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#AdobeCaptivate & #eLearning Suite: Subscription Has its Advantages:

exclusiveupdateI don’t usually talk about buying and selling our eLearning products. I suppose to some this might seem strange. After all, I do work for Adobe and we do make some amazing software. When asked about it I’ll usually say, “I just show how the software works and talk about eLearning, the products pretty much sell themselves.” And honestly, that’s true. The teams continue to improve the products so quickly that I’m almost always able to say “Yes, we can do that.”

So why a post about subscriptions. Well today is a very special day. It’s a day of a promise fulfilled. Today, subscription, Adobe Software Assurance (ASA) and other customers who have various forms of subscription agreements will get early access to Adobe Captivate features in an update that contains several awesome new features. This update is only available to customers who are on one of the subscription plans – it’s an added benefit for Adobe Captivate and Adobe eLearning Suite subscribers. So if you are on either a Captivate or an eLearning Suite subscription you’ll be able to download and install this awesome update using the Update option under the Help menu in Captivate.

If you aren’t, don’t worry – this article will give you a great preview into the wonderful things that the next version of Adobe Captivate has in store for you. Who knows, maybe the early access releases might even inspire you to join our band of merry subscribers.

So what’s in the early access release?

  • Native Drag & Drop (Crazy cool, simple to use and really powerful)
  • Record System Audio (Separate track for easy editing and level balancing)
  • HTML5 Quiz Questions Galore (Expanding the TF/MC & Hotspot, to add Fill in the Blank, Short Answer, Matching, Sequence & Drag & Drop Questions.)
  • New Smart Learning Interactions (Chart Maker, Checkbox, Countdown Timer, DropDown Menu, Hangman, Hourglass, Jigsaw Puzzle Maker, Radio Button, Table & Scrolling Text.)
  • PPT to HTML5 Enhancements (Now includes your basic and Smart Art Animations for Paragraph and Level-by-Level animations as well as triggers.)
  • Text entry box Enhancements (Including forced Capitalization and length checking)
  • Find & Replace support in Slide Notes & beyond
  • Flip Smart Shapes
  • Publish your HTML5 courses to Adobe Connect
  • Support for Windows 8
  • Support for Mac OS 10.8
  • The best part? The update is free if you’re a Captivate or eLearning Suite Subscriber, or if you purchased Captivate or eLearning Suite with Adobe Software Assurance (ASA). Watch the blog over the next week or so. Dr. Jaisingh, Vish and I have all been working on demos, videos and special sessions to introduce these new features.

    Here’s a breakdown of my favorite features:
    Native Drag and Drop: There are dozens of ways to assess how well information is being learned during an eLearning course. Rapid eLearning has embedded the Multiple Choice question into the minds of us all as the defacto standard. But sometimes you want to assess things that don’t fit neatly into multiple choice buckets. In fact often, course developers want to do more engaging interactions in order to create situations that are closer to the actual circumstances about which they are teaching. Drag and drop can be an amazing solution in those cases. But for many years, drag and drop interactions required deep programming experience. Often developers would create custom solutions in Flash.

    Subscribers now have early access to Captivate’s 1-2-3 Easy drag and drop constructor. It’s crazy simple, and crazy intuitive to use. You just 1.) click on the stuff you want to drag, 2.) Click on the stuff you want to drop things on & 3.) draw cool little arrows from the drag object to it’s drop target. Yes, it’s that simple. Mark the dragger, mark the dropper, pull an arrow from the dragger to the dropper. And because like everything in Captivate, it’s customizable, you can do everything from trigger advanced actions when items are dropped, to report complex quiz results based on multiple possible answers. It’s incredibly cool. Keep your eye on this blog for videos from each of us showing the ease and the magic of the new Drag and Drop.

    Record System Audio
    This one is a long time wish for me. I have often wished that I could capture the audio from a video or other media file as it plays on my computer. Well now it’s simple. Just click the System Audio button in the recording toolbar and you’ll be able to record both the system audio and the traditional voice over. The tracks are separate to allow you control even after you’re finished recording.

    Smart Learning Interactions
    I have to give a nod to the new Interactions. My favorite is the new puzzle interaction but i’m sure others will be immediately fond of the chart maker and table displays among a host of typical business formats that will empower your workflow. Best thing about these – like all Smart Learning Interactions, they work in both Flash and HTML5 versions of your course.

