoLearning and other alternatives to Storyline and Captivate that we reviewed in our best elearning authoring tools comparison and review blog. But it’s important to consider some of the outside factors that contribute to the way in which you use an authoring platform:

  • The skills and experience needed to get great results from the tools
  • The size and location of your team
  • Your content development workflow (who is involved across the department or organization)
  • The amount of elearning content being produced and managed
  • Whether you need to regularly update your courses to keep them fresh
  • The available budget

Over time, such factors can often cause a landslide of issues, resulting in loss of productivity, poor ROI and an increase in stress.

Elucidat, Articulate Software and Adobe Captivate comparison chart

Before we dive into the details of why Elucidat is a good alternative to Articulate Storyline software and Adobe Captivate, here’s a quick overview of the main differences.

Cloud-based or desktop? Supported Elearning Formats Speed of Production Ease of use Ideal For
1. Elucidat Cloud authoring tool HTML5, Video, SCORM (1.2, 2004), xAPI (TinCan) Fast Easy Large employers looking to drive down their cost to train and produce business-critical training easily and super fast.
2. Adobe Captivate Desktop elearning platform HTML5, SCORM, AICC, xAPI (TinCan) Slower Difficult Experienced learning designers working on content that doesn’t need to be regularly updated,
3. Articulate Storyline Desktop authoring software AICC, SCORM, xAPI (TinCan) Slower Depends Learning teams who love powerpoint and want to jazz it up further.


The benefits of Articulate Storyline 360 software and Adobe Captivate authoring tool

Storyline 360 is a desktop-based, “PowerPoint style” tool that requires a software download, and it’s only accessible on Windows. Captivate, also a desktop-based application, is available for both Windows and Mac and is one of the most powerful authoring tools available… and with that comes complexity and a steep learning curve.

Both tools embrace the classic PowerPoint interface, and most established instructional designers have some level of experience with them. Encompassing a decent range of interactions and control over content output, alongside a vast picture library, production of simple content is achievable.

Articulate storyline 360 interface

For those authors with more advanced experience and skills, there is the capability to create complex animations for the learner to interact with. In the Articulate tool, code is customizable, opening up full flexibility… if you have the skill to do so.

Much of Captivate’s functionality is aimed toward screen capture, allowing you to record and edit from within the application. Consequently, the most common and effective uses of the two are software simulation and animation-based courses.

Why would you want an alternative to Storyline and Captivate?

There’s no doubting it: in the right hands, you can create some really high-end elearning content using the Adobe Captivate or Articulate software. But we are regularly approached by Learning Managers and Designers in search of a solution to the challenges they experience using an offline desktop-based tool. Common requirements include:

  • Enabling less experienced content developers to create high-quality output
  • Management of elearning content at scale
  • Streamlined workflows for teams
  • Easier ways to update elearning courses
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Data and insight into engagement with learning content

Looking to switch from Storyline or Captivate? Book a demo of Elucidat now. 

How is Elucidat a good alternative?

Overcoming the authoring skills gap

According to Towards Maturity’s 2017 Benchmark report, 66% of organizations are struggling to build teams with the development and learning design skills needed to use these legacy tools. Ben Digman, Learning Experience Designer at Vacasa, explained:

“We started to explore solutions like Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline and xAPI, but we couldn’t find an elearning developer who was strong enough in instructional design, and vice versa. We had hired some amazing people who, it turned out, couldn’t fully perform the job they were hired to do using those tools.

If your goal is to drive down your cost to train while opening up authoring to subject matter experts in a secure and risk-free way, Elucidat’s features might just be what you are looking for. The tool has excellent customizable user permissions, a WYSIWYG interface, and the Learning Accelerator add-on makes author onboarding easy whilst ensures your training is always of the highest quality.

Elucidat’s Learning Accelerator helps total novices to produce great elearning from a library of templates. This groundbreaking feature helps teams produce training 4x faster with high-quality results. Based on your goals and needs, a powerful recommendation engine will suggest the best template.

All you need to do is follow the tips and input the content in the WYSIWYG interface. It can’t get any easier or faster than that.

A testament to Elucidat’s ability to empower and support new authors get off to a flying start is their work with global pharma firm Canopy Growth. The organisation went from 10 people producing elearning, to crowdsourcing from 50 people across the organization. 

