Articulate Storyline 2 Vs Adobe Captivate 9 – Feature Comparison

Storyline vs Captivate

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Nandakishore Kumar

Both Articulate Storyline 2 & Adobe Captivate 9 are powerful and feature-rich products. More often than not, they are compared at different levels.
We have done some challenging work in Articulate Stroyline 2 for our customers. When we recently starting working with Captivate, immediate interest was to compare features between products which makes our life easy or difficult while using these tools.


This comparison is based on our experiences of working with Articulate Storyline 2 & then trying to build similar content in Adobe Captivate 9. This may not cover many other features that may be present in one product but not available in other product. You may want to look at respective product documentation before arriving at any conclusions.


Category / Features

Any standard e-learning tool feature or product specific feature being compared with the other product.


Storyline 2

Storyline 2 is product of Articulate (


Captivate 9

Capticate 9 is a product of Adobe (

  • Project Jump Starting
    Options available while creating new project.

      • Blank project
      • Import powerpoint template
      • Import other story file
    • Import from other Articulate products like Quizmaker, Engage
      • Blank project
      • Responsive project
      • Import powerpoint template (can’t import to responsive project)
      • Import other captivate file
    • Import from other Adobe products.

  • Library (Multimedia)
    Helps to mange & use all multimedia from central place

  • No concept of library.

  • Available & is very useful.

  • New Slide Creation
    Options available to create new slide (other than blank slide)

  • Storyline provides lot of options to create new slides & is better organized. You can browse & choose the slide layout from any external template installed on your system or you can download from the website.

  • Captivate provides decent options but are little scattered across multiple menus. Blank project comes with decent set of slide layouts but it does not let you choose from external templates.

  • Language Translation
    Helps to translate project content text from one language to another.

  • Yes. You can export content text into a doc or xml format & import it back after language translation.

  • Yes. You can export content text into a doc or xml format & import it back after language translation.

  • Scene or Slide Tree
    Helps organize large course into group of related slides and visualize interlinking of sllides along with entry/ exit points

  • Yes. Provides grouping of slides into scenes & interlicking them through “Story View”

  • Yes. Allows basic grouping of slides but visualization is not powerful.

  • Theme
    Helps to centralize & manage look & feel, color, font style, etc across all the slides.

  • Yes. Limited to colors, fonts, slide master & feedback master settings

  • Yes. More involved; includes player layout settings, player skin settings, TOC settings also.

  • Slide Master / Feedback Master
    These help definite different layout formats which can be used as template while creating slides.

  • Yes. You can define slide master & feedback masters separately. All the features & flexibility of regular slide are available in master slide triggers, button states, layers, etc.

  • Yes but no concept of feedback master. Some limitations exist like click box & button interactions, buttons states are not available. Hiding options on master slide does not hide on regular slides, etc

  • Slide Layer
    Slide layer a layer on top of slide with its own content, interraction, timeline, triggers, etc.

  • Yes. This is one powerful, unique feature of Storyline which is used extensively for complex related content on the same slide.

  • No concept of layers.

  • Lightbox
    It is essentially a modal dialog that must be acknowledged with at least one click before you can return to the main slide.

  • Yes. Available out of the box, You can show any slide as a lightbox on top of other slide. Allows to do lot of creative things with reuse across the course.

  • Not available out of box. But you can create one using shapes.

  • Scrolling Panel
    Help to show large amount of text on the same slide using horizontal & vertical scroll bars.

  • Yes. Both horizontal & vertical scroll bars are available.

  • Not available.

  • Format Painter
    Helps to quickly apply the same formatting, such as color, font style and size, and border style, to multiple pieces of text or graphics.

  • Yes. Available out of the box, It is a lifesaver.

  • Not available.

  • Text Input Field
    Helps to capture user input like name, email, etc

  • Yes. But does not provide input data type, length, validation settings. Allows look & feel customization.

  • Yes. Comes with powerful validation features out-of-the-box. But look & feel customization are limited.

  • Animations

      • Entry Animations
      • Exit Animations
    • Motion Paths

    Motion paths can be controlled by both triggers & timeline.

      • Basic animations
      • Entry animations
      • Exit animations
      • Emphasis
    • Motion Paths

    Motion paths can be controlled only by timeline.

  • Buttons / Button Set

  • Provides two types of buttons (regular button & button with icon). You can also group related buttons & create a button set. This is very helpful feature.
    By default button come with 6 states like normal, down, visited, disabled, hover, selected.

  • Only one type of button. No concept of button set.

  • Slide Properties & Preview

  • Can control slide states like initial state, visited state, auto-decide, etc through setting & triggers.
    Can preview single slide, scene or project within Articulate software.

  • No concept of slide states but can reset slide through trigger (action).
    Can preview slide, from the current slide, next five slides or entire project. You can also preview in browser & scorm cloud.

  • Markers & Controls
    Markers are like ready to use iconi buttons with symbols like navigation symbols, help symbols, office symbols, media symbols, numbers, etc. Controls are like buttons, sliders, hotspots, checkbox, radio, etc.,

  • Lines, basic shapes, rectangles, block arrows, stars, callouts are available.
    But custom states cannot be created using these shapes.

  • Few basic button icons. Controls like slider, checkbox, radio, etc are not available for ready use & customization.
    By default button come with 3 states like down, rollover, normal.

  • Timeline & Seekbar

      • Seekbar shows duration of the slide
      • Can cue points on timeline & use them in trigger
    • Multiple audio files can be added to timeline.

      • Seekbar shows duration of the project
      • No cue point concept
    • Only one audio file can added to timeline.

  • Resources & Glossary

  • Yes. Can create resourses & glossary for the course.

  • Not available

  • Variable Types

      • Text
      • True / False (boolean)
    • Number
  • One generic type.

  • Quiz Types & Question Feedback

      • Graded
      • Survey
    • Freeform

    Feedback can given only at question level for correct and incorrect answers.

      • Graded
      • Survey
      • Pretest
    • Knowledge Check

    Feedback can given for individual answer options.

  • Freeform Question Types
    Helps to create your own layouts for questions

      • Pick One/Many
      • Matching
      • Drag/Drop
      • Text Entry
    • Hotspot
    • Drag / Drop

  • Question Result Slides

  • Three different types available.

  • Only one template but can be customized

Have questions?

Feel free to contact us with your feedback & questions.