    PPT to HTML5
    If you’ve asked me about converting PowerPoint to HTML5 in the past, I probably told you that it had some distance to cover before it included the basics of interaction and animation. Well with this release I can honestly say that it has reached the tipping point. Support for various forms of animation, bullets, smart shapes and even triggers are the highlights that make this feature really cool.

    I’m sure there will be questions, so as always, feel free to post comments and questions in the area below. Or if you’d like to talk to me directly, I’m easy to find. It’s just allenp (at) adobe (dot) com. If you don’t hear back quickly – try a secondary email – my spam filter is seriously hyperactive. šŸ˜‰

    Answers to the big questions I expect you might have:

    Q: How do I download the update?
    A: If you are eligible the update should appear in your Help: Updates menu within your copy of Captivate. If you are using a subscription copy of eLearning Suite, there are additional updates to some of the other great products in the suite. Be sure to check both today and tomorrow – sometimes the servers don’t all update at the same time for each geography.

    Q: How much does the update cost?
    A: Nothing. It’s part of the subscription benefits for subscription customers. It’s also only available to subscribers.

    Q: When will the next version of Captivate come out, so I can get these features even if I’m not on a subscription?
    A: Generally new versions are released every 12-15 months. Captivate 6 was released in June of 2012.

    Q: I have more questions that aren’t here.
    A: Leave a comment or email me. (allenp) at (adobe) dot com

    60 Responses

    1. Allen, subscription is something that will never be accepted in college environments here in Belgium, as I was told. Find this very sad, because this means they will miss features that are only offered for subscription users.

        • OK it is very likely that my employer has an ASA/maintenance agreement. Through my employer’s licence I can get a “Work at Home” disk for a nominal fee ($30 a copy) , I have 2 – I for my Mac & 1 for my PC, and thankfully I can put the windows version on 2 machines so that I could update my work machine as C6 has not yet appeared on the CPC server so I can load it. Ironically the mac & pc versions WAH disks were made available just before Christmas and only arrived on the day you posted this blog entry.

          Not happy Jan ! (Your Australian readers will get the reference)

          I am now investigating the software the Khan Academy uses for screen demos & explanations & put the exercises in moodle. I am gobsmacked by one of the text books I purchased from Apple ( App Programming Term 1 by Thomas White 99c) created by free book creator and am starting to have play with that

    2. For an eLearning Evangelist, in the private sector, such as myself I agree that the subscription service is the best value and the price point of the subscription model is a great savings. However I can see how in Education (whether K-12 or Higher Ed) who are not used to subscription models/enterprise pricing (at least for this type of software) when running the numbers just see a huge increase in their costs. I believe/hope Adobe will come up with some pricing or terms for the education market; I cannot believe all schools have been put off by this. Just updates alone that fix legitimate bugs and better yet address new features or standards make the subscription model worth it. I praise Adobe (admittedly a former employer of mine) for going this route.

      • There are not so best value for subscribe model. You know, when you pay 60 ā‚¬ per month for eLS subscription, this is 720 ā‚¬ for year. After stop subscribing (from some reason) you have nothing. But when you buy box eLS (in my country upgrade from 2.5 to 6 was costed 715 ā‚¬), this software I have practically forever (eventually, for more than one year). This is big different.

      • I agree with Ryan about the Creative Cloud subscription. I already subscribe to that, and work on most of my Captivate content with the Adobe Programs within that subscription (including essential software that isn’t packaged in the eLearning Suite). It makes good sense to integrate it into Creative Cloud.

      • I agree, too. What’s really disappointing is that if you would like to use the ELS as a subscription you have to pay twice for most of the same tools.
        My suggestion would be a “Creative Cloud eLearning Plus Pack” for a special fee.

        And one question to Adobe: If the ELS is a product among other things for teachers and educators why I read this on your website: “This product does not have an education price”?

    3. This sucks for those of us who paid top dollar for the full version the day six came out only to be told much later when software assurance was released that there was no upgrade path to add the assurance. So your early adoptors who suffered the buggy early release miss out on this? I wonder if articulate treat there most loyal customers like that?

    4. I am a teacher who personally purchased Captivate 6 to create interactive lessons in HTML5. It was shocking to find that after purchasing the product, half of the questions types could not be used in HTML5. I expected that this would be fixed in an update. Now I find that not only do I have to pay more money for this fix but I also have to wait. I spent the money to upgrade from 4 to 5 and then to 6 but I am done now. It is time to look for a new tool and a company that deals fairly with its customers.