“We’re finding that the onboarding rate for these new authors is extremely fast, so our learning and development department can focus more on our certified and accredited courses”

Alexander Brown, L&D Operations Manager at Canopy Growth

Elucidat as an alternative to Storyline and captivate: Microlearning quick onboarding

Check out this quick onboarding example, created with an Elucidat template. 

Making on-brand styling easy 

Ensuring new authors create great-looking, on-brand content, Elucidat makes styling simple. Authors can simply select an on-brand style from their account, use a great-looking generic one, or watch as Elucidat creates an on-brand style for them from their company URL. Authors drop in their URL, and see the styling appear before their eyes. The style can be swapped at any stage, even on live projects. 

Create a brand style with Elucidat

Being more than a tool with professional services

We also recognize that great digital learning comes from more than the great tools you use to create it. Alongside the tool, we offer a range of Elucidat’s professional services designed to support your teams to be successful, upskilling and supporting them to take your elearning to the next level. See us as more of a partner than a vendor.

Managing elearning at scale at lower cost

Large companies with employees spread across the globe often work with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of courses, with multiple languages and variations. A desktop tool makes this tricky to manage.

The advantages of using a cloud-based tool really come into play when you can collaborate, re-use your pages and templates on other projects, easily publish in multiple brands and languages, while still staying in control of your central content.

Made for re-use and easy translation

Elucidat’s variations manager allows an author to create a central “master course,” which has full control over its “child courses.” Once an edit is made to a master course, the child will then follow – yet edits can still be made locally in a child course.

The most common and beneficial use case for variations manager is translation. Elucidat empowers authors to manage several course variations within one location, saving you the hassle of creating numerous versions and editing each individually.

elucidat master course example

Collaborative online authoring

Cloud-based authoring in Elucidat brings stakeholders into one unified location, so that authors, reviewers and decision-makers can work together on a course – any time, any place.

collaborative authoring example

“The way Elucidat allowed us to collaborate had an immediate positive impact. We could go in and work on the project at the same time as someone else. This may seem basic, but it was a huge time-saver. Elucidat has been invaluable in helping to streamline our process of content production.” – Georgia Axtell-Powell, Online Project Producer at the Open University

Updating and iterating content

With desktop-based software, it can be time-consuming to update content or fix issues with courses once they have been released. Often, changing a single typo on a course can be a nuisance.

Elucidat allows seamless live edits and rapid releasing without exiting the tool, ensuring you’ll never have to re-upload your courses. As you’re always working on the most up-to-date version of the course in the cloud, there’s no need for multiple files.

Device responsiveness

With the rise of technology and millennials in the workplace, the demand for mobile responsive content has skyrocketed. Truly mobile responsive and adaptive elearning is vital for organizations wishing to engage with modern learners and to reach those who don’t have day-to-day access to a PC. The challenge with desktop-based software like Captivate and Storyline is that they are designed to produce content predominantly for desktops. Therefore, courses can appear squeezed – and, in several cases, unreadable on a mobile.

Designed to create both responsive and adaptive content, Elucidat ensures that no matter which device you pick up, you will always have a great learning experience. Using logic, Elucidat adapts and stacks your content to ensure the course always looks great. With the ability to make localized edits to each device, you can have full control of your content on any screen size.

device responsiveness example


What else can Elucidat help with?

These are just some of the features Elucidat offers as an ideal alternative to Storyline and Captivate:

  • Fully accessible interactions
  • Tips on creating great experiences for all learners
  • Ability to release multiple language variations as one course
  • An on-hand support team (97% of authors rate themselves ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with our responses)
  • An assigned Customer Success Manager to map your road to success.

Want to learn more about Elucidat, Adobe Captivate, and Articulate software competitors? Read our full best elearning authoring tool comparison and review!

Test out the best alternative to Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate

There’s a lot to like about software like Storyline and Captivate, but there are huge benefits to more flexible, cloud-based platforms.

If you want an authoring platform that will help you deliver real-life impact for learners and your business, then it’s worth dipping your toe in the water with a free personalized demo to discuss how Elucidat can help transform your e-learning.

Book a demo of Elucidat