Adobe Captivate

What is Captivate?

An e-learning authoring tool that:

  • Creates software simulations, tutorials, demonstrations, branched scenarios and randomised quizzes.
  • Records your actions in any software application.
  • Can instantly create a demonstration movie with visible and audible mouse movements and text entry.
  • For software simulations and tutorials, can use left or right mouse clicks, key presses and rollover images.
  • Creates movies with small file size and high resolution for easy online publishing or burning to CD.

Applications for Captivate

Captivate movies are an excellent resource for supplementing documentation and training and can be used in the following areas:

  • Refer customer to a movie on a web site
  • Helpdesk staff can view a movie to inform their advice to customers over the phone
  • Refer trainees to demonstrations to re-enforce training
  • Enable self-training
  • Use for demonstrations when network or system access has been lost
  • Use movies to promote or communicate system changes to users.
Online Help
  • Demonstrate a complex procedure
  • Explain or clarify diagrams, process flows, organograms


  • Provide tips when completing forms
  • Test potential candidates required knowledge of software or systems by creating competency based tests.

It is not advised that a Captivate movie take the place of either documentation or training.

Process: Creating a new movie

The Captivate software is licensed to the Systems Division, Technical Writing team. The process below reflects a collaboration between our team and the customer. There are no charges for this service. The time to create a movie is approximately an hour per minute of the movie e.g. 4 hours for a 4 minute movie.

  1. Prepare the procedure, data or item to be recorded.
  2. Recording phase: May take a few attempts
  3. Refining phase:
  • Ensure continuity is correct.
  • Remove any unnecessary frames
  • Change video quality where necessary
  1. Editing phase:
  • Create captions and highlight boxes
  • Create title screens
  • Set movie start and end options
  1. Final testing and preview of entire movie
  2. Export movie in preferred format
  • Stand-alone executable
  • Zipped executable
  • Flash movie
  1. Distribute movie

Standards for movies

  • Standards provide consistency
  • Using the standard font sizes for heading and content throughout a movie makes it easier to watch and read.
  • Consistent use of colours can aid understanding, e.g.
    • Yellow: instructions
    • Green: notes and cautions
    • Blue: concepts