      • Captivate 6.1 update is only for subscription product…

        strategy make me so crazy!!! What can I do now, when our team want to
        work on the same version of Captivate 6 (subscription CP6.1 single
        product and e-licensed CP6 inside eLS6)?

        What are my options?

        I upgrade from elicense eLS6 to subsription eLS 6.1? And, if possible,
        how much would I pay for this scam in one same version 6?


        Can I return to Adobe my elicense eLS6 and take subscription to eLS 6.1?

        I return my box product Design Standard CS6 and take subscription
        edition DSG 6 so I will have for example Illustrator CS6 package

        Generally. Is my money, what I paid for box and
        elicense product, less, than money from people who have the same version
        products, but in subscription editions, and have small but interesting
        updates gratis?

        I guess what this strategy Adobe wants to reach , but it is totally
        unfair for box and elicensed users. Of course, the world does not fall
        without small updates.But it is unfair. Especially, when these updates
        fix some bugs and issues -:(

    5. I am using Captivate 6.0 as part of the Tech Comm Suite 4.0. I am not a subscriber. So, will I get these features as part of next TCS upgrade? Else, if TCS is not upgraded when new version of Captivate is released, will I be able to upgrade only Captivate?

      • Hi Sreekanth, Subscription customers on both TCS and eLearning Suite will receive this update (via their Adobe Update Manager). Since you are not a subscription customer, you will receive this update as part of the next TCS upgrade (I don’t have a time frame for that).

    6. I don’t know about this one. When you consider how many eLearning Suite customers come from the Government and Education sectors, and that the majority of the organizations within those sectors have policies that prohibit (or make unlawful) the purchase of software licenses by subscription….seems to go against the spirit of the CLP and ESL volume licensing programs…

      • Hi Jeremy, this update is available both to our subscription, and to our Adobe Software Assurance (Maintenance and Support) customers. Most of our government and education customers are on our ASA/ M&S program and will receive the update.

        • Hi Shameer. So, I have tried to be patient through all of this as I understand that Adobe is a very large corporation; however, I have wasted the majority of the last three of my work days trying to get this issue resolved. I have spoken to Carahsoft (from whom we purchased the license) who assures me that our license that we purchased through the CLP included the upgrade option. I have reviewed the license on the AVL site and confirmed that what they told me was accurate. I have gone back and forth with the customer support reps from AVL as you advised to absolutely no end. I have even provided the link to this blog post and your comments in the discussion thread to them, but the bottom line (through the eyes of the AVL support staff) is that if you are not a subcription member you will not be receiving this software update. They also keep confusing this update with the previous upgrade to eLS 6.1 and telling individuals who contact them that if they purchased prior to October 2012, then they were just out of luck. This is not an isolated issue. The issue is affecting users all across the DoD who fall under U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). Any assistance that you could offer to make some progress on this would be greatly appreciated.

          • Hi Jeremy, Sorry to note that you are facing these issues in obtaining the update. I have escalated this with our customer support org, and the AVL/LWS site owners. You should expect to hear from customer support within a day. I’ll stay on top of this, and update you once again on Monday.

    7. I understand why many Adobe customers may be frustrated and feel isolated with the subscription service agreements. However, the fact is that the software industry as a whole is moving rapidly into a subscription and cloud based service business model. Sooner than later there will be no boxed versions of software. This is the future … might as well embrace it.

    8. I love the new features! Great job team.

      I think the subscription model makes a lot of sense right now because the market is changing very fast. The move toward mobile has been a particularly big push. It is almost akin to a retooling. To me, that makes the subscription model very logical right now. This year, I have gone with a Captivate subscription and a Creative Cloud subscription instead of my usual eLearning Suite. The CC’s introductory pricing seemed to me like a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to try a wide gamut of Adobe products and since Illustrator is the primary tool that I use for graphics instead of Photoshop and my move to Mac meant I needed new access to Illustrator Mac version anyway, it made sense. Next year when CC goes up, I may then need to re-evaluate if I mix Captivate with CC again or if I upgrade to eLearning suite and get the Illustrator separate. Anyway, long story short, for this year, I wouldn’t miss the CC opportunity. It would be fantastic if Captivate comes in to the CC family, but I am not holding my breath.

