July 20, 2023
TWO New Adobe Captivate: What does that mean?
July 20, 2023
TWO New Adobe Captivate: What does that mean?
Group Technology Evangelist
Staff 44 posts
Followers: 212 people

Okay, so if there are now two versions of Adobe Captivate, and both are new / updated, how do I know which one to use in which circumstance? With the most recent release of Adobe Captivate – two versions were introduced by Adobe. One of them is technically version 11.8.2 (Adobe Captivate Classic) and the other one is version 12.0.0. (the All-New Adobe Captivate.) You might have noticed that I did a video to compare the two of them here: https://www.adobe.com/products/captivate.html#How-is-it-different

Adobe Captivate Classic UX

We have one version (Captivate Classic) that is a slightly updated version of previous versions of Captivate. It opens older Captivate file, it does PowerPoint import, motion path animation, random question pools and 360 VR (all things that you can’t do today in the All-New Adobe Captivate.)

That first item (opens older Captivate files) is the switch you are most likely to depend on.  If you are simply updating an older project, then it probably makes sense to use Captivate Classic.

Using PowerPoint? Use Classic.
Using Random quiz pools? Use Captivate Classic.
Creating Video Only demos? Use Captivate Classic.
Using motion path based animation, VR or need to build something non-responsive? Use Captivate Classic.

However, if you want to leverage the new ease of use or expedite your team, you should use the All-New Adobe Captivate.

Focus on future-ready training? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Creating software simulations? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Making responsive courses? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Want content that uses long scroll format? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Need interactive videos? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Want training with popup overlays? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Prefer timeline triggers? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Looking for slide based interactions like forced navigation? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Want to build long scroll content? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Need to create more content faster? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Get a less experienced team producing more content with less training? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.
Need simplified interaction design? Use the All-New Adobe Captivate.

I have created a table below to help you see what I would generally advise.


CP logo

All-new Adobe Captivate
(released in 2023)

CPC logo

Adobe Captivate Classic
(originally released in 2019)

Suitable for:

Users with any experience level:

  • Create future-ready eLearning
  • Create Software simulations
  • Easily Make Responsive courses
  • Make Interactive videos
  • Make Interactive projects with overlays
  • Use the timeline to trigger actions
  • Create Slide-based interactive content – like forced navigation with just a few clicks
  • Build Long scroll interactive content
  • Create courses faster
  • Leverage less experienced content developers with lower barrier to entry
  • Take advantage of simplified interaction design with triggers and visual guides

Existing Adobe Captivate users who want to:

  • Maintain older courses
  • Create video demos
  • Create 360 virtual reality courses
  • Import Powerpoint
  • Use Random Quiz Pools
  • Create motion path animations
  • Build non-responsive projects
  • Need deeper access to Javascript via Captivate
  • Need to continue using older custom widgets

All of the above are expected to be added to the All-New AdobeCaptivate in upcoming releases.


.CPT file (new file format)

.CPTX file (old file format)

Ease of use

Streamlined, simplified workflows

Extensive workflows

Visual design capabilities


  • Long scroll + slide-based content
  • Real content Quick Start Projects
  • Rich media asset library
  • Enhanced image editing
  • Beautiful readymade layout slides
  • Elegant design options
  • Stylish Text presets


  • Slide-based content
  • Quick Start Projects
  • Rich media asset library
  • Limited image editing





Available out of the box

Not available out of the box. Need to be custom developed.


Courses are responsive by default

Need manual authoring of responsive courses


Coming soon

No plan

Now you don’t need to decide which version of Adobe Captivate to purchase, because both Adobe Captivate Classic and the All-new Adobe Captivate are included in your subscription price. In fact, if you are already a Captivate subscriber – you already have access to both tools.

In short, if you are trying to maintain or refresh older Cp courses, it might make sense for you to simply use Adobe Captivate Classic for a while – especially if you need tools like random quiz pools or PowerPoint import. If you are developing new courses, the All New Adobe Captivate will likely save you a lot of time (once you familiarize yourself with the new workflow.) Adobe has announced support for Captivate Classic all the way through 2027, and there are already plans to help people port older format file content into the All New Adobe Captivate.

We realize that a transition like this is difficult for everyone. The new paradigms will result in an odd situation where less experienced developers seem to find the new software much more intuitive and easier to use. Meanwhile more experienced developers often find it takes a little extra time to reorient to the new style of working.

In general, if you plan to start exploring and adopting the new Adobe Captivate, and like me, you have decades of past precedent to overcome – I encourage you to start with a storyboard or plan for your learning project. Then trust the process. For example, most of us begin with a title page. Try inserting a title slide, and follow this basic process.


Components in the property inspector

Once the slide is inserted, look for the components list in the property inspector. Toggle on and off each component, to see what each one does. Keep the components that you like, and disable the components that you don’t want to use. Select any component on screen to change it’s appearance using the properties on the right.

You can take advantage of the design options to rapidly try different styles and layouts, and you can swap out images just by clicking their center button and selecting the right images for your project title. Once you have done a single layout slide, try inserting another. Eventually you will come to some case where the component that you want isn’t included in the block. Look to the left menu again, and select the component you desire (or text / image block) from that left toolbar menu. Take deep breaths and sip a little coffee and I promise you’ll be a pro soon thereafter.

Design options screen shot

The All-New Adobe Captivate handles a ton of complex layout tasks for you. Things like image alignment, basic design etc. are all managed much more effectively. This is in part because it is also being handled for tablet and mobile responsive views. Try fun things like setting the number of images to more or less and note that Captivate handles all the heavy lifting for you.

The team plans to add those missing functions that I mentioned earlier in several releases over the next couple of years. We will start with a release focused on improving the workflows for responsive (giving users more control) and improving the workflow for application capture (we wanted to further simplify and empower the experience.) New assets are planned for each release and the updates will arrive every three to four months. The first one should be available about the time we all gather in Las Vegas for the Adobe Learning Summit on October 2 & 3.  We hope you’ll join us and let us know how you have been using both tools.

You can download both Adobe Captivate Classic and The All-New Adobe Captivate here: https://helpx.adobe.com/captivate/help/captivate-downloads.html

2023-08-11 06:47:55
2023-08-11 06:47:55

Very informative and easy to understand comparison. Thanks, Allen.

2023-08-10 16:15:58
2023-08-10 16:15:58

I had a trial period with the classic Captivate years ago and did not even really try it, because it did not scale well on 4k and had stability-issues. Now I wanted to try out the new captivate, but the trial period is considered over and I cannot get past that. Is there a way to reset that, so I could actually try out the new version? Who could I contact about that? To get a whole year of subscription just for a quick trial is not really an option.

's comment
2023-08-17 04:34:04
2023-08-17 04:34:04
's comment

Try a new email for the trial.

's comment
2023-09-06 21:19:29
2023-09-06 21:19:29
's comment

Or contact Adobe Customer Service!

's comment
2023-09-07 14:08:16
2023-09-07 14:08:16
's comment

Well Abambo, i wish we could really help here however, it would be a challenge to give out complimentary licenses. However, i would suggest a couple of ways to earn them:
1. Community contributions earn points that can be redeemed at a later date. Please refer to our levels page for more info.
2. Try and see if what @Habdan suggests works.

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