    9. I’m trying to learn more about the Adobe Captivate App Packager but can’t find specific information about it. Is it a separate program, part of Adobe Edge or ?? Is there documentation?

    10. I have just made a sizeable investment to upgrade to Technical communication suite 4 (includes Captivate 6). I have opted for purchasing the software instead of subscribing to it. I find it very frustrating to learn that I am not entitled to an upgrade that adds interesting functionnalities to Captivate 6.

    11. Good morning. So, I have tried to be patient through all of this as I understand that Adobe is a very large corporation; however, I have wasted the majority of the last three days trying to get this issue resolved. I have gone back and forth with the customer support reps from AVL as previously advised, but to absolutely no end. I have even provided the link to this blog post and your comments in the discussion thread to them, but the bottom line (through the eyes of the AVL support staff) is that if you are not a subcription member you will not be receiving this software update. They also keep confusing this update with the previous upgrade to eLS 6.1 and telling individuals who contact them that if they purchased prior to October 2012, then they were just out of luck. I can provide you with the contents of the support case chat session if it would help in any way. This is not an isolated issue. The issue is affecting users all across the DoD who fall under U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). Any assistance that you could offer to make some progress on this would be greatly appreciated.

    12. I by Captivate 6.0 box business version at Taiwan..i check my version is: i try update. it is no work…have any solution can? because the new version can solution many CP6 at HTML5’s problem…THANKS…

    13. Since I bought the Adobe Master Collection and purchased Captivate separately, it looks like I am out of luck. I wish I had known about the “Advantages” before I made the purchase.

    14. I’ve been a Captivate user since its RoboDemo days and I must say that this subscription issue has caused me to give Articulate a second look. Those of us early adopters who purchased 6.0 on the day of release are basically out of luck unless we happened to see the subscription and happened to have the ability to get the additional funding at the time of purchase. This is a TERRIBLE strategy.

    15. I am not the only one who is very disappointed (understatement) in Adobe’s policy. I bought the e-learning suite with CP6 half a year ago. Adobe has no way to add ASA or to give a discount to a subscription. The worst is that Adobe 6.0 has a bug (effects on smart shapes)
      with is fixed in 6.1. I haven’t got any sufficient support from Adobe Support yet (besides “what is your browser version”, “what flash player do you use” and more of these nonsense questions).

      To Allan. Captivate is still a great program, but don’t talk about the way Adobe sells it. Developers and sellers at Adobe live in different worlds.

    16. Ok then .. I have an obvious question…

      Why the “F” would Adobe INTENTIONALLY piss off so many of it’s customers with this “update”… It’s so counter productive to profit that it’s just insane. Adobe spends ALL this money developing Captivate, spends more marketing it, spends more selling it and THEN adopts the attitude of “Well f you..if you want the full product pay us more money and an annual fee.. and if you don’t like it.. f-off.”

      You have got to be KIDDING me? Does Adobe treat ALL it’s customers like this? Does Adobe realize that they aren’t the only e-learning game in town? Good time to invest in Articulate maybe huh?

    17. Our organization really does not appreciate being treated like second class citizens because we bought the full Adobe eLearning Suite 6.1 only three months ago rather than subscribing. Our department’s budgeting strategy does not really lend itself to monthly subscription bills.
      Today we are particularly upset because we have sought a drag and drop feature in Captivate for many years. Now we are told “Sorry, you purchased the $2,000 eLearning Suite three months too soon.” This is really disrespectful to your customers.

      • Hi Jason, These updates are available to both our subscription customers, and to our ASA (Adobe Software Assurance) customers. If you paid $2000 for eLS, you possibly already have ASA (as a regular eLS license is priced at $1799; ASA is 15% extra). If you would like to add on ASA at this point, I can have someone from our sales team assist you. Please write to me at shameer at adobe dot com.

    18. So disappointed in Adobe Captivate 6…so many of the features that are touted are only available for ASA customers. Wish my sales rep would have mentioned this. Now I am stuck with a product that does not contain half of the features I was hoping for.


    19. I own eLearning 6.1 I’m entitled to the Captivate 6.0 BUG FIXING that makes it work with Windows 8; You guys just CANNOT make the difference on the same version giving the BUG FIXING “only” to the subscribers. That is a clear discrimination AGAINST THE LAW.

    20. Came close to buying. Now the subscription has turned me off. Even shared is not worth it. Adobe like all big biz eventually cannot fill their pockets enough.

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